Msi Gaming X Trio Rtx 3070 Nvidia Graphics Card Cover

Gaming performance

We chose a broad mix of popular and demanding games to test and demonstrate what the Nvidia RTX 3070 can do in different scenarios. For open-world titles, we selected Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Rage 2, Borderlands 3, Cyberpunk 2077, and Grand Theft Auto V. For battle royales, we included Apex Legends and Fortnite. We’ll also take a look at Halo 3, a lightweight competitive shooter title, to see just how many hundreds of frames it can get with traditional rendering.

Ray tracing and DLSS will be the focus for the next section, which will cover framerates and visual quality in Control, Cyberpunk 2077, Watch Dogs Legion, and Fortnite.

 

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

We’ll start out with a game that makes a strong case for buying the Nvidia RTX 3070 for a better visual experience and improved performance. Kingdom Come: Deliverance has a lot of dense, realistic forest environments and is a very demanding game that crushes framerates on previous generation cards (i.e. my GTX 1080 gets less than half the performance). Kingdom Come: Deliverance was selected due to its obvious differences in visual quality between low and high settings/resolutions that can make it either look next or last generation. Texture quality, render distances, object aliasing, and lighting are all notably worse on low settings.

Kingdom Come Deliverance Screenshot 2021.04.22 23.28.53.07

As this game involves a lot of travel, you’ll do a lot of staring at graphics along the way. For this reason, we set HD textures on, object and grass render distances to 90%, anti-aliasing to full, and lighting, weather, and shadows to medium for our tests. For our benchmark run, we started in Neuhof, traveled through the city of Rattay, through the mill outside Rattay, and ended at a hut just down the hill from the Executioner’s house.

Kingdom Come Deliverance Open World Gameplay

Just like Nvidia promises, the RTX 3070 manages a stable 4K 60 fps experience for the most part in this game. The grass and shadow render distances needed to be scaled back slightly to improve 4K stability, but these settings regressions were hardly noticeable. The average fps range was 55-60. We logged an overall fps of 58 with a low of 48.

In 1440p, the average fps range was 100-140. We logged an overall fps of 122 with a low of 90. Stability improved slightly when a 120 fps cap was imposed. Overall, 1440p showed acceptable framerate scaling for those interested in a high-refresh experience.

In 1080p, the average fps range was 120-165. We logged an overall fps of 141, with a low of 90. The framerates in 1080p recovered faster from lows, though dips were similar to 1440p performance. Playing at 1080p resolution is not the ideal choice for this game if you want to push the RTX 3070 to its full potential.

Kingdom Come Deliverance Courtyard

Rage 2

Rage 2 is another very demanding game that the RTX 3070 outperforms older graphics cards like the GTX 1080 in by as much as double the framerate at higher resolutions. The shooter mechanics also feel similar to Doom, which means smooth framerates are absolutely necessary for a good gameplay experience. It pays off to play this game at higher resolutions, though. For whatever reason, foliage in this game suffers from terrible aliasing at lower resolutions and is far less noticeable in 4K. The open world also has a lot of impressive visual effects that significantly hurt performance on high settings unless you have a powerful graphics card like the 3070.

For this game, we adjusted all of the settings to Ultra aside from some of the shadow and lighting effects which remained at medium and high settings with no noteworthy loss in quality during gameplay. For the benchmark, we drove around the jungle setting, stopping to fight in roadside skirmishes along the way.

Rage 2 gameplay

The RTX 3070 didn’t quite manage 4K 60 fps performance at these settings. However,¬†Rage 2 offers a resolution scale feature and we elected to scale the resolution down to 88%, or 1900p to meet the framerate goal. The differences between these resolutions are nearly imperceptible to the human eye, and this tweak seemed like the best compromise. The average fps range was 57-60 fps with very infrequent dips and a low of 55.

At 1440p, the average fps range was 124-138 with a low of 106. 1440p scaled well in this title, but 1080p didn’t fair too bad. The average fps range at 1080p was 169-191 with a low of 147. If your primary goal is to get high framerates at the expense of lower resolutions, the RTX 3070 delivers in this title, while still looking exceptionally good along the way.

Rage 2

Fortnite

Fortnite is considered an easy-to-run title due to how well optimized it is, but also because there is a big difference between low and epic settings. Many players tend to go with lower settings due to the competitive nature of the game. However, unlike the previous two titles we benchmarked, there is a worthwhile increase in visual fidelity on maximum settings. For these reasons, we’ll show how the RTX 3070 handles on epic and low settings. Note that the render distance was set to maximum for low settings due to it being a competitively advantageous setting. For our benchmark, we selected the Dirty Docks location and used training bots to simulate firefights in combination with rapid building to determine average framerates. We also played a round in the battle royale mode to validate performance for the different settings.

Fortnite Gameplay Ultra 2

Starting off with 4K, we achieved a smooth 60 fps on all epic settings. The game looks straight out of the trailers at these settings, which is very impressive. At 4K low settings, the game performs exceptionally well, even by competitive standards. We achieved an average fps range of 173-221 with a low of 143.

In 1080p on epic settings, we achieved an average fps range of 170-190 with a low of 118. 1080p low settings yielded an average fps range of 275-400 with a low of 205. Framerate was inconsistent, but still high enough overall not to make a noticeable difference.

Fortnite demonstrated excellent performance scaling to lower resolutions on the RTX 3070. Considering its highly competitive nature though, it needed to. From 1080p to 4K, the RTX 3070 can meet the needs of most players, whether focused on performance or fidelity. This title also supports ray tracing, Nvidia Reflex, and DLSS. We’ll discuss those later on.

Fortnite Gameplay Ultra

Cyberpunk 2077

CD Projekt RED’s controversial Cyberpunk 2077 is the most demanding game we tested. Its minimum specifications, dense settings, large crowds, and complex lighting and effects can put the smackdown on any graphics card. Impressively, the 3070 still managed to provide a good experience in 4K with some compromises. It’s disappointing at first to crank down most of the settings to low or medium, but the end result still looks better than a lot of games on the market today. Ray tracing was not used for any of our tests — we’ll discuss that more later. DLSS Quality was also a necessity for 1440p and 4K. Our tests use the same settings at all different resolutions, but more effects can obviously be turned up on lower resolutions if desired.

We ran version 1.22 of Cyberpunk 2077 during our testing. If you notice our framerate results are higher than launch benchmarks, it’s likely due to optimizations made by the development team since then. We selected the Chinatown district to perform our testing. Our benchmark consists of walking and driving around the area and fighting street thugs to gauge performance. The open world is the most demanding environment in the game, so this should serve as an accurate look at the game’s performance.

Cyberpunk 2077 Gameplay

We’ll start with 4K. We achieved a smooth and stable 60 fps threshold with relative ease on the low/medium settings we selected with DLSS Quality turned on.

Moving on to 1440p, the game ran with lows of 69 and highs of 112. The average range metric doesn’t calculate well for Cyberpunk due to how inconsistent the framerates are, but many areas ran around 89 fps.

At 1080p, there wasn’t much difference in performance for many areas. We observed lows of 72 fps and highs of 133 fps. The framerate stayed around the 85-115 fps in many cases, but to assign an average fps to this game would be an inaccurate portrayal of its real-world performance.

Cyberpunk 2077 is an odd case in terms of benchmarking. Framerates are all over the place, though the 3070 manages to make things look superb and at least runs the game at 60 fps in 4K. Relatively speaking, this graphics card struggles with this game even on low settings, and the ray tracing is a beast in itself. While Cyberpunk 2077 has plenty of its own performance problems, it may serve as an example of how the 3070 will struggle to run other new games in years to come.

Cyberpunk 2077 Nazare Itsumade Bike Secret Quest 2

Grand Theft Auto V

For many reasons, Grand Theft Auto V remains one of the most popular games on PC to this day. That’s not to say that it runs great for many users, but it’s popular for what it lets players do. GTA V also features a tremendous range of graphics options, and its advanced settings allow users to scale graphics to absurd highs that not even the RTX 3070 can come close to.

GTA V features a built-in benchmark that makes a series of passes across different environments. We used this tool and averaged the framerates from the passes to come up with our results. For settings, we maxed out the textures and shaders, anti-aliasing, and left lighting and shadows on medium/high settings. Reflections remained on low/medium settings. Basic render distance settings were set to maximum, grass was set to high, and water was set to normal.

We didn’t quite hit a stable 60 fps in 4K with these settings, but got pretty close. The benchmark averaged 60 fps across all of the runs, but some runs were at 50 fps while others were at 68. The experience felt good enough, though, and in-game performance was near 60 fps. The visual quality made the rare framerate drop a worthwhile tradeoff.

Grand Theft Auto V Gameplay 4k

At 1440p, the benchmark results averaged 119 fps. However, in-game performance revealed noticeable framerate drops down to 85 fps in some areas. All in all, the game demonstrated decent scaling down to the lower resolution.

At 1080p, GTA V scored a 139 fps average in the benchmark, yet suffered from some framerate drops just below 100 fps in certain areas. While the performance benefit isn’t great at the cost of a lower resolution, near-guaranteed triple-digit framerates on high settings will be attractive to many users.

Grand Theft Auto V Gta Gameplay

Borderlands 3

Borderlands 3 is a somewhat open-world experience that can be demanding if players want it to be. It plays and looks well enough on most graphics cards, but the highest settings are worthwhile if there’s performance headroom to spare, especially at higher resolutions.

Like GTA V, Borderlands 3 has a built-in benchmark. Users can choose between presets or go with full custom settings. We’ll take a quicker look at this game since we’re beginning to establish a pattern for what the RTX 3070 can do. Our first pass benches the game at 4K on Ultra settings. The second benches the game on 1080p Very Low settings.

Borderlands 3 Screenshot Gameplay

At 4K, the RTX 3070 struggled to keep a consistent 60 fps in the benchmark and particularly in post-validation gameplay. We removed volumetric fog and motion blur then lowered shadow and lighting quality to medium. These custom changes resolved the performance dips and show that the RTX 3070 is nearly capable of Ultra settings for this game. The visual sacrifices required to smooth out performance are not noticeable during gameplay, but the overall results are exceptional.

At 1080p Very Low, we hit a 189 fps average in the benchmark. This game somewhat scales performance at lower resolutions, though there are better examples as we’re about to see.

Apex Legends

Apex Legends is a competitive multiplayer title where many of its players prefer high refresh rates over fidelity. There is a large difference between low and high settings, but more fidelity isn’t always better when it comes to spotting enemies and surviving fast-paced firefights. Fortunately, the game excels at hitting high framerates at lower resolutions. Players can hit any performance target with an RTX 3070 in this title and can even utilize features like dynamic resolution to maintain target framerates. We’ll take a quick look at opposite ends of the graphics spectrum for this title.

For each benchmark pass, we played through a match on the Kings Canyon map and measured the average framerate range. We landed at the Crash Site and rotated to the final circle from there.

Apex Legends rtx 3070 gameplay

You’ll realize the game looks just as good as the trailers when you see the map from above at high settings and resolutions.

Apex Legends proved to be a pushover for the RTX 3070 at 4K. We maxed out all of the settings aside from the texture streaming budget (which we set to High 6 GB), set the framerate target to 60, and even had enough extra headroom to turn on supersampling above 4K. The result was a next generation feel to everything. Aliasing was almost entirely absent, but the enhanced global illumination made the biggest impact in fidelity. Thanks to the responsive dynamic resolution, the game pulled all of this off without a hitch at 60 fps.

Set to 1080p at the lowest settings, we yielded an average fps range of 223-281. While this is a large range, the minimum value is high enough not to be noticeable. This is definitely one of the rare cases where lower resolution scaling doesn’t negatively affect framerate on the RTX 3070 as much.

Halo 3

That’s about a wrap for our look at gaming performance, but we have one last extra goodie. A lot of reviews include benchmarks like CSGO and Rainbow Six Siege to show off lightweight games with huge framerates, but we’re old school Halo fans here. Here’s a quick look at what the RTX 3070 can do in Halo 3¬†multiplayer.

Halo Mcc Odst Season Cosmetics

At 1080p on the lowest settings, the RTX 3070 yielded an average fps range of 295-345. It definitely performs to the highest standards of competitive gaming in this title. We didn’t do a full 4K pass for this one, but a smooth high-refresh experience on higher resolutions is pretty much a given here too.

We’ll move on to features for the RTX 30 Series in the next section, but you can find some more 1080p low settings benchmarks in our Intel Core i7-11700K review if you’re specifically interested in high-refresh gaming.

 

Kevin Foley
Kevin's go-to gaming genres are shooters, RPGs, and tactical strategy, though he enjoys the occasional puzzle game too. When he finds a narrative he really likes, he feels inclined to tell the world all about it.

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