When I reviewed the RTX 4070 last year, there were a few things that held it back. The original card shipped with 12GB of VRAM, its 4K performance didn’t quite match the RTX 3080, and overall, it didn’t feel like a big generational leap. The RTX 4070 Super corrects most of those issues at the same $599 price point.
While Nvidia has stuck to the same 192-bit memory bus and 12GB of G6X memory with the RTX 4070 Super, the big bump to CUDA cores puts its performance a lot closer to the RTX 4070 Ti. The RTX 4070 Super feels like a generational leap, delivering even better 1440p and 4K performance than before.
I wasn’t expecting quite the bump in performance from the RTX 4070 Super — around 17 percent on average at 1440p and 15 percent at 4K — which could make it an ideal pairing for the new 1440p OLED monitors starting to hit the market this year.
Little has changed from the RTX 4070 to the RTX 4070 Super when looking at these Founders Edition cards from the outside. The biggest change is that Nvidia has opted for a darker alloy for the entire card, but they’re identical in terms of the overall two-slot card size. And yes, there’s a new Super label, too. Nvidia’s own RTX 4070 Super also has similar design elements to its upcoming RTX 4080 Super.
On the RTX 4070 Super, Nvidia is using a die-cast aluminum body, dual axial fans, and an eight-layer PCB. As always, third-party cards will have a variety of cooling system designs.
There are three DisplayPort 1.4 ports (up to 240Hz at 4K with DSC) and a single HDMI 2.1 port (up to 60Hz at 8K with DSC) at the rear. Nvidia still hasn’t moved to DisplayPort 2.1, but I think it’s less of an issue on a card like this that’s targeting 1440p rather than the high frame rates required for 4K gaming.
Nvidia continues to use the single 12-pin PCIe 5 connector on the RTX 4070 Super, and there’s an included 12VHPWR adapter cable in the box so you can connect two regular eight-pin PCIe power cables. I always skip this adapter on my personal builds because I’m really not a fan of it. I much prefer single cable solutions that are available from third parties or that ship with the latest power supplies.
In terms of power, Nvidia has actually bumped the power draw of the RTX 4070 Super by 20 watts. It takes up to as much as 220 watts at peak, compared to 200 watts on the RTX 4070. You’ll still only need a 650-watt power supply, though, the same requirement for the previous-gen RTX 3070. The slight bump to power usage helps Nvidia squeeze out that extra performance at both 1440p and 4K.
Unfortunately, the RTX 4070 Super still ships with 12GB of memory, just 2GB more than the original RTX 3080. I was disappointed with this choice on the original RTX 4070, and I’m once again surprised Nvidia hasn’t pushed this up to 16GB, even if the price point has held at $599. This might not be an immediate issue, but modern games are constantly demanding more VRAM, and 16GB just gives you more headroom for years to come. It’s especially disappointing when you consider that AMD ships its $499 Radeon RX 7800 XT with 16GB of VRAM.
For 1440p testing, I paired the RTX 4070 Super with AMD’s latest Ryzen 7 7800X3D processor and Samsung’s 32-inch G7 monitor. This monitor supports refresh rates up to 240Hz as well as Nvidia’s G-Sync technology.
I put the RTX 4070 Super head-to-head with the RTX 4070, the RTX 3070, AMD’s RX 7800 XT, and everything in between to see how well this $599 GPU performs. I’ve tested a variety of AAA games at high or ultra settings, and the RTX 4070 Super was able to exceed 100fps in most at 1440p or certainly come close to hitting that target.
The RTX 4070 Super is around 50 percent faster than the previous RTX 3070 in most games at 1440p and around 17 percent faster than the original RTX 4070. If you’re looking to step up to the RTX 4070 Ti, the gap has closed to less than 10 percent. But we’ll have to see how the RTX 4070 Ti Super performs and extends that gap later this month.
I’m impressed with the RTX 4070 Super’s gains over the original card and previous generations. While AMD’s Radeon RX 7800 XT traded blows with the RTX 4070 previously, the RTX 4070 Super beats it in every test at 1440p. In Gears 5 and Metro Exodus, the RTX 4070 Super is particularly ahead of AMD’s closest rival card.
The RTX 4070 Super also leaves AMD’s previous-generation RX 6800 XT behind, a $649 GPU that has really held its own against the latest generation of cards. You’re also getting DLSS 3 with Nvidia’s RTX 4070 Super, which delivers 186fps on average for Forza Horizon 5 at extreme settings. That’s a 26 percent performance increase over the same benchmark without DLSS enabled.
The original RTX 4070 wasn’t as impressive at 4K, especially against the RTX 3080. This time, I paired the RTX 4070 Super with Acer’s 31.5-inch Nitro XV2 monitor that’s capable of refresh rates up to 144Hz. The RTX 4070 Super still didn’t come close to reaching 144fps in most tests, but it offers around 15 percent better performance than the RTX 4070 at 4K.
The RTX 4070 Super comfortably beats the RTX 3080 at 4K and even comes close to RTX 4070 Ti levels of performance in some titles. In Forza Horizon 5 with DLSS 3 enabled, you’re getting the same level of performance as an RTX 4070 Ti, and it’s not far off in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Watch Dogs: Legion, and Gears 5.
This level of performance makes the $599 RTX 4070 Super more of a tempting card for 4K, particularly if you’re willing to dial back the settings and not run everything at ultra or high. DLSS 3 will help here, too, especially as more games are starting to appear with Nvidia’s frame generation technology.
I still think the RTX 4070 Super is an ideal 1440p card, though. The RTX 3070 was always the sweet spot for 1440p gaming, and the RTX 4070 Super gives you even more room for the latest games if you’re looking to upgrade from 1080p.
The RTX 4070 was a $600 RTX 3080, kind of. Now, the RTX 4070 Super exceeds that to comfortably deliver more performance than an RTX 3080 at the same $599 price point as the RTX 4070 before it. If I were still running a GTX 10-series or RTX 20-series card, then I’d be seriously tempted to upgrade to the RTX 4070 Super. The only thing that would make it even more appealing would be 16GB of VRAM.
As it stands, Nvidia’s first RTX 40-series Super card is an impressive performance jump over the original RTX 4070 and one that I would seriously consider for a 1440p PC build. I’m now waiting to see if Nvidia can replicate the same performance boosts with its RTX 4070 Ti Super.
Photography by Tom Warren / The Verge