Nvidia RTX 4070 vs RTX 3070: How big is the generational leap?

An RTX 4070 FE next to an RTX 3070Nvidia

Nvidia’s RTX 4070 has finally landed, and the questions on many people’s lips are: How much faster is it than an RTX 3070? We take a deeper dive into these two powerful GPUs.

Nvidia’s RTX 4070 has finally landed, and with it comes heaps of new features, like DLSS 3‘s frame generation, and a big boost to efficiency. But, at $600, does the 4070 possess a generational leap in performance? Remember the RTX 3070 matched the old RTX 2080 Ti’s performance at launch.

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Moreover, if you have an RTX 3070, is an RTX 4070 worth the upgrade, almost three years on? We take a deeper look at these two graphics cards to let you know whether or not you should be splashing the cash on a new GPU for your gaming PC.

RTX 4070 vs RTX 3070: Specifications

Black Friday GPU 3070Zotac
GPUNvidia RTX 4070Nvidia RTX 3070
CUDA cores58885888
Base clock1920 MHz1500 MHz
Boost clock2475 MHz1725 MHz
Release dateApril 13, 2023October 29, 2020

On paper, the differences between the RTX 4070 and RTX 3070 look pretty marginal, aside from a handful of key differences. The RTX 4070 has a higher base and boost clock, with more memory capacity, in addition to a slight efficiency gain. However, while the RTX 4070’s CUDA core count might match its older sibling, there are general boosts in performance across the board with regard to ray tracing cores and more. This may come in handy when it comes to running path-traced games like Cyberpunk 2077’s Overdrive Mode.

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It feels like more of an incremental upgrade, rather than anything too earth-shattering when compared to the RTX 3070. Considering that there are almost three years between the two, we would have liked to have seen slightly more VRAM capacity, instead of a slight spec change and bump.

However, coming in at a $100 premium, there’s a more interesting conversation to be had when it comes to the price of the GPUs.

RTX 4070 vs RTX 3070: Price

RTX 4070 founders edition on white backgroundDexerto

The RTX 4070 is $100 more expensive than the RTX 3070 at MSRP. However, there have been a few years since the release of the RTX 3070, and with inflation skyrocketing, the RTX 3070, if launched in 2023, would run you a cool $583, meaning that in essence, there’s a true price bump of around $20.

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The RTX 4070 offers modern specifications, better VRAM support, modern performance, and DLSS 3 for a similar price to the RTX 3070. So, when it comes to pure value, unless you already have an RTX 3070, we recommend that you pick up a 4070 at MSRP, instead.

RTX 4070 vs RTX 3070: Performance

The RTX 4070 is around 22% faster than the RTX 3070 in benchmarks. These tests display the overall graphics score in 3DMark’s benchmarking suite. While pure rasterized performance in Time Spy Extreme stayed at around a 16% difference between the GPUs, the RTX 4070 excelled in ray-traced workloads like Port Royal, where the gap widens to 26%.

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This is a generous bump in performance between the two generations if a little bit underwhelming on the rasterization side of things for the RTX 4070. Regardless, it’s a faster GPU, and for the money, you also get benefits like the powerful DLSS 3, which will assist with attaining higher framerates under extreme loads in certain games.

GeForce RTX 4070 Founders EditionGeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition
Time Spy Extreme 86087294
Port Royal112938641
Speed Way45203524

You should also expect better performance at higher resolutions for the RTX 4070, as the bigger VRAM capacity will help the GPU load in larger textures in modern titles like Forspoken and Hogwarts Legacy.

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RTX 4070 vs RTX 3070: Should you upgrade?

The RTX 4070 is a good GPU that offers great performance, as we state in our review. However, it’s performance relative to the RTX 3070 is more modest than you would expect, considering that the 3070 is now three years old. If you already have an RTX 3070, we suggest you keep your GPU, unless you want access to DLSS 3.

For those with GPUs older, or weaker than the RTX 4070, it will be a great modern GPU for 1440p gaming, and offers the modern RTX 40-series architecture at an accessible price point.

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