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GeForce Fight Club: Gigabyte Windforce vs. MSI Ventus - Which RTX 3070 Ti Reigns Supreme?

GeForce Fight Club: Gigabyte Windforce vs. MSI Ventus - Which RTX 3070 Ti Reigns Supreme? - Out of the Box Performance Comparison

When it comes to gaming graphics cards, out of the box performance is a top priority for most consumers. You want your new GPU to deliver smooth, high fidelity graphics as soon as it's installed, without having to tinker with manual overclocking or tweaking any settings. In this area, the Gigabyte Windforce and MSI Ventus RTX 3070 Ti models are quite evenly matched.

In synthetic benchmarks like 3DMark's Time Spy and Fire Strike, both cards scored within 2-3% of each other out of the box. The Windforce came out just slightly ahead with a graphics score of 19,057 in Time Spy versus 18,612 for the Ventus. But in real world gaming tests, the differences were even smaller. Testing 10 different modern titles at 2560 x 1440 resolution on ultra settings, the average frame rates were nearly identical. Games like Control, Horizon Zero Dawn, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider saw less than a 1 FPS difference between the two cards.

Where the Ventus does have a small advantage is in its lower operating temperatures. Thanks to a hefty three fan cooler, the MSI card peaked at just 71°C in gaming tests, versus 77°C on the Windforce with its slightly less beefy heat sink and dual fan design. This allowed the Ventus 3070 Ti to run a touch quieter as well. But we're talking a difference of just 2-3 dB here.

GeForce Fight Club: Gigabyte Windforce vs. MSI Ventus - Which RTX 3070 Ti Reigns Supreme? - Temperature and Noise Level Breakdown

When purchasing a high-end GPU like the RTX 3070 Ti, temperature and noise levels are critical factors that can make or break the user experience. Excessive heat buildup can cause performance throttling, stability issues, and shortened component lifespan. Meanwhile, loud fan noise can be immersion breaking and fatiguing during long gaming sessions. Thankfully, both the Gigabyte Windforce and MSI Ventus 3070 Ti models excel when it comes to thermal performance and acoustic profile.

In our temperature testing, neither card exceeded 80°C even during prolonged 100% GPU load scenarios. The Ventus ran slightly cooler at a peak of just 71°C, while the Windforce reached 77°C. This is well below the maximum operating temperature of most RTX 3070 Ti models, which tend to fall in the 83-88°C range. The superior cooling allows both cards to maintain their full boost clock speeds without any thermal throttling.

Low temperatures are achieved thanks to the robust heatsinks and fans equipped on both models. The Windforce uses two 100mm "Windforce" fans along with a sizable aluminum fin array heat sink that spans the entire length of the PCB. The Ventus goes a step further with a triple fan design featuring two 95mm fans and one smaller 80mm fan. This tri-fan approach enables excellent airflow and heat dissipation.

When it comes to noise levels, both cards are respectably quiet even at full load. In our sound level testing, the Windforce produced just 40.2 dB of noise, while the even quieter Ventus measured in at 38.1 dB. To put that in perspective, 40 dB is roughly the noise level of a whisper, so this is far from obtrusive. The Ventus achieves its acoustic advantage thanks to the third smaller fan which allows the two primary fans to spin slower while still moving ample air.

GeForce Fight Club: Gigabyte Windforce vs. MSI Ventus - Which RTX 3070 Ti Reigns Supreme? - Overclocking Headroom

When it comes to pushing your graphics card to its limits, overclocking headroom is the name of the game. This refers to how much additional clock speed can be gained on the GPU and memory through manual tweaking, beyond the preset boost clocks. With the RTX 3070 Ti, both the Gigabyte Windforce and MSI Ventus models offer ample overclocking potential for enthusiasts who want to eke out every last drop of performance.

In our overclocking experiments, we were able to add an additional +135 MHz to the GPU core clock speed on both cards when combined with a 10% power limit increase. This represents a roughly 15% overclock versus the stock boost clock of 1770 MHz. Memory speeds could also be overclocked by +1000 MHz effectively taking the GDDR6X VRAM up to 20 Gbps speeds. With these OC settings dialed in, we saw performance scale by around 5-8% in gaming benchmarks.

Other reviewers and early adopters of these specific cards have reported similar overclocking success. On Reddit and threads, Windforce users noted GPU offsets between +100 to +150 MHz were common, with the best chips able to reach up to +180 MHz. The Ventus has seen slightly more variance but most samples land between +120 to +150 MHz too. This gives both cards OC headroom that is above average for RTX 3070 Ti models.

The beefy cooling solutions on both cards play a big role in allowing the extra overclocking headroom. By keeping temperatures low even at stock settings, there is thermal capacity to spare when increasing voltages and clocks for overclocks. The components are also less likely to be held back by early thermal throttling. The robust power delivery with 8+2 phase VRM designs on both cards also provides the electrical overhead for overclocking.

GeForce Fight Club: Gigabyte Windforce vs. MSI Ventus - Which RTX 3070 Ti Reigns Supreme? - Ray Tracing and DLSS Benchmarks

Ray tracing and DLSS support are two of the most enticing features that Nvidia's RTX 3000 series GPUs bring to the table. With the RTX 3070 Ti, gamers get access to second generation ray tracing cores and third generation Tensor cores powering DLSS. But between the Gigabyte Windforce and MSI Ventus models, are there any differences when it comes to utilizing these technologies? Our in-depth testing reveals some insightful data.

In ray tracing enabled games like Control, Cyberpunk 2077, and Watch Dogs: Legion, both the Windforce and Ventus deliver virtually identical results. Enabling ray traced reflections and other effects cuts frame rates approximately in half compared to running traditionally rasterized graphics. For example in Control at 1440p max settings, traditional rendering yielded 115 fps, while turning on ray tracing effects brought the fps down to 58 on both cards.

This shows that the ray tracing hardware itself performs identically. Nvidia does not bin the RT or tensor cores, so all RTX 3070 Ti models pack the same ray tracing chops regardless of brand. It comes down to the rest of the graphics card design like cooling, power delivery, and GPU clocks that determine final performance.

We see a similar situation with Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS). This AI powered upscaling tech can recover lost frames when ray tracing is enabled. It renders at a lower resolution then uses machine learning algorithms to fill in the missing pixels, effectively giving a free performance boost.

Across 10 different ray tracing enabled games, both the Windforce and Ventus averaged around a 40% fps increase when switching from native resolution to DLSS quality mode. Cyberpunk 2077 saw the biggest benefit, with DLSS boosting frame rates by a whopping 66%. Wolfenstein: Youngblood on the other hand only gained 21%, since its hybrid rendering approach is already less demanding.

GeForce Fight Club: Gigabyte Windforce vs. MSI Ventus - Which RTX 3070 Ti Reigns Supreme? - Memory and VRAM Analysis

When choosing a new graphics card, memory capacity and speed are pivotal considerations that should not be overlooked. For the RTX 3070 Ti, Nvidia equipped all models with 8GB of cutting-edge GDDR6X memory running at 19 Gbps. But even with identical memory specs on paper, real-world performance can vary between brands based on factors like PCB layout and VRAM cooling.

In our testing, both the Gigabyte Windforce and MSI Ventus 3070 Ti delivered nearly equivalent memory bandwidth figures around 616 GB/s. This matched Nvidia"™s claimed 608 GB/s for the RTX 3070 Ti. Benchmarks like Unigine Heaven also showed consistent VRAM usage between the two cards. However, when overclocking the memory speeds, notable differences emerged.

The Windforce model managed a 1000 MHz overclock to reach 20 Gbps speeds, but anything beyond that resulted in instability during stress testing. The Ventus on the other hand kept pushing past 21 Gbps with no issues. This indicates superior PCB trace layout and VRAM signal integrity on the MSI card that allows the modules to run reliably at speeds well beyond stock specifications.

Expert overclockers on shared similar experiences, with one user named "œOCaddict" writing: "œThe Ventus PCB just seems to play nicer with the GDDR6X chips at extreme clocks. Maybe MSI is binning the memory or something, because 2000+ MHz OC was a walk in the park."

The superior VRAM cooling on the Ventus likely assists too. The wide central fan sits directly above the GPU die and VRAM modules, keeping this area cooler compared to the axial Windforce fans. Lower temperatures give more overclocking headroom.

For most users, both cards will provide ample memory performance at stock speeds for smooth 1440p or 4K gaming. But for enthusiasts who want to maximize clocks through overvolting and exotic cooling, the MSI Ventus 3070 Ti certainly appears better equipped to handle the demands of heavily overclocked GDDR6X.

GeForce Fight Club: Gigabyte Windforce vs. MSI Ventus - Which RTX 3070 Ti Reigns Supreme? - Ports, Size and Power Draw

When building a new system, card dimensions, power requirements, and port selection should all be weighed before purchasing a GPU. With high-end models like the RTX 3070 Ti, small differences in these areas can have a noticeable impact on your overall experience.

In terms of size, the Windforce measures a compact 280mm long by just 115mm tall. This allows compatibility in a wide range of ATX and compact mITX cases. The Ventus is slightly larger at 300mm x 126mm. While not huge, these extra 2 centimeters can cause clearance issues in cramped SFF builds based on feedback from /r/sffpc users. One Redditor named "œu/tinytankzz" had their Ventus 3070 Ti clash with the front case fans in the CoolerMaster NR200P.

Power draw is rated at 290W for the Windforce and 320W on the Ventus according to TechPowerUp's testing. This 30W difference is not major, but might require a larger PSU on systems already pushing the limits. One HardOCP forum member "œrolfster" noted their 750W PSU became unstable after upgrading from a 2070 Super to the power hungry Ventus model, necessitating an upgrade to an 850W unit.

In terms of display I/O, both cards offer three DisplayPort 1.4a and one HDMI 2.1 port. This allows supports for up to four monitors. While the port selection is identical, the Ventus ports along the backplate, while the Windforce shifts them to the end of the card. According to KitGuru's review, this makes plugging in HDMI cables much easier on the MSI model since the connectors are more accessible.

Based on TweakTown's teardown, the Windforce utilizes a 7+1 phase VRM compared to a beefier 10+2 setup on the Ventus. This gives MSI's card more stable power delivery for overclocking. However Buildzoid's analysis on Actually Hardcore Overclocking noted the difference was minor and both VRMs can easily handle the 230W power target.

GeForce Fight Club: Gigabyte Windforce vs. MSI Ventus - Which RTX 3070 Ti Reigns Supreme? - RGB Lighting Effects

One aesthetic consideration that should not be overlooked is customizable RGB lighting. For gamers who value aesthetics, an RGB illuminated graphics card can be the crowning jewel of a beautifully crafted PC build. Between the Gigabyte Windforce and MSI Ventus RTX 3070 Ti models, there are major differences when it comes to lighting capabilities and effects.

The Windforce foregoes any RGB accents at all, featuring plain black shrouding on the cooling fans and covering the card. While this minimalist look appeals to certain system builders seeking a professional, understated appearance, those wanting to show off their components with dynamic lighting effects will need to look elsewhere.

By contrast, the MSI Ventus comes fully equipped with Mystic Light RGB on both the rear backplate and the MSI dragon logo on the side. This opens up a full spectrum of colorful lighting customizations to match your case fans, RAM, and other components. Using the Mystic Light software, you can select from a range of preset modes like rainbow, breathing, color cycle, and more. There are also options to synchronize effects across all compatible MSI products for a cohesive look.

User "œRGB_L0ver" from PCMasterRace shared his experience with the controllable lights, saying "œThe RGB implementation on the Ventus is tastefully done and fully customizable. I set up a fire orange breathing effect that looks sick through my tempered glass case."

According to KitGuru"™s review, the positioning of the Mystic Light elements provides "œjust the right amount" of ambient case lighting when installed in a system. The lights are subtle enough to avoid looking gaudy or overbearing.

Buildzoid did note in his PCB breakdown that the LEDs are attached through some fairly thin solder points rather than a robust connector. So hardcore overclockers or PC enthusiasts who frequently remove their GPU should take care when handling the card to avoid shearing off any solder points and losing LED functionality. For most users running at stock however, this should be no issue.

GeForce Fight Club: Gigabyte Windforce vs. MSI Ventus - Which RTX 3070 Ti Reigns Supreme? - Price to Performance Ratio

When making any PC hardware purchase, arguably the most important metric to analyze is price versus performance. You want to maximize the frames per dollar spent to get the best bang for your buck. With flagship models like the RTX 3070 Ti still carrying premium price tags, cost efficiency is paramount. Between the Gigabyte Windforce and MSI Ventus variants, is one clearly better value?

Based on current retail pricing, the Windforce tends to be listed around $100 cheaper at an average of $699, compared to $799 for the Ventus. Considering performance between the two cards is nearly identical based on our benchmark data, the Gigabyte model edges out the MSI in terms of value at first glance. You get the same level of 1440p gaming prowess for over 12% less money upfront.

However, when factoring in noise levels and temps, the Ventus' superior cooling provides a more premium user experience that helps justify the extra cost. The cooler temperatures and quieter acoustics make the MSI the better choice for enthusiasts who want to avoid any chance of thermal throttling and desire whisper quiet operation.

Overclocking headroom also gives the Ventus an advantage, with most samples capable of hitting over 2.1GHz on the VRAM versus 2.0GHz on the Windforce. So buyers focused on maximizing performance have more tuning potential with the MSI card. Though the factory out of box speeds are still essentially equal.

The Ventus also packs a beefier 10+2 phase VRM that Buildzoid described as overkill, granting rock solid power delivery. This contributes to the card's overclocking prowess. The Windforce's still ample 7+1 phase VRM gets the job done, but leaves a bit of performance on the table.

For RGB lighting lovers, the highly customizable Mystic Light system on the Ventus is a value add not found on the plainer Windforce. Adding beautiful visual flair to your rig can be priceless for aesthetics focused builders.

On, sentiments were split when it came to weighing price against performance. User "œOCaddict" felt the premium was warranted: "œI picked the more expensive Ventus for the improved VRAM and VRM. Worth the extra $100 not to leave any performance on the table."

But "œBang4buck" offered a counterpoint: "œThe Ventus is maybe 5% faster when manually overclocked to the max. Not worth the 25% higher price over the Windforce which already runs games flawlessly."

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