EVGA GeForce RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra review: Frigid, silent, and built to overclock

The GeForce RTX 3070 is a fantastic GPU, delivering face-melting performance on a par with that of the former $1,200 RTX 2080 Ti flagship for a stunning $700 less, as we covered in our comprehensive RTX 3070 Founders Edition review. Nvidia’s Founders Edition is a fine option if you plan to simply stick your graphics card into your system and get to playing. But if you want to push your hardware’s performance to the brink of what’s possible, consider EVGA’s GeForce RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra.

Like the fantastic EVGA RTX 3080 FTW3 Ultra, this 3070 incarnation costs a steep premium—$610, versus the Nvidia FE’s $500—but you’re paying for every overclocking-friendly feature you could ask for. While Nvidia shrank the RTX 3070 Founders Edition design, which affected noise levels, EVGA stuck to a beefy 3-slot build for the FTW3 Ultra, using heavy metal to tame the Ampere GPU inside. EVGA supplemented the massive cooler with all sorts of tools that make it easier to top the 3DMark leaderboards, like dual BIOSes, several integrated temperature sensors to monitor various parts of the card, a dedicated fan control header, and more.

Does it make sense to spend over $600 on a loaded RTX 3070 when you can upgrade to the much more powerful RTX 3080 for just $100 more? And does AMD’s looming $579 Radeon RX 6800 change the equation? Let’s examine the EVGA GeForce RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra.

EVGA GeForce RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra specs, features, and design

Here’s a recap of the GeForce RTX 3070’s key technical specifications, compared against its direct predecessor, the $500 RTX 2070, as well as the $1,200 RTX 2080 Ti with which it trades blows in gaming performance.

Brad Chacos/IDG

EVGA changes only two key underlying technical specs with the RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra, with the rest of its rejiggering dedicated to the cooler design and extra features. Most people will notice the increased clock speeds first. While the RTX 3070 reference specification hits a 1,725MHz boost clock, EVGA cranked the FTW3 Ultra up to 1,815MHz, a 90Hz increase. That gives it an out-of-the-box boost in gaming frame rates. It’s a small bump, but as you’ll see in our benchmarks section, it’s enough to move past the RTX 2080 Ti pretty much across the board—something that Nvidia’s Founders Edition couldn’t quite manage.

If you’re buying this card, though, you’re probably not planning to stick to stock speeds. Just as important to the FTW3 Ultra’s mission is its increased power requirements. Stock RTX 3070 cards draw 250 watts over a single 8-pin power connector, coming from a recommended 550W power supply. In its quest for overclocking glory, the FTW3 Ultra bumps that up to a pair of 8-pin power connectors and recommends hooking the card up to a sturdier 650W power supply. (There’s no need to fiddle with ugly 12-pin adapters like you do with Nvidia’s Founders Edition, however.)

dsc pins Brad Chacos/IDG

The dual-BIOS switch is to the left of the dual 8-pin power connectors.

EVGA puts the power to good use. This custom card ships from the factory with a higher 275W power limit enabled. Overclockers can crank the power limit up another 11 percent (to 305W) in GPU software like’s EVGA’s stellar Precision X1. Modern Nvidia GPUs get faster when you feed them more power, and like EVGA’s other FTW3 options, the 11-percent power limit increase is probably higher than what you’ll see in most rival custom RTX 30-series GPUs.

EVGA stuck with a gargantuan triple-slot cooler in its quest for overclocking supremacy. The FTW3 Ultra measures 11.8 inches long and 5.4 inches wide, and a chunky three slots thick.

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