The "Navi" range, as it's been called for so long for AMD's next-generation video cards, has been slow in coming, but early returns indicate that AMD is in the process of resume his place. The Radeon RX 5700 XT, worth $ 399, is the highest of two new graphics cards, based on a 7-nanometer (7-nanometer) production process, which aim to smother the thunder that Nvidia has known for so long in the mid-frequency market. And after browsing through our landmarks, this map does it brilliantly. It runs a little warmer than its Nvidia counterparts (RTX 2060 and RTX 2070 Supers), and its first results in overclocking leave something to be desired. But aside from that, the RX 5700 XT is an encouraging card that, thanks in part to a sudden price drop in preview, is making AMD better off than it has been for years. Buyers of mid-range graphics cards who want to know the competition will be delighted.
RDNA Architecture: a new beginning
Lower power requirements. Best performance per watt. Less cooling needed to maintain healthy GPU temperatures. These are the promises of AMD's new 7nm Radeon DNA (RDNA) architecture, a long overdue redesign of the Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture that has powered AMD cards in various forms since early 2012. Navi The launch of the cards on July 7th (July 7th), alongside the first 7nm Ryzen processors (including the Ryzen 9 3900X), was designed to commemorate new technology and process architecture.
First of all, this bit of power. AMD cards have long tended to be the hottest, most powerful, and energy-hungry cards of any level made by the two major GPU manufacturers, but Navi cards are showing gains here. As a direct comparison, the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT only needs a maximum of 225 watts of operation, compared to the 295 watts required by the previous Radeon RX Vega 64 in the 2017 era, for to be able to carry on.
Overall, AMD promised that its new RDNA-based cards would offer 1.5 times more performance per watt than any card built on the GCN architecture. Another AMD impressive statement: it offers 2.3 times the "performance per zone", with the Vega 10 14nm chips taking up 495mm2 of space on a matrix, while this first series of Navi cards, based on the new manufacturing process at 7 nm and built around the RDNA, requires only 251 mm2 of space.
Also on the menu, although a secondary item: PCI Express 4.0. The PCI Express 3.0 has been a staple on PC motherboards for so long that the advent of a new PCI Express specification is a defining moment, even though 4.0 will no longer matter for video cards during some time. The cards released on RDNA will be fully PCI Express 4.0 compliant, and the specification offers potentially interesting bit rate improvements (maximum possible throughput of 22 Gbps versus 13 Gbps with PCI Express 3.0) on a theoretical basis. How important is this for GPUs, More specifically? For games, not much. The cards are not bottlenecks under PCI Express 3.0, and there is no AAA title on the market (even a very deadly one like Metro: Exodus) that would know what to do with all this 4.0 bandwidth. The first thing to do is that creative workloads and their associated software suites (such as DaVinci or Maya) could generate the largest gains of PCI Express 4.0 in the coming years. For now, this is not a factor for gamers, and the 4.0 is only a feature at the moment on the new AMD X570-based motherboards. It's good to know that the new Radeons are ready for the future, but they will work well with existing PCI Express 3.0 motherboards.
Other notable improvements with RDNA include an all-new multilevel cache hierarchy, which, in a nutshell, reduces latency at every level of the instruction process. According to AMD, this translates into an improvement of 1.25 times the performance per clock cycle.
Overall, RDNA offers the kind of refinements and enhancements that are expected from a seven-year architectural redevelopment, and it looks set to give AMD the opportunity to take the Nvidia's competing cards on key metrics of performance. report.
Do these first cards succeed? Now let's move on to the first performance figures "Navi", right after the price discussion, and I take you on a tour of the horizon of the first RX 5700 XT board to stop in PC Labs. (The chip architecture is not the only thing to see improvements around the AMD workshops.) Check out our article on our Radeon RX 5700 to see what the company has done for the software I did not want to repeat. all this here because both magazines are quite long, and you should check them both if you are seriously considering one or the other of these cards.)
First, a word about the prices: what happened?
Those of you who have closely watched the release of these cards might be wondering: "Wait, was the RX 5700 XT not supposed to cost more than $ 400?"
Yeah, that was. Then last week happened.
On July 2, Nvidia launched its supposed GeForce RTX Super lineup during a classic surprise attack, dropping a neutron bomb amidst AMD's video card launching projects. AMD had already announced an E3 price for its first two Radeon RX Navi cards: $ 449 for the Radeon RX 5700 XT, $ 379 for the Radeon RX 5700, and $ 499 for a special special limited edition of the RX 5700 XT (essentially , a special edition). switched version of the RX 5700 XT vanilla).
Nvidia Super pricing imposed a quick counter-brewing. The GeForce RTX 2060 Super (starting at $ 399) and the RTX 2070 Super (starting at $ 499) are launched and, a few days later, AMD decides to play Nvidia's hand. He lowered the price of his three new cards just two days before the scheduled day: the anniversary edition of the RX 5700 XT went from $ 499 to $ 449, the Radeon RX 5700 XT card no birthday is here) has passed from $ 449 to $ 399 and the Radeon RX 5700 went from $ 379 to $ 349.
Has AMD planned this late price decrease from the beginning? (He probably had it in his back pocket.) Is this the result of Nvidia's Super Launch? AMD's chief executive, Dr. Lisa Su, certainly.) Anyway, in the case of the Radeon RX 5700 XT, the price drop directly pits the card against the new Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 at $ 399. fight AMD originally planned against the no-Super RTX 2070.
It was a lot of drama for a week, even before everyone had the opportunity to evaluate the cards! Ok, let's take a closer look at the map.
Hey, who dumped my video card?
You can see it, we can see it: Yes, it's a large bump.
Right in the middle of the Radeon RX 5700 XT reference card that we have on hand, a large cut breaks a otherwise perfect rectangular block. Of course, it's intentional. But I do not know if it's a touch of cool modern art, or if it simply suggests that someone at the factory hit the card with something hard before the pack it into a box. (The atmosphere is a bit of both, really.) Whatever you think, it does not look like any map design so far.
Now, keep in mind that this map that I have on hand is an AMD reference chart. What this means: The initial Radeon RX 5700 XT cards that most consumers can buy will be manufactured in the same image (and with the loading of specifications) as this card by AMD's third-party partners.
Until now, all the RX 5700 XT card chassis I've seen have adhered to the bumped reference cooler and body: Asrock, Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, Sapphire, XFX, and so on. It will be interesting to see if and when AMD's board partners retain their footprint in future RX 5700 XT partner card versions that may not meet benchmark specifications or make extensive use of their own cooling designs. . We suspect the last approach. Custom versions of the RX 5700 cards are expected by mid-August.
Anyone who has seen inside a gaming laptop knows that sometimes inclined copper channels are installed to move and distribute the heat more efficiently than they transport in a specific direction. Even though I will not rip the shroud of our Radeon RX 5700 XT analysis sample to find out if this sort of thing is at stake here, AMD's marketing around the map points to the breach. with a description entitled "Steam chamber cooling". It would not be unthinkable to suggest that this design element is somehow related to maintaining the map at reasonable temperatures.
Anyway, aside from the hump, much of what we can see about the design of the RX 5700 XT is visible on its hull. In this reference design, the company has come back to the design of the fan that has remained so controversial in the AMD fan base for so many years. On the one hand, the advantage of the fan design lies in its exceptional exhaust heat routing, which ensures that warm air coming from the heat sink of your GPU is expelled by the back of the PC, rather than turning in the case like a double or triple fan. drawings would be. A fanless design requires more attention from the PC fitter than the airflow in the chassis is breathtaking.
The tradeoff (up to now, obviously) was the noise. Fans fans are still significantly more powerful than those designed in a conventional manner, the former sometimes generating 20 decibels more than the last, according to the manufacturer. This has become a stumbling block for some buyers, but AMD says its new blower design has solved this problem.
In tests, I found that in an environment where the reference value was 43.1 dB, the Radeon RX 5700 XT exceeded 61.2 dB with one meter away from the closed case. It's not a silent fan by far, but it's a quieter One of those that AMD cards, such as the Radeon RX Vega 64, had preceded it.
The power supply of the card and its fan is a two-piece power connector. You will need a six-pin power cable and an eight-pin cable, while the back of the dual-slot Radeon RX 5700 XT has three DisplayPort 1.4b outputs and one HDMI 2.0 output.
All reference cards that I saw from third parties on launch day had the same port loading. Especially do not There is currently a Type-C / VirtualLink USB port (for future VR headsets), as on some recent GeForce RTX cards, such as the GeForce RTX 2070 Super.
Compared Specifications: AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT and AMD Radeon RX Vega 64
For starters, we're going to compare the AMD Radeon RX 5700 graphics card to the map that AMD is likely to replace by itself: the Radeon RX Vega 64. (There is no official result yet.) Vega 64 will cease at as AMD moves into the era of RDNA, but I know where I would place my bet.)
Here, the most obvious difference concerns the manufacturing process and architecture, both of which have changed significantly from Vega 64 to Radeon RX 5700 XT. This includes lower power requirements, a lower introductory price, and the transition from 8GB of HBM2 memory to 8GB of GDDR6. (HBM supplies were often prone to scarcity, so I suppose switching to GDDR6, which Nvidia also uses on its latest generation cards, gives AMD some breathing room to get it.)
Compared Specifications: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 from AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT
In all the documents I've seen touting the performance of the Radeon RX 5700 XT before it was launched, AMD compared the card to the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 card. Note that it is vanilla, reference RTX 2070, and not the GeForce RTX 2070 Super on sale July 9, or the edition GeForce RTX 2070 Founders (which, unlike first impressions, is actually an overclocked card sold by Nvidia, and not a reference.
Prior to the various July launches, the RTX 2070 reference cards started at $ 499; the Radeon RX 5700 XT was then $ 449. Now RTX 2070 Great The cards start at $ 499, and we'll see what the market does with the non-Super RTX 2070 cards still available. (According to Nvidia, the RTX 2070 Super replaces the RTX 2070 with vanilla.)
Many of the specifications between these two maps are quite close, and they share many similarities on the surface. But we will see how this proximity will translate well when we enter the benchmarks of PC Labs.
Compared Specifications: AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT and AMD Radeon RX 5700
Finally, it's time to see what a little extra money brings you. Based on the price adjustments announced on July 5 and mentioned above, the AMD Radeon RX 5700 graphics card is priced at $ 349 for the reference designs, while the RX 5700 XT jumbo value is 399. USD.
Almost everything on these two cards is identical, with the exception of clock speeds, number of processors and power requirements (although they both have the same six and eight pin power block connector configuration). So, what does this $ 50 supplement take you to the real world? Let's dig and see …
Let's try: RDNA extends its legs
PC labs have powered the Radeon RX 5700 XT through a series of real and synthetic tests based on DirectX 11 and 12. Our PC Labs test platform is based on Intel and uses a PCI Express 3.0 motherboard, and not 4.0. As always, it is equipped with a Intel Core i7-8700K processor, 16GB of G.Skill DDR4 memory, a solid-state boot drive and a Aorus Z370 Gaming 7 motherboard.
For our tests, I focused on the esports of the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT with games such as CS: GO and Apex Legends, and also reviewed the map with the rest of our treatment standard benchmark, which tests the ability to handle AAA games with the highest possible quality settings.
3DMark Fire Strike Ultra
Synthetic benchmarks can be good predictors of gaming performance in the real world. The Futuremark Fire Strike Ultra, which dates back to around 2013, is still an approximate choice of the charge imposed by the 4K game. We only look at the graphical sub-score of the test, not the overall score, to isolate the performance of the map.
From the outset, the slugfest between AMD and Nvidia is heating up fast. Fire Strike Ultra tests the ability of a GPU to handle DX11 games at higher resolutions. Here, the Radeon RX 5700 XT surprised us by thwarting the RTX 2070 Super. Reminder: This is a $ 100 card more expensive.
Up to now everything is fine for the RX 5700 XT. How is this going to translate into real game results? Hang tight.
3DMark Time Spy and Time Spy Extreme
This is the Futuremark reference for predicting the performance of games that support DirectX 12. It uses the main features of the API, including asynchronous computing, explicit multi-adapter and multi-threading.
Things get complicated in this test, because the RX 5700 XT barely exceeds the RTX 2060 Super (its price equal) in the standard Time Spy, and exchange a narrow loss against this same card in the Time Spy Extreme.
Our latest synthetic benchmark is the 2017 version of Unigine, Superposition. This benchmark actually integrates the ray tracing, but it is a software and not hardware, and therefore does not engage RT cores (in the case of Nvidia RTX cards).
In this test, the Radeon RX 5700 XT does not compete with the RTX 2070 Super, but manages a slight victory against the RTX 2060 Super, which is all that the card needs to remain competitive.
Real world play
The following marks are games you can play. The graphics themselves describe the settings we used (usually the highest presets in the game and, if applicable, DirectX 12). As mentioned, here we have a mix of AAA titles, as well as some other optimized, multiplayer-based titles.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
The recent title of Square Enix is the first real test. This game is well optimized for the PC platform, but very demanding for its superior visual quality settings.
AMD was focused on marketing the Radeon RX 5700 XT as the 1440p player's dream, and on Shadow of the Tomb Raider, it fit the frames perfectly with the GeForce RTX 2070 Super at 77fps at 1440p. And it surpasses the RTX 2060 Super some images. A very good start.
The rise of the slayer
The predecessor of Shadow of the Tomb Raider 2015 remains an excellent reference.
Here, the Radeon RX 5700 XT beats the Radeon Vega 64 (as expected) and the RTX 2060 Super some images, but the RTX 2070 Super reaffirms its dominance at the two higher resolutions.
Far Cry 5 and Far Cry Primal
The fourth and fifth slots of the Far Cry series are based on DirectX 11, but they still require full games.
On these two tests, the Radeon RX 5700 XT misses the bar set by the RTX 2070 Super in millimeters. These two cards are very close to each other here, and when you look at the price difference between them, it's hard not to call it a nice pair of wins for the Radeon RX 5700 XT.
Final Fantasy XV
Let's take a respite from fps based benchmarks for Final Fantasy XV. Secondary Note: At this point, it is accepted that the Final Fantasy XV reference test is ideally suited to Nvidia cards, due in part to the strong involvement of the GPU manufacturer in supporting Square Enix for the console game. to computer.
As we have seen in other card tests, Nvidia dominates indeed in this specific test.
World of Tanks Encore
This is another non-frame rate evaluation test available as a free download. It's not very demanding, but it's still a revealing test.
On this one, it is more or less a wash against the RTX 2060 Super, and the RX 5700 XT ahead of the RTX 2070 Super about 10%.
… and how about some legacy games?
We also did some quick tests on some classic products that still offer an AAA gaming experience. These classic tests include series of Hitman: Absolution, Tomb Raider (2013) and Bioshock: Infinite, the latter being a game that has not yet been optimized, as in 2019.
The results have been a little back and forth here, with more losses than gains for the RX 5700 XT against the Nvidia Super range. I would say that this particular group is not conclusive compared to the RTX 2060 Super.
Although most PC Labs game tests are maximized in graphical fidelity to push the cards to their limit, the multiplayer game is to maintain the best balance between graphics fidelity and pace. It's in this spirit that we've kept Apex Legends, CS: GO and Rainbow Six: Siege tuned to the best combination of needed enhancements in the settings (higher anti-aliasing and lower shadows, for example) while trying to keep rates for 1080p games above 144fps.
Why 144fps? It is a coveted target for highly competitive esports players with 120 Hz or 144 Hz screens with a high refresh rate. For more casual players with regular 60Hz monitors, a resolution of 80 fps or 90 frames per second, with some overhead to accommodate hollows below 60, is fine.
Apex Legends is the newest and most exciting royal battle of the neighborhood. If you are upgrading your platform to access it, you should have a good idea of the kind of performance you can expect at this first boot, is not it?
The Radeon RX 5700 XT just misses the 144 frames per second at 1440p, but you can easily fix it by setting the detail settings just a little lower than the predefined PC Labs tests.
Against Strike: World Offensive
One of the oldest, but still most popular games in the world, CS: GO has practically changed nothing in its main gameplay since 1999 … and the players would not have it otherwise. The engine is considered one of the best optimized in all PC games, which allows to see the important gaps between the capabilities of one card compared to another.
I mean … is there a mid-range map that can not to run this game at 100fps-plus? Each resolution on the test cards here offers a resolution greater than 144 frames per second for 144Hz panels, and you, the players using a 1080p / 240Hz monitor do not have to worry either. Playing this game at 4K was not a force on the Radeon RX 5700 XT, but it was a powerful competitor with more reasonable resolutions of 1440p and 1080p.
Take a look at overclocking and thermals
The AMD cards of recent models have the reputation of blowing, but the company has made quite substantial gains in RDNA compared to GCN in terms of energy consumption and heat production.
We performed a 10 minute 3DMark resistance test on the Radeon RX 5700 XT. The reference map reached its maximum at a temperature of 84 ° C. This number continued to climb after we activated the AMD WattMan for automatic overclocking, up to a maximum of 86 degrees Celsius from a 125 MHz gain (about) on the amplified clock of the card.
We tried to manually overclock the card in WattMan, AMD's overclocking tool contained in its driver software, but the card would not give as good results as automated overclocking (4% increase in average pace, so take "strong". "with a hint of salt), or it would fall down altogether.The card also crashed repeatedly, even when the" auto "setting was enabled in the games, though it remained stable on modest self-overclocking when running 3DMark tests.
This was with the latest driver available, a clean installation of Windows 10. We think that these problems could be solved in future driver updates (which, if you have not used AMD card recently , you must know that it's now called Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition). Or, it is possible that the RX 5700 XT sample in hand has already been widely used; after all, if the RX 5700 XT is a "bundled" version of the same RX 5700 GPU, designed for better performance, it may already be ready for optimal performance. For the moment, the stock market performance seems to be the basis on which you can count.
The TLDR: AMD is back in the GPU game
We all remember what AMD has represented for years in the video card race: on the whole, the cheapest alternative to classic and low-end Nvidia cards. AMD software probably had less attractive software, but they also performed 90% and 75% of the costs.
The last few years have been confronted with extraordinary obstacles and circumstances related to the graphic operation of AMD. The crypto-currency boom caused a temporary manic demand for the latest GCN cards, resulting in shortages and distortion of prices for some time when Nvidia's Pascal was at its peak. It was difficult to buy traditional Radeon cards at a reasonable price for a while. More recently, Intel has attacked AMD's graphic staff in a frantic quest for ages. Whatever happened at AMD headquarters in recent years, graphically, there was always something more important in Nvidia's virtual street: the very successful GPU GeForce GTX "Pascal" family that dominated the desktop and mobile graphics field of 2016 on; the launch of GeForce RTX.
With its Radeon RX 570 and Radeon RX 580, AMD still held an important position in the budget area, but after so many years of trust in GCN, the company had long been waiting for a restart and a win. With the release of the Radeon RX 5700 XT and its little brother RX 5700, AMD proves that it is back in the GPU fight. And, with the prospect of additional RDNA cards on the line, he has no intention of going out anytime soon.
In the case of the Radeon RX 5700 XT, its price change from the 11th hour to $ 399 was decisive and was a brilliant shot of judo. Why? The RX 5700 XT surpasses, albeit marginally, the new GeForce RTX 2060 Super at $ 399, at the same price, in almost every benchmark test we've done. than the price difference between the two. For 1440p play with regular monitors, it offers everything you could ask for its price of 399 $.
People who want to take advantage of ray tracing in the game (still rare in games) and aggressive overclocking could still consider one of these Nvidia cards as an option, or look for another non-Super discounted product. RTX 2070. see if an aggressive price change actually occurs when the RTX 2070s disappear.) But what the Radeon RX 5700 XT proves: for the first time in a long time, AMD has released its traditional game of optimizing budget- card space and more upscale. Well done, red team.