The GTX 1070 Ti is here. As a graphics card that falls somewhere in-between the GTX 1070 and 1080 in terms of both performance and price, it’s a little curious of a release from NVIDIA… Until you consider the competition.
Back in August, AMD finally released their long-awaited RX Vega 56 and Vega 64 graphics cards, meant to compete with NVIDIA’s high-end Pascal GPUs. The general conclusion was that it was too little too late, with poor availability at launch to further spoil the few positives with the cards. Vega 56 was the more interesting out of the two, offering better performance for a slightly higher price compared to the GTX 1070.
So, how does the 1070 Ti fair against the competition? Let’s investigate.
Overall, the 1070 Ti is a tiny bit ahead of the Vega 56 in DirectX 11 games, but it also costs more.
In DirectX 12 games, AMD tends to have the advantage, but it still depends more on who the developers partnered with to make the game.
The GTX 1070 Ti starts from $450, and looking at Amazon, some models can actually be had for that price. RX Vega 56 is supposed to start from $399, and it can sometimes be found at that price, but most of the time it hovers around the $450 price point. However, when talking about MSRPs, the difference between these cards is $50, which means that the GTX 1070 ($379 MSRP), GTX 1080 ($499+) and RX Vega 64 ($499+) all fall within that $400-$500 price range. This brings us to a total of five cards with a difference of over $100 between the cheapest and most expensive ones. Which graphics card out of these is actually the better choice?
As we know from before, the RX Vega 64 is a poor choice even at $499, as an RX Vega 56 can be had for $100 less with roughly the same performance. The GTX 1070 is generally slower than the Vega 56, and nowadays bears a similar price tag. The GTX 1070 Ti is slightly faster than a Vega 56, but it also costs $50 more. A GTX 1080 on the other hand, is faster than both of these, and when overclocked will be the fastest of the five. It does, however, cost the most, starting from $510 for an open-air cooler.
Quite a confusing situation. But a general conclusion would look like this:
What to buy:
- Vega 56 at $400 or less
- GTX 1070 Ti at $460 or less
- GTX 1080 at $520 or less, especially for a high-end cooler
What not to buy:
As we can see, this makes the GTX 1070 and RX Vega 64 fairly irrelevant at their current price points. The GTX 1070 can be an option when power consumption comes into play since Vega is a known power-hog, consuming 30-40 watts more than the 1070 at stock. RX Vega 64 is generally a card that should be had on a sale only for the MSRP of $499, and only in a case when the buyer has already invested or plans investing into a Freesync monitor, which is still the cornerstone of choosing AMD over NVIDIA nowadays.
In the $500 range, the GTX 1080 is still the best option — a card with a decent air-cooler for $520 will allow for a hefty overclock, all while consuming less power and being quieter than any RX Vega card.
The 1070 Ti should be an option only when it costs less than $470. In any other case, it’s just wiser to invest into a GTX 1080. If budget is tighter, then a Vega 56 for $400 or less (with a good aftermarket cooler) would be the smarter choice.