AMD Radeon RX 7900XTX Review
It is time to take a closer look at the new AMD Radeon RX 7900XTX and see how it compares to Nvidias 4090 and 4080. We will look into both kinds of performance metrics, in-game and synthetic.
- Uses 2x 8-Pin connectors for Power
- Priced relatively well considering current GPU pricing
- Slightly too loud Coil Whine
RDNA 3 Announcement
AMD's RDNA 3 codenamed Navi 31 Architecture Announcement on November 3 2022 promised to finally push AMD's GPUs to the top of the benchmarks and make them compete with Nvidia's best.
While doubling down on AMD's multiple-compute unit design, they announced major improvements such as increased frequency whilst lowering the power draw, improved Raytracing, and a better optimized Cache System.
RDNA 3's highlight GPU would be the RX 7900 XTX featuring a total of 58 Billion transitions, 96 CUs, 6144 Shader Cores, 96 Ray Tracing cores, all while boosting to 2500 Mhz with 24 GB of memory under the hood.
Grouping all of these keywords together, AMD promised an exceptional level of performance whilst keeping the MSRP underneath 1000usd. Let's take a look at the benchmarks and determine if they managed to deliver what they promised.
For the rest of this review, please keep in mind that every benchmark and therefore statement will only apply to AMD's reference design model.
Benchmarks - General
Power Consumption Idle
A highly important aspect of any GPU nowadays is its power consumption on- and off-load, especially in countries with high energy prices.
As multiple individual reports states, immediately after launch, the RX 7900 XTX could draw above 100w total board power while idling on Windows Desktop. This issue has since been fixed with our sample dawing only 23W.
Power Consumption Kombustor
Allowing the card to use all of its potential power during MSI Kombustor showed that the 7900XTX can draw almost 350W total board power.
This makes it consume roughly the same amount of power as a 3080ti, and slightly more than an RTX 4080.
During the same MSI Kombustor run, the maximum temperature achieved by the GPU was 66°C on the chip and 87°C on its hotspot. Meanwhile, the junction temperature settled at 90°C.
3dMark Time Spy Extreme
As the first Synthetic benchmark, we ran a few rounds of 3dMark Time Spy extreme.
On average, the 7900 XTX scored 14304pts, making it perform slightly above a 4080, but still significantly behind a 4090.
3dMark Port Royal
In Port Royal, the positions switched with the 7900XTX scoring 15306, placing it exactly in between a 3080ti and 4080.
Although Blender GPU now supports RX GPUs, we would advise ignoring this benchmark as its implementation is yet to be optimized and would therefore heavily favor Nvidia GPUs which have been supported for many years.
In Ungine Superposition, AMD's best performed ever-so-slightly worse than Nvidia's 4080.
As the last Syntethic Benchmark, we ran the iconic Furmark 4k Preset. Here, the same result we saw multiple times before repeated itself. The RX 7900XTX managed to score in-between a 4080 and 3080ti.
Benchmarks - Games
Far Cry 6
In Far Cry 6, RT- options disabled, we saw a major switch to our Synthetic benchmark findings. In both 4k and 1440p, the 7900 XTX managed to compete with Nvidia's 4090. While 4k resolution might not have created the highest average counter, the game seemed to run smoother thanks to its higher 1% lows. Turning the resolution down to 1440p gave the 7900 XTX the overall win with all of its metrics beating a 4090.
Turning all of the Ray tracing options on did not impact the numbers significantly with every metric being slightly lower, but producing the exact same ratio across the whole lineup.
Horizon Zero Dawn
Due to Horizon Zero Dawn not having any Ray Tracing options available, we only ran the highest settings on both 4k and 1440p resolution.
While the 4k experience was slightly in favor of a 4080, 1440p seemed to have favored AMDs 7900XTX with it dominating the charts.
Metro Exodus, without any RT options, performed slightly better than we would have hoped.
While the average FPS counter might be lower, the 1% lows showed that the 7900 XTX was the clear winner compared to both a 4080 and 4090.
Turning all RT settings on again shifted the numbers heavily in Nvidias favor with the 7900 XTX falling underneath a 4080 in 4k, and in between a 4080 and 4090 in 1440p.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider non-RT showed once again that the 7900 XTX should be compared to a 4080 depending on the settings and game.
In both 4k and 1440p, the 7900 XTX performed slightly below a 4080 in both 1% lows and average frame counter.
Turning all the RT- settings on yields exactly the same result, with only the distances being bigger.
In neither 4k nor 1440p did the 7900 XTX manage to beat the 4080 and produced results that were sometimes even lower than a 3080ti.
Although it is clearly not a "good"- benchmark for high-end GPUs, we decided to fly a few rounds in WOW.
As it turned out, the game is not benefiting from additional performance thanks to high-end GPUs at a given point, thus creating hard-to-explain results.
In most settings and resolutions, Nvidia's 4080 managed to win overall, even beating its higher-tier 4090 counterpart. Something that should not have happened.
Comparing the 7900 XTX's result in every setting and resolution confirmed the results we found before, with the 7900 XTX performing slightly below a 4080, sometimes bringing it close to a 3080ti.
Summarizing all the benchmarks we have done, the RX 7900 XTX is not the 4090 Killer that AMD was supposed to deliver. However, although it might not be as good as suggested during its presentation, the RX 7900 XTX still stands in a good spot.
On average across all games, the 7900XTX performed about 10% below a 4080 in 1% low, and about 7% in average FPS, relative to a 3080ti.
In 1440p, the differences turned out to be roughly the same.
Enabling the RT- Settings within each game turned out to be not as devastating to the 7900 XTX's results as we expected.
In both 4K and 1440p, the 7900 XTX performed slightly below a 4080 relative to a 3080ti.
All of the benchmarks above showed that the 7900 XTX is not a 4090 competitor by any means, but it should be compared to an RTX 4080. In all of the benchmarks, the 7900 XTX struggled to beat the 4080 while only winning in very few specific use cases.
Having that settled, considering its performance on the overall tier list, the 7900 XTX turned out to be in not such a bad spot.
Being priced about 200usd below a 4080 in its MSRP makes the 7900 XTX relatively competitive for players who are not looking for the ultimate 4K gaming card, but are willing to settle for a very good 1440p performer.
Additionally to that, we believe the 7900 XTX has another major advantage over Nvidia's full RTX 4000 lineup. Thanks to its relatively small size, it is easy to fit into most cases, however, the most important aspect is its power connectors. By using the "old" 2x 8-pin connectors, the 7900 XTX seems to be a ready- to pop-in card, without the hassle of dealing with Nvidia's burning 16-pin connector, or the usually included octopus splitter.
All in all, the 7900 XTX is a good performer, it can deliver high frame counts in all nowadays relevant games while keeping the 1% lows similarly high, thus not stuttering during intensive scenes.
And although it is not the 4090- killer card that we partly got promised, it can keep up relatively well compared to a 4080, which considering its lower price tag, places it in an interestingly good position in today's market.
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