Well, today is the day, RTX 4070s have hit the stores and yesterday Nvidia took the wraps off of their stocked clocked RTX 4070s that sell at the $599 MSRP. Of course that doesn’t include any of the overclocked cards and luckily today we have the RTX 4070 Amp Airo from Zotac which has their unique Airo cooler design which is significantly larger than the Nvidia RTX 4070 Founders Edition and also has an overclock. I haven’t had the chance to check out any Zotac cards this generation and I’ve never seen the Airo design in person so today I’m going to take a closer look at the design and then put it through our test suite to see how it performs, especially focusing on power, cooling, and noise where aftermarket cards can make the biggest difference.

Product Name: Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo

   Review Sample Provided by: Zotac

Written by: Wes Compton

Amazon Affiliate Link: HERE

 

RTX 4070 Details

The Nvidia RTX 4070 is the next addition to their 4000 Series of cards and like the others, it is based on the same Ada Lovelace architecture. This means that it does have the same full support for DLSS 3 and the other changes that the other cards have like the new fourth-generation tensor AI-focused cores, third-generation ray tracing cores, and the AV1 encoders which will be huge for streamers and also a way to lower streaming bandwidth while improving quality. The 4070 sits below the 4070 Ti in the lineup but is based on the same AD104 GPU as the 4070 Ti and 4080 which is built on the 4N custom process by TSMC. The RTX 4070 may use the same AD104 GPU but Nvidia has cut it down slightly with 4 GPCs or graphics processing clusters to the 4070 Ti’s 5. Translates to 23 TPCs or texture processing clusters and 46 streaming multiprocessors. For CUDA cores the RTX 4070 has 5888 down from the 7680 of the 4070 Ti which is a 23% drop. The tensor core count is 184, the ray tracing core count is 46, and the texture units are 184 as well which are all a 30% drop from the 240/60/240 on the RTX 4070 Ti. The RTX 4070 also has a lower boost clock with it running at 2475 MHz to 2610 MHz but the memory is clocked the same and has the same 21 Gbps data rate. They also have the same 12 GB of GDDR6X which is notably an improvement over the last generations RTX 3070 which has 8GB but the memory interface for the 4070 is 192-bit which is a downgrade but does match the 4070 Ti. The cut down GPU and lower clock speeds did help with the overall TDP though which is now 200 watts compared to the 285 watts on the RTX 4070 Ti.  

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RTX 3070

RTX 4070

RTX 4070 Ti

Graphics Processing Clusters

6

4

5

Texture Processing Clusters

23

23

30

Streaming Multiprocessors

46

46

60

CUDA Cores

5888

5888

7680

Tensor Cores

184 (3rd Gen)

184 (4th Gen)

240 (4th Gen)

RT Cores

46 (2nd Gen)

46 (3rd Gen)

60 (3rd Gen)

Texture Units

184

184

240

ROPs

96

64

80

Boost Clock

1725 MHz

2475 MHz

2610 MHz

Memory Clock

1750 MHz

1313 MHz

1313 MHz

Memory Data Rate

14 Gbps

21 Gbps

21 Gbps

L2 Cache Size

4MB

36 MB

49 MB

Total Video Memory

8 GB GDDR6X

12 GB GDDR6X

12 GB GDDR6X

Memory Interface

256-bit

192-bit

192-bit

Total Memory Bandwidth

448.0 GB/sec

504 GB/sec

504 GB/sec

Texture Rate (Bilinear)

317.4 Gigatexels/sec

455.4 Gigatexels/sec

626 Gigatexels/sec

Fabrication Process

Samsung 8 nm 8N NVIDIA Custom Process

TSMC 4N NVIDIA Custom Process

TSMC 4N NVIDIA Custom Process

Transistor Count

17.4 Billion

35.8 billion

35.8 billion

Connectors

3 x DisplayPort

1 x HDMI

3 x DisplayPort

1 x HDMI

3 x DisplayPort

1 x HDMI

Power Connectors

1x12 pin

(Dongle to 1x 8-Pin)

2x PCIe 8-pin cables OR 300w or greater PCIe Gen 5 cable

2x PCIe 8-pin cables OR 300w or greater PCIe Gen 5 cable

Minimum Power Supply

650 Watts

650 Watts

700 Watts

Total Graphics Power (TGP)

220 Watts

200 Watts

285 Watts

Maximum GPU Temperature

93° C

90° C

90° C

PCI Express Interface

Gen 4

Gen 4

Gen 4

Launch MSRP

$499

$599

$799

 

With the RTX 4070 having support for DLSS 3 it supports DLSS Frame Generation which I’ve tested in the past and has been a huge performance improvement, especially in games that are CPU limited. The combination of DLSS Super Resolution and frame generation mean that when both are on the card renders 1 out of 8 pixels with traditional rendering. Super Resolution scales that up and then frame generation can use AI to render an entire frame in between the traditional frames. This is also why they can improve performance even when CPU-limited. DLSS 3 is being adopted quicker than DLSS 2 at a rate of 7 times faster according to Nvidia. They do have a good list of titles going and they finally have one website put together that shows you all of the games that support ray tracing, DLSS 3, DLSS 2, and AI processing which makes it easier to see if the games you want to play are included, here is a link.

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On the call about the 4070 Nvidia also showed some of the numbers that they are seeing as far as ray tracing and DLSS use for 4000 series card owners as well as percentages of people who have 144hz or higher monitors and people who are gaming at 4k. At 83% that is a big portion of the people who are buying 4000 series cards who are using it and DLSS was a little lower but not far at 79%. They also compared the same numbers with 2000 Series owners which was the first generation with RTX support and those numbers are significantly lower. It makes sense though, with the original 2000 Series only the highest ends cards were able to handle RTX and DLSS has improved a lot. Having DLSS 3 on the new cards helps open up ray tracing performance in situations where you might otherwise skip it for the performance.

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On that same note, they also showed just how much more RTX offers with today's offers whereas back in 2018 the cards were limited and games had to pick and choose which effects they wanted to utilize. This can really be seen when you see the change in ray tracing operations per pixel between Battlefield V and Cyberpunk 2077 with it going from 39 to 635. Nvidia also mapped out the number of transistors on their cards between then and now as well on the same graph. This does a great job of showing that while the cards have grown in processing power, the about of ray tracing operations per pixel has out scaled that by a huge amount.

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Another big announcement, at least for me was that VLC is adding RTX Video Super Resolution. This one hits home because I watch a lot of TV both in the living room and on my PC. In the living room I have an Nvidia TV which has had AI upscaling for a while now and I recently noticed that some of the video files that I have on the network were a lot lower in resolution than I thought when I want to watch them on VLC on my PC. I hadn’t noticed it on the TV. Video Super Resolution could do the same on VLC, improving the resolution of all of your movies/videos as you watch them.

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Before getting into testing I did also run GPUz to double-check that our clock speeds match up with the specifications. The RTX 4070 Founders Edition stock clock is 2475 MHz but the Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo has a  boost clock of 2535 MHz and our card does run at that clock speed. For the driver, I tested using the Nvidia 531.42 driver which was the press pre-launch driver.

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Packaging

Where the Founders Edition RTX 4070 came with an unusually shaped box and everything being black. Zotac has gone a completely different direction for the packaging on the RTX 4070 Amp Airo. The box has a faint drawing of the card that covers the entire front which fades from a reflective silver finish to a metal-like black. Along the bottom, the box has the Nvidia wrap-around with the model name on the right. Zotac has badges on the left to hint at some of the cards features. Then up top, they have the Zotac Gaming logo and the Amp and Airo branding. The standard Nvidia wrap-around complicates things, but it’s a little hard to tell what model this is with those logos up at the top away from the GPU model at the bottom. The back of the box has an actual picture of the card which is great to see. Zotac touches on their Freeze feature which is the fans turning off when idle, Spectra 2.0 which is their RGB lighting, Icestorm 2.0 which is their name for their cooler, and Firestorm which is the name of their software UI. Below that there is a feature list of GPU-specific features as well as something similar in the Nvifia wrap-around in the bottom left corner. Sadly there aren’t any specifications to let you know the card size, the display connections, or the clock speed if you end up shopping for this in a retail store so you will have to look a few things up in that situation.

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The outer box is just for the branding, under that the RTX 4070 Amp Airo has a light grey box with the Zotac Gaming branding on the top. This opens up like other Zotac cards have done to a matching cardboard flap. The flap has tabs to hold a small reflective bag with the documentation inside that says “Love Gaming. Power the Win.”. Under that is a sheet of protective foam and then the card itself comes in a static protective bubble wrap bag and sits in a cutout section of foam. I really doubt the card gets damaged with the multiple layers of padding. There is also a small cutout for the included accessories.

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For documentation, the RTX 4070 Amp Airo has a card-specific user guide and a universal guide as well. You also get a cool card with a holo finish. Then to round things out there were two small pieces of paper. One is a warning to make sure the 12VHPWR connection is completely seated which is very important considering the melted connections we saw at the initial 4090 launch. Then the second paper is a quick guide to how you use the included GPU support stand.

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For accessories, the RTX 4070 Amp Airo comes with two things. The first is an Nvidia-branded dual 8-pin to 12VHPWR adapter cable. This is the same adapter that the RTX 4070 Founders Edition comes with. While I would highly recommend using a new ATX 3.0 power supply if you can, the adapter will get the job done until you get one. Then the second accessory is a small GPU support bracket which is made of metal. And has a rubber-padded adjustable support. This is a lot smaller than most supports so it will depend a lot on your case design if this will work at all. But given the size of the RTX 4070 Amp Airo, it is a welcomed addition.

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Card Layout and Photos

I always love that Zotac has gone their own way with card designs even going back to when we first were introduced to them when they would integrate orange accents into their card designs. The RTX 4070 Amp Airo is no different and not only is it nothing like the 4070 Founders Edition that I already took a look at, but they are also completely avoiding the almost stereotypical “angular” designs that most gaming cards have these days. The RTX 4070 Amp Airo instead has its triple fan cooler designed with the fan shroud being rounded on the ends and for accents between the fans they have small curved lines. The shroud has a dark grey finish which is the norm these days along with the black fans, but the gold metal center caps on the fans are completely different and while gold isn’t my first choice it does go well with the black and grey. The card itself is much larger than the Founders Edition and while similar in length to the MSI Ventus the RTX 4070 Amp Airo is thicker at 58.5 mm which they list as 2.5 slot but is nearly a full 3-slot design. For length, the card is 12.1 inches or 307.7 mm and is 4.9 inches tall or 125.2 mm which puts it up over the standard PCI height.

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The RTX 4070 Amp Airo has three matching fans which are all 90 mm in width. Each fan is an axial design that blows down into the heatsink below and has 11 blades. They have printed accent stripes on the blades but otherwise, they have a simple design and don’t utilize any of the newer tricks you see like a ring around the outside to give the blades more strength. For the center caps, each is metal and has a gold finish. The two outer fans have the Zotac Gaming wings logo and then the center fan has the text Zotac logo. Zotacs fans have what they call Freeze Stop which is active fan control to turn them off when under low load to keep noise silent. They then call their cooler design the IceStorm 2.0 which sticks to that same ice/cold theme. Looking through the fans we can see that the heatsink has a vertical layout to the fins which means the air being pushed in will go up towards the top and out the bottom, except for the third fan which blows through the heatsink and out the back.

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The heatsink design is a lot more impressive once you start looking from the top and bottom edges of the card where the fan shroud still uses a cool curved shape to allow for a big airflow space on the bottom and slightly less on the top but still a large open area. Both give us a great look at how thick the heatsink is along with the heatplate at the bottom that contacts the GPU and memory. Zotac then uses thick heatpipes to pull heat out from there across the heatsink which is more like two different heatsinks with one half over the GPU and the other half on the other end with a gap between the two where the heatpipes rise up. The end of the card lets us see that there are five heatpipes in total and the end also has an open design even though airflow won't be going in this direction. The end of the card also has a thin translucent section around the edge for RGB lighting which ties in with the much larger curved lightbar across the top which has a unique purple holographic-like finish. They have GeForce RTX branding printed on the top of the card as well. Then just before the end of the PCB, the RTX 4070 Amp Airo has its power connection which like the Founders Edition is a 12VHPWR plug. The connection isn’t recessed at all or at an angle so with the extra card height you will need to account for needing to plug that in with your case, especially if you are using the adapter.

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The PCI bracket end of the RTX 4070 Amp Airo has the Zotac Gaming winged logo printed in the center. That sits with a design made of ventilation holes around it. Then on the one edge, all of the display connections are lined up. The RTX 4070 Amp Airo has three DisplayPort plus and then one HDMI with the HDMI down at the bottom, not mixed into the middle of the DIsplayPorts like normal.

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The back of the RTX 4070 Amp Airo has a backplate that runs the length of the card. Like with the fan shroud design the backplate has a unique rounded design with both ends completely rounded off. It also has a textured black finish and a smooth silver around all of the black for contrast. Zotac then has printed their winged logo on the fan right, GeForce RTX on the bottom edge, and you can faintly see the Live To Game motto printed in a dark grey on the back finish. The backplate also has the serial number sticker on it which have the full model information as well as a barcode for your serial number. I’m not a big fan of that sticker being up near the top where it will be right in your face when the card is installed in most cases, but it will be easy to find if you have any issues. The PCB for the RTX 4070 Amp Airo doesn’t run the full length of the card but you can see it through the ventilation design cut into the backplate on the left side which helps blow air through.

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I also have pictures of the RTX 4070 Amp Airo sitting next to the stock-clocked Nvidia RTX 4070 Founders Edition for a size comparison. The extra length of the RTX 4070 Amp Airo is easy to see with almost the entire third fan sticking out past the end of the Founders Edition. The same goes for the extra height where the holographic-like purple accent across the top edge sticks out above the Founders Edition. Then for the thickness you can see that the RTX 4070 Amp Airo is a full triple slot card next to the Founders Edition which keeps everything within two slots.

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Before getting into testing I did check out the lighting and the two accents that the Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo has along the top and on the end of the card. When looking at the Amp Airo when turned off you would never expect there to be a design under the purple lightbar across the top. But once you get the lighting on that does have thin lines going the length of the lightbar with the Zotac Gaming branding on one end and their winged log on the other end. I’m never a fan of backlit branding, but this is a little different and still looks great.

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Test Rig and Procedures

 

   Test System

CPU: Intel Core-i9 13900K – Live Pricing

Motherboard: Asus Z790 Extreme – Live Pricing

Cooling: Corsair H100i Elite LCD DisplayLive Pricing

Noctua NT-H1 Thermal PasteLive Pricing

   Memory:    Crucial 32GB Kit (2 x 16GB) DDR5-5600 UDIMM– Live Pricing

Storage:    Sabrent Rocket Q4 2TB – Live Pricing

Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower GF3 1000WLive Pricing

Case: Primochill WetbenchLive Pricing

OS: Windows 11 Pro 64-bitLive Pricing

 

Our Testing Procedures

3DMark

All 3DMark-based tests are done using the most recent version. We test using all three versions of Fire Strike, Both Time Spy and Time Spy Extreme, and Speed Way. Tests to look at ray tracing performance are done with Port Royal when supported and for Nvidia cards that support DLSS, the DLSS subtest is also done at 1440p with the performance setting and DLSS 2.0 as well as a look at DLSS 1, 2, and 3 at 4K.

Unigine Superposition

1080p Extreme and 4k Optimized benchmarks along with the VR Future test are done. The VR test is done at the Oculus resolution

VRMark

Only the Blue room test is run

CS:GO

This test is done using the workshop map called CS:GO Benchmark. You can find more information at this link. https://www.gamingpcbuilder.com/how-to-install-csgo-fps-benchmark-map/  I test at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K resolutions. All auto settings are turned off and detail is set to their highest settings. shadow quality high, model texture detail high, shader detail very high, AA set to 16x, uber shaders enabled

Ghost Recon Breakpoint

Built-in benchmark tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k with the Ultra and Medium detail settings

Watch Dogs: Legion

Built-in benchmark testing at ultra and high details. Tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k. I also do RTX and DLSS testing on Nvidia cards at 4K using the Ultra detail settings as a base as well.

Borderlands 3

Built-in benchmark testing with the ultra detail setting and medium detail setting, done at full screen with default settings at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k on DX11

Metro Exodus

Using built-in benchmark, testing at ultra and normal details at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k. I also do RTX and DLSS testing at 4K with the ultra-detail base settings for Nvidia cards as well.

World War Z Aftermath

Built-in benchmark in DX11 testing both the Ultra detail and Medium detail levels at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K resolutions

The Division 2

Built-in benchmark at Ultra detail with V-Sync turned off at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k resolutions.

Total War: Three Kingdoms

Built-in benchmark using the Battle Benchmark setting. Tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k at both high and ultra detail settings

Far Cry 6

Built-in benchmark tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k with the Ultra and Medium detail settings

V-Ray 5

V-Ray 5 benchmark us run with CUDA and RTX settings on cards that support it

Boundary Benchmark

Testing different DLSS detail levels on cards that support it. All testing is done at 4k with RTX on

Bright Memory Infinite RTX Benchmark

Benchmark all of the different RTX detail levels. Resolution at 4k and DLSS on balanced for each test

Passmark Performance Test 10.2

Test using the GPU Compute Score inside of PassMark's Performance Test 10.2

Blender

Using the standard Blender Benchmark I run the test using the Blender 3.4 setting which tests using the Monster, Junkshop, and Classroom tests.

OctaneBench 2020.1

OctaneBench is designed to test rendering in OctaneRender. RTX and non-RTX are both ran. This is a CUDA-only test so only Nvidia cards are tested

Power Testing

Using a PCat v2 to monitor power between the PCIe slot and the card as well as power through the power cables I test the peak power when running ADIA64, 3DMark Speed Way, 3DMark Time Spy Extreme, FarCry 6 at 4k and Ultra Detail, Watch Dogs Legion at 4K and Ultra detail, and Blender 3.4.0. The results are then averaged as well as the highest result.

Noise Testing

Our Noise testing is done using a decibel meter 18 inches away from the video card on the bottom/fan side of the card. We test at 50% and 100% fan speeds as well as a third test while under load using AIDA64's stress test. This is done using a Protmex PT02 Sound Meter that is rated IEC651 type 2 and ANSI S1.4 type 2. Tests are done set weighted to A and set to a slow response using the max function.  The ambient noise level in the testing area is 33.3 decibels.

 Temperature Testing

Using AIDA64, the GPU stress test is run for 30 minutes or until the result has leveled off. The test is run twice, once with the stock fan profile and a second time with 100% fan speed. During this, I also document the 100% fan speed RPM and document the delta between the fan profile and 100% fan speed as well as get thermal images.

 


Synthetic Benchmarks

As always I like to start my testing with a few synthetic benchmarks. 3DMark especially is one of my favorites because it is very optimized in both Nvidia and AMD drivers. It's nice to not have to worry about it being favored too much either way and the repeatability of the results makes it a nice chance to compare from card to card, especially when comparing with the same GPU. For the Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo, we are lucky enough to be able to compare it with the RTX 4070 Founders Edition as well as the MSI Ventus which was also stock clocked but was also a triple fan card like the Airo.

The first round of tests were done in the older Fire Strike benchmark which is a DX11 test. There are three detail levels, performance, extreme, and ultra. The Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo outperformed the other RTX 4070s in all three tests but the base Fire Stike is the most interesting as the gap is the biggest there and it was enough to put it in front of the RTX 3080 as well. The same happened with Fire Stike Extreme but with Ultra the 3080 is still out in front.

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The next two were both based on the Time Spy benchmark. One is the standard test and then there is the extreme detail level. The Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo scored 18147 in Time Spy which was 1.5% up over the stock-clocked Founders Edition. The Time Spy Extreme result was similar with it improving 1.8% on the Founders Edition but neither result was enough to change the order of the time spy charts at all, the Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo and all of the 4070’s was ahead of the RTX 3080 in the base test and behind the 6800 XT but in the Extreme tests the 4070’s were behind both.

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I did also test using the new 3DMark Speed Way which is their latest benchmark. Speed Way is DX12 as well but combines in more future-focused tech like Ray Tracing which up until now 3DMark has only used in feature tests. The Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo once again tops the RTX 4070 results improving on the Founders Edition by 1% but that wasn’t enough to catch up to the 3080 here. Both the 6800 XT and the 6950 XT are below the RTX 4070 however which is important to note.

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The last test was using the Unigine-based Superposition benchmark and I tested at 1080p with the extreme detail setting as well as the 4K optimized setting. In the extreme detail setting the Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo topped the 4070s with its 9936 score and did the same with the 4K optimized test as well. Both were behind the RTX 3080 as well as the 6800 XT.

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VR Benchmarks

As for Virtual Reality, I love it but it is more demanding than traditional gaming. This is partially because of the resolutions needed to render for two eyes and because they render more than what is immediately visible. But also because of post effects to get the proper “fisheye” effect for it to look proper in your eyes with the HMD. You also have to have much higher expectations for frame rates in VR, skipping frames or lower FPS can cause motion sickness in VR. Because of that, I ran a few tests.

My first test was again in Superposition. This time I tested the VR Future test using the Oculus resolution. I have also included the average frame rate as well which is important for the cards at the top of the chart because for some reason Superposition is capped at 10,000 for its scores and that doesn’t show the performance gap in those cards at the top. The RTX 4070 Amp Airo improved on the Founders Editions score by 1.6% and tops the 4070s tested but didn’t even make a dent in catching up to the 6800 XT which is the next card up on the chart.

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My second round of VR testing was in VRMark which has three tests that are similar to the VR tests in Superposition. I only focused on just the most demanding test called Blue Room which is looking more at future VR performance. The RTX 4070 Amp Airo is sitting .7% up over the RTX 4070 Founders Edition. Like in Superposition, the VRMark result has the RTX 4070 Amp Airo behind the RTX 3080 and the 6800 XT.

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In-Game Benchmarks

Now we finally get into the in game performance and that is the main reason people pick up a new video card. To test things out I ran through our new benchmark suite that tests 10 games at three different resolutions (1080p, 1440p, and 4k). Most of the games tested have been run at the highest detail setting and a mid-range detail setting to get a look at how turning things up hurts performance and to give an idea of if turning detail down from max will be beneficial for frame rates. In total, each video card is tested 54 times and that makes for a huge mess of results when you put them all together. To help with that I like to start with these overall playability graphs that take all of the results and give an easier-to-read result. I have one for each of the three resolutions and each is broken up into four FPS ranges. Under 30 FPS is considered unplayable, over 30 is playable but not ideal, over 60 is the sweet spot, and then over 120 FPS is for high refresh rate monitors.

So how did the Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo do in our overall resolution breakdown? Well at 1080p there weren’t any surprises, all of the games tested came in at over 120 FPS with three of those even reaching up over 240 FPS. Then at 1440p which is Nvidia’s target resolution for the RTX 4070 the Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo again had everything in the playable range. This time with four down in the 60-119 range. 10 results were over 120 FPS and then two were over 240 still. This is the same as I saw with the other RTX 4070s but the Borderlands 3 ultra detail result came as close as you can get from tipping the chart into having another over 120 FP with its 119.9 FPS result. Last up at 4K the Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo still did well as well, even though it isn’t its target resolution. Two results were in the 30-59 FPS range which isn’t ideal but can still be playable. Two were over 120 FPS and then the other 12 results were all over 60 FPS and under 120 FPS.

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Because I wanted to get a closer look at how the Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo compares with the other RTX 4070s as well as a few of the other cards that are close in performance or pricing I put together a table showing the overall average frame rates. I did exclude the GS:GO results from this one as it is always so high that it skews the results and would make some results look better than the reality. It isn’t a surprise though that the Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo outperformed the other two RTX 4070s but I was surprised by just how much. At 1080p it was a full three FPS higher or 1.6% better than the Founders Edition. The gap at 1440p was smaller with .7% or 1 FPS and then 1.2% at 4K with 1 FPS there as well. Overclocked cards don’t get you a HUGE improvement over stock-clocked cards but the Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo was surprisingly consistent, especially considering the 60 MHz overclock isn’t a big one overall, so I am curious to see later if the power profile or cooling is also contributing to that as well. Beyond the 4070s the Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo sits ahead of the RTX 3080 at 1080p and 1440p but doesn’t make up the difference at 4k and the two AMD cards are still well out in front with this raster performance at all three resolutions. Beyond that, I do have the individual results below, but the averages and the charts above sum up what you will see there and I didn’t see any weird results.

Average FPS (w/o CS:GO)

1080p

1440p

4K

RTX 3070 TI

165.78

126.73

74.2

RTX 3080

188.35

148.9

89.9

RTX 4070

190.62

148.64

83.48

MSI RTX 4070 Ventus 3X

190.89

148.96

83.98

Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo

193.71

149.69

84.51

6800 XT

197.08

162.35

92.37

6950 XT

205.27

177.19

105.8

4070 Ti

212.87

174.42

103.72

 

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Compute Benchmarks

Now some people don’t need a video card for gaming, they need the processing power for rendering or 2D/3D production, or in some cases people who game also do work on the side. So it is also important to check out the compute performance on all of the video cards that come in. That includes doing a few different tests. My first test was a simple GPU Compute benchmark using Passmark’s Performance Test 10 and the RTX 4070 Amp Airo didn’t hit the full 1% improvement this time around with .8% over the 4070 FE this time around. This didn’t change anything on the charts overall with the 7900 XTX still above the 4070s and the 3080 sitting down below them.

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Blender is always my favorite compute benchmark because the open-source 3D rendering software is very popular and it isn’t a synthetic benchmark. With the latest version of Blender, they redid the benchmark so we now have a new test that runs three different renderings and gives each a score. I have all three stacked together so we can see the overall performance. The RTX 4070 Amp Airo continued its 1% performance improvement over the 4070 Founders Edition in all three Blender renderings which put it up at the top of the 4070s but not far from the Ventus that did well here as well.

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For CUDA-based cards, I also check out OctaneRender performance using their OctaneBench 2060.1 benchmark which allows me to check out both RTX and non-RTX rendering performance. Here the RTX 4070 Amp Airo improves on the Founder Editions scores by 1.1% for the RTX score and 1.7% on the base test.

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An additional CUDA-based test I also ran V-Ray Benchmark 5 to check out CUDA and RTX performance in the 3D rendering and simulation software. The RTX 4070 Amp Airo once again tops the three RTX 4070s with both the V-Ray CUDA and RTX results. This wasn’t enough to catch up to the next card up which is the 3090 Ti, but it did pull away from the 3080 slightly.

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RTX and DLSS

Being an RTX card I also like checking out the performance of some of Nvidia’s features. Namely the ray tracing performance and the performance improvements you can see by using DLSS combined with the tensor cores. My first test goes back to our synthetic benchmarks with 3DMark where I check out their Port Royal benchmark. This is the one test that does also have AMD Ray Tracing support which is great to get a look at how different cards including older non-RTX cards perform. The Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo improved on the 4070 scores with its 11340 which got extremely close to the 11364 score of AMDs last generation flagship, the AMD 6950 XT.

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3DMark also has added in a few feature tests, one being a look at DLSS performance. For this one, I have the resolution set to 4K and I test with all three versions of DLSS as well as with it off completely. All DLSS are set to their performance setting as well to keep the results comparable. This gives us a great look at the performance improvements that DLSS has given with DLSS 3 also including frame generation. The Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo once again is at the top of the chart for the RTX 4070s. This chart though is mostly just a good look at the performance improvements possible with DLSS especially through the generations with having it off to DLSS 1 doubling performance, DLSS 2 tripling the original frame rate, and DLSS 3 with frame generation doing four times the frame rate going from 23.26 FPS up to 86.05 FPS.

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I then jumped into game tests, this time with Watch Dogs: Legion. For this one, I wanted to get an idea of the performance you will see when taking advantage of Nvidia’s RTX and DLSS features. I tested at 4k with the ultra detail setting and with ultra being the setting for DLSS and RTX when they are on as well. I then test with no RTX or DLSS on and then with RTX DLSS on and off and on together. Here the Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo matched the other 4070s with the no RTX or DLSS test and with RTX on. It's one FPS lower than the Founders Edition on the combined result and then matched the Ventus with the DLSS-only result.

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Next, I wanted to check out the performance in Metro Exodus which we have used for testing for a long time now. This test is similar as well with it set to 4K and Ultra detail, I use the included benchmark to test DLSS and RTX individually and then with them both on and both off to give us a look at overall frame rates depending on which direction you go. I should point out that this is using the Enhanced Edition where our normal benchmark uses the standard version for testing with AMD but that version DLSS no longer works. That said the Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo does edge out the other 4070s in all of these tests.

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Cooling Noise and Power

For my last few tests, rather than focusing on in game performance, I like to check out other aspects of video card performance. These are also the most important ways to differentiate the performance between cards that have the same GPU. To start things off I took a look at power usage.

For this, our new test setup utilizes the Nvidia-designed PCat v2 along with cables to handle both traditional 6 or 8-pin connections as well as the new 12VHPWR. The PCat also utilizes a PCIe adapter to measure any power going to the card through the PCIe slot so we can measure the video card wattage exclusively, not the entire system as we have done in the past. I test with a mix of applications to get both in game, synthetic benchmarks, and other workloads like Blender and AIDA64. Then everything is averaged together for our result. I also have the individual results for this specific card and I document the peak wattage results as well which is almost always Time Spy Extreme. The Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo surprised me here, with this being an overclocked card I was expecting it to have a more aggressive power profile like the Ventus did even while having a stock clock speed. The Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo on the other hand came in lower than the Founders Edition with its peak power but an impressive 12 watts putting it down below the 6650 XT for peak power. Its average power draw on the hand did increase, but only by 2 watts for 217 watts to the Founders Editions 215.

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With having exact peak wattage numbers when running Time Spy Extreme I was also able to put together a graph showing the total score for each watt that a card draws which gives us an interesting look at overall power efficiency in the popular and demanding benchmark. Having a better Time Spy score than the Founders Edition 4070 and dropping its peak power the efficiency chart likes the Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo. The combination raised the score per watt from 33.74 to 36.06, pushing it up close to the RTX 4080’s score.

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My next round of tests were looking at noise levels. These are especially important to me because I can’t stand to listen to my PC whirling. Especially when I’m not in game and other applications are using the GPU. For my testing, though I first tested with the fan cranked up to 100% to get an idea of how loud it can get, then again at 50% to get an idea of its range. The Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo came in at 39.7 db for its 50% fan speed result which was tied with the 4070 Founders Edition but its 100% fan speed noise levels were higher at 60.9 which isn’t a big surprise given it having three fans. The fan speeds weren’t as far up the chart which shows they are a little noisy compared to the RPM. I also take a look at noise performance while under load. For that when running AIDA64’s stress test I wait until the temperature of the card has leveled off and then measure how loud things are when the card is at its worst-case scenario with the stock fan profile. Here the Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo is at the bottom of the chart which is impressive. When under load over an extended period of time the fans settled at just 35% which avoided the noise that they can make when cranked up. Add to that having the fans turn off when under light load and the Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo is extremely quiet in actual use.

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To finish up my testing I of course had to check out the cooling performance. To do this I ran two different tests. I used AIDA64’s Stress Test run for a half-hour each to warm things up. Then I documented what temperature the GPU leveled out at with the stock fan profile and then again with the fans cranked up to 100%. With the stock profile, the Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo leveled off at 63c. For comparison, the 4070 Founders Edition did the same test at 64c and the stock-clocked MSI 4070 Ventus with its triple fan cooler was 65c making the Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo the lowest of the three. This is even more impressive when we also figure in how quiet the card was when under load which we just saw above. Then with the fans cranked up, the Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo dropped down to 52c for a delta of 11 between the two meaning there is room still left for more cooling if needed. But Zotac did a great job with the stock fan profile. For comparison at 100% fan speed, both of the other RTX 4070s ran at 55c which is 3 degrees higher than the Amp Airo.

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While doing the stock profile and 100% fan speed thermal tests I did also note the GPU Hotspot and Memory temperatures as well. The Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo came in at 81c with the stock profile for the hotspot and 68c with the fans at 100%. This was 2c less than the Founders Edition at 100% fan speed but they tied with the stock fan profile. The Ventus on the other hand was at 70c and 82c which was higher on both. The memory temperature chart is a little smaller, none of the AMD cards have memory temp sensors, and only the higher-end 3000 Series Nvidia cards have had them as well. But the Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo and the 4070 Founders Edition tied here at 42c for the 100% fan speed and 56c for the stock profile, both running nice and cool.

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While running the stock fan profile testing I also took the time to get a few thermal images so we could see what is going on. The thermal images of the 4070 Amp Airo show the hottest areas are actually up under the card. The fan side was running extremely cool even through the fans on the heatsink with the hottest spots on the bottom half of the first two fans. The top edge does have some heat up on the PCB which is the hottest spot at 45.8c and some heat down past the power connection with the exposed heatsink but nothing not like our MSI 4070. The back of the card shows the metal backplate working and transferring the heat out. You can also see that the blow-through fan section at the end is cooling things down well. The hottest spot here is again above the GPU on the top edge which from this angle is showing 53.2c in the heatsink there.

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Overall and Final Verdict

As I mentioned before, Zotac went their own way when it came to the styling and cooler design on the 4070 Amp Airo and I love it. Everyone else has been going with sharp edges and the angular styling and they changed it up with the cooler on the Airo being completely rounded off on the ends, both with the fan shroud and the backplate as well. The accents follow the same theme and look great and are simple and clean and I even dig the colors which are a little crazy. It is of course mostly grey, black, and has some silver on the back. But the gold centers on the fans are a departure but look good and I like the holographic-like light bar across the top which has a purple finish when not lit up. For lighting the 4070 Amp Airo has that light bar which does have Zotac branding hidden behind the purple finish that you see when you light it up and one stripe on the end of the card. I’m never a big fan of lighting featuring branding because it can make your PC feel like times square, but this was at least different and looks good. The card is big especially when we put it next to the Founders Edition RTX 4070 but even the Ventus which has a triple fan cooler looks a little smaller with the 4070 Amp Airo being a lot thicker, Zotac calls it s 2.5 slot design but it is about as close to 3 slots as you can get without being the full three slots. They used that space well however, the heatsink on this thing is beefy and thick. You can feel it in weight alone when you handle the card.

For performance it was the cooler that impressed me the most, the 4070 Amp Airo ran cool in our tests, and when using the stock fan profile it was both cool and quiet sitting at or near the bottom of our charts on both. The fans were also running at the second lowest percentage of all of the cards tested as well when under that load meaning there is still headroom left if needed. When you crank the fans up to 100% the triple fan design does get loud, but it wasn’t the loudest tested, and frankly given the cooling performance I don’t know why you would want to turn them up that high. Another surprising aspect was the power efficiency of the card. The 4070 Amp Airo is overclocked and typically that also means that power usage is going to be a lot higher than the Founders Edition design but it was just 2 watts higher on the overall average of all of the power tests done but for the peak power it was down 12 watts which is impressive. This meant it did especially well in our score per watt test which the 4070 Founders Edition already did well in, but the 4070 Amp Airo blew it out of the water.

The overclock wasn’t significant at just 60 MHz but that combined with the cooling/power performance the 4070 Amp Airo was consistently running 1-1.7% higher than the RTX 4070 Founders Edition and it was consistent. Without a doubt, the 4070 Amp Airo is the best of the three RTX 4070s that I’ve tested.

Of course, we do have to consider more than just the other 4070s, we have to look at how it performed against the competition and Nvidias older cards as well. Like with the other 4070s, I was impressed when comparing the 4070 Amp Airo to the RTX 3080 where is outperformed it at 1080p and 1440p with the 3080 still winning out at 4K. But like I mentioned in the other 4070 coverage, pricing combined with AMDs lowered prices on their last-gen cards complicates things. This is made even worse with the price of the Zotac RTX 4070 Amp Airo which has an MSRP of $669.99, $70 more than the base MSRP of the RTX 4070. It’s the raster performance of the AMD 6800 XT and the 6950 XT which was consistently higher and their discounted prices which you can get a 6800 XT for $539 and the 6950 XT for $639. The RTX 4070 makes up a lot of ground when you also start to take into account its ray tracing performance and the benefits of DLSS 3 which can give crazy performance improvements in the games that support it (which that list has been growing quickly). But especially with the higher price of the 4070 Amp Airo, I don’t think it's enough to make up the difference. Now those older cards most likely won’t be in stock forever and discounted prices like that don’t always stick around past launches if you know what I mean so it is all dependent on those things. In the future, the 4070’s value will most likely change and the 4070 Amp Airo’s performance was impressive. So keep a close eye on those prices before you make your decision.

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Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: http://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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