So you‘re trying to choose between the new Intel ARC A770 and the Nvidia RTX 3070 graphics card for your next gaming PC build. You want to know definitively: which of these powerful mid-range GPUs is the better option?
As an experienced tech analyst and avid PC builder myself, I‘ve taken an in-depth look at the specifications, real-world performance, features, price, and value of both cards. Based on extensive research and benchmarks, I can say with confidence that the RTX 3070 is the better performing and more reliable graphics card for gaming overall.
However, keep reading as I‘ll explain why the ARC A770 can still be a smart purchase depending on your specific budget and needs. By comparing all the key metrics head-to-head and examining independent testing data, you‘ll have all the info to decide which of these GPUs is right for your next build.
Technical Specs – On Paper, A Closer Match Than Expected
First up, let‘s scrutinize how these two graphics cards compare based purely on their technical specifications on paper:
|Specification||Intel ARC A770||NVIDIA RTX 3070|
|GPU Architecture||Xe HPG||Ampere|
|Process Node||TSMC 6nm||Samsung 8nm|
|Die Size||406 mm2||392 mm2|
|Ray Tracing Cores||512||46|
|Base Clock||2100 MHz||1500 MHz|
|Boost Clock||2400 MHz||1725 MHz|
|VRAM||16GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6|
|Bandwidth||512 GB/s||448 GB/s|
|Launch Date||October 2022||September 2020|
Given these specs, the Intel ARC A770 holds up very well against the 2-year old RTX 3070 on paper. The A770 leverages a slightly larger die produced on a more advanced 6nm manufacturing process with enhanced power efficiency.
It boasts a beefier reference clock speed up to 2100 MHz out of the box versus just 1500 MHz for the RTX 3070 Founders Edition. The ARC A770‘s 16GB of video memory and 512 GB/s of bandwidth also give it an edge over the 3070‘s 8GB VRAM and 448 GB/s bandwidth.
Even when it comes to number of ray tracing cores – 512 on the A770 versus 46 on the RTX 3070 – Intel‘s card has over a 10x advantage! So by raw specs alone, the ARC A770 appears poised to compete very strongly.
But as we‘ll see, real-world performance is a different story. There are a few critical advantages the RTX 3070 holds that aren‘t reflected in the table above.
Features and Technology – NVIDIA Still Has the Edge
Specifications don‘t tell the full story when it comes to real-world gaming. The feature set and technologies supported by each graphics card also have a major influence. In this area, NVIDIA maintains key advantages:
Both GPUs technically support ray tracing for enhanced lighting, reflections, and shadows. And the A770 sure seems amazing on paper with its 512 dedicated ray tracing cores versus just 46 on the RTX 3070.
But in practice, NVIDIA‘s 2nd generation RT cores include custom hardware optimizations that make them more efficient. So despite having far fewer cores, the 3070 comes out ahead in actual ray tracing performance and efficiency.
According to testing by Tom‘s Hardware, the 3070 was 71% faster than the A770 in the intensive Port Royal ray tracing benchmark. The RTX 3070 still manages playable frame rates in titles like Control and Cyberpunk 2077 with ray tracing maxed out, while the A770 falls short.
The RTX 3070 brings NVIDIA‘s DLSS 2.0 technology to the table which leverages AI and machine learning to boost frame rates. In supported games, DLSS can deliver up to a 2x FPS increase at high resolutions by rendering at a lower internal resolution then upscaling.
Intel‘s XeSS answer to DLSS is still in its infancy. So far only a handful of games work with XeSS, versus over 150 titles supported by NVIDIA DLSS. The 3070 has a clear advantage currently when it comes to AI accelerated performance.
NVIDIA offers a vastly superior video encoder (NVENC) onboard its GPUs compared to Intel. For game streaming and recording, the RTX 3070 can handle 8K H.264 encoding and 4K H.265 encoding at up to 120 FPS.
Intel‘s AV1 encoder maxes out at 4K60 H.264 and lacks H.265 support entirely. For content creation and streaming, the 3070‘s high quality, high performance encoder is a big advantage.
The NVIDIA software ecosystem including GeForce Experience for optimizing game settings, drivers, and more is far more mature and robust than Intel‘s current offering. Intel is playing catch-up on the software side, while NVIDIA has continually refined its tools over many GPU generations.
This could be the single biggest advantage the RTX 3070 holds over new hardware like the ARC A770. NVIDIA‘s graphics drivers are time-tested and optimized over many years to provide consistent reliability, compatibility, and day one game support.
As Tom‘s Hardware put it in their A770 review: "The immaturity of Intel’s driver stack remains a thorn in Intel’s side." Game crashes and optimization issues were frequent occurrences in their testing. There are still lots of kinks for Intel to iron out.
While the A770 battles driver growing pains, the RTX 3070 offers a proven, pixel-perfect plug-and-play experience for both gaming and professional applications. That stability and reliability should not be underestimated.
Real-World Gaming Benchmarks – RTX 3070 Proves Its Advantage
Specifications and features only reveal so much about real-world speed and performance. To get the full picture, we need to examine third party benchmark results across a range of today‘s most demanding games.
Here are the average frame rates achieved by both GPUs in 1080p max settings gaming based on extensive testing from outlets like Tom‘s Hardware, TechSpot, PC Gamer, and other expert reviewers:
|Game||RTX 3070 FPS||ARC A770 FPS||Advantage|
|Red Dead Redemption 2||99||81||22% faster|
|Assassin‘s Creed Valhalla||90||75||20% faster|
|Apex Legends||130||109||19% faster|
|Cyberpunk 2077||78||66||18% faster|
|F1 2022||114||97||18% faster|
|Borderlands 3||103||89||16% faster|
|Far Cry 6||106||92||15% faster|
|Horizon Zero Dawn||132||116||14% faster|
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider||121||106||14% faster|
Across the board in today‘s most demanding AAA games, the GeForce RTX 3070 proves faster than the ARC A770, with an average advantage of 17% higher frame rates in this sample.
That‘s a significant performance gap that reveals the 3070‘s strengths in both rasterization and real-time ray tracing.
According to additional testing from HotHardware, the RTX 3070 was able to maintain between 45-75 FPS with ray tracing ultra settings enabled in titles like Control and Cyberpunk 2077. But the ARC A770 struggled, with performance dropping as low as 24 FPS making games unplayable.
So while the ARC A770 is no slouch, the RTX 3070 simply delivers higher, smoother frame rates today. You‘re getting around 20% extra performance for your money with the 3070.
And this testing was all done at 1080p. Crank the resolution up to 1440p or 4K, and the 3070‘s advantage grows even larger thanks to its improved ray tracing and DLSS capabilities.
But there are a few caveats. The ARC A770 does deliver extremely solid performance in esports titles like Rainbow Six Siege, CS:GO, and Valorant, easily surpassing 240+ FPS. So for competitive gaming, it certainly fits the bill.
Additionally, Intel will likely improve performance over time as its drivers mature. So the current gap may tighten a bit down the road. But today, the benchmarks clearly favor the RTX 3070.
Thermals and Acoustics – Two Cool Customers
Gaming pushes GPUs to their limits, generating significant heat. Effective cooling keeps temperatures in check and prevents thermal throttling which can hamper performance. It also allows cards to run quietly by limiting distracting fan noise.
Both the RTX 3070 and ARC A770 do a respectable job keeping their cool under pressure:
|Thermal Metric||RTX 3070||ARC A770|
|Noise Level||32 dBA||37 dBA|
The well-engineered dual axial fans on NVIDIA‘s Founders Edition allow it to run a few degrees cooler and quieter than the ARC A770. But Intel‘s triple fan cooler still maintains safe junction temps under full load.
Any noise difference between the cards is hardly noticeable unless you‘re measuring decibels in a lab. Both will play games quietly with minimal distraction.
Aftermarket designs could further improve temperatures and acoustics for either GPU. But the current reference models offer adequate cooling considering their power levels. You can comfortably game for hours without excessive heat or fan noise.
Power Efficiency – RTX 3070 Gets More Done Per Watt
Based on their 220W and 225W rated power limits, the RTX 3070 and ARC A770 seem evenly matched when it comes to potential power draw. But measurements of actual gaming power consumption tells a different story:
|Power Draw (Watts)||RTX 3070||ARC A770|
|Gaming @ 1080p||265||315|
|Gaming @ 1440p||280||345|
While the RTX 3070 sips power from your PSU during gaming, the ARC A770 gulps it down faster. Total system draw was measured a hefty 15-20% higher on the A770 in independent testing.
Plus, the 3070 accomplishes more in gaming with each watt it uses, again thanks to its architectural and software advantages. Less power consumption also means:
- Lower electricity costs for you
- Less PSU strain and heat output
- More headroom to overclock
So the RTX 3070 is conclusively the more energy efficient option, getting you better performance per watt.
Physical Card Size – Fits Most PC Cases
When it comes to card dimensions, the RTX 3070 is compact at just 242 x 112 x 40 mm with a dual slot design. The beefier ARC A770 comes in at 298 x 134 x 60 mm utilizing 2.5 slots.
Make sure to measure clearances if installing either GPU into a small form factor PC case. The 3070 will likely fit into more space constrained builds.
But both still conform to standard full-size graphics card dimensions that should install fine in most ATX mid or full towers. Their triple and dual fan coolers give them each just over 2x PCI slot thickness.
Display Connectivity – Modern Ports
For display outputs, you‘re covered for high resolution, high refresh rate gaming with either card:
|Ports||RTX 3070||ARC A770|
|DisplayPort||1.4a x 3||1.4a x 3|
The ARC A770 does add a USB type-C port which could come in handy. But both provide the HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4a interfaces needed for buttery smooth 4K 144Hz gaming.
Dual monitor setups are no problem for either GPU thanks to their triple DisplayPort outs. The A770 supports an additional screen through its USB-C if needed.
Pricing Showdown – A770 Is the Value Option
At launch back in 2020, NVIDIA priced the RTX 3070 at a reasonable $499. However, today‘s GPU market looks much different…
Due to ongoing supply constraints, inflation, and cryptocurrency mining demand, current RTX 3070 retail pricing now ranges from $570 up to $700 depending on brand, cooling design, factory overclocks, etc.
The Intel ARC A770 debuted at a very aggressive $329 MSRP just a couple months ago. However, limited quantities are pushing current A770 prices in the range of $430 – $530.
That means there‘s now only around a $100-$200 price difference between the cards at most retailers:
|GPU||Launch MSRP||Today‘s Retail Price|
|RTX 3070||$499||$570 – $700|
|ARC A770||$329||$430 – $530|
So while the A770 used to undercut the RTX 3070 by over $150, its pricing advantage has shrunk considerably. Yet it still brings a decent discount compared to NVIDIA‘s top-selling card.
Depending on your budget, that $100+ savings may be meaningful when trying to maximize value. But as we‘ll see, performance and software maturity still favor the 3070 for most buyers.
Value Breakdown – The 3070 Is the Enthusiast Pick
Determining overall value requires analyzing both performance and pricing in context. Based on all the data, here is how the value proposition shakes out between the ARC A770 and RTX 3070:
- In raw performance, the RTX 3070 is ~20% faster on average in today‘s games at 1080p maxed out.
- The 3070 also excels at ray tracing, DLSS, streaming, and content creation – key for gaming enthusiasts.
- NVIDIA offers superior drivers, software, and long term reliability.
- It runs cooler, quieter, and more efficiently.
- But…the ARC A770 costs around $100 – $200 less which helps close the performance gap.
- The A770 still plays any modern AAA game smoothly with some caveats.
Given its unequivocally faster speeds across the board and software maturity, the RTX 3070 delivers a better value for most gaming enthusiasts – if it fits your budget. Ponying up extra cash gets you peace of mind and an extra 20% performance today plus more future-proofing.
However, the ARC A770 remains a smart buy for budget gamers who want strong 1080p performance while maximizing value. Knocking $100+ off the cost is great if it makes the difference in your build. Just temper expectations a bit concerning horsepower and driver stability.
For content creation, streaming, professional use cases – really any GPU accelerated workflow – the RTX 3070 easily justifies its added cost and is the obvious choice.
But purely for gaming, the ARC A770 keeps you playing the latest titles very smoothly while leaving more room in your budget for other components. If price is priority one for your PC build, it succeeds as a value play.
Both are well-engineered cards using leading edge technology. Considering its first-gen teething pains, Intel clearly has lots of potential with their dedicated GPU initiative. Competition will ultimately benefit us gamers!
But in the RTX 3070 vs ARC A770 face-off, the overall win goes to NVIDIA‘s latest GeForce.
So in summary:
- For Performance – RTX 3070
- For Features – RTX 3070
- For Reliability – RTX 3070
- For Value – ARC A770
I hope mapping out all the data and benchmarks in detail gives you clarity in choosing the right card for your needs and budget! Let me know if you have any other questions.