NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 FE Overclocking Logo Video Card with Overclocking Logo

Introduction

On October 27th, NVIDIA launched the GeForce RTX 3070 series video cards.  We reviewed the GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition which has an MSRP of $499.  The GeForce RTX 3070 FE is based on the new Ampere architecture and comes in under the GeForce RTX 3080 on pricing and performance.  The GeForce RTX 3070 is mainly the replacement for the previous generation GeForce RTX 2070 and GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER. 

NVIDIA touted the GeForce RTX 3070 as providing the same performance level as previous generations GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FE which has an $1,199 price tag.  In our review of the GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition we found that it trades-blows with the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FE depending on the game and resolution.  For the most part, the GeForce RTX 3070 FE mostly came in right under the performance of the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FE, save for a few instances where it was just on-par with GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FE. 

One aspect we did not cover in our launch review was Overclocking the GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition video card.  We feel that overclocking may be the key to making the GeForce RTX 3070 FE exceed the performance of the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FE in the games it was slower at.  This review today is focused on Overclocking the GeForce RTX 3070 FE and then showing comparison performance with the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti in several games at 1440p, 4K and with and without Ray Tracing.

How to Overclock the GeForce RTX 3070 FE

Before we overclock the GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition, take note that this is a uniquely designed video card from NVIDIA.  The PCB design, the chosen hardware components, the incredibly unique and proprietary heatsink, and fan design is unique to NVIDIA.  Therefore, the overclocking ability of this Founders Edition video card may be different when we overclock add-in-board partner custom video cards.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 FE Overclocking GPUz Default Settings

This is the default GPUz screenshot before we begin.  Just note that the Boost Clock is 1725MHz on this video card with memory that runs at 14GHz.  In our launch review, we found that the default GPU frequency averaged 1935MHz while gaming, which is well above the 1725MHz boost already.  The frequency boosted above 1900MHz most of the time.  Therefore this is our baseline frequency to start with.

Highest Overclock on GeForce RTX 3070 FE

To overclock this video card we downloaded the latest Beta of MSI Afterburner which worked great on this video card.  We were able to unlock and monitor the GPU Voltage as well.  However, we found that it was best to leave the Voltage alone on this video card because it made us hit the maximum TDP much quicker, which actually lowered the GPU clock frequency while gaming. 

You see, on this video card, there isn’t as much headroom in terms of turning up the Power Limit, much less headroom than the GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition.  Therefore, we really have to watch the TDP closely, and this overall caps the frequency of GPU and memory.  Also keep in mind that GPU Boost already manages Voltage and can raise it as needed, which it does just by us turning up the Core Clock offset.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 FE Overclocking MSI Afterburner Maximum Overclock

Above are the highest settings we found stable on our GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition video card.  You can see that the Power Limit only lets us go up to 109% on this video card, whereas with the GeForce RTX 3080 FE we could go up to 115%. 

On the Core Offset, we managed to find +80 stable.  At +100 we had game lockups within minutes of playing.  Increasing the Voltage did not make it stable.  At +90 it worked for the most part, but we noticed the GPU Frequency was sinking lower due to TDP limits.  By setting it to +80 we gained some higher minimum GPU Frequencies.  We also tried adding Voltage at +80 and +90 but it just made the GPU Frequency average a lower frequency.  At +80 the new Boost Clock is 1805MHz. 

For the memory, we were able to push it pretty far up to +900.  At +1000 it would become unstable for us, and started eating into that TDP again.  At +900 the frequency has been increased from 14GHz to 15.8GHz.  This takes the memory bandwidth up from 448GB/s to 505GB/s.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 FE Overclocking GPU Frequency Comparison Graph between Default and Overclocked

Here is what the overclock looks like compared to the default clock speed.  The green line represents the default 1725MHz GPU Boost.  At default, you can see it is boosting above 1900MHz, well above the 1725MHz Boost Clock.  With our overclock applied the GPU frequency is now mostly above 2025MHz.  It actually hits 2050MHz mostly.  The average of the overclock was 2048MHz. 

Therefore, from the default average of 1935MHz that is a 6% GPU Frequency overclock. Overall, that isn’t as high as we were hoping, but let’s see what performance looks like on the following pages with the memory and GPU overclock combined.

GPUz

Here is the sensor data from GPUz with the overclock.  Note that we do have the fans at 100% in this test to ensure the highest overclock.  100% is not required for this overclock, however.  At 100% fan speed, this overclock yields a 63c GPU temp on the Founders Edition.  Board Power Draw is 246.5W.  GPU Chip Power Draw is 191W.  TDP is being exceeded at 112%.  GPU Voltage hit 1.0810V.

The Final Overclock We will Use for Testing is:

GPU: 2048MHz (avg)
Memory: 15.8GHz

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Brent Justice

Brent Justice has been reviewing computer components for 20+ years, educated in the art and method of the computer hardware review he brings experience, knowledge, and hands-on testing with a gamer oriented...

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8 Comments

  1. too bad the card is power limited. It seems like it could get more oomph.

    Still, nice performance gains and so much more power efficient than its big brothers.

    BTW, did you try just OC the GPU to see if its bandwidth limited?

  2. It’s impressive that they were able to match or exceed past the performance of a 2080Ti, while trimming off 80-90W of power as well.

    Too bad you can’t get your hands on any of the 30xx cards though :(

  3. That’s actually decent numbers overclocked on a 2560 x 1440 which is what I use.

    I’d still be hard pressed to pay $500 for a 3070 when, as been mentioned elsewhere, for $200 more you can pick get a 3080……..Well, in theory LOL.

    Anyhow, it does crank up pretty good when overclocked.

    As usual, a great informative article @Brent_Justice :love:

  4. Thanks @Brent_Justice

    Great review and nice to see even more credible info regarding the performance of the 3070 FE. For a while, it seemed like every leak, or press piece, that came out about this Ampere launch revolved around each card either met, or exceeded that of the 2080 Ti. Nice to see some clearer lines drawn from both with stock clocks and overclocking it. Still a good value compared to Turing though.

  5. Howdy, y’all. I’ve been regularly visiting for I think 6 months now and I really like the style of reviews and overclocking here. I don’t normally sign up anywhere or comment, but I can tell you know your stuff. My first build was with a Pentium 3 @ 700MHz back in the day and I’ve been overclocking and enjoying building ever since.

    @Brent_Justice I particularly like how you compare overclocking against what the GPU core *actually* runs at, not against base or boost like other sites. It gives a much better idea of actual gains and how far the chips have already been pushed by the GPU boost out of the box. For example, my MSI 2080Ti Gaming X Trio runs at 1923MHz-1936MHz out of the box but after flashing the Lightning Z BIOS I can sustain 2085MHz-2100MHz in all games because of the 380W power limit.

    Speaking of 2080Ti’s, do you happen to have the results from this article handy? I would love to see what the individual CPU and GPU scores are in Timespy rather than the overall score. Unless somebody has the same system as your test rig (other than the GPU) it is difficult to get an idea of how far apart the GPU scores may be. Just so you have numbers to compare to, my R5 3600 under a Noctua NH-D15 scores ~7700 in Timespy while my 2080Ti scores ~16600.

    Thanks again for the informative review!

  6. The new Nvidia RTX 3070 has now dispatched into the wild and, close by the Founders Edition cards, the green group has likewise permitted outsider designs card makers to release their plant overclocked SKUs directly as it so happens. Thus we have the Asus TUF RTX 3070 OC, a somewhat higher-timed adaptation of the third-level Ampere GeForce card. Also, it’s a remarkable husky kin; sat close to the FE rendition of the more standard Nvidia GPU it is absolutely a thick looking card. In any case, that is ever been the route with this RTX 30-arrangement—the Founders Edition forms have all profited by Nvidia’s own designing endeavors to shrivel down the size of the PCB and make cards that don’t really beef up to coordinate the huge GPUs at their souls. for more info. 2080 ti price
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