Best RTX 2070 Graphics Cards For 2019 – GPU Buying Guide

Best RTX 2070 Graphics Cards for 2019 GPU Buying Guide

The RTX 2070 was released at the back end of 2018 and was brought to shelves as a mid/high-range GPU which was reasonably priced and boasted performance stats that knocked on the door of the top graphics cards available in today's market. The RTX range as many will know has been equipped with the latest real-time ray tracing technology, AI-enhanced graphics and takes advantage of Nvidia's powerful new Turing architecture which they say ‘Immerses you into incredible levels of realism and performance'.

Since it’s release we have seen a plethora of custom cards follow and in today's article we look at selecting our best picks, which ones are best suited to you and how each of them performs in the heat of battle. We’ve been looking forward to this for a while now so let’s dive straight in.

Top Performance
MSI GAMING Z GeForce RTX 2070 8GB

MSI GAMING Z GeForce RTX 2070 8GB

Best Performance RTX 2070

MSI's top-end RTX iteration comes to shelves boasting one of the highest price tags of all and for good reason, high clock speed, and performance stats that almost rival the GTX 1080 Ti. 

This is MSI's first entry into the best of 2070 guide and for good reason. The Gaming Z doesn't just look impressive, the newly designed heat sink and fan setup they have equipped this card with incredible thermal performance. RGB floods the entire front and side of the card which will only increase the internal design of your build. 

Top All Round 2070
ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2070 8GB Overclocked

ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2070 8GB Overclocked

A Great 2070 with a bunch of cool features

A Triad of fans sits on top of a large heatsink which makes use of Asus’ Maxcontact technology claiming to make twice as much contact as other heatsink designs. Further to this the ROG comes powerfully overclocked, has been equipped with a dual BIOS switch and has RGB to make any case look fantastic.

The ROG STRIX missed out on our top spot this time thanks to its superb performance, however, we still consider the ROG our best all-rounder, something many will find much more attractive than just raw performance power.

It is however up there with the largest in our list, so if you are considering this for your build it might be worth doing a little bit of research beforehand to make sure it'll actually fit.

Best Budget Pick
PNY Geforce RTX 2070 XLR8 Gaming OC Edition

PNY Geforce RTX 2070 XLR8 Gaming OC Edition

Great performance at an affordable price

The PNY is considered to be a budget range aftermarket card but with the XLR8 gaming OC edition comes a solid clock speed, double fan configuration, and fairly small form profile to help with versatility and practicality. A great all-round card.

You may not have heard of PNY, however, they're a great company that provides, mostly, budget hardware for people who can't afford to splash out on the best of the best. That being said, however, the PNY range usually consists of quality components.

The XLR8 Gaming OC is one of their most powerful GPU's and really impressed us due to the fantastic value it provides. If you're looking for a relatively priced 2070 then look no further.

Most balanaced pick
ZOTAC RTX 2070 8GB AMP Extreme

ZOTAC RTX 2070 8GB AMP Extreme

Zotac's best 2070 offering

Zotac’s AMP extreme range is known for providing solid GPU’s at an affordable price tag and their RTX 2070 iteration is no different. Great performance stats, solid design, and small form profile make it the perfect card for all most any PC build if you're sticking to a budget.

Zotac is becoming more potent in the hardware universe thanks to the quality of the products they turn out year in year out. Their aftermarket version of the 2070 is really impressive, it's been equipped with a newly designed heat sink and triple-fan cooling system which was up there with the best in the range.

It does only have limited RGB but if that's not a problem you will most likely love this card.

Best Mini ITX 2070
Gigabyte Geforce RTX 2070 Mini ITX 8GB

Gigabyte Geforce RTX 2070 Mini ITX 8GB

Best Small form factor 2070

We always like to mention a smaller form card for those out there looking to build a compact gaming rig and for us the Gigabyte is definitely up there in terms of performance, size and cooling for a really quality built Mini ITX GPU. 

If you've read our best RTX 2060 guide you will notice Gigabyte has topped this position in both fields and why not, GIGABYTE has a fantastic knack for being able to extract maximum performance whilst only using the minimum of materials. Not to mention it hits shelves at a very affordable price tag. 

As most will know GIGABYTE is a fantastic hardware manufacturer, not only are you getting a decent GPU in their iteration of the 2070 mini, but you're also buying peace of mind. Longevity and reliability are two of GIGABYTE's highest priorities.

How will these cards perform?

As mentioned above, the RTX 2070 was brought to shelves as the third wave of 20 series cards after the ever-popular 2080 range. Nvidia said the card was designed for consumers who wanted to reap the rewards of the new 2080 but without the massive price tag that came with it, and thus we have the 2070.

The new range comes equipped with next-generation Turing architecture which unlocks full access to the RTX signature technology, Real-time Ray tracing. RTX is a groundbreaking new tech that renders lifelike imagery through incredibly detailed and accurate lighting, reflections and shadows. It also makes use of deep learning super-sampling (DLSS) and their impressive AI-enhanced graphics which is all paired with the world’s fastest 8GB GDDR6 memory. Nvidia claims that the new board actually runs faster than that of the GTX 1080 which we will touch upon later.

So what does this mean on a practical gaming level? Well, the 2070 has been developed to handle 1080p, 1440p and 4k at high settings however after numerous tests across several gaming platforms we noticed gaming at 4k would severely reduce your FPS to anywhere between 30-50fps. We also tested the real-time ray tracing in Battlefield V under all 3 different resolutions at high settings and 4k was almost unplayable. However, reverting to a lower resolution compensated for the lack of power and allowed for fairly decent gameplay. 

Overall the performance of the 2070 is fantastic and with the influx of Real-time ray tracing being the future of gaming it’s always good to know you are equipped to tackle the change.

How does it compare to the GTX 1080?

Many questions have been asked prior to the 2070’s release on whether or not it can stand up to the punching power of the GTX 1080 which has become so popular amongst gamers worldwide.

Well, we're here to answer the question and see which one truly takes the crown in performance. We did comparison benchmarks across a number of games and tasks to see which one came up trumps and to no one's surprise found the 2070 to be between 5-20% better on average. The only game where FPS stats were less at the lower end was CS:GO. With the clock speeds of both of these cards being very similar, depending on which aftermarket model you go for, you can chalk the performance boost down to the new intelligence and the GDDR6 memory which is used in all RTX 20 series.

Now you’re probably saying to yourself at this stage, well that’s great but the 1080 is probably much cheaper and it’s only 5% less effective, and that’s where you would be wrong. Again, dependant on which card you go for, the 2070 is pretty much the same price as the 1080. It's been developed to be competitive in pricing whilst still being equipped with the latest tech. So to cut a long story short, the 1080 which is still a fantastic card, is the lesser of the 2 on a number of different tests and you should definitely reconsider if you were thinking about buying one.

Top 5 RTX 2070's Of 2019

Product Details
MSI GAMING Z GeForce RTX 2070 8GB

MSI GAMING Z GeForce RTX 2070 8GB

  • clock speed: 1830 MHz
  • vram: 8GB GDDR6
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ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2070 8GB Overclocked

ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2070 8GB Overclocked

  • vram: 8GB GDDR6
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PNY Geforce RTX 2070 XLR8 Gaming OC Edition

PNY Geforce RTX 2070 XLR8 Gaming OC Edition

  • clock speed: 1410 MHz - 1710 MHz
  • vram: 8GB GDDR6
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ZOTAC RTX 2070 8GB AMP Extreme

ZOTAC RTX 2070 8GB AMP Extreme

  • clock speed: 1410Mhz - 1860 MHz
  • vram: 8gb GDDR6
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Gigabyte Geforce RTX 2070 Mini ITX 8GB

Gigabyte Geforce RTX 2070 Mini ITX 8GB

  • clock speed: 1410Mhz - 1620Mhz
  • vram: 8GB GDDR6
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Table Key and Terms

  • Clock Speed - Clock speed refers to the internal, “core” clock of the graphics processor. The higher the clock speed, the better your performance.
  • VRAM - VRAM refers to the “video RAM”, or memory available to the GPU. Discrete GPUs tend to come with their own VRAM-- in the 1080’s case, this is GDDR5X VRAM, which is a bit faster than the industry standard GDDR5. The more VRAM you have, the better your card be at handling high resolutions and HD textures.
  • Overclock - Overclocking refers to pushing the clock speed of a component higher to get more performance. Usually, this is done by the user, but the cards we’re listing here today all boast “factory overclocks”, which is overclocking done by the manufacturer and proven stable.

How We Choose

We regularly get asked the question of how we choose which GPU is the absolute best option for each category, and it's pretty simple. We have a team of hardcore gaming/PC enthusiasts that spend hours tirelessly researching the web making sure we are both up to date and ahead of the technological curve.

Further to research, the team set strict goals and criteria which each product must meet before it goes into what we like to call, the final contender's list:

  • The brand must be trustworthy and established
  • Hardware must be reliable and build for longevity
  • We must always try to provide maximum value for money

For the categories just mentioned above, we chose the most meaningful criteria to filter out the best possible choices. The following are the categories we eventually select for each card, hopefully resulting in a product for every type of consumer:

  • Top Performance - Top performance usually goes off out of the box clock speed and how well the card performs in-game via FPS levels and temperature.
  • Top All-Rounder - The top all-rounder must do pretty much everything at a decent level, whether it be in-game performance or super efficiency across power draw and temperature levels.
  • Best Budget - The budget pick is pretty much the cheapest model we could get our hands on, however, it must still have decent reliability and performance stats.
  • Best Balanced - A “balanced” pick, balancing things like performance and cooling to make a good middle-road pick for those who want a well-balanced graphics card.
  • Best Small form  - Size isn’t everything, you know (but sometimes the lack of size can be). This is for the smallest cards, making them most-suited for installation into Mini ITX and Micro ATX PC builds.

The Best RTX 2070

#1

MSI GAMING Z GeForce RTX 2070 8GB

MSI has brought a rather good card to the table with the Gaming Z RTX 2070. This graphics card brings about some tweaks from MSI that bring its performance seriously close to the impressive GTX 1080 Ti. Despite this increase in performance, we don't really see any dramatic rise in temperatures. furthermore, the card is incredibly quiet for what it does. Like most GPUs, the fans run in idle until needed but the card has been measured at around 33 DBa, which is considered excellent.

When it comes to gaming there is little to separate the various GPU models that you can buy but you are looking at something that sits above the GTX 1080. You can game pretty well in 1440p and there is some room for 4K but this is certainly better suited for lower resolutions. The image quality is superb and the 8GB of VRAM goes a long way to future proof this card for years to come.

The Gaming Z comes with aesthetics that many with a tempered glass case will love, that being said, the design could be quite loud for some. Either way, the RGB lighting looks great and the available effects through the Mystic Light software are great to see.

The only downside to this GPU is the price as you could argue that the MSI Armor version offers better value. That being said, the temps never really go past 66-67 degrees while gaming and you do seem to get a slight FPS increase on the other version. So for a card that ticks all the boxes and manages to perform extremely quietly, go for the MSI Gaming Z RTX 2070!

#2

ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2070 8GB Overclocked

If you’ve read our Best RTX 2060 article then you;ve probably noticed that Gigabyte and Asus Rog have switched positions in this article. It was always going to be difficult to give the ROG the top performance position due to its lower out-of-the-box clock speed. However what we are comfortable in saying is that the ROG takes the top spot when considering a solid all round option. Fantastic cooling which was both the coolest and quietest, a fantastic meaty design that boosts the aesthetics of any rig and the ability to manually overclock very efficiently. Asus's brilliant heatsink and fan configuration overclocking the Rog becomes much more forgiving and achievable at high levels. Obviously whenever overclocking any PC component take extreme care, but with the ROG you do have the confidence to really push this card. The Rog is currently retailing under $600 dollars and wins many of our benchmark tests for performance and FPS. Overall the top all rounder in this list.

#3

PNY Geforce RTX 2070 XLR8 Gaming OC Edition

PNY are considered to be one of the budget aftermarket brands which have really come out of the woodwork these last few years producing quality products at very affordable prices. Their RTX 2070 iteration, the XLR8 Gaming OC Edition, comes to shelves at the lower end of the price spectrum once again but surprisingly doesn’t really skimp on the performance. It comes clocked at 1710MHz which is very respectable and a dual fan setup which offers a pair of scythe-bladed fans which do produce some noise but nothing which would be considered noisy. A honeycombed bracket and RGB light strip which sits on top of the cooling heatsink pair together to create a stylish look that is both sleek and versatile. You get all this for substantially less than the other cards on the list and for this reason we have awarded the PNY with our Top budget award.

#4

ZOTAC RTX 2070 8GB AMP Extreme

The Zotac, for anyone wondering, just missed out the top all rounder spot but is still considered one of the best RTX 2070’s available to date. It has an impressive 1860Mhz clock speed and was very high on our list of performance and FPS benchmark tests. The areas that let this card down were unfortunately build quality and its cooling system, which under pressure was fairly loud and quite warm. The positives of this card however are a great slim design which will fit into almost any case, fantastic versatility in terms of OC’ing and compatibility, and finally it’s middle of the road price tag. Overall a very good card but for an extra 40-50$ you could push the boat out and get one of the top ranked models.

#5

Gigabyte Geforce RTX 2070 Mini ITX 8GB

We always like having a Mini ITX version of the card were looking at in our list because it both promotes top performance and fantastic versatility. This card comes set at 1.62GHz which is factory overclocked from 1.41GHz and has Gigabytes fantastic single fan heat sink setup which is considered relatively quiet and efficient. If you;re considering a smaller build and want something that is both powerful and practical then this surely needs to be high on your list of primary considerations.

So let's summarise...

So, we come to the end of our best RTX 2070 of 2019 and to our surprise they all performed incredibly well under stress tests and FPS benchmarks. When looking for a 2070 it really all boils down to which one you feel has the best design and how efficient the heat sink and cooling system is. Of course if you’re into overclocking then the heat sink is a vital piece of your GPU makeup and hopefully, in the above we have outlined which ones are most effective for that matter.

The performance difference between the cards in real-life situations is pretty slim, but we managed to fit each card into it's own specific category to help consumers make the right choice. Below is the final roundup of what we thought:

  • Performance - Performance is obviously a huge part of what consumers look for when buying a GPU, our top performer went to the MSI Gaming Z and would be a welcome addition to anyone's build.
  • All-round choice -For some, performance is not there only agenda, some are looking for the perfect all-round product and for us, that award went to the ASUS ROG STRIX. Solid performance, fantastic cooling, and superb aesthetics are we it gets this title.
  • Budget - Looking for the new technology the RTX series has to offer whilst still offering brilliant value for money? Look no further than the PNY Geforce RTX XLR8 Gaming Edition.
  • Balanced - The balanced pick is what it says on the tin, a balance between performance power, price, and aesthetics. Thanks to Zotac's brilliant RTX 280 AMP EXTREME cooling system and clock speeds we consider this the perfect balance.
  • Low Profile - Finally we come to our low profile pick which comes in the shape of the  Gigabyte RTX 2070 Mini ITX. It’s perfect if you're looking for solid performance in a small package. 

The 2070, which has been developed to have the same punching power as the 2080 but with a more realistic price tag, hasn’t really filled those claims entirely, unfortunately. It’s quite a bit behind in terms of performance but we can forgive it as it’s a good 200-300 dollars cheaper.

Overall, if you’re looking to reap the rewards of Nvidia’s new ray-tracing GPU’s but haven’t quite got the capitol to fork out for their top range card, the 2070 will tick those boxes at a much more affordable price point. It won’t just allow you to play future games that support the tech, it’ll also ensure you won’t need to upgrade for a good for years to come.  

You can check out our GPU Hierarchy right here.

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