The rumours were true: Asus and cooling specialists Noctua have co-created a new GeForce RTX 3070 design. The underlying GPU already makes for one of the best graphics cards, and Noctua claims their gargantuan custom radiator design and dual 120mm fans make the Asus GeForce RTX 3070 Noctua Edition - to use its full name - “the quietest air-cooled graphics card in its class”.
In traditional Noctua style, it’s also deeply, intensely, ferociously brown. I don’t know about the quietest but this is absolutely the brownest graphics card I’ve ever seen, and possibly the brownest PC component as well (the only real competition coming from Noctua’s own CPU coolers). My word, is this brown.
Sorry, I should be talking about specs, there’s just a lot of brown going on right now. Being a non-Ti RTX 3070, there’s all the usual 5888 CUDA cores and 8GB of GDDR6 memory, with two HDMI 2.1 ports and three DisplayPort 1.4a outputs on the rear. Clock speeds come in two different flavours, depending on whether you get the standard model or the slightly souped up OC model:
Asus GeForce RTX 3070 Noctua Edition clock speeds
- Gaming mode: 1725 MHz (Boost Clock)
- OC mode: 1755 MHz (Boost Clock)
Asus GeForce RTX 3070 Noctua OC Edition clock speeds
- Gaming mode: 1815 MHz (Boost Clock)
- OC mode: 1845 MHz (Boost Clock)
The overall design is built on the skeleton of the Asus TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3070, hence the identical rear port layout and the OC edition having the same clock speeds as the TUF’s 08G variant. The hench radiator and reworked fans therefore make the big difference: Noctua claim their cooler is 15.7 decibels quieter than the TUF cooler at medium fan speeds, as well as about 8.9 decibels quieter at maximum fan speeds. That’s 2000rpm on the Noctua and 3200rpm on the TUF, for the record, and with no loss in cooling performance.
Also, it’s brown. Apparently quite a lot of folks appreciate Noctua’s favoured colour scheme, which to be clear is fair enough – I guess even if you thought it was the most hideous thing to go inside a PC since Palit’s rainbow-crusted GameRock monstrosities, it’s the kind you buy for the utility of its cooler, not because it’s a fashion item. And the loudness of PC parts is a justifiable concern; venting heat is always important, but when trying to actually play games, nobody wants to feel like they’ve got a crate of haywire hairdryers under their desk.
Pricing for the Asus GeForce RTX 3070 Noctua Edition (and its OC sibling) is yet to be decided, though expect a full launch in mid-October.