AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card review
The summer of 2019 is a busy one for AMD. Not only has the company just released a new series of Ryzen processors, but it also launched a new lineup of graphics cards, namely the Radeon RX 5700, RX 5700 XT, and RX 5700 XT 50th Anniversary Graphics. In this review, we take a close look at their new high-end video card: AMD RX 5700 XT. It uses AMD's latest RDNA architecture and is made using a 7 nm manufacturing process (smaller transistors than on any other video cards). To make things interesting, this video card promises top-notch performance at a better price than what Nvidia asks for its 2060 Super cards. Read this review and see what the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT has to offer:
AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT: Who is it good for?
This graphics card is an excellent choice for gamers who:
- Want to play the latest games using the highest graphics details in 1440p or 1080p resolutions
- Desire excellent performance in all games
- Prefer to pay a better price than what Nvidia is asking for a similar level of performance
Pros and cons
There are plenty of good things to say about the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT:
- Its performance is excellent, in all the games and benchmarks where we tested it
- It uses the latest AMD RDNA architecture and a 7 nm manufacturing process, a first in the world of graphics cards
- It has 8 GB of GDDR6 RAM, which is more than enough for any game or for VR experiences
- Its performance per price ratio is better than that of its direct competition from Nvidia
- It offers support for the new PCI Express version 4.0 standard
There are also a few downsides to consider:
- The stock cooling system is not the greatest. Hopefully, video card manufacturers are going to deliver more efficient cooling
- It does not support ray tracing while its competition does
After all the benchmarks that we ran, and the games that we played on AMD's Radeon RX 5700 XT, we can honestly say that we like this graphics card a lot. It manages to push more than 60 frames per second, in the 1440p resolution with Ultra quality video settings, even in the most demanding games. That's great news for any gamer, and its pricing around the 400 dollar mark is very enticing. With this new generation, Nvidia has some serious competition from AMD. The only weakness of this video card is the cooling system, which should have been more efficient. We expect that experienced video card manufacturers are going to offer better cooling options than the stock offered by AMD.
Design and hardware specifications
AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT has a simple yet rather peculiar design. The circuit board is covered by the cooling system that uses only one blow fan, and its size is rather small. The plate surrounding it features long stripes and, towards the fan, a dent that makes you wonder whether the card was hit during transport. :) This is a design choice made by AMD's engineers and it probably helps with the airflow.
Unlike its smaller brother, the Radeon RX 5700, the RX 5700 XT has a backplate that covers most of the inner circuits on the back. It features a fairly small RADEON branding on one of its corners. The backplate should also help with keeping the temperatures of the video card under control.
When it is running, the Radeon RX 5700 XT also uses red LEDs to light up a RADEON branding on its outer side.
To create the Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card, AMD used its newest architecture, called RDNA (Navi), and a 7-nanometer manufacturing process. It is interesting to know that the AMD Vega cards were built on a 14-nanometer process, Nvidia's Turing cards are built on 12 nanometer, and Nvidia's Pascal cards on 16 nanometer manufacturing processes.
The RX 5700 XT graphics card has 40 compute units, it is capable of computing up to 9.75 teraflops, and it has 8GB of GDDR6 memory. The base clock is 1.61 GHz, and its boost frequency is 1.91 GHz. It also supports PCI Express (PCIe) 4.0, which offers double the bandwidth of PCIe 3. This is the first generation of video cards to work with PCIe 4. Nvidia has yet to support it. If you cannot yet migrate to the new AMD Ryzen 3000 series of processors that offers support for PCIe 4, worry not, as you can use this video card on a motherboard with PCIe 3 slots too.
The AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT has three DisplayPort 1.4 ports and one HDMI port that offers support for 4K resolutions at 60 frames per second.
AMD's RX 5700 XT graphics card needs about 225 Watts of power, and AMD recommends a power supply unit of 600 Watts. The video card gets its additional electrical power via two power connectors: one with 8 pins, and one with 6 pins.
As for its physical dimensions, the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card occupies two slots and has a length of 10.71 inches, which is 272 mm.
If you want to see more details about the features and hardware specifications of this graphics card, visit: AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT.
The specs of the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT are those of a powerful video card that is designed to run any recent game in 1440p or 1080p at ultra quality, pushing 60 frames per second or more.
Performance in games and benchmarks
To see how fast the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card is in real life, we played several games and ran some benchmarks. We tested it using the following hardware and software:
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X (12 cores, 24 threads, Base Clock 3800 MHz, Max Boost Clock 4600 MHz)
- Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 AORUS MASTER
- Memory: G.Skill Trident Z Royal Memory (2 x 8GB, 3600MHz, PC4-28800)
- Storage: AORUS NVMe Gen4 2TB Solid State Drive
- Monitor: ASUS ROG Strix XG32VQ Curved Gaming Monitor (32-inch WQHD 2560 x 1440, 144Hz)
- Power Supply Unit: ASUS ROG Thor 850W Platinum
- Operating System: Windows 10 Pro x64 with May 2019 Update
To give you a better perspective of what you get when buying AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT, we compared it with its more affordable brother - AMD Radeon RX 5700, which costs about 50 dollars less.
We began with testing the performance offered by the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card in World War Z. We used the Vulkan API and the Ultra graphics quality settings. When we ran the game on the 2560 x 1440 resolution, we got a minimum of 136 frames per second (FPS), an average FPS of 182, and a maximum FPS of 222. Using the 1920 x 1080 resolution, the minimum FPS was 138, the average FPS 189, and the maximum FPS 249.
Star Control: Origins is a game that uses DirectX 11 and does not offer a benchmarking tool. However, we measured the FPS output while driving a lander on the Triton moon using the highest possible graphics settings, on both 1440p and 1080p resolutions. In QHD (2560 x 1440 resolution) we measured a minimum FPS of 72, an average of 86, and a maximum FPS of 125. In Full HD (1920 x 1080 resolution), we measured 76 FPS minimum, 112 FPS average, and 147 FPS maximum.
Battlefield V is another popular game that demands quite a lot of hardware resources to display its best graphics quality. We used the DirectX 12 API and the Ultra quality settings. When we ran the game at 2560 x 1440 resolution, we had a minimum FPS of 98, an average FPS of 125, and a maximum FPS of 147. On the 1920 x 1080 resolution, the minimum FPS was 113, the average FPS 127, and the maximum FPS 151. Strangely, when using 1080p, we got better FPS with the RX 5700, so we suspect that the RX 5700 XT throttled due to its high temperatures.
We also ran Far Cry New Dawn both because it is popular, but also because its graphics are impressive, even if it can only use DirectX 11. We used the Ultra graphics quality preset. When running the game benchmark at 2560 x 1440 resolution, we got 71 minimum FPS, 92 average FPS, and 107 maximum FPS. Switching to the FHD 1080p resolution allowed our PC to render 71 FPS minimum, 100 FPS on average, and 107 FPS maximum.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a game that looks extremely beautiful, and that means that it makes great demands from the graphics card. We have tested it using DirectX 12 and the Highest graphics quality. When we benchmarked the game in 1440p, we measured a minimum FPS of 63, an average of 76, and a maximum of 116 FPS. In Full HD, we got a minimum of 95 FPS, an average of 118 FPS, and a maximum of 191 FPS.
Tom Clancy's The Division 2 offers a benchmarking tool that only outputs the average FPS. Using DirectX 12 and the Ultra graphics quality preset, we obtained an average FPS of 66 on 1440p resolution and 95 on the 1080p resolution.
Metro Exodus is one of the most demanding games released in 2019, especially if you want to play it on the best graphics quality. Using DirectX 12, the Ultra video preset, and a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, we obtained a minimum of 26 FPS, an average of 55 FPS, and a maximum of 84 frames per second. On the 1920 x 1080 resolution, the results were slightly better: a minimum of 27, an average of 62, and a maximum of 88.
We have also benchmarked AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT in Fortnite, which is not a particularly graphics-demanding game, but it is popular with gamers online. We used the Epic graphics settings and measured a minimum FPS of 65, an average of 92, and a maximum of 113 when using the 2560 x 1440 pixels resolution. On the 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution, the game rendered a minimum of 96 FPS, an average of 126 FPS, and a maximum of 152 FPS.
In Apex Legends, another popular online battle royale game, using the highest graphics quality set, we measured a minimum of 79 FPS, an average of 115 FPS, and a maximum of 144 FPS (our monitor's maximum refresh rate) on the 1440p resolution. In Full HD, we measured 123 FPS minimum, 136 FPS on average, and 144 FPS maximum. As you can notice, in Apex Legends, the maximum FPS was always about 144. That is because the game caps its maximum frame rate at 144.
Finally, we also ran a few benchmarks specialized for gaming, from Unigine and 3DMark. In 3DMark's Time Spy, which uses DirectX 12, on a 2560 x 1440 pixels resolution, we got a score of 8606. In Unigine SuperPosition, using the Extreme graphics preset and a resolution of 1080p, we got a score of 4990 with DirectX 11 and 4164 with OpenGL.
We also wanted to see how much power the video card draws when running games or other similar apps that use its resources intensively. What we found was that the Radeon RX 5700 XT needs up to 225 Watts, just like AMD said it would. Also according to AMD, you need a 600 Watts power supply to use this card without issues.
Finally, we checked the heat dissipated by the card and, to do that, we ran 3DMark's Time Spy Stress Test. Unfortunately, the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT card gets very hot: up to 86 degrees Celsius or 187 degrees Fahrenheit. This leaves no space for overclocking, so we have to wait for RX 5700 XT implementations from other manufacturers to see better cooling systems that may allow for a bit of overclocking.
After playing many games and running several benchmarks, we can say that the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT positions itself in the high-end video cards rankings. It can run any modern games in ultra quality at 60 FPS or more, both in 1440p and in 1080p, so it's a great choice for any gamer.
What's your opinion about the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT?
Now you know what we think about the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card. The new generation is a serious contender to Nvidia's line-up of video cards, both in terms of price and performance. Before closing this review, tell us what you think about AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT. Would you consider buying this video card? Comment below and let's discuss.