Nvidia’s RTX 2070 card is a favorite among enthusiasts who don’t have a spare kidney for a 2080 or 2080 Ti. However, those browsing the dozens of available models will probably find themselves asking, “Which RTX 2070 is right to buy?” As you’ll see, that question doesn’t always have a straightforward answer.
However, there are answers that are better than others and we think we have what it takes to help you find the best RTX 2070 graphics card for you. (We hope you agree once you’ve read our reviews.) We’ve created a top five selection, each boasting different areas of specialization that makes them worth buying to someone.
Each RTX 2070 review below provides a terse list of specs, pros, and cons. We’ve also provided our own thoughts on each card, and things to consider at the bottom to explain important terminology.
Trying to narrow down the best RTX 2070 graphics cards is no easy feat but what we’ve tried to do is provide you with a range of different GPUs that excel in their own way. For example, we’ve selected one RTX 2070 that has the best cooling on the market and another that has the best RGB lighting so you’re able to pick the right RTX 2070 for your needs whether that be because you want raw power or the best aesthetics.
Best RTX 2070 Graphics Card in 2021 – Which Is The Best RTX 2070?
Stellar triple-fan cooler for chilly temps and high OCs
Decent factory OC
Strong RGB lighting
The ASUS ROG Strix GPU line is known for its stellar air cooling, and it’s easy to see why. The ROG Strix RTX 2070 is our pick for best cooling RTX 2070, and a passing glance at its massive triple-fan cooling setup will probably tip you off as to why. While ROG Strix GPUs tend to come with a significant increase in price over MSRP cards, this tends to manifest in far better cooling and overclocking headroom.
Plus, there’s some RGB lighting! While not as gaudy as, say, the AORUS Xtreme listed below, the ROG Strix’s RGB lighting does add that extra little bit of visual flair to your system. If you’re also using an ASUS motherboard, it can more easily be synced to other RGB components in your system with Asus Aura Sync, which is always a nice extra to have.
There are downsides to this card, though.
For one… it’s pretty much the biggest. It may not take up a full 3 slots, but it’ll still obfuscate anything you want to install in the second slot down from your GPU. Add that to its 301 mm length and the fact that it’s the most expensive card on this list…
Yeah. This card is beefy and expensive, like a fine Wagyu Tomahawk Ribeye. Like any cut of Wagyu, though, it should provide a truly savory experience.
Budget price (for a RTX 2070)
Respectably small size
Our first specialized pick is Zotac’s RTX 2070 Mini, which is the shortest standard RTX 2070 we’ve been able to find. (There is an exception, which we’ll discuss in a sidenote below.)
If you’re building in a MATX or MITX case and you need a shorter GPU, the RTX 2070 Mini is a great place to start. Its 211 mm length is as short as it gets for a standard dual-fan cooler design, and you aren’t trading off performance for it, either. The basic rules of heat and cooling mean that you’ll have less overclocking headroom, but that comes with the territory of a smaller PC build anyways.
There is a… peculiar decision with this GPU, though: it doesn’t support USB-C, like most other cards on this list. Instead, it has traded that USB-C connector for something much more old-fashioned: a DVI port.
While it does support modern connectors– obviously– I can’t help feeling that it’s a bit outdated to be pairing a DVI monitor with a GPU like this. This is a strange design decision on Zotac’s part, but who knows: maybe the market demand justifies it?
In case you prefer a monster RTX 2070 graphics card from Zotac, there’s the Zotac Gaming GeForce RTX 2070 AMP Extreme 8GB, which comes with 3 fans to keep this beast of a GPU cool at all times.
Want something even smaller? The Gigabyte Mini ITX RTX 2070 is also available, but we’ve heard a lot of mixed reports about reliability. If the higher risk of an RMA doesn’t bother you, go for it!
Budget price (for a RTX 2070)
Respectably small size
The MSI Ventus RTX 2070 is one of the few cards retailing below the default RTX 2070 price. It’s not by a whole lot– roughly a $6 discount to the $500 MSRP at the time of writing– but that does mean it takes the “budget” category by a country mile, since most cards trend above MSRP.
Like most of the other RTX 2070s on this list, it boasts a modest factory OC to 1.62 GHz. It’s also a 2-slot card and is one of the shorter cards on this list, which makes it ideal for those building in Micro ATX cases that aren’t too compact. Even with its budget moniker, it performs on par with the rest of the RTX 2070s on this list… though you really aren’t saving that much unless you start buying from other sellers.
If you want a perfectly average RTX 2070, or just like the white cooler design, the Ventus RTX 2070 is a great pick for you. If you want something a little more… specialized, keep reading.
Fairly high factory OC
Dense 3-slot cooler design for more OC headroom
High price, excessive width
Yeah, yeah, “balanced” is a bit of a buzzword. Allow us to explain.
While it does trend on the higher end of the 2070 price tag, it really has just about everything you need. The triple-slot cooler design is used to its fullest to enable stellar overclocking headroom, the length stays (thankfully) well under 300 mm, and the RGB implementation is surprisingly tasteful. Plus, there’s the benefit of buying from EVGA, who are renowned for their customer service and overall quality.
Unless you really want the absolute best cooling or RGB implementation, this is probably going to be the best RTX 2070 for you. As long as you can fit a 3-slot card into your system, of course: this full-fat, no 2.5 slot nonsense here.
Faster factory OC than any other 2070
Last but not least is the Gigabyte AORUS Xtreme RTX 2070. We’ll just be honest: this is our favorite one. If you can afford it, it blows the rest out of the water in terms of factory overclocks and aesthetic appeal, easily.
The RGB implementation here is the best we’ve ever seen in a graphics card, and the hefty triple-fan cooler has also been utilized well by the best out-of-box factory overclock for an RTX 2070. If you want the fastest RTX 2070 (before overclocking, at least), this is the card for you.
While we feel like the EVGA and ASUS options above may have a bit more overclocking headroom, we feel like this will be the best overall RTX 2070 for most people. Also, there’s a GPU brace included, which is nice to have.
Things To Consider
How Does The RTX 2070 Perform?
The RTX 2070 is essentially a stripped-down version of the RTX 2080 and functions on a tier of magnitude above that of the RTX 2060. Its performance compared to last-gen Nvidia GPUs sees it beat the GTX 1070 and compete with the 1070 Ti…while also providing dramatically-improved performance in real-time ray-tracing and almost thousands more CUDA cores than previous gen cards.
Real-time ray-tracing or Turing micro-architecture is a technology that currently isn’t supported by consoles or non-RTX GPUs. It’s a bit much to dive into here, but it essentially allows for movie-quality lighting and reflections in real-time gaming. Click here if you’re interested in learning more about that.
Performance-wise, you can expect to enjoy beyond-stellar 1080p and 1440p gaming performance. Highest settings, 100+ FPS, you name it. With ray-tracing enabled, expect at least 1440p at max settings and 1800p with settings adjustments.
At 4K and 1800p, you will see a few tough customers. At a native 4K and maximum settings, only the most notoriously demanding (or unoptimized) games will see you go below 60 FPS, like the infamous Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. But if you wish to get over 60 in those titles, an RTX 2070 Super is surely a smarter investment.
A drop to 1800p should usually fix this, though, and at the cost of a barely-perceptible (if at all perceptible) drop in image quality. Disabling settings like AA will be particularly helpful here, too (higher resolutions greatly reduce the need for AA solutions, so this is bearable).
Keep in mind that consoles like the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro are only achieving 4K visuals with upscaling from lower resolutions, like 1440p and 1800p. This generally doesn’t change framerate or visual settings, either. (Most console titles are using the equivalent to medium PC settings, especially the latest AAA titles. At ultra settings or with ray-tracing, you’re getting a dramatically more detailed image, even at the same resolution.)
For your money, you’re getting a gaming experience far better than anything a current-gen console could dream of, and likely on par with (if not better than) the next generation. The support for ray-tracing in the RTX series also adds a bit of future-proofing that other GPUs don’t get to enjoy, so you’re actually getting your money’s worth here.
…as long as you can afford it. If you can’t, consider an RTX 2060.
Length And Width
Length and width measure the length of the longest side of the GPU and the number of slots it takes up, respectively. Length is measured in millimeters to keep with industry standard, and we’ve rounded up our measurements to the nearest whole millimeter to alleviate confusion. Width is measured in PCI Express slots, with 2-slot being the standard.
Some 3-slot cards may take up an entire 3-slots, or come closer to, say, 2.5 slots. We’ll elaborate on these scenarios where they are present.
Clock Speeds: Do They Matter?
Short answer: yes. Longer answer: it depends.
We’ve listed the boost clock of each of the cards in the reviews above since a factory overclock is generally what differentiates retail graphics cards from one another. Some cards will have plenty of room for more user-end overclocking, but some others will not. In general, these cards should all perform roughly the same, with higher factory OCs mostly being a convenience feature for those who don’t feel like doing it themselves.
Ports, And What USB-C Is Doing Here
DisplayPort and HDMI are the two most prominent modern display standards. One of the cards on this list even boasts a DVI connector, which is sure to delight the five people out there who want to use an RTX 2070 with a DVI monitor.
These are standard connectors and shouldn’t surprise anyone much, but if you aren’t savvy with the latest in PC hardware you may be a little confused as to what a USB-C port is doing on a graphics card.
Put simply, these ports are for the latest VR headsets! USB-C and a “VirtualLink” standard have been adopted to make PC VR just a little less obtuse to set up. There is also the occasional display that supports USB-C input, though this is a fairly uncommon use case and may not be supported by every card.
We’ve listed five of our top picks for the best RTX 2070 GPU and these are all fantastic options if you’re looking to get your hands on a new graphics card. But, if you want our opinion on the absolute number one RTX 2070, we’d go for the ASUS ROG STRIX. We believe that while this is a little more on the pricey side, it’s certainly worth it thanks to those brilliant fans, keeping the card cool under intense stress and high overclocks. Moreover, talking of clocks, it has a high factory clock as standard issue so, you’re looking at high performance right out of the box for those who don’t want to or don’t know how to overclock it further.