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AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB Review

Rating: 8.5.

Alongside the launch of its new Ryzen 3000 processors, AMD is also releasing two new graphics cards in the shape of the Radeon RX 5700, and the RX 5700 XT. Rather than going after the high-end market segment, these cards are targeting the £350-450 market segment – so they're far from entry-level, but neither are they rivalling the likes of the RTX 2080 or 2080 Ti.

We have launch day reviews of both cards, but this article is all about the RX 5700 XT. If you want to read our coverage of the RX 5700 you can do so over here, but in this review everything boils down to one question – is the RX 5700 XT a worthy competitor to Nvidia's RTX 2060 SUPER?

AMD's Radeon RX 5700 XT was meant to go head-to-head with the RTX 2070, but only this week saw the release of the new RTX 2070 SUPER, raising the bar that bit higher for AMD's new card. We had a further plot twist on Friday, when AMD announced that it had actually cut pricing of the new cards – with the RX 5700 coming in at $349, and the 5700 XT now at $399.

I have to say, this is a ballsy move on AMD's behalf, and it really ups the ante – 5700 XT is now going head to head with 2060 SUPER, while 5700 competes directly against the original RTX 2060.

   RX 5700 RX 5700 XT   RX Vega 56 RX Vega 64   Radeon VII
 Architecture  Navi Navi Vega 10 Vega 10  Vega 20
 Manufacturing Process  7nm 7nm 14nm 14nm  7nm
 Transistor Count 10.3 billion 10.3 billion 12.5 billion 12.5 billion 13.2 billion
Die Size  251mm² 251mm² 486mm² 495mm² 331mm²
Compute Units  36 40 56 64  60
Stream Processors  2304 2560 3584 4096  3840
Base GPU Clock Up to 1465MHz Up to 1605MHz 1156 MHz 1274 MHz 1400 MHz
Game GPU Clock Up to 1625MHz Up to 1755MHz n/a n/a n/a
 Boost GPU Clock Up to 1725MHz Up to 1905MHz 1471 MHz 1546 MHz  1750 MHz
 Peak Engine Clock n/a n/a 1590 MHz  1630 MHz  1800 MHz
 Peak SP Performance Up to 7.95 TFLOPS Up to 9.75 TFLOPS Up to 10.5 TFLOPS Up to 12.7 TFLOPS Up to 14.2 TFLOPS
 Peak Half Precision Performance Up to 15.9 TFLOPS Up to 19.5 TFLOPS Up to 21.0 TFLOPS Up to 25.3 TFLOPS  Up to 28.1 TFLOPS
 Peak Texture Fill-Rate Up to 248.4 GT/s Up to 304.8 GT/s  Up to 330.0 GT/s  Up to 395.8 GT/s  432.24 GT/s
 ROPs 64 64 64 64  64
 Peak Pixel Fill-Rate Up to 110.4 GP/s Up to 121.9 GP/s Up to 94.0 GP/s Up to 98.9 GP/s 115.26 GP/s
 Memory Bandwidth 448 GB/s 448 GB/s 410 GB/s 483.8 GB/s  1 TB/s
Memory Interface  256-bit 256-bit 2048-bit 2048-bit  4096-bit
Board Power  185W 225W 210W 295W  300W

Both of AMD's new graphics cards are built upon its latest RDNA architecture, the long-awaited successor to Graphics Core Next (GCN). These cards use the same Navi GPU, where the RX 5700 XT is a full implementation with 40 Compute Units (CUs) and 2560 stream processors. RX 5700 is cut down slightly, to 36 CUs and 2304 stream processors.

A lot has been made of AMD's move to a new 7nm process for these cards – hence the 7/7 release date – and one consequence of this is a much smaller die size for the Navi GPU. Where the 14nm Vega 64 GPU die measures 495mm², Navi is just 251mm², and AMD claims a 2.3x performance per area increase for Navi vs Vega 10.

On top of this, clock speeds have been cranked up, with base clock increases from 1274MHz for Vega 64, up to 1605MHz for RX 5700 XT. AMD is also introducing a new clock speed metric known as ‘game clock', meaning the frequency which you can expect to see the card hit while gaming, and for the 5700 XT that is up to 1755MHz.

Interestingly, AMD is no longer equipping its cards with High Bandwidth Memory (HBM), instead opting for 8GB of GDDR6 memory with a 256-bit bus. Total memory bandwidth comes in at 448GB/s.

Lastly, total board power for the 5700 XT is rated at 225W, down from 295W for Vega 64 – AMD is claiming a 1.5x performance per watt increase for the new cards.

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