AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT overview: a great GPU with an ungainly worth

The AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT goals to supply a barely cheaper option to get on board the RDNA 3 GPU prepare. It boasts related specs to its costlier sibling and affords vital efficiency enhancements over its predecessor, together with extra highly effective RT cores. Unfortunately, it feels there’s little to no cause you need to choose this specific pixel pusher over alternate options from throughout the Radeon RX 7000 collection lineup and competing choices.

It pains me to say, but when the Radeon 7900 XT is something to go by, we’ll want to attend some time longer to see AMD stage a Ryzen-style disruption within the race for greatest graphics card crown towards its rivals. This isn’t to say it’s a foul piece of package, removed from it, however it’s not significantly compelling the least bit both on account of its worth.

To AMD’s credit score, I’ve spent the previous month each day driving the RX 7900 XT, and it’s confirmed a dependable and funky companion throughout the number of video games I’ve thrown at it. It’s been nothing however clean crusing, whether or not we’re speaking about driver stability, noise ranges, or temperatures.

The display inputs of the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT


Looking on the RX 7900 XT specs reveals that this pixel pusher is successfully a cutback model of its costlier sibling. It makes use of the identical Navi 31 GPU however packs fewer stream processors, compute models, and second technology RT cores along with slower clock speeds. While the XT makes use of the identical GDDR6 VRAM, it wields much less of it, and its reminiscence bus width and clocks fall behind the RX 7900 XTX too.

RX 7900 XT RX 7900 XTX RX 6900 XT
GPU Navi 31 (RDNA 3) Navi 31 (RDNA 3) Navi 21 (RDNA 2)
Stream processors 5,376 6,144 5,120
Compute models 84 96 80
RT cores 84 (2nd Gen.) 96 (2nd Gen.) 84 (1st Gen.)
Base clock 1,385MHz 1,900MHz 1,815MHz
Game clock 2,025MHz 2,300MHz 2,015MHz
Boost clock 2,395MHz 2,500MHz 2,250MHz
Bus width 320-bit 384-bit 256-bit
TBP 315W 355W 300W
MSRP/ RRP $899 USD / £899 GBP $999 USD / £999 GBP $999 USD / £999 GBP

All of those reductions imply it a minimum of attracts much less energy, however you’ll nonetheless must pair it with a premium energy provide. Its 315W TBP places the RX 7900 XT simply 5W behind the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080, and shouldn’t be paired with something lower than a 750W PSU. However, you gained’t must fork out for an ATX 3.0 PSU or endure the effort of a fiddly dongle, because it makes use of tried and examined twin 8-pin connectors slightly than the 16-pin plug you’ll discover on RTX 4000 graphics playing cards.

AMD made an enormous tune and dance about together with DisplayPort 2.1 inputs on its Radeon RX 7000 collection playing cards throughout its reveal occasion, and also you’ll discover two on the 7900 XT alongside a single USB Type-C and HDMI 2.1 port. This theoretically makes the GPU able to supporting 4K displays with refresh charges as much as a staggering 480Hz, and even 8K screens at 165Hz.

I say theoretically as a result of the cardboard merely isn’t able to hitting these limits in most video games, even with AMD FSR. This development is welcome from a future proofing standpoint, however I’d’ve most popular to have seen two HDMI 2.1 ports and one DP 2.1, as the previous is extra helpful within the right here and now.

The RX 7900 XT is a handsomely geared up card that provides a number of upgrades over its predecessor, however it’s laborious to disregard simply how shut its specs are to the RX 7900 XTX, as there’s simply $100 between them. Normally, the inexpensive card ought to supply higher worth, however I’ll must spend a while with the 7900 XTX to make sure.

A side profile of the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT, showcasing its heatsink


For these involved that the RX 7900 XT is yet one more addition to the ever-growing ranks of gargantuan graphics playing cards that began with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090, you’ll be able to breathe a sigh of reduction. AMD’s two-slot reference design in all fairness sized and will match into most ATX PC circumstances, and I believe it makes for a good-looking addition to any construct due to its largely muted, virtually industrial design.

AMD leans extra in the direction of the darkish aspect with its 7900 XT color scheme, intently resembling the refreshed ensemble of 6000 collection playing cards we noticed launch final yr. Look intently, although, and also you’ll see the ‘R’ that after occupied the centre of every of the three followers has been changed with a extra minimal design.

There’s nary a hint of RGB on the 7900 XT, which fits me simply fantastic. The solely splashes of color you’ll discover are a purple stripe alongside the heatsink and on the backplate. All of what I’ve described solely applies to the reference design, after all, so that you’ll be capable to get your LED repair with board companion playing cards. Just keep in mind that their coolers will seemingly be a lot bigger and method the dimensions of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti and 4080.

The RTX 4000 Founders Edition fashions are personally nonetheless high of the pile for me in terms of styling, however the 7900 XT isn’t far behind. I simply want each AMD and Nvidia would launch white variations of their reference designs already (come on, people).

The backplate of the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT


In order to place the RX 7900 XT by its tempo, I’ve run all my benchmarks at a local 4K Resolution, save for my runs of Cyberpunk 2077 which makes use of AMD FSR.

Here are the specs of our take a look at system:

  • OS: Windows 11 Pro (22621.1105)
  • GPU: AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT
  • Motherboard: Asus TUF Gaming X670E-Plus
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 7600X
  • RAM: Corsair Vengeance 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR5 6,000MHz
  • SSD: SK Hynix Platinum P41 2TB
  • PSU: Corsair HX1200i

Even at 4K, the 7900 XT can push out some severely spectacular body charges. Its greatest displaying in our take a look at suite is undoubtedly F1 22, with the GPU pushing out a mean body price of 188fps. Hitman 3 and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy additionally see triple digit efficiency numbers, whereas Cyberpunk 2077 isn’t far behind at 97fps (albeit with AMD FSR serving to to bolster issues).

Things turn into a bit of extra dicey when taking a look at Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands and Total War: Warhammer 3. The Borderlands spin-off runs at a good 70fps common, however minimal body charges nearly handle it over the 60fps line. Meanwhile, the RTS sport brings RDNA 3 down a notch, with averages of 62fps lows of 46fps.

We don’t presently have 7900 XTX numbers to check this towards but. However, we are able to examine these outcomes towards the 7900 XT’s predominant rivals: the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 and RTX 4070 Ti. Where Radeon shines brightest, it’s principally a match for the 80 class GPU and may even beat it in some situations like Hitman 3. At instances, it’s extra akin to the cheaper RTX 4070 Ti in video games like Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, and will get overwhelmed in Total War: Warhammer 3.

Unfortunately, no matter wind the 7900 XT may’ve had in its figurative sails versus Nvidia’s choices is shortly knocked out by Nvidia DLSS 3 Frame Generation. AMD has introduced a competitor to the expertise, however for now, its absence places Radeon firmly on the backfoot in video games that help crew inexperienced’s body price wizardry – and that record will solely proceed to develop.

To make issues worse, the ray tracing efficiency of the 7900 XT merely can’t sustain with each present technology GPU from crew inexperienced. Despite the elevated capabilities of its second technology RT cores, the AMD card matches someplace between the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 and RTX 4070 Ti.

In each benchmark we ran, the 7900 XT falls behind the most affordable RTX 4000 accessible right now, with the distinction in efficiency naturally increasing when Nvidia DLSS 3 Frame Generation enters the image. This seems even worse when you think about that the Radeon GPU begins at $899 whereas the RTX 4070 Ti will be had for a bit over its $799 MSRP, with board companion fashions costing a minimum of $829.

To be clear, the efficiency provided by the 7900 XT is spectacular in spots, however AMD nonetheless has a option to go in catching up with Nvidia in terms of ray tracing. Here’s hoping that AMD FSR 3 may also help shut the hole when it arrives, however for now,it appears crew purple is caught taking part in second fiddle.

The AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT stands on a white surface


The AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT has many qualities worthy of a great graphics card, however its worth is difficult to justify when taking a look at it within the wider context of its rivals and sibling. At $899, your cash’s in all probability higher served shopping for an RTX 4070 Ti or paying the additional $100 for the RX 7900 XTX. Suffice to say, this GPU is begging for a worth minimize.

We may see this narrative change as soon as AMD FSR 3 arrives, and crew purple are well-known at this level for tremendously bettering the efficiency of their GPU’s over time by driver updates. No one can buy something primarily based on hypothesis or guarantees, although, and the 7900 XT is not any exception.

AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT

Strong rasterisation efficiency isn’t sufficient to make up for this GPU’s shortcomings, together with missing ray tracing body charges and no reply to DLSS 3 Frame Generation


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