Review: MSI GeForce GTX 1070 ARMOR 8GB OC
(Updated for 2019!)
A fantastic mining workhorse with good all-round performance in ethereum and altcoin mining
Updated 13th March 2019
Great hash rate
Great for overclocking
Low power consumption
Comes with MSI Afterburner
Comes with Samsung GDDR5
Very quiet operation
Hard to locate stock
Large card size
What is the GTX 1070 ARMOR OC version from MSI?
MSI has released a series of GeForce GTX 1070 cards including AERO 8G OC (link), AERO ITX 8G OC (link), Founders Edition (link), GAMING X 8G (link), and last but not least the ARMOR 8G OC version (link). To say the least, the large number of card versions is a bit confusing to gamers and miners who are looking to purchase a 1070 on the market.
What makes the MSI GeForce GTX 1070 ARMOR 8G OC version special is that it comes with a default overclock straight from the factory. The core boost/base clocks are 1746MHz/1556MHz. In addition, the card comes with the desirable SAMSUNG GDDR5 memory that's optimal for extreme overclocking. The memory runs at a default 8008MHz.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 GPU is based on the Pascal core 16nm architecture. 1070 comes with 1920 CUDA cores, where as the Ti Edition comes with 2432 CUDA cores. For comparison purposes, the standard and Ti versions of 1080 comes with 2560 and 3584 CUDA cores respectively.
The MSI GeForce GTX 1070 ARMOR 8G OC comes with a black & white color theme
Samsung GDDR5 memory is ideal for overclocking compared to Hynix or Micron memory. It's the preferred memory of choice for overclockers looking to maximize their hashrate.
Let's start with the packaging first
The MSI GeForce GTX 1070 ARMOR 8G OC comes in an attractive black-themed box. The box feels really solid with some weight to it. It is important that the card is well packaged to avoid any damages during transportation.
The MSI GeForce GTX 1070 8G ARMOR OC very well packaged. The card is surrounded by a thick layer of foam to ensure it is not damaged during shipping.
What does the MSI GeForce GTX 1070 card look like?
The MSI GeForce GTX 1070 8G ARMOR OC is a pretty long card. Make sure you have enough space in your mining rig to accommodate this beast.
The MSI GTX 1070 card is very long and very tail. The card itself measures 279 x 140 x 37 mm. When building your mining rig, you have to ensure there is enough spacing to accommodate this card with sufficient cooling space for airflow.
The fan is designed to modulate its speed automatically to reduce noise pollution. For those who have home-built mining rigs at home, this is a feature that is very much appreciated. We actually find these MSI cards to run very quietly even at 100% fan speed. In our humble opinion, the rig can sit comfortably in the living room as a mini heater without drawing criticism from family members.
The length of the MSI 1070 card measures 279mm. While it is not the longest card we have seen around (the Titan cards are longer), it is certainly one of the longer ones out there.
Automatic fan speed control. The fans actually stop if the card is running below 60'C. This feature is very much appreciated by home miners to reduce noise pollution.
Performance Test Set-up
MSI GeForce GTX 1070 8G ARMOR OC Graphics Card
Biostar TB250-BTC PRO
Intel Celeron G3900 Processor
128GB SSD Hard Drive
Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS
NVIDIA Linux Driver Version 387.34
Claymore V10.0 miner (single-mining ETH)
What is the mining performance of the MSI GeForce GTX 1070 8G ARMOR OC graphics card?
At default factory settings before any optimization and overclocking, we are getting 25 - 27MH/s single-mining ETH using Claymore V10.0 in Ubuntu. This is pretty great performance straight out of the box. The card consumes a maximum of 160W as show in nvidia-smi function. That said, we notice the power consumption does not seem to really hit the default max value during mining. The power consumption generally hovers around 145W when single-mining ETH.
The MSI GeForce GTX 1070 8G ARMOR OC operates at around 26MH/s at default factory settings. Not a bad mining performance straight out of the box.
Overclocked & Optimized - 31.5MH/s hash performance
We started tweaking the core clock and memory clock, along with the power consumption on the card shortly after we started mining with the 1070. It took us little effort to get the memory speed up, as the MSI 1070 ARMOR version uses the highly desirable Samsung GDDR5 memory. We managed to get the cards running stably at +1300MHz on the memory clock, with a 120W power consumption cap.
Overclocked & Optimized
We have 8 MSI GeForce GTX 1070 8G ARMOR OC graphics cards running in a stable formation at 31.5MH/s each for ETH single mining. Power is capped at 120W per card.