PNY GeForce RTX 4070 XLR8 OC: better than the real thing
PNY GeForce RTX 4070 XLR8: Two-minute review
The PNY GeForce RTX 4070 XLR8 OC is a fantastic improvement on an already fantastic product, I just wish it was a little cheaper.
Starting at $679 (about £560 / AU$1,020), the RTX 4070 XLR8 OC is a third-party version of our current top pick for best graphics card of 2023, so it's not surprising that the RTX 4070 XLR8 brings fantastic 1440p gaming performance to the table. It does manage to do so with a lot more flair than the Founders Edition card from Nvidia, however, and this is coming from someone who is generally anti-RGB.
Where the PNY card succeeds in its design is that, while bold, it's fairly subdued but allows for just enough customization to let you blend this card in fairly cleanly into just about any build.
Assuming the card fits. Lightweight though it is at just 1.87 lbs (about 0.84kg), it is a good bit longer than the RTX 4070 Founders Edition, 305.1mm to the Founders Edition's 242mm. So if you've got a tight case, make sure you have the clearance for this one before you try to cram it into place.
As a dual-slot card, it's going to take up some room, but it feels like it takes up less space than the RTX 4070 Founders Edition despite being a couple of millimeters thicker. A huge part of that is the decision by PNY to go with the 8-pin power connector rather than Nvidia's 12VHPWR cable, the latter of which requires an cumbersome adapter if you don't have an ATX 3.0 power supply with the new power cable leads.
I really can't emphasize how much easier working with a single 8-pin cable is versus having to try and finagle two 8-pin cables into an adapter cable and then into a graphics card.
While not the absolute worst — which would be the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 and it's 4-to-1 8-pin adapter cable — even two 8-pins plugged into an adapter can wreak havoc on your cable management, especially if you've got a fairly tight fit in your PC case. The 8-pin power connector alone makes this card worth buying over the Founders Edition card.
Yes, I would pay an $80 premium just to not have to use a 12VPWR cable.
Fortunately, you do get some additional features to make the RTX 4070 XLR8 even more appealing than just it's power input. Though the card comes with the same base and boost clocks as the Founders Edition (unlike the PNY GeForce RTX 4080 XLR8 OC, which shipped with higher boost clock speeds), the PNY RTX 4070 XLR8 OC starts at stock speeds but PNY's VelocityX software allows you to overclock the card to a degree.
Just be sure that the card you're buying is the overclockable model, as the non-OC and OC cards look identical other than their price, and price can be a moving target sometimes.
You also get a triple-fan cooling solution for the RTX 4070 XLR8 OC, which is 50% more fans than the Founders Edition, though I didn't notice too much of a difference in terms of temperature. But it's there, with the PNY RTX 4070 XLR8 staying about 4-5°C cooler under load, but with the RTX 4070's max temperature only hitting about 68°C, neither card was ever really at risk for throttling.
In terms of performance, at its stock clock speeds, the PNY GeForce RTX 4070 XLR8 OC has its performance land within 1% to 2% on either side of the Founders Edition's performance, which is what I expected. If you want to do a deeper dive into this card's performance, definitely check out my Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 review for all my relevant testing data.
Overclocking the card gets you somewhat better performance, but given that it's strictly an 8-pin card (which means you can only really push 200W safely), I wouldn't push the overclocking too hard for too long unless you want to burn your card out much faster.
All told, the premium price is a tougher pill to swallow than it should be, but given that one of the RTX 4070's better selling points was its price, it's hard to not wrinkle your nose a bit.
Still, if the RTX 4070 is what you're after and you want some extra bells, whistles, and a touch of RGB, you can't go wrong with the PNY GeForce RTX 4070 XLR8 OC.
PNY GeForce RTX 4070 XLR8: Price & availability
How much does it cost? $679 (about £560 / AU$1,020)
When is it available? Available now
Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia
The PNY GeForce RTX 4070 XLR8 OC is available now in the US, UK, and Australia with an MSRP of $679 (about £560 / AU$1,020). This price puts it a good bit higher than the RTX 4070 Founders Edition, but it's not entirely out of step with third-party graphics card pricing.
And while the price isn't great, this is more on Nvidia's head than PNY's since Nvidia is the one who significantly raised the price on the RTX 4070 over the RTX 3070. At the moment, AMD hasn't released the RX 7700 XT or RX 7800, which would be the natural competitors for this card, so it's uncertain how this card will stack up against AMD's lower-premium class of GPUs until those are released in the next few months, presumeably.
PNY GeForce RTX 4070 XLR8: Specs
Should you buy the PNY GeForce RTX 4070 XLR8?
Buy it if...
You want the RTX 4070 with some extras
The performance of the RTX 4070 XLR8 OC is on par or slightly better than the reference card.
You want to have customizeable RGB
The Nvidia RTX 4070 Founders Edition is pretty staid in terms of appearance, so the XLR8 version definitely lets you liven things up a bit.
Don't buy it if...
You want a cheap graphics card
The RTX 4070 might be one of the best graphics cards on the market, but it definitely isn't one of the best cheap graphics cards.
You have a very tight case
The PNY RTX 4070 XLR8 OC is a pretty long graphics card, so make sure you have clearance for it.
PNY GeForce RTX 4070 XLR8 OC: Also consider
How I tested the PNY GeForce RTX 4070 XLR8 OC
I spend about three weeks with the PNY GeForce RTX 4070 XLR8 OC
I used it to play games, produce and edit creative content, and more
I used our standard battery of benchamarking tools to test it
I used the PNY GeForce RTX 4070 XLR8 OC as the graphics card in my main PC at home for about three weeks.
During that time, I played PC games like Cyberpunk 2077, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, and more. I also used Adobe Creative Suite extensively to edit photos and video.
I also ran my standard battery of benchmark tests to assess how much the PNY GeForce RTX 4070 XLR8 OC deviated from the baseline RTX 4070, if at all.
We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.
First reviewed May 2023