The RTX 3070 is a solid card and one of the best offerings out there today. Apart from the reference edition, several reputed brands have taken up the GPU and made custom cards with features like open-air cooling, RGB, and beefier heatsinks to push the cooling of the card. Inno3D is one such brand, and their best open-air RTX 3070 8GB offer is iChill X4, a card special enough to rock the 4th fan in it, hence our desire to review it. We tested it extensively, so let’s show you whether it’s any good.
Unboxing this RTX 3070 8GB Card
The card was packed in a robust-looking box, but it got a bit battered in transit. Inside it, we find another box. The double box packaging makes the unboxing experience a bit premium. And, because iChill X4 is Inno3D’s flagship product, this is not unexpected. We get some paperwork inside, and underneath another foam layer, lay the card. The card has some weight to it. This is expected with any of these 30 series cards.
With this graphics card, Inno3D decided to address miners. It is mentioned in the seal of the card that if the user mines with it and if that results in any damage, the warranty of this card is void. This is an LHR (Lite Hash Rate) card, so mining hash rates will be a bit in the mud. But, hackers have managed to unlock up to 75% of the mining potential of LHR cards as well.
Mining will never straight up damage your card. The only reason that could happen is if you are using bad riser cables or stuff. But, this move is commendable.
Now, this card looks far better than what we were expecting it to be. It has a subtle color, ranging from charcoal black in the PCB cover to a bronze-ish shade in the front and gun-metal in the fan rims.
Congratulations Inno3D. You managed to completely kill the looks of such a beautiful card in your images on the official website. Like, weren’t they supposed to look better than what the product looks in real life?
We also get two more packets from the box. One contains a 4 pin 12V RGB connector and a 3 pin 5V ARGB connector. Not everyone has multiple ARGB headers in their boards, and this will save so many people.
The other packet contains an Allen bracket. This could be used to open some hexagonal screws on the card. The fact that Inno3D included an Allen bracket in the box might mean that they are encouraging people to use this for custom water-cooled systems. However, opening the card would void its warranty.
Closer Look at INNO3D iChill x4 RTX 3070 8GB
iChill X4 is the top-of-the-line product from Inno3D. Also, this card has a 4th fan in the top for additional cooling to the MOSFETs. This 4th fan rarely kicks in, only during AAA gaming and rendering workloads. It nails everyday tasks like web browsing, watching videos, and other basic works without a single fan kicking in.
This card weighs around 1.36 kg. Compared to that, the founder’s Edition comes in at 1kg. This card will consume power from dual 8-pin connectors and it will take up almost three PCIe slots. Also, this is Ampere. These cards will keep boosting their clock speeds if they have the temperature and wattage headroom.
Thus, don’t take the advertised boost clock speeds anywhere on the internet. The cards boost much higher than those.
Unfortunately, the card does not have enough TDP (Thermal Design Power) rating to max out the potential of this massive heatsink. It is rated for 240W, which is quite high, but the card could have used a higher TDP. It has dual 8-pin connectors and these can pull up to 300W. The card never touched 2000 MHz out the box because of the crippled TDP rating and got to a maximum of 1985 MHz. Inno3D rated the card for a maximum of 1785 MHz on their website but it boosted almost 200 MHz higher than that.
The PCB is quite bigger compared to that of the Founder’s Edition, which ended almost around the PCIe slot. The PCB of the iChill X4 variant is around 240 mm long. This bigger PCB design might be a direct carry-over from the RTX 3080 model of this card. They are similar in terms of physical size. This might hint at a wasted PCB portion in the card.
The card has a blow-through design for the last 60mm of its length. This cools down your entire system, including the CPU and RAM sticks. The Ryzen 5 3600 idles almost 9 degrees over ambient. But, after pushing the fans of the iChill X4 to a full 100% or 3500 RPM, the temperatures fell to 6-7 degrees over ambient.
The fact that the iChill X4 doubles up as additional cooling makes it even better.
But, there are a few downsides to the iChill X4. To start, the RGB 12V and 5V connectors are placed in a very weird position. It is placed in the front towards the front window. Consequently, it is almost impossible to hide the cables. They should have placed it around the power connectors, or they could have placed it in the back of the card too. This is a very irritating aspect of the card.
Also, the card does not have any additional reinforcement in the exposed PCB portion in the back of the GA104 GPU. So, handle it with caution.
Other than that, it is a massive brick of heatsinks, copper tubes, and the latest silicon from Nvidia.
Test Bench for Our Review
The test bench we will use has a few caveats. Ryzen 5 3600 will limit the card at lower resolutions like 1080p. The motherboard is capable of PCIe Gen3. Although these will restrict the card, we won’t see a massive performance drop, so I think we are good to go.
Productivity Performance of iChill x4 RTX 3070
In the Unigine Superposition benchmark, the iChill x4 gets close and even beats the results of two of the best RTX 3070 cards. We got the results of the other two cards from the Unigine Superposition leaderboard. Both the Intel Core i5 11600K and the i7 10700K are faster than the Ryzen 5 3600. A faster processor could have easily put the iChill X4 variant in the top.
3DMark Time Spy is a standard benchmark. The RTX 3070 surpasses the RTX 2080 Super with ease, but it is way behind the BFGPU, the RTX 3090. But, at an MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) of around $500 (a price you cannot buy the card at), this is a huge price to performance ratio.
3DMark Fire Strike is a DirectX 11 benchmark. We see the last-gen RTX 2080 Super show the might of its 3072 cores and get very close to the 3070. We still get a very respectable score of over 25,000 with the 3070.
OctaneBench looks interesting as this card managed to pull off better scores compared to the median score of 3070s.
Performance gains continue to surface in the Blender BMW test, as we get significant gains in the CUDA rendering times. Optix rendering times were slightly better than the bunch, so this is card is better than the average RTX 3070 you can buy today.
The Blender Barcelona Pavilion test continues the same trend, and we see a much larger CUDA render time to gain and the same 1s gain in OptiX render time.
We will end the productivity bench list with the Blender Classroom test that shows that this card is remarkably better than the bunch, as the renders were over 4 seconds faster than the mean render time of the RTX 3070. We got this data from the official data log on Blender’s website.
INNO3D iChill x4 RTX 3070 8GB Gaming Performance
In Control at 1080p, we see almost 120fps with ray tracing and DLSS turned off. Ray tracing tanks the performance. DLSS brings us back into the game. Over the three years DLSS has existed, it has gotten too good at what it does, and we see almost no visual difference. Turning ray tracing on in Control at 4K dips the frame rate significantly, but you can turn some settings down to get a playable frame rate at 4K.
This RTX 3070 has not been built for 4K gaming but can pull it off at playable frame rates.
In Cyberpunk 2077, 1080p performance was a bit disappointing. But, considering how intensive the Ultra settings in the game can be, these are respectable frame rates. The title was tested in the most demanding area of Night City, so these are the worst metrics you will get out of it. The fact that the card is not designed for 4k gaming is proven in this game. But, Cyberpunk 2077 is what it is, and you always have settings to tweak to get a playable FPS.
Forza Horizon 5 is one of the most optimized games on the list. The card can easily run the game at 1080p without any issues. Also, we tested the game in the extremely demanding town of Guanajuato, and the frame rate stays well above 100 when you roam in the countryside, which you will be doing most of the time. The game is completely playable at 4K. The card averages almost 60fps even in the most demanding area of the map.
Fortnite is a competitive title, and the card pulls over a very respectable 180fps at the Epic preset. Ray tracing is very demanding in the game. But, DirectX 12 is still in beta, and performance should improve with updates. In Fortnite, the card pulls off a great 4K experience yet again. DLSS shows off its benefits in this title. At native 4K with RTX off, the performance is even better.
At 1080p, Shadow of the Tomb Raider gives a bunch of FPS. This is not too surprising as this game is already over three and a half years old. It is one of the earliest games to get DLSS and RTX support. At 4K, the game does get a bit difficult for the card to run, but we can tweak the settings to still get above 60 fps.
Watch Dogs: Legion was a complete mess. Performance in this game is completely in the mud, and even a 3070 is crumbling to keep up at 1080p with the highest settings with DLSS off. DLSS shows off great performance gains yet again, and the game is almost not playable without it. The game is not playable at 4K with ray tracing turned on. The only way to experience this title at 4K is to turn RTX off and DLSS on.
We got over 100 FPS in The Witcher 3 at 1080p, the concluding title for benchmarks. We also got a decent 4K 60 FPS in this game.
Overall, we see that the card is overkill for 1080p gaming unless you are going for competitive gaming. Also, 4K gaming performance is kind of in the mud, but this can give an okay experience in most of the games.
This graphics card will perform the best at up to Quad HD or 1440p resolution. In fact, this GPU is marketed as a 1440p card.
Fans on INNO3D iChill x4
Let’s talk about the fans of this card. This card is a bit different in terms of the fan design, with the spotlight being on this 4th fan. The three big fans in the bottom are 90 cm in diameter. They have scythe blades, and these curve out like a katana. The fans have been optimized for the best airflow performance. The three fans work counterclockwise and bring air into the card. Other than that, it is a traditional open-air card.
The fourth fan is a small 45 cm fan. It works anticlockwise, too. Ergo, this fan is bringing in more cool and fresh air into the fan.
Noise Levels of the GPU
The RPM (revolutions per minute) ratings of the fans of this card are crazy high. To be specific, they are rated at 3500 RPM. Moreover, they stop at 0 RPM when the graphics card idles, making the card noiseless. Under a full 100% load, the fans ramp up to 36% of their rating, or 1200 RPM. At that speed, the fans are almost silent. 3500 RPM creates a lot of noise, but the card has never scaled to 100% fan speeds during normal use-case scenarios.
RTX 3070 iChill X4 Temperatures and Power Draw
Since the cooling design of the card is a carry-over from the RTX 3080 iChill X4, the card is expected to be pretty cool. It never crosses the 65 degrees mark during sustained full load.
As for drawing power, the card is rated for 240W, and its history is quite impressive. Gaming is not a sustained load. There are certain power spikes as the game has to suddenly load a huge texture map under requires circumstances. But, in a not-so-well optimized title like Cyberpunk 2077, the card consistently hovered around 220 to 230 watts power draw with no spikes.
RTX 3070 iChill X4 Clock Speeds
The card was boosting to over 1900 MHz almost all the time during gaming. It stayed over 1950 MHz most of the time, with few spikes to 1965 or 1985 MHz. But, it never hit the 2000 MHz at stock speeds.
Our Overclocking Experience with INNO3D RTX 3070 iChill X4
Overclocking this card wasn’t a very decent ordeal. This card does not have a dual BIOS layout. Thus, if your overclock settings corrupt the VGA BIOS, you will end up with over 2 pounds of dead silicon in your hand. Although Inno3D advertises the OC potential on the box, which should mean that the card is built for OC, the results were quite disappointing. I don’t understand the point of adding the words “OC” only because it sounds cool.
The card peaked at a mere +155 and +275 MHz offset in the Unigine Superposition benchmark, where the score increased by 4.45%.
In the 3DMark Time Spy benchmark, a +120 MHz offset on the core clock and a +200 MHz offset on the memory clock pulled off an increase of almost 3% in the score.
The card resisted any increase in power limits. A mere 101% offset in the power limits resulted in lower scores
The card could have had more overclocking potential, especially considering the cooling of this card is capable. The temperatures maxed out at 65℃, so there was a lot of headroom to push the card’s performance. Overclockers should avoid this card.
Lighting on iChill X4 from INNO3D
The card has 11 LEDs in total. The lighting integration is amazing. The lower rim of the card lights up, and it has a cool pattern and the iChill logo on it. The 4th fan also lights up in a very subtle way. The card supports both 5V ARGB and 12V RGB control, but their connectors could have been placed in a more concealed position.
But, the lighting of the card could have been brighter. Three LEDs have not been softened, so they just stare at you. When lit up, this steals the aesthetics of such a good-looking card.
Inno3D TuneIT Software
The lights on this card can be customized through the bundled Inno3D TuneIT software. That software also doubles up as an OC utility for the card. But, TuneIT is one of the worst OC utilities we have come across to date. This software does not even feature an undo button to dial back to the previous settings. Dialing back settings is a very crucial step in overclocking. Therefore, we ended up using the MSI Afterburner utility for all the overclocking testings.
The AI Scan feature has no reason for existence. It indefinitely pushed the card to high core and memory clocks and applied a 100% load when it was idling. The software needed a complete reinstallation to get rid of those settings because, as we mentioned earlier, it has no Undo button. Ergo, do not use this software if you are planning to overclock the card.
Also, the bundled lighting controls are fairly limited. Practically, the software just has 8 modes to choose from. This user mode does nothing. Also, you will either be using ARGB sync, RGB sync, or none.
However, since this card has ARGB and RGB sync, we have a method. The RGB lighting can be customized through the software your motherboard comes with. Consequently, if you have a motherboard that supports ARGB sync, you have nothing to worry about.
The software needs work, and this is something that can be improved with updates. Although it is a disappointment, INNO3D has the opportunity to improve upon this.
Final Thoughts about iChill X4 RXT 3070
iChill X4 is one of the cheaper but unique models in the lineup when it comes to flagship cards. Being priced a bit lower compared to the ROG Strix or Suprim X models, iChill X4 creates a very interesting choice. The pricing of graphics cards is a bit of a mess these days. But, considering everything was available at MSRP, this would have been a solid recommendation.
We have been testing this card for over two weeks, and for that period, we have been impressed with it. We recommend getting one of these cards if you are looking for an RTX 3070. There are a few to the design but it’s still a performer. That is what matters at the end of the day.
People avoid INNO3D and Colorful thinking they are bad. That is true to a degree. Nonetheless, these brands sell products at attractive price points, still costing a tad less than their competitors’.
INNO3D iChill x4 RTX 3070 8GB Review
iChill X4 RTX 3070 is a cheaper, quality choice in these difficult situations. Providing solid performance on most of the modern-titles, it would be more than enough for your gaming needs.