- Introduction, Packaging and Specification
- GPU Design
- Closer Look
- Utility Overview
- Test Bench and Testing Methodology
- Futuremark Benchmark
- OpenGL Benchmarks
- Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
- Rise of the Tomb Raider
- GPU Computation Benchmark
- Folding at Home and LuxMark OpenCL Benchmark
- GPU Cooling and Manual OC Impressions
- Online Purchase Links
Disclosure: This review unit is supplied by Galax
The little introduction…
Roughly a couple of years ago Galaxy and its European brand KFA2 combined as one, becoming Galax. Why the word ‘Galax’? Who knows! Galax is more known for its all-white Hall-of-Fame series graphic cards. Recently, they have been branching out towards other components such as SSDs and memory kits. This is the Galax GTX 1070 EXOC graphic card. The other variants are the FE, Virtual Edition, EX, EXOC and the HOF followed by HOF Limited Edition.
In any case, even in India its an overcrowded market. The last GPU company to enter in India was Gigabyte VGA. Galax, with a certain exception to a group of enthusiasts, has a lot of catching up to do and it’s going to be difficult. The way I see it, Zotac is a dominant force because of its extended warranty, well-reputed AMP and AMP Extreme cooling & a long standing reputation with its users. In many cases, manufacturers like MSI have the upper hand. Gigabyte VGA manages to stand out every now and then, especially with its GPU gauntlet sorting for the G1 Gaming and its cooling system. Just recently Gigabyte VGA upped its warranty period up to 4 years upon registration for its Xtreme Gaming lineup.Even though the company was formed in 1994, over here, Galax is coming here with a clean slate. Galax really needs to know something that stands out. We’ll check out the GTX 1070 EXOC and see how it is.
What you should keep in mind is that Galax GTX 1070 EXOC has a minor 88 MHz base clock bump over the founder’s edition. This overclock wouldn’t be significant enough to reflect in game benchmarks. But seeing that it would have a better cooler than the founder’s edition chances are that its boost clock should be more stable.
Galax has a similar internal packaging like Gigabyte VGA. Which is a good thing as the foams and inner box adequately protects the card. What I find strange is that Galax is portraying its GTX 1070 EXOC as a ‘home theatre’ card with a single mention about gaming at the side. Okay!?!! It also mentions 4K streaming but GTX 1070 actually supports up to 8K (7680×4320) resolution at 60Hz.
Galax could have provided a case badge. Those PCIe power cables are practically useless as all modern and older power supplies have a direct PCIe cables. GPU manufacturers really need to think of providing something else.
|GPU Engine Specs:||CUDA Cores: 1920|
|Model:||Product Code 70NSH6DHL4EC|
UPC Code 4895147123080
Keep in mind that there is an error in the graphic card’s specifications. As per Nvidia, the GTX 1070 supports up to 8K @ 60Hz. The card uses dual-link DVI-D. It cannot run VGA resolution. It looks as if Galax simply copy-pasted from the previous gen’s specifications table.
The GPU shroud and the backplate are all-black and all metal. Just like the MSI Gaming X GTX 1070, this uses dual fan-dual slot design. Despite the metal design, the card is lighter (by the feel of it) compared to Zotac GTX 1070 AMP! Extreme. The graphic card is 11.10” long and 5.03” wide. There is a three-point LED under each fan. unfortunately, this is a red LED light.
The graphic card has lots of cut-outs and vents. Galax didn’t provide any indicator for the PCIe power connection.
This PCIe 3.0 card takes power from an eight-pin and six-pin PCIe cable and has an SLI interface.
The GPU shroud can be removed from the GPU cooler without removing it from the PCB. There is this small multicolored ‘GeForce GTX’ logo on the side, but it looks pretty small and out of place in my opinion.
Judging by the design, the GALAX GTX 1070 EXOC has two nickel-plated copper heatpipes. The video outputs are of the same just like its founder’s edition.
Ease of Maintenance
As said earlier, the GPU shroud can be removed without dismantling the entire cooler from the PCB. This is much easier to maintain as many would like to clean out the fan and the heatsink more often depending on the amount of dust it collects. This makes it easier to maintain. The fans can be removed just as easily. The fans are made by a company called Ecotherm.
Removing this GPU cooler is no different from the other GTX 1070 graphic cards reviewed so far. You need to remove four spring-loaded screws and gently remove the card from the PCB. Note that there are two headers from the GPU shroud connected to the PCB. There’s a rubber pad and sits above the MOSFET sink on the PCB.
The graphic card uses a 5+2 phase design. There are eight Samsung K4C80325FB DDR5 memory modules for the card.
Galax calls its overclocking utility as XtremeTuner Plus. Since this is the first Galax GPU I am testing, we’ll take a look at its utility.
There are four self-explanatory tabs available for Galax the GTX 1070 EXOC. The first tab that is displayed by default is the overclock tab. Naturally, this is where you would do manual overclocking. If you click at the ‘1-Click OC’, you will have three modes, 3% OC, 5% OC and the silent mode. I am not sure why could Galax simply have an out-of-the-box full factory clock like Zotac or “OC Modes” like how MSI uses. 5% is hardly any increment. A lot of people prefer factory tested overclock frequencies to use. Unfortunately, Galax missed that train for its EXOC cards, with nothing more than 50MHz OC out-of-the-box. Manual overclocking is the way to go.
The Lighting tab lets you change the colour of that small “GeForce GTX” on the side. Keep in mind that it cannot control or switch off the red LED lights under the fan blades. Too bad!
While it doesn’t let you log its readouts like GPU-Z, there is a way you can observe the GPU’s values (core/memory clock, temperature, fan speed, GPU voltage and fan speed in RPM). It’s annoying that Galax could let the user expand this window as per user’s preference.
The utility does have a spelling error- ‘Huaping’. The sentence construction makes an impression that the translation is done via. Google. You can save ‘profiles’ but not in the same way as you would with MSI Afterburner, Gigabyte XG Tool or Zotac’s firestorm. It’s not a limited one-click load/save option. But you can load/save the ini file in the utility’s directory. XtremeTuner Plus in a way gives the ability to store ‘unlimited’ profiles in the system.
Hardware BBQ gets very minimum support from hardware manufacturers since we have a no-strings-attached policy and ended up blacklisting even tier 1 brands for improper misconduct. But thanks to a handful of companies who value the importance and benefits of providing components for the test bench, we do what we’re good at with the resources at hand. I would like to thank:
- Gigabyte India for providing Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming GT Rev 1.0 motherboard
- WD India for providing 4x WD Red 3TB NAS drives
- Coolermaster India for providing Coolermaster GX450 RS-450-ACAA-D3 Power Supply
|Test Setup for:||GALAX GTX 1070 EXOC|
|CPU+ CPU Cooler||Intel i7 4790K + Noctua NH-U12S|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming GT Motherboard|
|Memory||Kingston 8GB 1600MHz DDRIII|
|Primary OS drive||SanDisk Extreme 240GB SSD + WD Red 3TB WD30EFRX|
|Power Supply||Corsair TX750|
|Chassis||Lian Li A70F Full Tower PC Case|
Driver Version: 368.39 WHQL
The fan speed is kept at auto for stock benchmark and on 100% when overclocked.[divider]
- 3DMark: Sky Diver, Fire Strike, Fire Strike Extreme and Fire Strike Presets
With more tests coming soon, we’ve given 3DMark a new interface that’s faster, more flexible and easier to use. What’s more, you can now get faster downloads and save storage space by choosing to install only the tests you need.
- 3DMark 11: Xtreme Preset
OpenGL Benchmarks: Cinebench 11.5 and Cinebench R15
- Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor DX 11 with 3 presets
Ashes of the Singularity DX 11 and DX 12 with 3 presets each
- Rise of the Tomb Raider DX 11 and DX 12 with 3 presets each
- Hitman (2016) DX 11 and DX 12 with 3 presets each
- DOOM OpenGL 4.5 with 3 presets each
For measuring GPU computation, I’ve included Compubench benchmark workloads.
- Face Detection and TV-L1 Optical Flow Test
- Ocean Surface Simulation Test
- Particle Simulation-64K Test
- Computation Benchmark- Graphics and Video Composition
- Bitcoin Mining
- Folding at Home Benchmark
- LuxMark OpenCL Benchmark
3DMark 11 Benchmark
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Ultra
In these Futuremark runs, the card is going head-to-head with MSI Gaming X GTX 1070. Keep in mind that the Gaming X 1070 has two overclocked profiles- Gaming and OC mode. Since Gaming Mode is enabled by default, we’re testing with it. But if you want to see the OC mode performance numbers, you can check it from here.
|Texture Quality||Medium||High||Very High|
|Sun Soft Shadows||Off||On||High|
|Depth of Field||On||On||Very High|
|Level of Detail||High||High||Very High|
|Specular Reflection Quality||Normal||Normal||Normal|
|Screen Space Reflections||Yes||Yes||Yes|
DX 11 Test
DX 12 Test
|Preset 1||Preset 2||Preset 3|
|Level of Detail||Low||Medium||Ultra|
DX 11 Test
DX 12 Test
|Player Self Shadow||Off||On||On|
|Directional Occlusion Quality||Medium||High||High|
|Virtual Texturing Page Size||Medium||High||Ultra|
|Motion Blur Quality||Medium||High||Ultra|
|Depth of Field||Off||On||On|
|Depth of Field Antialiasing||Off||On||On|
|Show Performance Metrics||Off||Off||Off|
The single precision implicit model most closely relates to current folding performance. Nvidia GPU will involve tests involving CUDA and OpenCL while AMD Radeon is limited to OpenCL tests.
ASIC Quality and Overclocking
GPU-Z reports that the review unit’s ASIC quality is rated at 60.2%.
The GTX 1070 EXOC has an 88 MHz factory overclock. With this card, I’ve tried up to four times to find a stable base clock using its utility. The following overclocks were only stable enough for 3DMark Fire Strike ultra’s GPU Test 1, but crashed in GPU test 2.
In the end, I was able to get 102 MHz overclock over its 88 MHz factory overclock, therefore providing me 1698MHz base clock
With the factory overclock enabled by default, it is observed that the minimum speed is 50% even on idle. Furthermore, the manual fan controls does not allow me to decrease the fan speed below 50%. The only way I can decrease it is either by using MSI Afterburner or using the silent mode under its one-click OC.
Keep in mind that the fan keep was required to keep 80% for stable overclocks.
Game Benchmarks- DX 12/OpenGL 4.5 Highest presets
The Galax GTX 1070 EXOC has a couple of rough edges- wrong resolution information, odd-looking multi-coloured LED on the left side that looks out of place. If you are willing to ignore that, the card’s construction is pretty good. For a metal encased GPU, this is pretty light. I really liked is the ease of maintenance where you can remove the fan shroud and clean the heatsinks and the fans. No other GTX 10 Series card allowed me to do that. People with RGB fetish may not like the red-only light under the fans.
However, a negligible 88 MHz factory overclock for its base is not good enough. Especially when GPU makers like MSI and Zotac are providing a much higher factory overclocks. The fan’s minimum speed is 50% even at idle. So the fans do not turn off if it’s not needed in idle situations. Even the manual overclocking utility’s minimum fan speed value is 50%. The only way to lower it is to select the silent mode from its utility. Also, a couple of pop-ups in XtremeTuner Plus needs a better translation. The monitoring window does not have logging option, not it can be expanded to see a longer trend. GALAX should have done a lot more. The card is good, but seeing how intense the graphic card market is the EXOC should have been better. This is a good graphic card, but it wouldn’t the first graphic card in mind if you plan on buying a GTX 1070.
The Galax GTX 1070 EXOC has
two three years warranty. Unfortunately, its not listed in Amazon US or Newegg.
- Ease of Maintenance
- Good Packaging
- All-metal design
- PWN cooling needs to be fine tuned
- Only 88 MHz base clock factory OC
- Inability to auto-off fans at idle
|Rs. 37,500 /-||NA||£427.42|
— Hardware BBQ (@HardwareBBQ) August 26, 2016