The Bottom Line
- + RTX 3080-like performance using significantly less power
- + Uncompromised 1440p gaming
- + DLSS 3 is a game changer
- + It runs cooler and quieter than the Founders Edition model
- + Great build quality with room for overclocking
- - Raw 4K performance is a little lacking
- - 16GB of VRAM would have been the icing on the cake
- - Priced higher than the MSRP of USD 599
Should you buy it?AvoidConsiderShortlistBuy
Make no mistake; the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 is a custom and premium GeForce RTX 4070 - the first we went hands-on with after giving the Founders Edition from NVIDIA a spin. Although it's smaller and lighter than the chunky iCHILL X3 GeForce RTX 4090 variant we reviewed a while back, its overall size and stature are more significant than the Founders Edition. And by that token, models that will stick to NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 4070 MSRP of USD 599.
The just under 3-slot thickness and roughly 340mm length will be familiar to those who have gotten their hands-on or seen various custom GeForce RTX 3080 models. The INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 arrives with a nice little support stand to minimize sag, and the overall build is of the high quality you expect when it comes to partner cards opting for the "let's go crazy with the cooling" route.
Even though reviews for the GeForce RTX 4070 are still fresh on the scene, the overall picture of GeForce RTX 3080-like performance and incredible efficiency applies to the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 - with the bonus of a higher factory overclocked Boost Clock of 2535 MHz compared to the Founders Edition's 2475 MHz.
Before we dig in, it's hard to resist opening with a note on the cooling power of the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3. When looking at our 15 game benchmarks at 1440p, INNO3D's premium model ran with an average temperature of only 53 degrees Celsius - which is remarkable. And more than lives up to the iCHILL branding.
The Ada Lovelace Generation
Below is a summary of the GeForce RTX 40 Series technology, applicable to all models.
There was a time when outright visual quality was the main driver for determining how advanced real-time rendering, especially in games, had progressed. There was also a time when pure grunt in raw hardware power determined how good a game could technically look and how fast it ran. We're now at a point where visual quality and performance go hand-in-hand, with raw power only being a part of the equation.
The GeForce RTX 40 Series, the Ada Lovelace generation, is a lineup of GPUs built on a cutting-edge process node while leveraging and evolving all of the advances in AI and hardware-based ray-tracing that NVIDIA helped become mainstream with the GeForce RTX 30 Series.
Named after mathematician Ada Lovelace, considered the world's first computer programmer, the GeForce RTX 40 Series is built on TSMC 4N process technology - a giant leap forward over the Samsung 8nm process used in the GeForce RTX 30 Series Ampere generation. From a pure numbers perspective, the full NVIDIA Ada GPU features 76.3 billion transistors, up to 18,432 CUDA Cores (70% more than the previous gen), and delivers clock speeds over 2.5 GHz while maintaining the same power requirements of the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti.
Ada also introduces the latest generation of RT and Tensor Cores, with the latter introducing brand-new hardware responsible for the next iteration of AI rendering - DLSS 3. NVIDIA's DLSS or Deep Learning Super Sampling is one of the reasons why raw power is no longer the be-all-end-all; it's an AI-based form of upscaling that can provide a sizable boost to in-game performance without sacrificing visual fidelity. In fact, in some cases, it can improve upon native rendering.
For this reason alone, DLSS and other forms of algorithm-based upscaling have become some of the most talked about bits of technology in the PC gaming space.
Free frames, enough said.
DLSS 3 combines DLSS Super Resolution (DLSS 2) with NVIDIA Reflex to reduce system latency and the brand-new hardware-accelerated Frame Generation technology. Three bits of rendering tech = DLSS 3. And it's exclusive to the GeForce RTX 40 Series.
And it's here where NVIDIA is looking to do what it has done for real-time graphics upscaling to the idea of frame-interpolation - or what they call Motion Plus in the TV world. Which, to be fair, is not a fair comparison on account of tech like Motion Plus being - well - terrible. But the fundamental idea is the same, albeit using specialized AI hardware in the GeForce RTX 40 Series graphics cards to generate and create entire frames.
So far, the results, although not without flaws, are impressive - with dramatic improvements to overall performance (in the frame-per-second stakes) seen in games like Cyberpunk 2077, F1 22, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered, and more.
As seen with DLSS 3, the Ada generation is much more than "smaller = more," with NVIDIA introducing back-end technology in the form of Shader Execution Reordering - which effectively ensures render tasks happen more efficiently and without running into bottlenecks. This means a leap forward in the real-time rendering of hardware-intensive ray-tracing effects.
The Ada generation also levels up NVIDIA's already formidable content creation chops with the arrival of AV1 encoding for better video quality for streamers without sacrificing anything in the way of performance or more bandwidth.
Specs and Test System
Here we can see how the specs and hardware stack up for the GeForce RTX 4070 compared to the previous generation's GeForce RTX 3070 and the GeForce RTX 4070 Ti.
Interestingly, the GeForce RTX 4070 bucks the trend we've seen with the GeForce RTX 40 Series so far in that it's not a case of more and more. The GeForce RTX 3070 is the Ampere generation's equivalent GPU, and it features the same number of CUDA Cores, RT Cores, and overall Tensor Cores as the new RTX 4070. A cause for alarm? Not really, as the synthetic and in-game benchmarks paint the generational leap picture you'd expect.
Clock speeds differ, with the Boost Clock speed of the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3, 2535 MHz, representing a 47% increase over the RTX 3070's 1725 MHz. It's also increased over the GeForce RTX 4070 Founders Edition's 2475 MHz. Likewise, the increase in memory to 12GB of GDDR6X is a 50% increase in overall capacity, even though the memory interface has been stripped back to a 192-bit bus.
Compared to the GeForce RTX 4070 Ti, which was released in January - and was initially meant to be the GeForce RTX 4080 12GB - the RTX 4070's baseline stats are roughly cut back by around 23%. As a premium variant, the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 also ups the TGP to 220W, an increase over the Founders Edition's 200W rating and a number on par with the GeForce RTX 3070. But, as we'll see later, the overall in-game usage rarely hits this threshold - so there's still an impressive gen-on-gen efficiency gain.
The 220W power rating is approximately 23% less than the RTX 4070 Ti. Even in factory overclocked form, the GeForce RTX 4070 is efficient and then some, which makes the performance numbers below even more impressive.
It's also worth noting that the above specs do not capture all the hardware that makes up the GeForce RTX 4070, as it also includes the new AI Optical Acceleration technology not present in the GeForce RTX 30 Series. And this is what makes DLSS 3 possible - and the RTX 4070's performance (especially in 1440p) to punch well above its weight class. The GeForce RTX 4070 significantly increases L2 Cache Size compared to the RTX 3070, with 36.8 MB.
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070
- Model: INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3
- Interface: PCI Express 4.0
- CUDA Cores: 5888
- Tensor Cores: 184 (4th Generation)
- RT Cores: 46 (3rd Generation)
- Clocks: Base Clock: 1920 MHz, Boost Clock: 2535 MHz
- Memory: 12GB GDDR6X
- Memory Speed: 21 Gbps
- Memory Interface: 192-bit
- Total Memory Bandwidth: 504 GB/s
- Display Connections: 3 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI 2.1 x 1
- Power Connectors: 2 x PCIe 8-pin cables (via adapter)
- Recommended PSU: 650W
- What's in the Box: INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3, 16-pin to 2x8-pin adapter, GPU Stand, ARGB cable
Kosta's Test System
- Motherboard: MSI MPG X670E Carbon Wi-Fi
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 7900X
- Cooler: Corsair iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT Liquid CPU Cooler
- RAM: 64GB (2x32GB) Corsair DOMINATOR PLATINUM RGB DDR5 DRAM 5200MHz
- SSD: Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus-G M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSD 4TB, Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus Plus M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSD 8TB
- Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower GF1 850W
- Case: Thermaltake Core P3 Tempered Glass Snow
- OS: Microsoft Windows 11 Pro 64-bit
Physical Design and Cooling
Compared to the compact two-slot design of the GeForce RTX 4070 Founders Edition, the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 is noticeably larger. But its design is similar to what we've seen with custom GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs, with exceptional cooling and silent performance to match the in-game action. As per its namesake, the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 features a triple-fan design with three 98mm fan blades that spin in opposite directions to improve airflow.
A complete copper base covers the GPU and metal backplate with openings to increase the cooling potential and support the PCB. INNO3D notes that it has also increased the spacing between the fins to increase airflow further. As mentioned in the introduction, this all pays off handsomely. The average temperatures for the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 stay closer to 53 degrees Celsius when gaming versus the 58.9 degrees we saw when conducting a stress test of constant 100% GPU usage. These remarkable results make the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 one of the coolest RTX 4070 models on the market.
As a premium RTX 4070, the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 also features ARGB lighting via a funky top strip with an ARGB header for direct controller integration with support for Aura Sync, Mystic Light, RGB Fusion, and Polychrome. If you've synced all your RGB lighting, the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 will slot in perfectly to keep the rainbow glow going.
The build quality of the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 is uniformly excellent, sturdy, and built to last. The 1674-gram weight (based on our measurements) is hefty but reasonable.
The cooling is exceptional, potentially overkill, but indeed, stuff that offers more headroom than the GeForce RTX 4070 Founders Edition and more affordable MSRP models. The overall look is rugged, with angular flourishes that scream "GPU for serious gamers" that look fantastic from all angles. If there's one complaint, and this is a minor one, it's that the branding on the fans is simple stickers. Again, this is a minor complaint, but they stand out when everything else is top-notch.
The 220W TGB power rating and excellent cooling also give you more headroom for overclocking, which is straightforward using INNO3D's TUNE IT software.
Benchmarks - 15 Game Averages
The Games and Tests
In 2023 PC gaming is a complicated and varied space, from indie games to major blockbuster releases and titles that push hardware and technology to their limit with the adoption of effects like real-time ray-tracing.
This is all a way of saying that the 15 in-game benchmarks we've chosen (and run at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K) represent a wide range of styles, not only in terms of genres, like first-person shooters and racing games but also in the API technology (DirectX 11, 12) and cutting-edge features like ray tracing and upscaling technology.
Where possible, results include DLSS and FSR 2, as both technologies are the sorts of things, especially in 4K, which you'd turn on. Six out of the 15 game benchmarks also feature ray tracing, so this is a great way to see the additional benefit of NVIDIA's DLSS and Frame Generation technology. Also, each title is set to ultra-equivalent quality settings to push GPU hardware and minimize CPU bottlenecks at higher resolutions.
Also, it's just fun to max out a game's visual settings and see the results. Here's the breakdown of games, graphics settings, and what's being tested.
And with 15 games, a special shoutout goes to Sabrent for providing us with the storage to ensure we can keep everything installed - and then some - with both the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus-G M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSD 4TB and Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus Plus M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSD 8TB offering exceptional performance, capacity, and reliability.
We can keep all our benchmark software installed while also installing every new game release that comes our way.
- Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Ultra High-quality settings, with the in-game benchmark tool used.
- Borderlands 3: Ultra quality settings, with the in-game benchmark tool used.
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II: Ultra quality setting, in-game multiplayer benchmark tool used.
- Cyberpunk 2077: Ultra quality setting, in-game benchmark tool used. AMD FSR and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
- Cyberpunk 2077 (RT): Ray tracing Ultra quality setting, in-game benchmark tool used. AMD FSR and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
- DOOM Eternal (RT): Ultra Nightmare quality setting with ray-tracing enabled, the opening of Mars Core campaign level used to benchmark.
- F1 22 (RT): Ultra High-quality setting with ray tracing, one lap of the Bahrain track benchmarked. AMD FSR and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
- Forza Horizon 5 (RT): Extreme quality setting with ray tracing enabled, in-game benchmark tool used. AMD FSR and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
- Hitman (RT): Ultra-quality settings with ray-tracing, Dubai scene benchmarked. AMD FSR and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
- Horizon Zero Dawn: Ultimate quality setting, in-game benchmark used.
- Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy (RT): Ultra quality setting with ray tracing enabled, the in-game benchmark tool used.
- Rainbow Six Extraction: Ultra quality settings and in-game benchmark tool used.
- Red Dead Redemption 2: Maximum quality settings, with in-game benchmark tool used. AMD FSR and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
- The Division 2: Ultra quality settings with in-game benchmark tool used.
- Total War: Warhammer III: Ultra-quality settings with the in-game Battle Benchmark tool used.
15 Game Average FPS - 1080p Results
Even though you wouldn't consider the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 a card designed for 1080p performance, the results are still excellent for this widely used resolution. Across 15 games tested, many featuring ray tracing and other high-end visual effects, the average frame rate of 154 frames-per-second bests the formidable GeForce RTX 3080.
Compared to the GeForce RTX 3070, the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 presents a 32% increase in overall 1080p game performance -an impressive generational leap forward in that the RTX 4070 does so by also using less power. Of course, there is still some CPU bottleneck action at this resolution, but with average frame rates and 1% lows in the triple-digits, the RTX 4070 is a beast for those that game on a high refresh-rate 1080p display.
Compared to the Founders Edition, the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 at factory settings delivers the same performance with notable gains in some titles like Assassin's Creed Valhalla.
15 Game Average FPS - 1440p Results
1440p is the current sweet spot resolution, the fastest growing PC gaming display segment, because you get the best of all worlds: image quality and crispness, response times, and performance. With the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 hitting an average frame rate of 113 frames-per-second here, this triple-digit performance is impressive-a 31% improvement over the GeForce RTX 3070 and a result similar to the GeForce RTX 3080's 112 frames-per-second average.
This is where we see a clear picture of the 220W INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3. Performance that is on par with the 320W beast from the Ampere generation. On top of this, you have the added benefit of DLSS 3 and Frame Generation - more on this in a bit - but really, the results here point to the RTX 4070 being a brilliant GPU for 1440p gaming without compromise. From competitive titles to those with ray tracing, it's all possible here.
The 1440p results show that the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 is a noticeable step down from the GeForce RTX 4070 Ti. The latter is a more capable Ada offering, delivering a 20% increase in 1440p performance compared to the RTX 4070.
15 Game Average FPS - 4K Results
The INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 4K results, although impressive in how they still align closely with the GeForce RTX 3080, see a significant drop compared to the 1440p results. The 45% decrease from an average of 113 to 62 frames-per-second indicates how demanding native 4K rendering is on a GPU. Thankfully DLSS 2 picks the slack, as seen in the individual games results below, so the RTX 4070 is as much of a 4K card as the RTX 3080 is.
The 27% increase in raw 4K performance over the GeForce RTX 3070 shows that the RTX 4070 is the sort of GPU you'd pair with an Ultrawide 21:9 display to deliver greater than 60 frames-per-second performance even in the most demanding titles - with the aid of DLSS where need be.
Benchmarks - 3DMark FireStrike
3DMark FireStrike is a DirectX 11 test that has been around for many years and covers quite a large portion of games released over the past decade - at least in terms of the API and graphics technologies used. The three tests cover the resolutions - 1080p, 1440p, and 4K. Looking at the 1440p FireStrike Extreme test, the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 delivers a result 29.2% higher than the previous gen's RTX 3070, 17.9% higher than the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, and a result 19.8% lower than the GeForce RTX 4070 Ti.
The three 3DMark FireStrike benchmarks also solidify the overall benchmark results for the GeForce RTX 4070, painting a picture of a smaller and more efficient GeForce RTX 3080, with 4K being the only resolution where it falls behind by around 7%. Compared to the Founders Edition model, the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 delivered higher results in all FireStrike tests.
Benchmarks - 3DMark TimeSpy and Port Royal
With 3DMark TimeSpy being DirectX 12-based, it's a more relevant synthetic benchmark for modern games. The INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 performs on par with the GeForce RTX 3080 in the standard 1440p benchmark (3% faster) and the 4K-based TimeSpy Extreme (1% slower). The 1440p score is 31% higher than the previous generation's GeForce RTX 3070, with the 4K score being 29% higher.
3DMark Port Royal is a synthetic ray-tracing benchmark. The INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 results show that the Ada generation presents a significant leap forward for real-time ray tracing. You're looking at an overall score increase of 38% compared to the RTX 3070, which once again puts the ray-tracing performance in the realm of the GeForce RTX 3080 with considerably less power usage.
For 1440p, with DLSS, the GeForce RTX 4070 can render Cyberpunk 2077 using the DLSS Quality setting at an average of 69 frames per second. This result edges out AMD's flagship Radeon RX 7900 XTX using the FSR 2 Quality Mode - which is remarkable for a 220W card. And a reminder that NVIDIA is still a generation ahead of the competition regarding ray tracing.
Benchmarks - 1080p Gaming
Benchmarks - 1440p Gaming
Benchmarks - 4K Gaming
Benchmarks Summary, Ray-Tracing Performance, and DLSS 3
When looking at all 15 games, with varying results, the overall picture is straightforward - the GeForce RTX 4070 delivers RTX 3080-like performance using considerably less power, with 1080p and 1400p gaming results being the standout, especially in modern titles. With the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II in 1440p is only 8% slower than the GeForce RTX 3090. With ray-tracing enabled, it bests the RTX 3090 in Forza Horizon 5 in 1080p and 1440p.
On average, the GeForce RTX 4070 consistently falls behind the GeForce RTX 3080 when it comes to 4K gaming, but the drop-off isn't drastic and usually only a few frames-per-second or a small percentage. Some notable exceptions exist where the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 has a commanding lead over the GeForce RTX 3080. In DOOM Eternal running in native 4K with ray-tracing enabled, the 117 frames-per-second performance is 22% faster than the RTX 3080 and on par with AMD's Radeon RX 7900 XT.
What the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 has that the GeForce RTX 3080 doesn't is the ability to enable DLSS 3 and game-changing Frame Generation.
For 1440p gaming, the results are eye-opening. For Cybeprunk 2077, using the Ultra ray-tracing setting, the triple-digit frame-rate result with DLSS 3 represents a 2.8X increase over native 1440p rendering. And this is using the DLSS Quality settings to maintain excellent visual quality. The similarly ray-tracing intensive Hitman in 1440p offers up a 2.3X increase in performance with DLSS 3 versus native rendering. For F1 22 in 1440p, you're looking at a 1.9X increase, with Forza Horizon 5 offering a more modest 1.3X increase.
DLSS 3 is still a relatively new technology, but it's beginning to appear in many more titles. Its adoption rate is high enough to make it a killer feature for the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 and its 1440p capabilities.
Temperature and Power Efficiency
You've probably heard that the Ada Lovelace generation and GeForce RTX 40 Series lineup has incredible power efficiency compared to the previous Ampere generation and AMD's RDNA 3 flagship cards. The GeForce RTX 4070 takes this to a new level regarding improved performance and doing more with less.
The 1440p power usage across the 15 games benchmarked above is the most power-efficient card in our testing lineup, second only to the Founders Edition model. It provides a generational leap over the GeForce RTX 3070 and uses roughly 7% less power. With in-game performance on par with the GeForce RTX 3080, the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 manages this using an incredible 36% less power in 1440p.
As the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 is a custom model with an increased 220W TGP, it uses more power than the Founders Edition model from NVIDIA. For 1080p gaming, the average power usage is 6% higher than the GeForce RTX 4070 Founders Edition, and for 1440p gaming, the average power usage is 8% higher. 4K gaming is where we see the most significant difference with the INNO3D card using 10% more power than the Founder Edition model.
Not only is it a power-efficient 1440p-capable GPU, but the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 is quiet and cool, with temperatures under full load staying below 60 degrees. During 1440p gaming, this was closer to the 53-degree mark on average, significantly cooler than the Founders Edition model. When temperatures drop below 40 degrees, the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 features an entirely silent, no-fan-spin mode.
Fan speeds consistently remain around 30%, so the noise is negligible. It's safe to say that no matter the application, the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 is silent. And with that, there's enough headroom to overclock to deliver extra performance.
Compared to the GeForce RTX 4070 Founders Edition, the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 runs quieter, cooler, and with slightly better out-of-the-box performance. The bump to a 220W TGP also means room to overclock. Using INNO3D's TUNE IT software, we could boost the clock speeds and memory by a modest amount and get a few extra frames-per-second compared to the performance numbers from the factory overclock showcased above. And there was still room to go higher.
Although the physical size of the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 makes it bigger than the RTX 4070 models that feature a two-slot design, the extra size is put to good use with a build that has a premium feel through and through. And living up to its name, it's one of the coolest GPUs for the GeForce RTX 40 Series we've tested.
As a premium model, the retail price will be higher than the MSRP of USD 599 set for the GeForce RTX 4070, though it still represents the most affordable entry point for NVIDIA's latest GPU series. Regarding ray-tracing, DLSS, and the new Frame Generation technology, being able to play Cyberpunk 2077 at 1440p at over 100 frames-per-second is exciting - and points to a future where these sorts of technologies will begin to appear in more and more titles. DLSS makes the RTX 4070 more capable of delivering excellent 4K performance.
Ultimately, the GeForce RTX 4070 solidifies the Ada Lovelace generation as one not solely focused on pure performance. It's also about efficiency, from the overall power draw significantly lower than its performance counterpart, the GeForce RTX 3080, to technologies like DLSS, DLSS 3's Frame Generation, and hardware-based optimizations for creators. And with all that, the INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 iCHILL X3 is worth a look.