EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 XC review: Cheaper and more feature-packed than Nvidia's Founders Edition

Just buy it.

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Our test system

Our dedicated graphics card test system is packed with some of the fastest complementary components available to put any potential performance bottlenecks squarely on the GPU. Most of the hardware was provided by the manufacturers, but we purchased the cooler and storage ourselves.

  • Intel Core i7-8700K processor ($360 on Amazon)
  • EVGA CLC 240 closed-loop liquid cooler ($120 on Amazon)
  • Asus Maximus X Hero motherboard ($260 on Amazon)
  • 64GB HyperX Predator RGB DDR4/2933 ($416 for 32GB on Amazon)
  • EVGA 1200W SuperNova P2 power supply ($180 on Amazon)
  • Corsair Crystal 570X RGB case, with front and top panels removed and an extra rear fan installed for improved airflow ($170 on Amazon)
  • 2x 500GB Samsung 860 EVO SSDs ($100 on Amazon)

We’re comparing the $550 EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 XC against the entire RTX Founders Edition family: The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition ($600 at Best Buy and GeForce.com), GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition ($799 at Best Buy or GeForce.com), and RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition ($1,199 at Best Buy and GeForce.com). We’ve also tested its performance compared to the GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition, GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition, and PNY GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. Finally, we’ve included results from the Radeon RX Vega 64 reference card, AMD’s most powerful GPU.

Each game is tested using its in-game benchmark at the highest possible graphics presets, with VSync, frame rate caps, and all GPU vendor-specific technologies—like AMD TressFX, Nvidia GameWorks options, and FreeSync/G-Sync—disabled, and temporal anti-aliasing (TAA) enabled to push these high-end cards to their limits. If anything differs from that, we’ll mention it.

EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 XC performance benchmarks

Strange Brigade

Let’s kick things off with Strange Brigade ($50 on Humble), a cooperative third-person shooter where a team of adventurers blast through hordes of mythological enemies. It’s a technological showcase, built around the next-gen Vulkan and DirectX 12 technologies and infused with features like HDR support and the ability to toggle asynchronous compute on and off. It uses Rebellion’s custom Azure engine. We test with async compute off.

strange brigade Brad Chacos/IDG

Here and throughout the testing process, the EVGA RTX 2070 XC delivers virtually identical results to the more expensive Nvidia RTX 2070 Founders Edition. That means it smashes the older GTX 1070 FE, and performs about 10 percent better on average than the GTX 1080, which is its true comparison because both cost $500 to $600. That lead increases to just above 20 percent in Shadow of War and Rainbow Six Siege, a pair of games that respond favorably to the RTX series’ newfound async compute capabilities. That’s why AMD’s Vega 64 outpunches the GTX 1080 in those titles, too.

Rather than repeating “Yup, the two RTX 2070 cards are neck and neck” over and over again, we’ll just provide the game benchmarking results without much additional commentary.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Shadow of the Tomb Raider ($60 on Humble) concludes the reboot trilogy, and it’s utterly gorgeous—even the state-of-the-art GeForce RTX 2080 Ti barely manages to average 60 fps with all the bells and whistles turned on at 4K resolution. Square Enix optimized this game for DX12, and recommends DX11 only if you’re using older hardware or Windows 7, so we test with that. Shadow of the Tomb Raider uses an enhanced version of the Foundation engine that also powered Rise of the Tomb Raider.

shadow of the tomb raider Brad Chacos/IDG

Far Cry 5

Finally, a DirectX 11 game! Far Cry 5 ($60 on Humble) is powered by Ubisoft’s long-established Dunia engine. It’s just as gorgeous as its predecessors, and even more fun.

far cry 5 Brad Chacos/IDG

Next page: Games benchmarks continue

At a Glance
  • EVGA's GeForce RTX 2070 XC is cooler, more feature-packed, and just as fast as the Nvidia Founders Edition, but costs $50 less. Between the promise of ray tracing and AI enhancements in the future and faster performance today, it's well worth your money.

    Pros

    • Great 1440p and entry-level 4K gaming performance
    • RT and tensor cores for ray tracing, DLSS, and more
    • Very effective cooler
    • $50 less than Founders Edition
    • Customizable RGB LEDs and shroud trim

    Cons

    • Divisive shroud design
    • Ray tracing and DLSS not available in games yet
    • Fewer RT and tensor cores could mean reduced ray tracing and DLSS performance
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