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Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Specifications

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 was supposed to be the chosen one. Nvidia's 70-class GPUs (meaning, 2070, 1070, 970, etc.) are typically the best blend of price and performance. On paper, there was a lot to like with the RTX 3070. It could match the performance of the outgoing RTX 2080 Ti, it only needed 220W of power, and it was only supposed to cost $499. GPU shortages and spiking cryptocurrency prices nuked any thought of reasonable pricing, unfortunately, and the 3070 sold for over $1,000 for most of its life.

The RTX 3070 also represented a rather large step down in theoretical and real-world performance compared to the RTX 3080 (10GB). You can see in our GPU performance hierarchy that it's 18% slower than the 3080, for 29% less money (in theory). In practice, it was more like $1,200 versus $2,000, a 40% drop in pricing, but that's because the 3070 was 33% slower at Ethereum mining. Thankfully, prices have come down a lot since 2021, though with RTX 4090 now here, RTX 4080 launching soon, and an RTX 4070 likely to show up by January, the RTX 3070's days are numbered.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Specifications
Process TechnologySamsung 8N
Transistors (Billion)17.4
Die size (mm^2)392.5
Streaming Multiprocessors46
GPU Cores (Shaders)5888
Tensor Cores184
RT Cores46
Boost Clock (MHz)1725
VRAM Speed (Gbps)14
VRAM Bus Width256
L2 Cache4
Render Outputs96
Texture Mapping Units184
FP32 TFLOPS (Single-Precision)20.3
FP16 TFLOPS (Sparsity)81 (163)
Bandwidth (GB/s)448
Total Board Power (Watts)220
Launch DateOctober 10, 2020
Launch Price$499

The RTX 3070 was the first Nvidia Ampere GPU to use GA104, a change from GA102 in the RTX 3090 and RTX 3080. It's a much smaller die size, 38% smaller to be precise, meaning Nvidia can get a lot more chips per wafer. At a rough estimate, Samsung's 8N process yields around 86 GA102 chips per wafer versus 144 GA104 chips.

We figure the wafer price is probably only $5,000 to $7,000, which means the chip cost on RTX 3070 is only $35–$49. That's not the only cost, naturally, so everything else likely adds up to around $200–$250. The retail price is double that, ensuring a healthy profit margin, but with crap like GPU mining going nuts the cards were going for 4x to 5x that much last year.

We've seen the generational pricing on the 70-class GPUs creep up steadily over time. GTX 770 was a $399 part at launch that later dropped to $329. The GTX 970 launched at $329. Then the GTX 1070 pushed things up to $449 for the Founders Edition with a $379 MSRP on the cheapest third-party cards. RTX 2070 increased it to $499 for the Founders Edition and third-party cards.

We sort of stayed there with the RTX 3070, but given the higher 20-series pricing came right after the last time there was a cryptocurrency bubble, it wouldn't be at all surprising if Nvidia were to raise the RTX 4070 launch price to $599. It's not what we want to happen, and perhaps AMD will put up a strong enough competitor that Nvidia won't go that high... but it's certainly in the realm of the possible.

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