Discussion A potential first look of the Noctua-Asus 3070

Aug 22, 2021
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Introduction:
Recently, the Reddit user u/_trace27 has made a post asking with help identifying a GPU that they found at work. It potentially is a leak of the rumored Asus-Noctua 3070 as it does not match any existing Asus cards. (Links below in Sources)


A picture of the GPU from u/_trace27 's post

My Thoughts:
I will summarize some points both for and against this card vaguely catagorized into supporting, neutral, and against:

Supporting:
  • I think this card is potentially the Asus-Noctua 3070. This is because the PCB seems to match that of the Asus-Strix 3070. The diodes on the back of the PCB over the die area look like they also match that of the Asus-Strix 3070 along with the dual 8-pin power connectors. The cooler and shroud design does not match the Asus-Strix 3070, although it does look like it's based off of it. This point would make sense as there is no reason for Asus to make a full custom PCB for a 3070-8GB model. One may assume that for this GPU as the 3070-8GB is not a flagship card, that Asus would not develop a different PCB for this model, but would likely use a reference PCB or an existing PCB from their 3070 line. Because the PCB appears to match that of Asus' Strix card, that supports the idea that this is the Asus-Noctua 3070.

  • Some users have speculated that the card is a deshroud mod, typically seen a lot in the SFF PC community. I doubt that this is the case because the rest of the card's shroud does not match that of any existing cards on the market put out by Asus as the heatsink and shroud design matches none of their models. The shroud to me (atleast personally), looks like it was meant to be and not a mod by someone. I also have reservations on the idea that the shroud is 3D printed which is explained in the next point.
  • Some people have speculated that u/_trace27 owns a 3D printed and has faked the card. I see this as highly unlikely as the images have no indication of 3D printing, especially on the plastic shroud as the 3D printing layer lines would create a 'stairstep' effect at lower angles, which isn't apparent on any top surfaces of the card, even with the lower video and image resolution. An example of this effect can be shown below. So I highly doubt that the shroud is 3D printed.

On top surfaces, such as the roof of the cabin on this 3D print, the 'stairstep' effect is much more apparent.​

  • The Reddit user posted this in both German and English (See links under sources for both posts). Another Reddit user stated that The post in German doesn't seem to be auto-translated, which at the very least rules out the possibility of a non-German speaker translating it in Google-translate in an attempt to appear as if they were from Germany/Austria. Although other German speakers would be greatly appreciated in further confirming that the German post isn't Auto-translated.

Neutral:
  • u/Flying-T has another good point in their comment that it is unlikely that the company would dispose of an unreleased prototype like that, and thus would not have been found like that. This indicates that it could either be completely faked or merely a non-confidential GPU that is completely unrelated to Noctua (perhaps a just someone else's GPU mod). However, I'd have to image companies do dispose of their ewaste which could include some engineering samples or otherwise so this point could go either way.
Against:
  • The Reddit user u/Flying-T had mentioned that u/_trace27 is active in r/sffpc and r/MechanicalKeyboards as stated in the above image so believes that he knows of the leak, and thus is faking the post. I will, with all respect, raise the point that u/_trace27 not everyone follows leaks or rumors, even if they have a lot of experience in the PC community. However this is a completely valid point of contention.
  • The chances of coming across such a card at an ewaste facility and being able to take it home is unlikely.
Final Words:
I'd love to hear the community response on this. In some ways, I really do hope that this is, in fact, a first look at the Noctua-Asus 3070, but a good discussion and further points for or against this being the case is great! Besides, if this isn't specifically a Noctua card, I'm sure it's still an interesting piece of hardware regardless. I'd love to hear everyone's opinions on this.

Sources:
https://www.reddit.com/r/pcmasterrace/comments/p9jbp3 View: https://www.reddit.com/r/pcmasterrace/comments/p9jbp3/can_anyone_identify_this_gpu/

https://www.reddit.com/r/de_EDV/comments/p9jeii View: https://www.reddit.com/r/de_EDV/comments/p9jeii/kennt_jemand_diese_grafikkarte/

https://www.reddit.com/r/hardware/comments/p9meok View: https://www.reddit.com/r/hardware/comments/p9meok/potential_leak_of_the_asusnoctua_3070/

https://www.notebookcheck.net/Asus-may-be-developing-Nvidia-RTX-3070-cards-with-Noctua-coolers.553408.0.html
 

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