AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT and RX 5700 Evaluate

AMD's latest Navi GPUs are made using TSMC's 7nm manufacturing process, making them significantly smaller than the previous Radeon RX Vega 56 and 64-piece models. Compared to Vega 10, Navi has 18% fewer transistors, but is almost 50% smaller with 251 mm2. While Vega 64 contained 64 processing units and Vega 56, 56 processing units, the RX 5700 only received 36 and the 5700 XT 40. However, this is a meaningless comparison, since the cores used in the Navi GPUs differ greatly from those of Vega.

The maximum single precision performance of the 5700 XT has dropped 23% compared to Vega 64 – this is a more relevant metric for calculation – while the maximum pixel fill rate has been increased by 23%, and that is exactly what makes the 5700 XT better Gaming GPU.

AMD has also abolished HBM for the new parts. Instead, they have 8 GB of GDDR6 memory for a bandwidth of 448 GB / s using a 256-bit memory bus. This roughly corresponds to the top bandwidth of the new competing GeForce RTX 2060 Super and 2070 Super graphics cards.

The Radeon 5700 XT was originally supposed to cost $ 450, but at the last minute AMD lowered it by $ 50, making it part of $ 400 (see super effect). In the meantime, the RX 5700 was reduced by $ 30 from $ 380 to $ 350 before launch. This is what a competitive GPU landscape looks like.

Radeon RX 5700 XT Radeon RX 5700 Radeon RX Vega 64 GeForce RTX 2070 Super GeForce RTX 2060 Super
Price (RRP) $ 400 $ 350 $ 500 $ 500 $ 400
Architecture RDNA 7nm TSMC RDNA 7nm TSMC GCN 5 14 nm GF Turing 12nm TSMC Turing 12nm TSMC
Graphics core 2560 SP 2304 SP 4096 SP 2560 CUDA 2176 CUDA
Peak SP Compute 9.7 TFLOPs 7.9 TFLOPS 13.4 TFLOPs 9.1 TFLOPS 7.2 TLFOPS
Basic clock 1605 MHz 1465 MHz 1247 MHz 1605 MHz 1470 MHz
Music box 1755 MHz 1625 MHz N / A N / A N / A
Boost clock 1905 MHz 1725 MHz 1546 MHz 1770 MHz 1650 MHz
memory 8 GB 256-bit GDDR6 8 GB 256-bit GDDR6 8 GB 2048-bit HBM2 8 GB 256-bit GDDR6 8 GB 256-bit GDDR6
Memory bandwidth 448 Gbps 448 Gbps 484 Gbps 448 Gbps 448 Gbps
TDP 225 W. 185 W. 295 W. 215 W. 175 W.

AMD claims 225W for the 5700 XT and 185W for the 5700, both lower than Vega 10. The clock speeds can be a bit misleading, although at least AMD has stated a gaming watch. The boost clock is practically meaningless since this frequency is not reached beyond the first few seconds of playing. So the gaming clock is a more accurate metric, and we've generally seen the clock speeds being around 50 MHz higher than AMD claims, at least in our 21-degree test environment, although in less favorable scenarios the fan speed should just increase, to maintain the clock rates.

Navi also offers support for PCIe 4.0, which is good on paper, but for these special GPUs, it doesn't offer any noticeable improvements over the 3.0 specification.

We used an Intel Core i9-9900K for testing, which is clocked at 5 GHz and 32 GB DDR4-3400 memory. The latest drivers available at the time of testing were used. All of this data is current for this review and has been collected in the past two weeks. We tested 12 games before our usual performance degradation and cost per frame data.

Benchmarks

First we have Battlefield V and right now we have some strange results. The Radeon RX 5700 XT is very impressive with an average of 112 fps, but we also see an unusually low performance of 1%. While the 5700 XT is 11% faster than the RTX 2070 Super at the average frame rate, it was only 1% faster at the 1% low result. Gameplay went smoothly and no stuttering was noticed, but we need to see if AMD can solve this with a future driver or not.

We see the same with the standard 5700, although it corresponded to the average frame rate of the 2070 Super, the 1% low result was far below that of the 2060 Super. The overall performance in the game was good and the better news is that this was the only title where we saw this type of 1% low performance.

For example, the frame rates in Rainbow Six Siege were very constant, although the RX 5700 XT did not match the RTX 2070 Super. It delivered RTX 2070-like performance and was 5% slower than the Radeon VII.

The RX 5700 was ~ 9% behind the RTX 2060 Super, although we hope to get better results for AMD in the other games we tested.

But now with Metro Exodus. Margins are pretty similar in this game, where the 5700 XT outperformed the 2070 Super by 11% and the 5700 was 6% slower than the 2060 Super.

The Radeon VII was also 17% faster than the 5700 XT, although of course it's a much more expensive product.

When we move to Resident Evil 2, we see fairly competitive results. The 5700 XT was 5% slower than the RTX 2070 Super, while the 5700 was 4% slower than the 2060 Super. Although Nvidia enjoys a performance advantage, especially after the super boost, their graphics cards also cost more. So it will be interesting to see how they are all compared in the cost-per-frame analysis at the end of this test.

Next up is Shadow of the Tomb Raider and here are the 5700 and 2060 super neck to neck. The 5700 XT performed well, but was 7% slower than the 2070 Super. It also costs 20% less.

Both new RX 5700 graphics cards were able to achieve a highly playable performance in Fortnite with 1440p and maximum image quality. As we said in the past, this is not a good title for AMD when comparing the performance with the GeForce competition. The 5700 XT only managed to hit the 2060 Super, which is not a great result overall.

If we go on, The Division 2 will find a much stronger result for AMD. Granted, they don't push the GeForce competition aside, but the 5700 still fits the 2060 Super, while the 5700 XT is only 7% slower than the 2070 Super.

DiRT sees a good result for the new RDNA GPUs. The 5700 corresponds to the 2060 Super and the same applies to the comparison of the 5700 XT and the 2070 Super. This is an extremely competitive result for the new AMD GPUs.

We bet AMD wished every title was as friendly to them as Forza Horizon 4, what shellacking. The Standard 5700 beats the 2070 Super and leaves the 2060 Super in a completely different performance level. In the meantime, the 5700 XT even manages to beat the Radeon VII, which spits out an incredible 131 fps on average and is basically on par with the RTX 2080 Ti.

Although not nearly as astonishing, Far Cry New Dawn's results are still cheap for AMD, as both 5700 GPUs displaced or at least reached the GeForce competition. Since both cost a little less, this is a solid result.

Another outstanding result for AMD can be seen in World War II, where the 5700 and 5700 XT beat their closest competitor. The 5700 XT even beat the RTX 2080. The Standard 5700 was 13% faster than the 2060 Super, even though it just managed to beat our Vega 56.

The last game in today's summary is Assassin's Creed: Odyssey. The 5700 XT was 7% slower than the 2070 Super, while the 5700 was 13% slower than the 2060 Super. Not a great result, but also not too disappointing to end with.

Now that the FPS performance for a dozen games is in our pocket, let's check the power consumption.

power consumption

Our first diagram only looks at GPU performance, not board performance. Interestingly, the 5700 XT consumed 6% less power than the RTX 2070 Super and 25% less than the Radeon VII. The standard RX 5700 consumed 27% less power than the XT model, making it much more efficient than even the RTX 2060 represents an enormous result for the basic navigation model.

If we now look at the total system consumption, we see some changes. Now the 5700 XT consumes a little more power than the 2070 Super, which is interesting, it's not a big change, but before consuming 6% less power in the GPU-only test, it now consumed 2.5% if it used all of it Board plus the system measured more power. The 5700 complies with the 2060 standard, while previously it used significantly less electricity.

Temperature & overclocking

The Radeon RX 5700 XT runs immediately at 84 degrees and maintains a core clock speed of 1740 MHz and a memory speed of 872 MHz, which is basically 14 Gbit / s. The blower fan typically spun at 2100 RPM in our tests.

When overclocking the 5700 XT, the core peak was a little over 1940 MHz, but still dropped temporarily to 1720 MHz, and an average clock speed of 1860 MHz was found, which corresponds to an overclocking of ~ 10%. The massive fluctuation was due to the operating temperature of almost 90 degrees, at 88 degrees the GPU tends to throttle and with a fan of 43% or 2100 rpm there was scope for movement. In terms of memory, we could only get the GDDR6 up to a transfer speed of 14.3 Gbit / s, which was a little disappointing.

With the core clock jumping around everywhere, we decided to crank the fan to 100% – where it is incredibly loud at 4600rpm – in this scenario the GPU peaked at 70 degrees and the 5700 XT could keep it at a core clock rate of at all times over 2 GHz. That's about 20% overclocking from stock. I think liquid cooling will be a popular option for these 5700 XT graphics cards.

The Standard 5700 ran immediately at 75 degrees with a fan speed of 1900 rpm and maintained a typical operating frequency of 1670 MHz. Then when it was overclocked with the automatic fan speed, it reached 85 degrees, but the fan only spun at 1600rpm. We can assume that this is a bug in the drivers for early revisions.

For a last test, we set the fan speed to 50%, which caused the fan of the blower to rotate at 2700 rpm. It was loud, but nothing crazy or unbearable. This allowed the 5700 to average a core frequency of 1780 MHz at 70 degrees. Unfortunately, we couldn't move the core higher, because there currently seems to be an upper frequency limit and it is not clear whether AMD will remove it.

Breakdown of benefits

Radeon RX 5700 vs. GeForce RTX 2060 Super

First, we have the fight between the RX 5700 and its main competitor, the RTX 2060 Super. In our 12-game example, the Radeon was 1% faster on average, but this is not realistic because the massive win in Forza Horizon 4 distorted the result. If we remove the Forza outlier, the RX 5700 is only 2% slower on average. We can say that it is close enough to draw, and we generally do so when we talk about margins less than 5%.

We have seen competitive performance at DiRT Rally 2, Far Cry New Dawn, Division 2, Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Resident Evil 2. So it will be interesting to see how these two stack up compared to the cost per frame.

Radeon RX 5700 vs. GeForce RTX 2070

Compared to the original RTX 2070, which will soon leave the market, the RX 5700 was 2% slower on average. Again, it enjoyed the great result of Forza Horizon 4, but still achieved solid victories in World War Z and Battlefield V.

Radeon RX 5700 vs Radeon Vega 56

The new RX 5700 was 11% faster on average than Vega 56. Not a massive boost in performance after 2 years, but the 5700 is a much less complex GPU, so AMD can make a profit even if it costs $ 350.

Radeon RX 5700 XT vs. GeForce RTX 2070 Super

Next we have the 5700 XT and it does well in combat with the RTX 2070 Super. It was only 4% slower than the GeForce when we removed the Forza Horizon 4 result.

Radeon RX 5700 XT against GeForce RTX 2080

The 5700 XT was also 9% slower than the much more expensive RTX 2080, so you can see why Nvidia needs to launch an RTX 2080 Super. Sometimes the Radeon GPU was up to 20-24% slower, but that still makes the 5700 XT a cheaper option.

Radeon RX 5700 XT vs. Radeon VII

Speaking of value: Like the 2070 Super, the 5700 XT not only eliminates the standard 2080, but also says goodbye to the computing-heavy Radeon VII. The newer navigation-based map is 6% slower. We hope you haven't dropped around $ 700 recently on a Radeon VII.

Cost per frame comparison

First, we have an EIA comparison with starting prices. Compared to Vega 56's MSRP of $ 400, the 5700 XT offers a massive 21% discount per frame, while the standard RX 5700 offers a 22% discount.

It's also a massive improvement over the Radeon VII and we only got that 5 months ago. At $ 6.54 per frame, the 5700 XT saves almost 40% as you basically get the same performance for $ 300, but we won't pretend that the Radeon VII or RTX 2080 is ever particularly inexpensive for a comparison with the current market prices.

The RX 5700 and 5700 XT also look good here with their adjusted UVP. AMD might have been able to cope with the original prices announced a few weeks ago, but obviously they wanted to get a good value and try to disrupt the otherwise GeForce dominated market. The new Navi GPUs are less expensive than the 2060 Super, Standard 2060 and GTX 1660 Ti.

The RX 5700 offers a fairly large discount of 14% per frame compared to the RTX 2060 Super, and the RX 5700 XT is 18% below the frame compared to the 2070 Super. So that's really good.

Close thoughts

When we tested the new GeForce Super graphics cards last week, we pointed out the obvious. That was Nvidia's attempt to steal AMD's thunder when Navi started the following week. The RTX 2070 Super is a solid addition, no matter what camp you are in. It kills the Radeon VII, the RTX 2070 and even the RTX 2080. The 2060 Super was not as exciting as it essentially fits into the existing price structure.

The company forced AMD to a certain extent to lower prices, which aroused further interest in the performance of these navigation GPUs. In terms of performance, the RX 5700 can essentially keep up with the RTX 2060 Super, which had performance similar to RTX 2070 until a week ago. It is slightly faster than the Vega 64. For $ 350, that's an exceptionally good value.

Then we have the RX 5700 XT, which is at $ 400 on a sweet spot and costs only $ 4.00 per frame in our tests. It's cheaper than cheaper products like the original RTX 2060 and GTX 1660 Ti. Not to mention that you're approaching the 2070 super performance with a pretty big discount.

Availability is key, if AMD is able to store shelves at $ 400 5700 XT and $ 350 5700, they offer the best value at these prices. We learn that custom AIB models are also on the way. If they can instantly boost performance and at the same time get the typical benefits of the AIB card, Nvidia may have to make some custom adjustments and at this point we have a good, old-fashioned GPU price war in our hands.

The reference model cards we tested were relatively quiet and nothing like the Radeon VII. The fans of the 5700 XT only turned to 2100 rpm after a one-hour stress test. While the GPU was sitting at a little over 80 degrees, that's okay when you consider that the fan cooler isn't exactly ideal. The setup is usable and you will certainly not need any earmuffs. We’re looking at Radeon VII again.

The bottom line is that we like what we see from AMD as they are finally competitive at the mainstream graphics level, not only in terms of price and performance, but also in terms of efficiency. At the same time, the new Radeons are catching up with Nvidia's offerings that have been on the market for about a year – sans ray tracing, which is not very useful in this generation – but at a better overall value and at better prices. We hope that stocks will be good in a few weeks and that prices will be close to or very close to the MSRP.

Look out for upcoming articles when we deal with Radeon Image Sharpening (think of DLSS from AMD) and further analyzes on the CPU and GPU side.

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