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MSI RTX 2070 Gaming Z 8GB Review: 210MHz faster than reference!

Rating: 7.5.

Back in August, Nvidia announced its new RTX 20-series cards based on the Turing architecture. Three cards were announced – the RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti, which launched almost a month ago, and the RTX 2070. With a lot made over the high prices of the 2080 and 2080 Ti cards, the RTX 2070 has almost gone unnoticed – until now that is, as today we can publish our first 2070 review.

The card in question is not the Nvidia Founders Edition, however – but the MSI RTX 2070 Gaming Z 8G. This is MSI's flagship 2070 model, with features including a custom PCB, a hefty factory overclock and – of course – bling-tastic RGB lighting. With an MSRP of £605.99 it comes in almost £40 more expensive than Nvidia's Founders Edition, so the question is – how competitive can it be at this price?

 GPU RTX 2080 Ti (FE)  GTX 1080 Ti RTX 2080 (FE)  GTX 1080 RTX 2070 (FE)  GTX 1070 
 SMs  68 28  46  20 36 15
CUDA Cores   4352  3584 2944 2560 2304 1920
Tensor Cores   544  N/A 368 N/A 288 N/A
 Tensor FLOPS  114  N/A  85 N/A 63 N/A
 RT Cores  68  N/A 46 N/A 36 N/A
 Texture Units 272  224 184 N/A 144 120
 ROPs  88  88 64 64 64 64
Rays Cast   10 Giga Rays/sec  1.1 Giga Rays/sec 8 Giga Rays/sec 0.877 Giga Rays/sec 6 Giga Rays/sec 0.65 Giga Rays/sec
RTX Performance   87 Trillion RTX-OPS  11.3 Trillion RTX-OPS 60 Trillion RTX-OPS  8.9 Trillion RTX-OPS 45 Trillion RTX-OPS 6.5 Trillion RTX-OPS
GPU Boost Clock   1635 MHz  1582 MHz 1800 MHz  1733 MHz 1710 MHz 1683 MHz
 Memory Clock  14 Gbps  11 Gbps 14 Gbps 10 Gbps 14 Gbps 8 Gbps
 Total Video Memory  11GB GDDR6  11GB GDDR5X  8GB GDDR6  8GB GDDR5X 8GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR5
Memory Interface   352-bit  352-bit  256-bit  256-bit 256-bit 256-bit
 Memory Bandwidth  616 GB/sec  484 GB/sec  448 GB/sec  320 GB/sec  448 GB/sec 256 GB/sec
 TDP  260W  250W  225W  180W 185W 150W


First of all – it is worth taking a quick look at the RTX 2070 specs as it has been a while since these were first announced. The 2070 uses the TU106 GPU which is equipped with 2304 CUDA cores, 144 texture units and 64 ROPS. As part of the Turing architecture, the 2070 also boasts 288 Tensor cores and 36 RT cores.

Memory is provided by 8GB GDDR6 which is exactly the same as the memory found with the RTX 2080 – so it operates over a 256-bit bus providing 448 GB/s bandwidth, with a stock frequency of 1750MHz.

While the Founders Edition (FE) RTX 2070 has a boost clock of 1710MHz (which is 90MHz faster than reference 2070 speeds), this MSI RTX 2070 Gaming Z 8G ups the boost clock to 1830MHz, though memory is left at stock. There is no dual-BIOS functionality and no need to download software to achieve this speed – meaning it runs at 1830MHz out of the box.

If you're interested in reading more about the Turing architecture, we published a detailed breakdown within our initial RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti reviews. It's obviously the same design as used with the RTX 2070, so all of what you can read there applies to this card as well.

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