Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2070 Windforce review: This $500 graphics card is a solid value

With the Gigabyte RTX 2070 Windforce delivering such strong performance at $500, there's little reason to spend more on an RTX 2070 graphics card unless you're looking for specific extra features.

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Ghost Recon Wildlands

Move over, Crysis. If you crank all the graphics options up to 11, like we do for these tests, Ghost Recon Wildlands ($50 on Humble) and its AnvilNext 2.0 engine absolutely melts GPUs.

ghost recon wildlands Brad Chacos/IDG

Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Middle-earth: Shadow of War ($50 on Humble) adds a strategic layer to the series’ sublime core gameplay loop, adapting the Nemesis system to let you create an army of personalized Orc commanders. It plays like a champ on PC, too, thanks to Monolith’s custom LithTech Firebird engine. We use the Ultra graphics preset but drop the Shadow Quality setting to High to avoid exceeding 8GB of VRAM usage.

shadow of war Brad Chacos/IDG

F1 2018

The latest in a long line of successful games, F1 2018 ($60 on Humble) is a benchmarking gem, supplying a wide array of both graphical and benchmarking options—making it a much more reliable measurement than the Forza series, which uses dynamic weather generation. It’s built on the fourth version of Codemasters’ buttery-smooth Ego game engine. We test two laps on the Australia course, with clear skies.

f1 2018 Brad Chacos/IDG

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation

Ashes of the Singularity ($40 on Humble) was one of the very first DX12 games, and it remains a flag-bearer for the technology to this day thanks to the extreme scalability of Oxide Games’ next-gen Nitrous engine. With hundreds of units onscreen simultaneously and some serious graphics effects in play, the Crazy preset can make graphics cards sweat. Ashes runs in both DX11 and DX12, but we only test in DX12, as it delivers the best results for both Nvidia and AMD GPUs.

aots Brad Chacos/IDG

Rainbow Six Siege

Finally, let’s take a peek at Rainbow Six Siege ($40 on Humble), a game whose audience just keeps on growing, and one that still feels like the only truly next-gen shooter after all these years. Like Ghost Recon Wildlands, this game runs on Ubisoft’s AnvilNext 2.0 engine, but Rainbow Six Siege responds especially well to games that lean on async compute features.

rainbow six siege Brad Chacos/IDG

Next page: Synthetic benchmarks, power draw, thermals, overclocking

At a Glance
  • With the Gigabyte RTX 2070 Windforce delivering such strong performance at $500, there's little reason to spend more on an RTX 2070 graphics card unless you're looking for specific features.

    Pros

    • Great 1440p and entry-level 4K gaming performance
    • RT and tensor cores for ray tracing, DLSS, and more
    • Custom Windforce cooler is better than Nvidia's Founders Edition
    • Actually achieves $500 MSRP price
    • Similar performance to pricier RTX 2070 options

    Cons

    • Ray tracing and DLSS not available in games yet
    • Plastic shroud and fans
    • Lacks fancy extra features
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