It’s finally here. The AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT has been released around the world. First announced back in Computex 2019 alongside the 3rd generation Ryzen processors, the RX 5700 XT could be the step in the right direction for AMD in the gaming space.

With a bunch of new improvements in both hardware and software, a heavy burden has been placed on the shoulders of the Radeon RX 5700 series. Will the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT be the mainstream GPU champion from AMD that everybody has been waiting for? Let’s find out.

AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT

Model AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT AMD Radeon RX 5700
GPU Navi 10 Navi 10
Architecture RDNA 1 RDNA 1
Transistor Count 10.3 Billion 10.3 Billion
Manufacturing Process 7nm 7nm
Base Clock 1605MHz 1465MHz
Game Clock 1755MHz 1625MHz
Boost Clock 1905MHz 1725MHz
Texture Units 160 144
Render Output Units 64 64
Compute Units 40 36
Stream Processors 2560 2304
Throughput 9.75TFLOPs 7.95TFLOPs
Memory 8GB GDDR6, 14Gbps 8GB GDDR6, 14Gbps
Memory Bus Width 256-bit 256-bit
TDP 225W 180W
Power Connectors 8-pin, 6-pin, PCIe 8-pin, 6-pin, PCIe
Display Connections 3x DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0b 3x DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0b
Others PCIe 4.0 PCIe 4.0

The RDNA Architecture and Navi

Previous cards of AMD employed the Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture. This time around, they using their new Radeon DNA (RDNA) architecture. The brand says that RDNA can deliver around 1.5x performance per watt compared to their previous GCN-based Vega 64 GPU.

In addition, RDNA is also promising 2.3x performance per area. This is in direct comparison to the 495mm² die of Vega 64 to the 251mm² of 7nm Navi-based GPUs.

Navi 10, in its full implementation, has 40 Compute Units with each housing 64 stream processors for a total of 2,560 stream processors. Each compute unit is able to pump out more performance by having two scalar units and schedulers. This allows every Compute Unit to have twice the Instruction Rate compared to previous architectures.

These new Compute Units allow Navi 10 GPUs to have 25% more performance per clock compared to GCN-based GPUs. AMD is also using three new clock speed schemes on their RX 5700 series. On the RX 5700 XT, the GPU comes with three clock speeds: a Base Clock, a Game Clock, and Boost Clock.

Like its name suggests, the GPU’s Base Clock is the lowest clock speed that the GPU can achieve when under load. Boost Clock, meanwhile, is the highest clock speed that the GPU can attain under optimal conditions.

Game Clock, on the other hand, is the clock speed that the GPU averages while in-game. AMD measures this clock speed by running their new cars across 25 separate games and determining its average clock rate.

Does it have Ray Tracing?

At this time, the RDNA-based GPUs will only support ray tracing via Radeon Rays and Pro Render. AMD, however, is promising hardware-accelerated ray tracing at the dawn of its 7nm+ RDNA2-based GPUs. Based on their roadmap, GPUs that fully support ray tracing will arrive on 2020.

New Software

AMD is introducing a couple of new software with the release of the RX 5700 series. First off is AMD Radeon Anti-Lag. This allows whole system to pump out improved input-to-display response time.

Radeon Image Sharpening (RIS) is being introduced this generation. RIS’ major advantage over NVIDIA DLSS is that developers don’t need to specifically implement this technique. Instead, Radeon Image Sharpening can be controlled via the Radeon Software.

AMD says that their sharpening technique can stays close to the targeted resolution as possible. This means that 1080p images can be upscaled 1440p while 1440p images upscaled to 2160p only have minimal differences compared to native resolutions.

There’s also minimal performance hit with RIS allowing players to enjoy sharper images without much downside.

The RX 5700 series will be taking advantage of AMD Radeon Chill. Introduced in Radeon Adrenalin, Radeon Chill allows the GPU to save power whenever it can while in-game.

Radeon Chill regulates the framerate based on the movements while in-game. Essentially, it lowers the GPU performance when you are in a safe area or not moving while pumping up the clocks when movements are fast and erratic.

Up close with the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT

Finally, let’s get to the card itself. The AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT largely sticks to the “almost black” gray color scheme that most reference AMD cards come with.

Symmetrical lines run the length of the card’s Aluminum shroud only disturbed by an intentional dent at the middle of the card. AMD says that the dent was necessary to optimize airflow as well as keep down volume levels.

Speaking of airflow, the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT comes with a single fan with vapor chamber cooling. Connecting the heatsink to the Navi 10 GPU is Graphite TIM for a more efficient heat transfer.

The card does have an aluminum backplate to protect the PCB as well as act as an anchor to prevent excessive GPU sag. There is, however, a cut out in the middle of the backplate that shows the mounting point of the heatsink to the GPU.

Aside from the 75W drawn from the PCIe slot directly, the video card comes with an 8-pin and a 6-pin PCIe connectors. A 7-Phase Digital Power system has been implemented on the card to ensure clean and consistent power is delivered.

Found at the rear of the card are its display outputs. AMD has thrown in three DisplayPort 1.4 ports and a single HDMI 2.0b port. It worth noting that the card is compatible with FreeSync to allow screentear-free gameplay.

Since this is a reference card, there isn’t much in the way of extras. There’s no RGB lighting although the Radeon logo at the side of the shroud does light up in red since it is the company’s color scheme.

The 7-Phase power design is nice to have when overclocking but we have a sneaking suspicion that power delivery won’t be the problem when overclocking but the card’s single fan design.

System and Benchmarks

To see what the latest card from AMD has to offer in the way of performance, we plugged it into our ever-trusty test bench. We ran our usual suite of benchmarking programs, which includes a couple of synthetic benchmarks and games on 1080p and 1440p.

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1600X 4.1GHz
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 RAM, 2933MHz, 16-18-18-18-38
  • Motherboard: ASUS Prime B350-Plus (BIOS 3806)
  • PSU: EVGA 650 GQ Gold 650W
  • OS: Windows 10 Build 1903
  • Driver Version: 19.30.01.09 Adrenalin

Synthetic Benchmarks

3DMark Fire Strike

Designed to showcase the DirectX 11 API, the Futuremark 3DMark Firestrike became a standard in benchmarking as it not only tests the capabilities of the GPU, but also the capabilities of the whole system for a complete stress test.”

3DMark Time Spy

With its pure DirectX 12 engine, built from the ground up to support new API features like asynchronous compute, explicit multi-adapter, and multi-threading, Time Spy is the ideal benchmark for testing the DirectX 12 performance of modern graphics cards.

Gaming Benchmarks

Metro Last Light

It is the year 2034. Beneath the ruins of post-apocalyptic Moscow, in the tunnels of the Metro, the remnants of mankind are besieged by deadly threats from outside – and within. Mutants stalk the catacombs beneath the desolate surface, and hunt amidst the poisoned skies above.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

A follow-up to the reboot of the series, Lara is now searching for a lost treasure that his father was investigating before his passing. Following the same gameplay as Tomb Raider reboot from 2013, the Rise of the Tomb Raider is a worthy title under the Tomb Raider series.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Now an experienced covert operative, Adam Jensen is forced to operate in a world that has grown to despise his kind. Armed with a new arsenal of state-of-the-art weapons and augmentations, he must choose the right approach, along with who to trust, in order to unravel a vast worldwide conspiracy.

Hitman 2016

There is a world beyond ours. Beyond nations, justice, ethics. It never sleeps. It exists everywhere. And once you enter…there is no going back. Welcome to the World of Assassination. You are Agent 47, the world’s ultimate assassin.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The last entry in Geralt’s adventure, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt aims to perfect The Witcher formula. A follow-up to The Witcher 2, which was also regarded for its technical marvel, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a perfect candidate for a benchmarking tool as it runs consistently and stresses most cards with its beautiful graphics.”

Based on benchmarks alone, it seems that the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT straddles the line between the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 and RTX 2080. Several gaming benchmarks allow the card to shine scoring just below the RTX 2080. In others the card just barely squeezes through the RTX 2070.

Temperature

As expected, temperature of the RX 5700 XT was one of the highest amongst the cards we have tested so far. Despite this, the card is only a degree Celsius higher than the RX 580.

The sound of the air flowing through the card is rather loud. This wouldn’t be an issue if you’re wearing a headset when playing but the sound is loud enough to be heard a good distance away from the card.

Conclusion

Officially priced at USD 399 or PhP 24,461 in the Philippines, the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT offers one of the best price-to-performance ratios in the market. The card is able to compete with the alongside the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 and RTX 2080 – cards that are arguably more expensive than it is.

Realistically speaking, there’s still too few games using Ray Tracing to mark off points for the RX 5700 XT. Its sheer performance far makes up for its lack of Ray Tracing support in games.

With tons of new technologies and software currently on offer, the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT, and by extension the RX 5700, still have some room to mature. AT this time, however, looking at the benchmarks it seems that AMD has finally hit their stride with their GPUs as with their processors a few years ago.

Aside from the loud fan, there’s not much in the way downsides with the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT. With this in mind, we’re gladly giving AMD’s latest graphics card our 100% Satisfying award. If you have been holding out for an upgrade for a few years now, then the RX 5700 XT might satiate the itch you’ve been having.

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