• GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1070
  • Memory: 8GB GDDR5
  • Ports: HDMI 2.0 x1, DisplayPort x3, DVI-D x1
  • Slot Size: Double
  • Dimensions: 279 x 140 x 42 mm
  • Weight: 1.0kg
  • Pros:
  • Performance
  • Cooling
  • Cons:
  • None
  • Benchmark Results
  • 3DMark (TimeSpy): 5,932 points
  • 3DMark (FireStrike Ultra): 4,651 points
  • 3DMark (FireStrike Extreme): 8,939 points
  • 3DMark (FireStrike): 18,215 points

Putting The Z In Gaming

If you’ve been following news on GPUs these days, or even our coverage on COMPUTEX this year, you undoubtedly know of MSI’s vast array of GPUs that are on sale in stores. The MSI Gaming line of GPUs are amongst some of ones to consider for both high and mid-range gaming PC setups, and at the top of that line, the Gaming Z stands at the top of the hill.

MSI was kind enough to pass to us a unit of the MSI GTX 1070 Gaming Z to review. What makes this particular unit different from the Gaming X line is the fact that the GPUs come with higher overclocking numbers out of the box (1,733 MHz base clock), as well as an LED-lit MSI Dragon logo on the backplate of the GPU.

As with all the new MSI GTX10xx series GPUs, the GTX 1070 Gaming Z features MSI’s new Twin Frozr VI cooler with redesigned fans. The heatpipes have also been upgraded, as it now touches a larger surface area on the GPU die, which allows for maximised heat dissipation, where the fans can then cool down thanks to better airflow.

The GTX 1070 Gaming Z requires the use of one 8-pin and one 6-pin PCIe power connector to power up the GPU, which takes up to about 225 Watts of power at maximum. For such a high-performance GPU, this TDP is actually relatively low compared to last generation’s card, so it’s great that NVIDIA has managed to maximise the power-to-performance ratio on this card.

As far as gaming goes, the GTX 1070 Gaming Z is capable of running anything you throw at it at 1440p, and in some cases, even 4K. Titles like Rise of The Tomb Raider, Doom and Grand Theft Auto V ran remarkably well at QHD resolution, even when pumped to the highest settings.

The best part of course is the Zero Frozr functionality, whereby the GPU’s fans don’t run at all until the GPU hits about 60 degrees Celcius. Even as the fans run to keep the GPU cooled, it is not noisy at all, which is great if you’re all about acoustics as you are about graphics performance in your PC.

Throughout our time with the card, we also did not notice any throttling at all, even as we raised the power and temperature limits, GPU Boost 3.0 did its job to ensure that gameplay is always smooth all the time.

CHIP CONCLUDE: The MSI GTX 1070 Gaming Z is an amazing GPU that is capable of QHD gaming at the highest settings, and with some tweaks, even 4K gaming as well. Definitely one to consider if you’re building a powerful gaming PC.

(previously published in issue September 2016)