Power draw, thermals, and noise
We test power draw by looping the F1 2020 benchmark at 4K for about 20 minutes after we’ve benchmarked everything else and noting the highest reading on our Watts Up Pro meter, which measures the power consumption of our entire test system. The initial part of the race, where all competing cars are onscreen simultaneously, tends to be the most demanding portion.
This isn’t a worst-case test; this is a GPU-bound game running at a GPU-bound resolution to gauge performance when the graphics card is sweating hard. If you’re playing a game that also hammers the CPU, you could see higher overall system power draws. Consider yourself warned.
The GeForce RTX 3070 Ti is a bit faster than the vanilla 3070, and comes with higher-powered GDDR6X memory, so it appropriately enough draws more power. The real standout here is AMD’s Radeon RX 6800, which uses significantly less power than either GeForce card despite going toe-to-toe with Nvidia’s amped-up Ti in most games. I suspect GDDR6X is behind most of the higher power draw for Nvidia’s new card.
We test thermals by leaving GPU-Z open during the F1 2020 power draw test, noting the highest maximum temperature at the end.
Adding GDDR6X memory to the mix stresses Nvidia’s Founders Edition cooler much more. The 3070 Ti runs a full 5 degrees Celsius warmer than the vanilla version under load, despite being equipped with the fancier flow-through cooling design from the RTX 3080 and 3090. GDDR6X not only demands more power, it also generates more heat, because energy can’t just magically disappear.
Next page: Should you buy the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti?