The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 is the company's second GPU based on 16nm Pascal architecture and is positioned as a high-end, reference graphics card, slightly below the GTX 1080. It uses 8 gigabytes of GDDR5 memory, has three DisplayPort 1.4 connections and a single HDMI 2.0b port. The EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 SC Gaming ACX 3.0 features higher clock speeds and a different cooler.
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Pro Overclocks really well
The EVGA GTX 1070 SC allows for further generous overclocking of the card, even though the card has already been somewhat overclocked in-factory. In this case, an extra increase of 120 MHz was achieved without any major issues, for a total of 1715 MHz compared to the reference 1506 MHz. This resulted in an even higher performance, with 18224 3DMark Firestrike points compared to the non-overclocked SC version with 16680 points, a 9.25% increase.
Pro Great noise levels, stays quiet during operation
EVGA has used the ACX 3.0 cooler on a number of their graphics cards and it is widely known for its low noise production. The GTX 1070 SC Gaming is no exception. In idle situations, the fans aren't active and thus the graphics card is silent. The ACX 3.0 cooler user passive cooling (without spinning of the fans) for temperatures up to 60 degrees Celsius.
When using the card in a more intensive full load situation, maximum sound production measured was 38 decibels (A), which is a great result. The reference cooler of the GTX 1070 is also fairly quiet at 40 dBA - the difference here is less noticeable. There was also no noticeable coil whine (an undesirable high-pitched sound).
Pro Slightly higher performance than the Founders Edition
The GTX 1070 SC Gaming ACX 3.0 features a slightly higher clock speed of 1594 MHz, which is a 6% increase compared to the Founders Edition. This results in a slightly better performance, although the difference isn't really noticeable in most situations. In Rise of the Tomb Raider for example, the GTX 1070 SC achieves an average FPS of 111 in 1080p resolution with maximum settings, compared to the FE's 108 frames per second.
The results are more impressive in DOOM, where the overclocked EVGA card manages to achieve an average of 156 FPS (1080p), which is a 10% improvement over the Founders Edition's 142 frames per second.
Testing Hitman at 1080p shows a subtle difference: 88 FPS for the EVGA GTX 1070 SC while the reference FE card achieves 86 frames per second. When gaming in 1440p or 4K, the difference is slightly higher with 69 vs 65 FPS and 40 vs 37 FPS respectively.
Pro Low operating temperatures prevent throttling
The ACX 3.0 cooler used on the GTX 1070 SC Gaming offers slightly better temperatures compared to the reference cooler used on the Founders Edition. In idle, the GPU heats up to a maximum of 37 degrees Celsius. This is actually an increase of seven degrees compared to the Founders Edition, but the fans of the SC version don't spin up at all under 60 degrees and are thus passive. If preferred, you can adjust this with the included software.
Under load, the EVGA SC reaches a maximum of 72 degrees Celsius, which is a minor improvement over the 76 degrees of the reference GTX 1070. Throttling never occurs with the EVGA GTX 1070 SC ACX 3.0. Throttling occurs when temperatures of around 80° C are reached, in which case the graphics card will clock itself down in order to remain cool, effectively sacrificing performance.
Con VRM area is a hotspot on the card
While a backplate will make your graphics card more durable, it can trap heat in some areas. On this EVGA GTX 1070, the backplate traps heat around the VRM area - which can warm up to 96 degrees Celsius when at 100% (as seen here).
The price tag of the EVGA SC Gaming ACX 3.0 is higher than most other (significantly) overclocked GTX 1070 cards with a custom cooling solution.