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MSI RTX 4070 Ti Super Ventus 3X review

 MSI RTX 4070 Ti Super graphics card.
MSI RTX 4070 Ti Super graphics card.

Super January continues! The RTX 4070 Ti Super is the second of Nvidia's RTX 40-series Super refresh cards. It joins the already released RTX 4070 Super, with the RTX 4080 Super to follow a week later. While all three deliver healthy spec and performance upgrades, interestingly, this RTX 4070 Ti Super is the only one of the three that makes use of a higher tier GPU.

The 4070 Ti Super includes the AD103 GPU, that's the same as that found in the current RTX 4080 and soon the RTX 4080 Super. Though it doesn’t receive an increase in shader count as large as the RTX 4070 Super did, the use of the AD103 GPU means it gets a welcome memory subsystem upgrade. Thankfully, its TDP remains unchanged at 285W, while it's priced at $799, the same as its non-Super sibling. That means you get more performance, more memory, and essentially more graphics card for the same money. Yay!

The original RTX 4070 Ti (formerly known as the unlaunched RTX 4080 12GB) was a generally capable card, particularly when the benefits of DLSS 3 and Frame Generation were added into the mix. But while capable, we felt it didn't quite do enough at its price point to earn an unequivocal recommendation.

Its 192-bit bus and 12GB of VRAM just didn't feel like it belonged on a $799 card. The Super refresh addresses that weakness. The RTX 4070 Ti Super's 256-bit bus with 16GB of VRAM is the memory spec we wish the original RTX 4070 Ti had.

On paper, then, the RTX 4070 Ti Super is effectively an RTX 4080-Lite. It costs a whopping $400 less than the $1,199 RTX 4080 did at the time of its launch and a still sizable $200 less than the $999 RTX 4080 Super. However, it is still $200 more than the RTX 4070 Super. The RTX 4070 Ti non-Super is now all but irrelevant at $799 and is being end-of-life'd, but if it remains on the market for any length of time, at sub $700 it would remain a viable option for an upgrade.

Nvidia has opted not to release an RTX 4070 Ti Super Founders Edition, so we have MSI's RTX 4070 Ti Super Ventus 3X on hand. It's an attractive card priced at the base $799 MSRP with a boost clock of 2,610MHz, matching the Nvidia reference specification.

MSI RTX 4070 TI Super Ventus 3X quick verdict

MSI RTX 4070 Ti Super graphics card
MSI RTX 4070 Ti Super graphics card

Buy if...

✅ You're upgrading from an RTX-20 series or older card:  An upgrade from one of the contemporarily excellent xx70 cards of yesteryear will bring you a dramatic performance uplift, not to mention the 'free' boost that DLSS3 and Frame Generation will deliver.

You want the security of having a card with 16GB of VRAM: Forget the RTX 4060 Ti 16GB. This is the Nvidia card to get right now if you want that extra bit of life. With the likes of Grand Theft Auto 6 yet to come, it'll be better to have too much VRAM in the years ahead than not enough.

Don't buy if...

You already have a non-Super RTX 40-series card: The Super refreshes, while welcome, aren't enough of an upgrade over non-Super counterparts to justify going out and dropping another wad of cash on one.

❌ The RTX 4070 Super drops further in price: The RTX 4070 Super is a full $200 less than the RTX 4070 Ti Super. Should it drop to $549 or lower, it'd become hard to ignore.

The mid-life RTX 4070 Ti Super refresh addresses the concerns we had when the initial line-up went on sale. With the RTX 4070 Ti Super, any worries over weak memory specifications are put to rest. It's the RTX 4070 Ti we really wanted, and it would have most likely ended up as our pick of the initial generation assuming it had still launched at $799.

At just over half the price of the formerly mighty RTX 3090, while handily beating it, the RTX 4070 Ti Super is the perfect advertisement for an intergenerational performance improvement. If it beats out the RTX 3090, just imagine the kind of upgrade it will deliver for owners of popular cards like the GTX 1070 and RTX 2070. Add to that the benefits of DLSS 3 and Frame Generation and gamers looking for an upgrade that's a big step above the likes of the RTX 4060 Ti will be very happy.

The AMD RX 7900 XT remains a good competitor, especially after its recent price drop. However, AMD's challenger still lags on ray tracing performance, and it's now lost its VRAM advantage. AMD's FMF frame generation technology is in its nascent stages, so the jury remains out on that. It will be interesting to see if there's a further price battle between the RTX 4070 Ti Super and the RX 7900 XT. There is a bit of a gap between them and the $599 RTX 4070 Super and the $499 RX 7800 XT, so there is some potential breathing room.

Before I get too far into the meat of this review, there is something that needs attention. This is the asterisk under the headline up top. On the day before our review was due to go live, Nvidia informed us of a BIOS issue with MSI's Ventus card. This issue can lead to a loss of up to 5% of performance. An updated BIOS was provided, but even this BIOS still suffered from a reported 3% loss of performance. MSI has now released a vBIOS fix which reportedly elevates "the overall performance of the graphics card to be in line with our expectations."

But with stock already sitting in warehouses, it's a struggle to recommend the MSI RTX 4070 TI Super Ventus right now when users are likely going to have to be very wary of what vBIOS version is on their board and deal with the sometimes scary (though honestly super straightforward) trial of updating the BIOS of their new GPU.

I would still suggest, however temporary these issues have been, RTX 4070 Ti Super early adopters will want to look at another manufacturer, at least if you're not comfortable updating a graphics card BIOS yourself. For me, they'd have to be far cheaper than the competition to make me consider the MSI right now. Nvidia, for its part, has said the likes of Asus' TUF version offer standard RTX 4070 Ti Super performance out of the box.

If you skip the MSI, there will be a whole range of MSRP cards launching on day one, with overclocked models to follow. Graphics card manufacturers have a lot of experience when it comes to taming cards with much higher power and thermal demands, so really, any of the basic RTX 4070 Ti Supers will deliver nearly identical performance. The dual fan ones might require a bit higher fan speed and hence noise levels to maintain higher boost clocks but, in the end, aesthetics and brand loyalty (if any) will be the main differentiators.

High refresh rate 1080p and 1440p gaming is a breeze with the RTX 4070 Ti Super. Throw in the benefits of excellent performance per watt, a forward looking 16GB of VRAM, Nvidia's AI and creative tools, plus the ability to game with lots of eye candy with DLSS 3 and Frame Generation at 4K and suddenly $799 looks a fair price. Make it $749 or a smidgen lower, and we'd be really stoked.

MSI RTX 4070 TI Super Ventus 3X specs

MSI RTX 4070 Ti Super graphics card
MSI RTX 4070 Ti Super graphics card

The RTX 4070 Ti Super is the only one of the three Super cards to receive a GPU upgrade. Instead of the AD104 GPU of the RTX 4070 Ti, the Super flavor comes with the AD103 GPU, the same as that found in the RTX 4080 and soon-to-launch RTX 4080 Super.

Like all desktop RTX 40-series GPUs to date, the AD103 is built on a custom TSMC 4N process, which has been tweaked for Nvidia GPUs. It comes with 3rd generation RT cores with shader execution reordering support, 4th generation Tensor cores, the 8th gen NVENC encoder with support for AV1, and of course, DLSS 3 with Frame Generation capabilities.

However, if there's a criticism here it's that Nvidia has overly hobbled the capabilities of this AD103 variant. The non-Super RTX 4070 Ti includes 60 streaming multiprocessors (SMs) giving it a count of 7,680 CUDA cores. The RTX 4070 Ti Super ups this to 66 SMs, giving it 8,448 cores. That's still well below the 9,768 of the RTX 4080 and the paltry increase of 768 CUDA cores is notably a much smaller increase than the 1,280-core count increase the RTX 4070 Super received over the RTX 4070.

The amount of L2 cache remains the same between the two RTX 4070's, both coming with 48MB. One wonders just how much of a difference it would have made if the RTX 4070 Ti Super had the access to the 64MB of cache that the RTX 4080 does.

The increased L2 cache has been one of the reasons for the Ada architecture's performance lead over the Ampere generation, so we know how important that extra amount of close to the metal memory really is for gaming performance.

The RTX 4070 Ti's biggest upgrade is its memory system. It incorporates a 256-bit bus and 16GB of 21Gbps GDDR6X memory giving it a rated bandwidth of 672GB/s. That's over 30% more than that of the RTX 4070 Ti. Now that's an upgrade! Even if it’s the kind of spec that should be common to upper mid-range graphics cards in 2024 AD.

The RTX 4070 Ti Super is the only one of the three Super cards to receive a GPU upgrade.

Nvidia was able to keep the TDP of the RTX 4070 Super to a perfectly reasonable 285W, the same as the non-Super. The rated boost clock of both cards is 2,610Mhz, though as we know, Nvidia GPUs can reach much higher when power and thermal conditions allow. We see this borne out in the benchmarks below, where the MSI RTX 4070 Ti Super was able to hold a 2,664MHz average boost clock. That's below the very high 2,805MHz we saw with a Gigabyte RTX 4070 Ti. I wouldn’t say the Super is power constrained necessarily, but rather the power budget of the non-Super was quite generous.

The MSI Ventus 3X deserves a few words too. Apart from its soon-to-be-fixed BIOS glitch, it's a solidly built card with three fans, a full length backplate and a subtle mostly silver plastic shroud free of RGB. There's an overclocked version too that features a mild 30MHz extra over the card we have for review. The Ventus is not a tall card at 120mm, making it a little more case friendly. It's still long at 308mm though.

You can certainly see that in the image below the size difference between this RTX 4070 Ti Super and the huge Gigabyte RTX 4070 Ti card.

MSI RTX 4070 TI Super Ventus 3X benchmarks

MSI RTX 4070 Ti Super and Gigabyte RTX 4070 Ti graphics cards
MSI RTX 4070 Ti Super and Gigabyte RTX 4070 Ti graphics cards

MSI RTX 4070 TI Super Ventus 3X performance

MSI RTX 4070 Ti Super graphics card
MSI RTX 4070 Ti Super graphics card

Given the last-minute advisory on the BIOS glitch affecting the MSI Ventus 3X, we need to take these benchmarks with a grain of salt. Sure, 5% isn’t a whole lot overall but if we're talking a 10% gain in performance for the RTX 4070 Ti Super over the RTX 4070 Ti, that 5% of missing performance equates to losing half of the expected gain, which is kinda massive.

Still, during testing with the bugged BIOS, I didn't really notice anything was drastically wrong. 1080p benchmarking with a powerful card tends to be more CPU limited than it is with a slower card, though it does look like Cyberpunk 2077 and to a lesser extent, F1 22 is a little underwhelming versus the RTX 4070 Ti.

We're likely seeing some offset due to the higher memory bandwidth too. The RTX 4070 Ti Super looks very strong indeed in Metro Exodus Enhanced and Tiny Tina's Wonderland.

I won't dwell too much on these numbers, they are not representative of what the RTX 4070 Ti Super is ultimately capable of.

A mean of all my native resolution test results at 1080p, 1440p and 4K respectively shows the MSI RTX 4070 Ti Super leads by 13% at 1080p, 6% at 1440p and 7% at 4K. That seems logical given 1080p results are a little more CPU limited, while the 6% and 7% leads at 1440p and 4K are on the underwhelming side. Of course, you can expect that lead to widen with a card that is functioning as intended.

The testing with DLSS and Frame Generation doesn’t look amazing either. The percentage gains for the RTX 4070 Super over the RTX 4070 are far superior to those of the RTX 4070 Ti Super over the RTX 4070 Ti. Something's definitely up.

So, I won't dwell too much on these numbers, they are not totally representative of what the RTX 4070 Ti Super is ultimately capable of. Still, even if they were accurate, you're getting a performance improvement for the same price as the RTX 4070 Ti. Plus, you get more memory and more bandwidth. Side by side, the RTX 4070 Ti Super is still the card to get.

MSI RTX 4070 TI Super Ventus 3X analysis

MSI RTX 4070 Ti Super graphics card
MSI RTX 4070 Ti Super graphics card

How on Earth do I wrap up this review? If I use these performance results I'd say the RTX 4070 Ti Super is a bit of a damp squib. But we know there is performance to come, and even if we only end up with a roughly 10% performance gain over the RTX 4070 Ti, it's still a welcome upgrade. The key to that is Nvidia's decision to keep the price of both cards the same.

It's simple. If you pay the same amount of money for the RTX 4070 Ti Super as you would for the RTX 4070 Ti, you'll get a faster card with more memory and more bandwidth. Viewed through that lens, the RTX 4070 Ti Super is a success. If the Super was more expensive, the conclusion would be much different.

Stay tuned as I will re-test the MSI Ventus with a post-fix BIOS and compare it to these results. Anyone reading this review later in 2024 will find a nice fat update at the top of the page... For now, it's safe to assume the RTX 4070 Ti Super performs better than these results would suggest.

The RTX 4070 Ti Super would have probably ended up as our favorite RTX 40-series card had it launched at $799 a year ago. It's a long way ahead of the RTX 4070 and it would have had AMD sweating bullets and thinking long and hard about its RX 7900 XT pricing.

It's simple. If you pay the same amount of money for the RTX 4070 Ti Super as you would for the RTX 4070 Ti, you'll get a faster card with more memory and more bandwidth.

The RX 7900 XT, however, is still a capable competitor. Its ray tracing performance is a generation behind, so if that matters to you, then the RTX 4070 Ti Super is the clear choice. At $749 it's suddenly a lot more attractive than it would be at its launch price of $899, and you can find the AMD card for only a little over $700 right now. Its raster performance remains a bright spot, and its FSR 3 and FMF technologies are only going to mature from here, providing good competition for DLSS 3 and Frame Generation.

The inclusion here for the RTX 4070 Ti Super of 16GB of RAM and a 256-bit bus is a very welcome upgrade. Though the 12GB, 192-bit RTX 4070 Ti was criticized for its relatively weak memory system, that's nothing compared to the 8GB 128-bit RTX 4060 and RTX 4060 Ti. I'd expect those cards to rapidly run out of steam as big AAA games launch over the next few years. A card like the RTX 4070 Ti Super, though more expensive of course, will have the horsepower and memory subsystem to remain relevant for several years to come.

MSI RTX 4070 Ti Super graphics card
MSI RTX 4070 Ti Super graphics card

Still, the RTX 4070 Ti Super could have been even better had Nvidia decided to increase its shader count and L2 cache amount by just a little bit more. That would have put it closer in performance to the RTX 4080 and still left enough breathing room for the $999 RTX 4080 Super. Am I nitpicking? Perhaps. but the RTX 4070's 8,448 CUDA core count seems a little too far away from the 9,728 of the RTX 4080.

All things considered, however, the the RTX 4070 Ti comes recommended. It stands up well to its competition and the RTX 4070 Ti was already one of the better RTX 40-series entries. You're getting a card that's better, for the same money. What's not to like about that?

A final word. Obviously do not buy the MSI Ventus 3X right now, not unless you're prepared to updated its BIOS yourself, and even then, other $799 cards will save you the hassle. It will take time for updated cards to filter through the channel, but that could take months. Nvidia says other cards are unaffected, so why would you really want the MSI?