Even if the cards struggle to reach the stores, we continue to receive new custom models of Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000 cards in the editorial office: the card subject of this review, the “particular” KFA2 RTX 3070 SG (1-Click OC), where SG stands for Serious Gaming. KFA2, for the uninitiated, the European brand of Galax.
Let’s say a feature card because it shows up with a fourth 80 mm fan to be attached to the back: KFA2 calls you 1-Clip Booster, and a fan, absolutely optional, included in the bundle. Its purpose is to create a system push-pull, where the rear fan collects the heat directed by the front fan to blow it into the top of the case, so that it is captured and expelled by the rear or top case fans.
In “normal” configuration, the card shows a 92mm triple fan heatsink with 11 blades: the plastic cover, while below we find an aluminum radiator that collects the heat of the various components from a PCB that is shorter than the entire board. In addition to the fourth fan, we also find a bundle RGB support that keep the card in place.
The radiator consists of a copper base and some blocks of aluminum fins interconnected by six heatpipes. The heat produced by the memory chips and by the VRMs (8 + 2 + 1 phases) is directed to the radiator via thermal pads. The card is equipped with a single 8-pin PCIe connector and in the back we find three DisplayPort 1.4a and one HDMI 2.1. The card is 329mm long, 130mm deep and 61mm high and occupies 2.5 slots on the motherboard.
The fans support 0dB technology, like all products on the market nowadays, so they do not spin unless the temperature reaches a certain threshold, in this specific case about 55 C. The fans are also RGB, together with the side writing “What’s your game ? “, and you can manage everything through the Xtreme Tuner software. The optional fourth fan and RGB support plug into the front of the board (see below), where there are two connectors, one 4-pin for the fan and one 5-pin for the support.
|RTX 3070 FE||KFA2 3070 SG 1-Click OC|
|Architecture and GPU||Ampere GA104||Ampere GA104|
|Productive process||Samsung 8nm||Samsung 8nm|
|Die Size||392 mm2||392 mm2|
|Transistor||17.4 billion||17.4 billion|
|TMUs / ROPs||184/96||184/96|
|Tensor / RT Core||184/46||184/46|
|Base Clock||1500 MHz||1500 MHz
1-Click OC: 1515 MHz
|Boost Clock||1725 MHz||1725 MHz
1-Click OC: 1740 MHz
|Memory capacity||8 GB GDDR6||8 GB GDDR6|
|Memory bus||256 bit||256 bit|
|Memory speed||14 Gbps||14 Gbps|
|Bandwidth||448 GB / s||448 GB / s|
In terms of technical specifications, this KFA2 RTX 3070 SG (1-Click OC) comes with the same frequencies as the 3070 Founders Edition, but by activating the 1-Click OC profile via the Xtreme Tuner software the clock rises to 1515/1740 MHz.
The tests were conducted at video resolutions of 1920×1080 pixels, 2560×1440 pixels and 3840×2160 pixels, always trying to use very high quality settings to shift the load as much as possible on the GPU. Below are the video cards included in this comparison:
- KFA2 GeForce RTX 3070 SG
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 (Founders Edition)
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 (Founders Edition)
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080Ti (Founders Edition)
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 (Founders Edition)
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super (Founders Edition)
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super (Founders Edition)
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 (Founders Edition)
- AMD Radeon VII (reference board)
- AMD Radeon RX 5700XT (reference board)
- AMD Radeon RX 5700 (reference board)
- AMD Radeon RX 5600XT (Sapphire Pulse)
Below is the configuration of the system used for the tests:
- Operating system: Italian Windows 10 Pro
- Processor: Intel Core i9-10900K
- Power supply: CoolerMaster Silent Pro Gold 1200 Watt
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus XII Hero WiFi
- Memory: G.Skill Trident-Z 2x8Gbytes DDR4-4000 (17-17-17-37)
- SSD: Crucial P1 M.2 2280 1TB
- Nvidia video driver: GeForce 456.16
- AMD video driver: Radeon 20.8.3
Below are the titles included in the comparison, both for traditional tests and with RTX and DLSS technologies enabled – some games were tested both in traditional mode and with RTX active:
- Metro Exodus – Ultra – DX12 (RTX test)
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider – DX12 – Maximum – TAA (RTX test)
- Red Dead Redemption 2 – Ultra – quality level: focus on quality – Vulkan
- Borderlands 3 – DX12 – Duro (Hard)
- Doom Eternal – Vulkan
- Control – DX12 – Ultra (RTX test)
- Wolfenstein Youngblood – mein leben, average of the two benchmarks, Vulkan (RTX test: DLSS on quality, RTX reflex s)
The performance of the KFA2 RTX 3070 SG (1-Click OC) is mirrored to that of Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition card, even with the overclock profile increasing the clock to 1515/1740 MHz. The general behavior always very valid, with average fps that remain high and are in fact aligned with the previous top of the range GeForce RTX 2080Ti. NOTE: The tests were carried out before the release of the Radeon RX of the 6800 series, so they are not present in the graphs.
Frequencies, consumption, temperatures and noise
Consumption, temperatures and operating noise are elements that affect the evaluation of a video card perhaps less than its ability to generate an adequate amount of frames per second, but which in any case remain very important to define the overall picture. To evaluate the behavior of the new Asus card we used the Hitman 2 game benchmark on a loop for 15 minutes. The recorded values were compared with those of the GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition card. In the graphs we entered the recorded values by testing the card in the classic configuration (indicated with “standard”) and with the fourth optional fan connected and running (indicated with “fan”).
The clock rate of the KFA2 card in both test modes is on average higher than that of the Founders Edition, which allows it to gain a few fps here and there. The action of the optional rear fan does not result in significant differences in the operating frequency of KFA2’s RTX 3070 SG, which is good because it means that the base cooling system allows the video card to perform at its best.
The Founders Edition’s heatsink is undoubtedly efficient and temperatures around 70C can never be called problematic. The action of the three fans on the KFA2 manages to reduce the temperature by 4-5 C, an undoubtedly positive aspect. What happens when I add the fourth fan? In our classic test there is practically no difference, the blue line slightly lower than the purple one and therefore a little something the optional fan does.
It must be added that our load, although it is a game and therefore congruent with the market address of the product, perhaps does not allow us to extract the maximum benefit from the optional fan. We also tested on a test stand, not in a closed case. In any case, we believe that good news emerges from the test: the optional fan, there is a reason, that is, it is not necessarily needed: you can install it mainly for aesthetic taste rather than for a real need.
The GeForce RTX 3070 Founders correctly tracks the 220W of TGP indicated by Nvidia, while the proposed KFA2 thanks to the slight overclocking goes further by touching 240W. Let’s say we expected something less, something closer to the 220W of the Founders Edition, but the behavior as you can see from the graph was repeated on the two sessions, with and without optional fan.
The KFA2 is a card that also performs well in terms of noise: not only does it keep the GPU a few degrees cooler than the Founders Edition, but it does so without producing noise. At the moment, projects by Nvidia partners related to the RTX 3000 series have proved to be of a good level and even in this case no particular criticisms emerge.
Each GPU and video card has different overclocking limits, so our sample may have performed better or worse than other products of the same model tested by other sites. To see if the card had additional headroom, we proceeded manually by setting Afterburner like this:
- Core Voltage: +50
- Power Limiter: 100%
- Core Clock: +110 MHz (1610/1835 MHz)
- Mem clock: +900 MHz (1975 MHz)
We verified that these settings were stable and we therefore confirm what we have already seen in previous tests with the new Ampere GPUs, with graphics chips with a narrow margin – at least for air cooling and without risking too much – while the GDDR6X memories go up a lot .
KFA2 GeForce RTX 3070 SG, photo with the thermal imaging camera
Testing an RTX 3000 video card in this historical period is not easy, because the issue of availability and price takes over everything. The KFA2 RTX 3070 SG is no exception, in fact not available and the circulating price of 670/680 euros certainly too high.
In terms of performance and design, the KFA2 proposal is certainly valid, because it confirms the performance seen with the Founders Edition by adding a lower operating temperature for the GPU to the mix (and this can only be good), together with RGB lighting. Also interesting is the bundled presence of an RGB support and an optional fourth fan, which could be useful on occasion but not strictly necessary.
In recent months we have tried some solutions of KFA2 (Galax) and although they do not stand out for their design or other, we have found that they always work properly and in line with expectations. If the KFA RTX 3070 SG were to arrive on the market at a price closer to the 519 euros of the Founders Edition, it would become a highly recommended purchase, as long as you have a case large enough to accommodate it: you just have to wait for the evolution of the market, hoping that Nvidia and its partners are able to bring a good volume of RTX 3000 to the market, although it will probably have to wait until 2021 (forwarded).