A closer look at the card
Sorry for the tease, but here is the EVGA GTX1070 FTW Gaming ACX 3.0 card. We will have a trip around the card and I will discuss some of the features and specs of the card itself.
Starting from the front of the card, this bad boy allows connecting up to 4 monitors simultaneously, even though it has 5 ports. You can connect 2 x Display Ports, 2 x HDMI Ports and a single DVI-D monitor. Thankfully they still support DVI-D, as not everyone has a HDMI or Display Port monitor and well, DVI-D can display up to 2560×1440, which is still a decent resolution.
There is no standard on how the 4 monitors connect or which of the 4 connections work together, just that out of the 5 connections, only 4 will work. I was a little confused of this at first, but I joined EVGA’s community and simply asked the question and one of the knowledgeable members, “arestavo” answered my question. He pointed and referenced NVIDIA’s website and pointed me to the Surround System Requirement page, you can find it here: http://www.geforce.com/hardware/technology/surround/system-requirements
And that answered my question. Thank you arestavo and thank you EVGA for your great community.
The card does not bring any sort of adapters to change from DVI to HDMI, or HDMI to Display port, no such adapters, which is a bit of a bummer but not the end of the world. Make sure if you have for example 3 x HDMI monitors or 3 x DP monitors, to buy an adapter ahead of time, would be horrible to get the card and have to wait for an adapter.
Here are somethings that might work for you; you can click on the images to take you to Amazon:
Display Port to HDMI
HDMI to Display Port
Just some examples to help you out, there might be better or worse adapters, keep an eye out if you need one.
Moving to the right of the card, we find a plastic piece blocking the SLI port or fingers, let’s remove that.
Here are the naked SLI fingers, careful if there are children around. They have here also the beginning of their fin design; they call their Optimally Tuned Fin Design.
Back to the SLI fingers, if you wanted to use SLI, you could always use the old style ribbon SLI bridges, but you would potentially lose performance. This SLI bridge is not included, but can be purchased separately.
EVGA introduced their Pro SLI Bridge HB which provides improved performance with their High Bandwidth Technology available currently only on the GTX 10 series of cards. The extra bandwidth can be used in games at 4K at 60Hz and above. The 100-2W-0025-LR model also allows you to change colors from Red, Green, Blue and White. Please remember, this SLI bridge is not included and must be purchased separately.
Then off a little more to the right, we find the EVGA Logo on the card, as well as the model.
This is not just a logo and model to show and brag about, there is a bit of a gimmicky function to this. This badge itself actually changes colors and lighting patterns. This is their Adjustable RGB LED lighting design that allows for the LED’s to be controlled through EVGA’s PrecisionX, I will go over this later in the review. You will also see a continuance of the fins along the side.
Slightly more to the right we find more of those fins, but we also find 2 x 8 PIN PCI-E power ports. Oh yeah, more fins too.
Don’t worry if you don’t have any 8Pin PCI-E connections on your power supply, they include 2 x 8Pin PCI-E adapters, but it will mean you will need 4 x 6Pin PCI-E connections free. Seems like a lot, but if you have them then you are good. Below I show you 2 potential alternatives if you don’t have these connections.
This might work for you too, just in case. It is an adapter that will take you from 2 x Molex connections to a single PCI-E 8Pin connection.
Or maybe 2 x SATA power connections to an 8Pin connection.
Please remember, it does not bring these adapters, you would need to buy them separately.
Now if you are buying this video card, chances are you have a power supply that has these connections, but if yours does not, you will want to make sure you have at least a 500Watt power supply, something like the EVGA 500B Bronze Power Supply. The card itself requires 215Watts (at the default speeds), but the additional power is to power your system.
Each PCIe 8 Pin connection provides 150 Watts of power to the card, so that’s 300Watts. That means you will have 85 Additional watts of power, but actually you will have more. The PCIe slot provides 75Watts as well. The extra power is for overclocking, so you have some room to play with it, but be careful you don’t want to melt the card, so be careful.
Now, this is a double bios/firmware card, meaning you can have a stock clock on the first BIOS profile and an overclocked one that you can push as hard as you like. If you overclock it too much and the card won’t boot anymore with that firmware, you can simply flick a switch and you are back to your old profile. The switch was hidden in the picture I showed you with the 2 x 8Pin PCI-E connections, but let me make it a little easier for you to see; I will zoom in and even circle it for you.
On the back-plate of the card, which I will go over a little later in the review you can actually find where the switch is called out.
They have the Master/Slave switch silk-screened here, brings me back to the days of old IDE hard drives. We will come to the back-plate soon, but let’s keep going to the right on this card.
Coming around to the back, we find where the LED lights are connected as well as the ends of the heat-pipes, helping keep these cards nice and cool, of course with the aid of the 2 fans included.
Coming around more to the right, we find a ton more fins to exhaust air onto the PCI-E slots and the board, but we of course find the actual PCI-E connection itself. The card does support PCIe 3.0, PCIe 2.0 and even standard PCIe. I would not recommend using the standard PCIe slot; I would recommend at least the 2.0 slot, for bandwidth sake.
No we are on the back; I would say we are saving the coolest part for the end, even though the backplate is cool. It has vents is certain spots and even the EVGA logo cutout out, as well as the GEFORCE GTX 1070 silkscreened into the backplate.
I think this does look pretty cool, and helps to pass through a little of the radiating heat. EVGA also has notches cutout to not ground the solder points for the PCIe connections. Here you can also the double BIOS switch.
Then a few other vents and cutouts here. Let’s check out the top side of the card now, the best for last.
Here again is the top of the card, I would say it’s pretty sexy and while a bit gimmicky, it is somewhat functional.
So starting on the center of the card, we have the EVGA / GEFORCEE GTX 1070 badges.
At the top of the card, we have the ACX 3.0 silk screen on the metal retainer, looks nice but then we have the bolted on EVGA badge. This is pretty cool I think and lends to the industrial type of look EVGA is obviously going for with the 10 series of cards.
Towards the bottom of the card, we have another bolted on badge, the “GEFORCE GTX 1070” badge.
Around the card, we have this industrial bolted on look, with these white patches. This is along the bottom, closest to the DVI connection on the front of the card.
This is at the front of the card, towards the top of the card.
This is along the back of the card, near the heatpipes, next to the double bios switch.
This is towards the bottom of the card towards the heatpipes, where the motherboard would be.
This white patches are not just white patches, they are the pieces that serve a little of the gimmicky portion, EVGA’s adjustable RGB LED.
Here you can see the LED’s colored blue inside of my system. A first glimpse maybe for many of you on EVGA’s adjustable RGB LED. It looks nice doesn’t it?
Please don’t get confused when I say gimmicky thinking that I don’t like it. I do like the LED lights, but it serves no practical purpose, aside from looking cool and maybe giving more of a purpose to having a windowed side panel, even though I do like to look at my gear at all times.
I will get into the RGB lighting a little later on in the review, in a video as well to show you guys just how it works, but a tiny bit more on the card itself first.
So yeah there are fans, 2 of them actually but these are not your typical fans from yesteryear. Behind these 2 seemingly standard fans, but wait there’s more.
EVGA has implemented ACX 3.0 on to this series of cards but there is not too much of a difference between 2.0 and 3.0, though that minute difference is still a good one. ACX 3.0 claims to have 13% more optimally tuned heatsink and fin design that ACX 2.0. Due to the fin and heatsink design update, they have also increased the heatpipe and cooper contract areas
From these, you can see how ACX has evolved a bit overtime. Everything cools better than everything in previous iterations as you can see from the screenshots above but why wouldn’t they? Why would you buy something that did not work as well or far worse than the one you currently own right?
I won’t really go over 1.0, but I included it here if you wanted to check it out, but from 2.0 to 3.0, you can see how the cooling would have improved because of the heatpipe design, and yeah copper is a big one too.
The fans are not totally the reason the car/GPU is cooler, the GTX1070 is based off of NVIDIA’s Pascal architecture. Pascal while offering over 3 times the bandwidth of Maxwell (where ACX 2.0 was primarily used under) Pascal is more power efficient and due to that generates less heat because it is built off of the 16nm FinFET manufacturing process, Maxwell’s was a 28nm process, Kepler’s as well.
The FinFET process is important not only for NVIDIA but for AMD as well. AMD’s latest iteration of GPU’s based off of Polaris also uses this manufacturing process, though NVIDIA’s is 16nm and AMD’s is 14nm. Not important in this review, but I was going down the rabbit hole and found no way out and had to continue.
OK, so I have talked a lot about this card, I think I fell asleep and sleep typed I typed so much. Now I am sure you want to get to the benches, to see if this card is worth it, I do too but first we need to find out how to install it. This next chapter will go into installing the card.