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Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Specifications

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti was a product of its time, much like its big brother RTX 3080 Ti. If it hadn't been released during a GPU shortage, it probably would have taken over the $499 price point that the RTX 3070 was supposed to occupy. Instead, it had to stake its claim to the middle ground between the RTX 3080 and 3070, but the official pricing was nonsense until the latter part of 2022.

Besides the price, the RTX 3070 Ti had other problems, like the fact that it was only about 6% faster than the RTX 3070 — that's according to our GPU performance hierarchy — but its power use was 32% higher thanks in part to its use of GDDR6X memory. Nvidia also pushed up the power budget so that the GPU could clock higher, but even then, typical clocks while gaming weren't any higher than on the vanilla 3070. That means nearly all of the increased power budget was actually going to the VRAM.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Specifications
Process TechnologySamsung 8N
Transistors (Billion)17.4
Die size (mm^2)392.5
Streaming Multiprocessors48
GPU Cores (Shaders)6144
Tensor Cores192
RT Cores48
Boost Clock (MHz)1765
VRAM Speed (Gbps)19
VRAM Bus Width256
L2 Cache4
Render Outputs96
Texture Mapping Units192
FP32 TFLOPS (Single-Precision)21.7
FP16 TFLOPS (Sparsity)87 (174)
Bandwidth (GB/s)608
Total Board Power (Watts)290
Launch DateJune 10, 2021
Launch Price$599

The core specs are naturally slightly higher than the RTX 3070. The 3070 Ti uses the fully enabled GA104 chip, with 48 SMs and 6,144 GPU shaders. That's still only a 4% increase over the 3070's 36 SMs. Even factoring in the supposedly higher clocks, it's just a 7% improvement.

The bigger change is of course the move from GDDR6 to GDDR6X, which boosted memory bandwidth by 36%. If the GA104 was bandwidth starved, that would have delivered a major increase in performance, but clearly that's not the case. Even in the most demanding ray tracing games, performance is only around 10% faster than the 3070.

The bigger issue for the RTX 3070 Ti and Nvidia's Ampere GPUs was that it needed to populate a 256-bit memory interface to get the advertised bandwidth, so Nvidia had to decide between 8GB using eight 8Gb GDDR6X chips, or 16GB using eight 16Gbps GDDR6X chips (which might not have even been ready at the time). With the GPU shortages in full force, Nvidia took the cheap route and we got a mediocre "upgrade" that was still sold out.

The 3070 Ti and RTX 3080 Ti were the second Ampere GPUs (after the RTX 3060) to include the LHR (Lite Hash Rate) limiter. It may or may not have worked properly, but mostly it probably just stopped smaller miners from using the card — all indications are that larger mining farms already had ways around the LHR lock.

Today, the RTX 3070 Ti still starts at $629 on Amazon. Maybe it was worth that much earlier in the year, but with an RTX 4070 right around the corner, it would be stupid to pay that much money for a card that will soon be relegated to the midrange performance tier.

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