TLDR: MSI hit a home run with their smallest 1070, It is both compact and powerful. The most shocking thing about the GPU is how quiet and cool it runs. This is the best compact GTX 1070 period.

95

Overall
Score


BUILD QUALITY90

FEATURES95

SIZE & WEIGHT95

PERFORMANCE100


WHERE TO BUY

MSI GTX 1070 Aero ITXFrom $385.99

There are a lot of good options if you are looking for a compact GPU these days. MSI is trying to shake up the segment with their GTX 1070 Aero ITX. The GPU looks to provide high end performance and industry leading acoustics in a compact form factor.

Specifications & Layout

msi gtx 1070 aero itx packaging msi gtx 1070 aero itx packaging
msi 1070 aero itx front msi 1070 aero itx front
msi 1070 aero itx top msi 1070 aero itx top
msi 1070 aero itx rear msi 1070 aero itx rear
msi 1070 aero itx heat pipes msi 1070 aero itx heat pipes
msi 1070 aero itx back plate msi 1070 aero itx back plate
CUDA CORES 1920
VRAM 8GB GDDR5
MEMORY BUS 256-bit
CORE CLOCK Base: 1531 MHz
Boost: 1721 MHz
Memory Clock 8008 MHz
TDP 150W
POWER INPUT 1 x 8-PIN
DIMENSIONS 175 x 129 x 37 mm
WEIGHT 580g
COOLING 1 x 100mm Torx Fan
Aluminum Heat Sink
3 x 8mm Heat Pipes

Connectivity

1070 aero itx connectivityThe 1070 Aero features all the connectors you will be looking for, including HDMI 2.0 and Displayport 1.4. I am looking forward to the day when manufactures no longer include DVI ports, which would increase airflow, and allow liquid cooled cards to be single slot.

VIDEO PORTS 2 x DisplayPort 1.4
2 x HDMI 2.0b
1 x DL-DVI
SLI 1 Connector

Temperatures

The 1070 Aero features 3 heat pipes that snake through the aluminum heat-sink. The card utilizes the MSI’s Torx fan, which is supposed to offer high airflow at lower RPM.

MSI’s “Zero Frozr” tech allows the card to disable it’s fan completely up to a certain temperature. The card primarily exhausts heat from the rear, so case airflow may impact temperatures. All test were performed in an open air environment.

IDLE 44C
GAMING 67C
100% LOAD 69C

These temperatures are excellent. They are even better when you factor in how quiet this card is. Even at full load the 1070 ITX was the quietest compact GPU I have ever heard. It is shocking to see a card give full 1070 performance, at this size, and this quietly.

Noise Levels

msi 1070 itx noise levelThe most shocking thing about this card has got to be the acoustic performance. The Aero never went above 45db even at full load using Furmark for stress testing. If that decibel number doesn’t mean anything to you check out the video above for a full sound test. It is a very quiet card. Easily the quietest powerful compact GPU I have ever heard.

The 1070 will keep it’s fans off at idle or light load. So it operates under complete silence during everyday operation.

IDLE Fan Off
GAMING 43db avg.
100% LOAD 45db avg.

The acoustic profile bodes well for small form factor mini-itx PC builders who may be operating in very tight cases that lack airflow.

Synthetic Benchmarks

1070 aero itx benchmarksAll tests were performed with the card operating at stock settings. Out of the box this card shot well past it’s rated factory boost up to 1936MHz. The RAM we left at stock speeds. Let me know in the comments if you want to see overclock testing as well.

PASSMARK 12291
CINEBENCH 108.61
HEAVEN 44451
VALLEY 4656
TIMESPY 6097
FIRESTRIKE 14940

Gaming Benchmarks (1080p Max Settings)

Now onto real world gaming benchmarks. If you don’t see the game you were looking for, let me know in the comments.

AVG FPS MIN FPS MAX FPS
Overwatch 142 131 189
Batman: Arkham Origins 128 90 170
Shadow of Mordor 90 66 119
Rise of the Tomb Raider 104 92 123
Metro: Last Light 83 25 165

Power Draw

For those of you building a compact system where this may matter power draw with this card was as expected. Under normal usage the 1070 won’t go above its rated 150W TDP. With it’s 8-pin power connector it is capable of exceeding that limit via overclocking with MSI Afterburner.

Conclusion

msi gtx 1070 aero graphics cardThe MSI GTX 1070 Aero ITX is my new favorite compact card. It offers top level performance, sound levels, and temperatures for the same price as it’s competitio.

The only problem is availability. With the current mining surge the Aero is incredibly difficult to find. If you can find one for a decent price, BUY IT! You won’t be disappointed.

I created a build in the Lazer3D LZ7 mini-itx case that utilizes this card perfectly. Follow the link if you want to check it out.

For more information, watch the video review above.

Test System

CPU AMD Ryzen 7 1700 – 3.6GHz OC
RAM 32GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000MHz
HDD Samsung 960 EVO 256GB
GPU MSI GTX 1070 Aero ITX

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