MSI GeForce RTX 2070 GAMING Z Performance Review

Author:Brent Justice

Editor:Kyle Bennett

Date: Sunday , October 14, 2018

We have an exclusive first look at performance of the new MSI GeForce RTX 2070 GAMING Z video cards sporting the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 GPU. We will be comparing performance to a MSI GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING X and ASUS ROG STRIX Vega 64 OC video cards in eight games at 1440p and 4K.


HardOCP has an exclusive for you today. Since we have not signed NVIDIA's recent NDA, we are not being sourced RTX review cards by NVIDIA or its AIBs. We were however able to source a retail sample from overseas. The official embargo for the RTX 2070 expires Tuesday at 8am CDT. Since we are not held to NVIDIA's embargo we have a full RTX 2070 performance review for you today. We’ve got a custom retail-packed factory overclocked video card based on the new GeForce RTX 2070. We will be comparing the GeForce RTX 2070 with the GeForce GTX 1080 and Radeon RX Vega 64 video cards in eight games at 1440p and 4K. This is real-world game testing, using highest playable settings and apples-to-apples comparisons.

The video card we have got our hands on is an MSI GeForce RTX 2070 GAMING Z video card. This is a highly factory overclocked custom cooled and built GeForce RTX 2070 video card. This video card represents the pinnacle of GeForce RTX 2070 performance.

We are going to compare this factory overclocked video card to other factory overclocked video cards. It only makes sense since these are the types of video cards you are going to actually end up buying. We are putting the MSI GeForce RTX 2070 GAMING Z up against an MSI GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING X which is $509.99 after $20 rebate currently. Also we are comparing with an ASUS ROG STRIX Vega 64 OC Edition video card which is $649.99 currently.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070

Let’s talk briefly about what the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 actually is first. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 is about to be launched, you will find that the Founders Edition will have a price tag of $599 and the reference should be $499. At $599 that puts it in competition with the GeForce GTX 1080. The reference MSRP on GeForce GTX 1080 at its launch was $599 but the Founders Edition was $699. Therefore, Founders Edition to Founders Edition the GeForce RTX 2070 is cheaper than the GeForce GTX 1080 at its launch.

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 is based on a new GPU called TU106, this is different from the GeForce RTX 2080 (TU104) and 2080 Ti (TU102) GPUs. The process is still 12nm and there are 10.8B transistors on board with Tensor Cores, RT Cores and CUDA Cores. This GPU is capable of NVIDIA’s Hybrid Ray Tracing and DLSS, which makes it a fully enabled RTX GPU.

The rated RTX-OPS is 45T for Founders Edition and 42T for reference. The Founders and reference can both do 6 Giga Rays/sec. We left these numbers out of the table above because at this point these are just numbers. We have nothing to compare this with in the last generation. We also have no idea how this translates to real-world performance in games yet. There is no way to test NVIDIA’s Hybrid Ray Tracing performance or DLSS at this time. What that means is that we can only test traditional Rasterized games, i.e., every game out at the moment.

There are 36 SM Units, for Turing it must be that there are 64 CUDA Cores per SM Unit, instead of the 128 CUDA Cores per SM Unit in Pascal. This means there are 2304 CUDA Cores on GeForce RTX 2070. There are also 64 ROPs and 144 Texture Units. The base clock is 1410 MHz and the boost clock is 1620 MHz for reference cards and 1710 MHz for the Founders Edition.

There is 8GB of GDDR6 on board at 14 GHz on a 256-bit bus. This provides 448 GB/sec of memory bandwidth. The TDP is 175W for the reference card and 185W for the Founders Edition.


The MSI GeForce RTX 2070 GAMING Z represents the highest factory overclocked model from MSI in the RTX 2070 lineup. MSI’s MSRP looks like it is going to be around $599 for this card, which is the same price as the Founders Edition. With MSI’s version though you get higher boost clocks (1830 MHz) and robust custom cooling and a custom PCB build with better components. The video card comes with 8GB of GDDR6 at 14 GHz. There are three DisplayPort, one HDMI and one USB Type-C. Power requires one 8-pin and one 6-pin.

This video card is using MSI’s TWIN FROZR 7 thermal design. It uses two large fans called TORX FAN 3.0. It also uses ZERO FROZR tech so that the fans shut off at cooler temperatures. There are six heatpipes on this thing with a copper baseplate. The MSI design uses a custom PCB with better power delivery more layers and a larger surface area. There is a backplate as well. MSI’s MYSTIC LIGHT RGB lighting is included.