A few days ago we published a test of GeForce GTX 1070 video card in ITX format from MSI, now it’s time for another interesting sample.This time, the video card came from KFA2, it is the top model in the 1070 line. The KFA2 GeForce GTX 1070 EXOC Black Sniper is interesting not only for a decent level of factory overclocking, but also for a printed circuit board with an alternative design and a proprietary cooler with stylish backlight. It will be interesting to see what a video card can cost 419 euros.
KFA2, one of the Galax brands in Europe, continues to actively promote new models. Of course, the competition in the market is strong, and many NVIDIA partners have presented a wide range. This also applies to the NIVIDA GeForce GTX 1070 line. KFA2 also has a version with a proprietary cooler and a small factory overclocking, in addition to Founders Edition, as well as a much more powerful version of EXOC. The video card GeForce GTX 1070 EXOC Black Sniper is below the version of Hall of Fame, which is distinguished by a stylish white color. However, the buyer EXOC Black Sniper will still get an aggressive level of factory overclocking, an improved power subsystem and a powerful cooler with 95-mm fans and backlighting.
The KFA2 GeForce GTX 1070 EXOC Black Sniper is based on the NVIDIA GP104 chip, which contains about 7.2 billion transistors and is manufactured using the 16-nm FinFET process technology at TSMC plants. Compared with the GeForce GTX 1080, which was recently expanded with the Ti version, we get a smaller number of stream processors in the GTX 1070. Namely, instead of 2.560, only 1.920 stream processors. They are traditionally distributed over GPC clusters and stream multiprocessors. The GeForce GTX 1070 uses three GPCs with 15 streaming multiprocessors, each with 128 stream processors. To each multiprocessor eight TMUs are connected, which gives a total of 120 texture units.
NVIDIA has somewhat reduced the memory subsystem. If the GeForce GTX 1080 was equipped with fast GDDR5X memory, we get the GDDR5 chips from the “younger” model. But the memory interface is still 256-bit, on eight 32-bit controllers. There are also 64 pipelines of raster operations. But in comparison with the reference model of NVIDIA KFA2 increased the clock frequencies. If the Founders Edition has a base frequency of 1.560 MHz, in Boost mode, the graphics card is accelerated to at least 1.683 MHz, the frequencies of the KFA2 GeForce GTX 1070 EXOC Black Sniper are 1.595 MHz and 1.785 MHz, respectively. But 8 GB of video memory is working at the nominal clock speeds of 2.002 MHz.
If you are interested in details of the architecture of Pascal from NVIDIA, we recommend to refer to our review of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition . Of course, we also tested the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition .
According to the specifications of the KFA2 GeForce GTX 1070 EXOC Black Sniper, you can offer much more than the Founders Edition. However, in reality clock frequencies depend on the cooling system, so it will be interesting to see what clock speeds the video card provides in practice.
KFA2 GeForce GTX 1070 EXOC Black Sniper is one of the fastest GeForce GTX 1070 models. As for KFA2, only the “Hall of Fame” video card theoretically works faster, it also stands out with a white PCB and the same cooler. But also it is more expensive. The EXOC graphics cards are still sold for less, the overclocking is slightly less powerful, as well as the cooling system. Also KFA2 offers a reference video card Founders Edition.
Compared to Founders Edition, KFA2 significantly increased clock speeds. So KFA2 GeForce GTX 1070 EXOC Black Sniper belongs to models with very aggressive overclocking, second only to the version of Hall of Fame, as well as flagship video cards from ASUS, EVGA or Inno3D, which can give even higher clock speeds. Our test sample has frequencies of 1.595 / 1.785 / 2.002 MHz, theoretically the pixel filling rate was about 102 Gpixel / s, the memory bandwidth is 256 GB / s.
Thanks to a powerful cooler in practice, the frequencies were noticeably higher. Depending on the test or the game, we got a range from 1.949 to 1.974 MHz, most often the video card worked at 1.961 MHz. So our test sample is very sensitive.
With the cooling system, there were no problems, the temperature was always in the range from 68 to 70 ° C, which is much less than the NVIDIA Founders Edition, which in our test was heated to 86 ° C. Before we proceed to the tests of the KFA2 GeForce GTX 1070 EXOC Black Sniper, let me quote the technical specifications of the cooler, PCB and other characteristics.
The video card’s length is 278 mm, so the KFA2 GeForce GTX 1070 EXOC Black Sniper is one of the longest models based on the GP104. If the dual-slot cooler did not protrude beyond the PCB, the length of the video card would be limited to 266 mm. Cooling is facilitated by numerous aluminum fins, thick copper heat pipes and two large 95-mm fans. Power is supplied via the 6- and 8-pin PCI Express slots.
In Europe, KFA2 GeForce GTX 1070 EXOC Black Sniper costs from 419 euros, which can be called a reasonable surcharge compared to the Founders Edition.
Visually KFA2 GeForce GTX 1070 EXOC Black Sniper is one of the most modest models of the exclusive partner of NVIDIA. The video card is painted in an unassuming black color except for nickel-plated heat pipes and aluminum fins of the radiator.
Most NVIDIA partners install plastic covers on the coolers, but KFA2 chose aluminum. The video card is covered with a black anodized aluminum casing. Two axial fans with a diameter of 95 mm provide cooling of the video card.
Unlike the usual version of EXOC, Black Sniper has RGB illumination, which illuminates not only the backside of the video card, but also the logo of the “GeForce GTX” on the end.
The upper half of the slot is occupied by the ventilation holes and the DVI output. Below are the HDMI output and three DisplayPorts, as in the case of NVIDIA’s Founders Edition.
Power on the KFA2 GeForce GTX 1070 EXOC Black Sniper is fed through two 6- and 8-pin interfaces, which, theoretically, together with the PCI Express slot, can feed from the power supply up to 300W. For comparison: the reference video card NVIDIA installed only an additional 8-pin interface, which gives up to 225 watts of power.
Behind the video card KFA2 is closed with a metal panel. However, it is quite high above the PCB, so the panel serves more to ennoble the appearance than cooling.
Plastic tabs of the video card are also needed to enhance the backlight effect.
The KFA2 GeForce GTX 1070 EXOC Black Sniper is not based on the standard PCB Founders Edition. The manufacturer has designed the PCB design by itself, you can see the enhanced power subsystem.
The power subsystem is based on seven phases for the graphics processor and memory, although the video card Founders Edition phases only four. An additional 6-pin PCI Express power socket should improve the overclocking potential.
GPU is supplemented with 8 GB of video memory GDDR5, installed on three sides. There is no memory on the back of the PCB chips.
To improve the cooling of the power subsystem components, KFA2 installed an aluminum radiator. The first GTX 1070 and 1080 had problems with excessive heating of the VRM.
The GP104 GPU is contacted by a thick copper plate, from which four 8-mm copper heat pipes with nickel-plated coating come out. They divert heat to numerous aluminum fins, after which it is dissipated with two 95-mm fans inside the casing.
The KFA2 package is very limited, along with the GeForce GTX 1070 EXOC Black Sniper you will get only a quick setup guide, a CD with drivers and the necessary power adapters for the video card.
Let’s pass to an estimation of noise level, power consumption and temperature.
Like other modern video cards of this price and performance level, the KFA2 GeForce GTX 1070 EXOC Black Sniper stops the fans in idle mode, so the video card is cooled passively and silently. However, compared to the models of ASUS, EVGA, Inno3D and other manufacturers, there is nothing new here.
Under load, two 95-mm fans already have to rotate, but the speed remains within reasonable limits. We got the noise level of the video card only 39.8 dB (A), which makes it the quietest among the tested video card models. Only the Radeon R9 390X worked with less noise.
Despite the passive work of the cooler, we did not find any problems under the office load. In our tests GPU GP104 remained cold with a temperature of 38 ° C.
Of course, under the load, the temperature of the graphics processor increased, but compared to other video cards it remained small, especially when compared with the Founders Edition. The maximum temperature was 68 ° C. Only ASUS, ZOTAC and Gigabyte showed a slightly lower temperature level. In any case, the KFA2 GeForce GTX 1070 EXOC Black Sniper will work perfectly even on hot summer days.
In idle mode, the power consumption of the KFA2 GeForce GTX 1070 EXOC Black Sniper was predictably low. For the entire system, we got only 122.4 watts, a fairly low level.
Under load, the power consumption was slightly higher than that of the Founders Edition due to factory overclocking. But the level of 326.3 watts is quite comparable with other video cards of NVIDIA partners.
When the second monitor is connected, the power consumption of the KFA2 GeForce GTX 1070 EXOC Black Sniper increases slightly.
KFA2 GeForce GTX 1070 EXOC Black Sniper is a high-end gaming model priced at 420 euros, which is not much higher than the cheapest models, so the surcharge seems quite reasonable for us. With a video card you can comfortably play in resolutions of 1080p or 1440p. The advantages include the noise level. The video card turned off the fans in idle mode, so it worked absolutely noiselessly, but under load the speed of two axial fans remained within reasonable limits, so the noise level was not so significant. In our tests, we got 39.8 dB (A). Many video cards ASUS, EVGA, Gigabyte and other manufacturers worked with significantly higher noise level, even if they do not reach the performance of high-end graphics cards of previous generations. With cooling problems did not arise, the video card always showed a temperature below the bar of 70 ° C.
As for overclocking, we expected a slightly higher level – the graphics card is already running at the limit. In normal mode, Boost frequency is increased to 1.961 MHz, we were able to overclock the video card to 2.025 MHz, which corresponds to overclocking about 3%. For a video card of this price level, the delivery kit is very modest. KFA2 only provides a quick start guide and a CD with drivers, as well as power adapters. But, ultimately, we get a fast and very quiet high-end graphics card.