AMD’s Radeon RX 7900 Sequence Punches Properly Above Its Value Level

RX 7900 XT and XTX boxes

Picture: Damien Gula / Gizmodo

After a stunning pre-announcement tease and the official reveal occasion on November third, AMD’s long-awaited RDNA 3, Radeon RX 7900 collection GPUs are right here… beginning tomorrow. Whilst you may not have the ability to press a purchase button right now, now we have our full evaluate able to share with you, together with our outcomes for thermal efficiency, energy draw, and benchmarks.

The Radeon RX 7900 XT and 7900 XTX each have a tall activity forward of them–particularly in gentle of the uncooked energy we noticed from NVIDIA’s monoli-thicc RTX 4090. AMD, nevertheless, doesn’t appear to be phased by this. The corporate’s targets with the RX 7900 Sequence are clear: to offer “implausible efficiency, however at an affordable energy,” all whereas protecting prices below $1000 USD.

Did AMD reach reaching these targets? If that’s the case, which GPU is best for you – the RX 7900 XT or XTX?

Let’s discover out.

Underneath the RDNA 3 Hood: A Ryzen-Like GPU

When it got here to designing RDNA 3, AMD leveraged what it discovered from its Ryzen and EPYC CPUs over time, then utilized that information to Radeon graphics. Utilizing a chiplet-style design like we noticed with Ryzen, AMD has separated the principle Graphics Compute Die (GCD) and Reminiscence Cache Die (MCD).

This separation allowed AMD to do just a few issues otherwise, together with multi-level processing. The GCD makes use of a 5nm course of expertise, whereas the smaller MCD dies make the most of a tried-and-true 6nm for dealing with the GDDR6 reminiscence interfaces. In keeping with AMD, this enables the GPU to optimize the place it routes energy to, enabling each excessive efficiency and an uplift in performance-per-watt.

However that isn’t the one profit to this redesign. Enter AMD’s 2nd Technology Infinity Cache. This expertise serves as a “quick lane” for reminiscence bandwidth, increasing information entry to the GPU by offering a further stage of cache. This permits faster entry to property, which interprets to a rise in frames-per-second. With 2nd Technology Infinity Cache, AMD has fine-tuned the L0, L1, and L2 caches in addition to expanded the bus bandwidth, permitting RDNA 3 to do extra with much less.

For context, the Radeon RX 6950 XT has 128MB of 1st Technology Infinity Cache on a 256-bit reminiscence bus with 18Gbps GDDR6 reminiscence. This setup offers a reminiscence bandwidth as much as 1793.g GB/s. Not too shabby, however it will get higher with the RX 7900 Sequence.

The 7900 XT has 80MB of 2nd Technology Infinity Cache, however bumps up the reminiscence bus to 320-bit and ever-so-slightly sooner (20Gbps) GDD6, giving it a reminiscence bandwidth of 2912 GB/s. That’s over 1 GB/s sooner, however it will get even higher.

The 7900 XTX stacks on 16MB of 2nd Technology Infinity Cache for a complete of 96MB, cranks the reminiscence bus as much as 384-bit with GDDR6 akin to the 7900 XT, and will get speeds of as much as 3494.4 GB/s of bandwidth.

After we put all of this collectively, the “actual world” impact of a sooner Infinity Cache is that the GPUs are higher in a position to effectively retailer and recall lately processed information, quite than having to return and reprocess it each time they want it. It’s very similar to having the ability to hold browser tabs open for fast entry to, say, a sport information – the data is there, prepared while you want it. This faster entry permits the GPU to maneuver on to different duties.

However wait, there’s extra.

AMD has been watching the ways in which customers have been leveraging their applied sciences in multitasking conditions, corresponding to gaming and streaming from the identical gadget. So, with RDNA 3, the corporate in-built a brand new twin media engine to deal with simultaneous operations with out bogging down the person. This can enable for hardware-accelerated encoding and decoding for AVC and HEVC streaming hundreds, in addition to further help for AV1 encoding as much as 8K60 – implausible information for streamers!

Moreover, RDNA 3 introduces AMD’s Radiance Show Engine, which provides help for DisplayPort 2.1. With this new expertise, the RX 7900 Sequence has {hardware} for shows as much as 8K with refresh charges of 165 Hz. Whereas this expertise just isn’t broadly accessible simply but and the attain towards 8K gaming is formidable, it’s clear that AMD’s purpose to offer “implausible efficiency” reaches far past framerates.

Radeon RX 7900 XT and Radeon RX 7900 XTX Specs:

Now that now we have a transparent image of what’s new with RDNA 3, it’s time to take a peek below the hoods of the RX 7900 XT and RX 7900 XTX.

A slide of the RX 7900 XT and XTX specs

Since its preliminary announcement, AMD has up to date the Whole Board Energy of the RX 7900 XT from 300W to 315W.
Graphic: AMD

These are some good-looking numbers, however what does this all imply while you put all of them collectively?

To place it merely, compute models are like CPU cores, dealing with operations despatched to the GPU whereas stream processors deal with the extra complicated math. As for Clock speeds and Increase Clock, they decide how briskly the information might be processed. Reminiscence serves as a useful resource to the GPU, whereas the reminiscence bandwidth determines the speeds of entry to these sources. While you put all of those collectively, every bit of the system impacts your total expertise, which ends most notably in pixels and pixel high quality.

Talking of supply, it’s price noting that AMD didn’t transition the RDNA 3 platform to a brand new or totally different energy connector like NVIDIA. AMD has been very clear that it didn’t need customers to have to switch current cabling or have to swap out energy provides so as to improve to a contemporary GPU.

AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX (top) and RX 7900 XT (bottom)

AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX (high) and RX 7900 XT (backside)
Picture: Damien Gula / Gizmodo

In terms of bodily dimensions, the RX 7900 XT measures in at 10.86 inches lengthy (276mm) with a peak of 4.44 inches (113mm), weighing in at 3.33 lbs (1.51 kg). The 7900 XTX is a bit chonkier at 3.97 lbs (1.80 kg), extending a bit longer than the XT at 11.29 inches lengthy (287mm) with a peak of 4.84 inches (123mm). Each GPUs are labeled as 2.5 slot playing cards, however they don’t muscle their means far past the second slot.

That is nice information when you want room for different PCIe playing cards! Talking of dimensions, it’s price noting that the reference RX 7900 Sequence GPUs from AMD don’t dominate the instances they’re in. I used to be just a little involved in regards to the dimension till I attempted it out in one among my favorite smaller mid tower cases.

For context and comparability, the RTX 4080 is a three-slot card, roughly 11.96 inches lengthy (304mm) with a peak of 5.39 inches (137mm). Now, these dimensions are the reference or Founders Version GPUs, so the dimensions of add-in-board (AIB) accomplice playing cards (ASUS, Gigabyte, ASRock, and so forth.) will range considerably.

As for connectivity, each RX 7900 Sequence GPUs have two DisplayPort 2.1 ports, a single HDMI 2.1a port, and a USB-C with DisplayPort 2.1 connection.

All of this seems nice on paper, however how does it work?

Massive Numbers: RDNA 3 Efficiency And Energy

I do know what you’re right here for; you wish to know what sort of numbers this stuff put out. Earlier than we will current our findings, let me share a peek behind the curtains to offer you some context for the numbers you’re about to see.

To gather our information from the Radeon RX 7900 Sequence, we utilized a take a look at bench with the next elements: a Ryzen 9 7950X CPU, X670E AORUS Grasp motherboard, 32 GB G.Talent Trident Z5 NEO DDR5-6000 RAM, 1TB WD_Black SN770 M.2 NVMe SSD, NZXT C1000 Gold 1000W PSU, NZXT Kraken Z73 360mm all-in-one liquid cooler with three 120mm followers, and an NZXT H7 Elite mid-tower PC case geared up with 4 140mm followers.

For our testing, we selected 5 titles that make the most of quite a lot of fashionable graphics applied sciences, together with ray tracing and AMD’s FidelityFX Tremendous Decision (FSR). In every title, we recorded information throughout a number of passes of the benchmarks at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K, gathering outcomes throughout every decision with ray tracing on and off and with FSR enabled and disabled. When enabled, we used FSR’s High quality or Extremely High quality settings.

As we undergo this information, we will probably be speaking about rasterization first after which transferring on to ray tracing.

It’s also price noting that we didn’t have NVIDIA’s RTX 4080 available for comparability, so we recorded information from a detailed value competitor to the RX 7900 Sequence, the RTX 3090. Spec-wise, it shares quite a lot of similarities to the RX 7900 XTX – 384-bit reminiscence interface, 24GB of GDDR (although, the 3090 has a bonus with GDDR6X), and an influence ranking of 350W. It’s not an actual match, however it’s shut sufficient the place the comparability is related.

Here’s what we discovered:

Rasterization 1080p benchmarks

Graphic: Damien Gula / Gizmodo

Rasterization 1440p benchmarks

Graphic: Damien Gula / Gizmodo

Rasterization 4K benchmarks

Graphic: Damien Gula / Gizmodo

We ran every take a look at at Extremely settings and the RX 7900 Sequence met every activity with a fairly robust displaying total. The one exception to that assertion can be Metro Exodus at 4K. Whereas now we have seen this take a look at take even the strongest of GPUs to activity at its most excessive settings, the remainder of the information reveals a promising image.

At 4K, the RX 7900 XT constantly put out body charges over 60 FPS in most titles. Except for Metro Exodus, Cyberpunk 2077 did experience that line in pure rasterization, however that is on the highest settings with out assistance from FSR. With FSR enabled at its High quality setting, the 7900 XTX crossed that threshold and held averages above 60 frames per second. Nevertheless, if 4K isn’t the purpose, however 1440p is, the 7900 XT pushed constantly past 100 FPS usually, together with Cyberpunk 2077.

After we take a look at the RX 7900 XTX, we see an 18% enhance in efficiency over the RX 7900 XT in Cyberpunk 2077, 20% in Borderlands 3, ~18% in Far Cry 6, and 13% in Forza Horizon 5 – and that is earlier than FSR. When enabled, we see a efficiency distinction of 13% in Cyberpunk 2077, 12.5% in Far Cry 6, and, once more, ~13% in Forza Horizon 5.

After we begin trying on the numbers in comparison with the RTX 3090, in pure rasterization we see the RX 7900 XT leap forward of the 3090 by practically 21% in Borderlands, ~18% in Cyberpunk 2077, and 17.5% in Forza – with Metro Exodus useless even throughout all playing cards at 4K. That hole will get wider as soon as we begin introducing the RX 7900 XTX into the image. For our assessments, we see a mean efficiency enhance of round 35% from the RTX 3090 to the RX 7900 XTX.

Not dangerous, Group Pink, however can it run Crysis… I imply, can it ray hint?

Ray Tracing 1080p benchmarks

Graphic: Damien Gula / Gizmodo

Ray tracing 1440p benchmarks

Graphic: Damien Gula / Gizmodo

Ray tracing 4K benchmarks

Graphic: Damien Gula / Gizmodo

The reply is a professional sure.

Within the titles we examined, the RX 7900 Sequence GPUs have been in a position to put up robust numbers in ray tracing purposes. Nevertheless, at 4K, we noticed just a few instances the place they lagged behind the ray tracing capabilities of the RTX 3090. Whereas Metro Exodus served because the equalizer in rasterization, Cyberpunk 2077 takes the title of “Most Punishing Ray Tracing Benchmark.”

With none help from FSR, the 7900 XTX struggled to hit a mean of 20 frames per second at Cyberpunk’s highest ray tracing settings. Whereas it’s only a 2-frame distinction, the uplift with FSR nonetheless has each GPUs averaging decrease than 60 frames per second. Now, to be honest, the RTX 3090 isn’t far forward; even with DLSS enabled, it solely led the 7900 XTX by 3 frames per second.

We did see the RX 7900 XT lag behind the RTX 3090 in Far Cry 6 by ~6% at 4K and Metro Exodus by ~5% at 1440p and ~11% at 4K, however in any other case the RX 7900 Sequence GPUs held their floor and posted spectacular body charges at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K with ray tracing options enabled. When FSR is enabled, nevertheless, that adjustments the story.

Productiveness Efficiency:

In terms of productiveness assessments, we bumped into some attention-grabbing obstacles for direct comparability, particularly when utilizing rendering assessments like Blender. With its 3.0 launch, Blender eliminated the OpenCL choice for GPU rendering, leaving NVIDIA’s CUDA and Optix as the one GPU-bound choices for rendering. Nevertheless, AMD has been serving to to rewrite CUDA code to HIP (or Heterogeneous Interface for Portability) to mesh with Radeon GPU expertise.

Here’s what we discovered:

Blender Benchmarks

Graphic: Damien Gula / Gizmodo

Inside Blender, a picture of everybody’s favourite shiny purple BMW rendered at a breezy 14 seconds on the RX 7900 XT and 12 seconds on the RX 7900 XTX. It was spectacular, however NVIDIA did shave a second off of the RX 7900 XTX’s time by using CUDA, after which it halved the 7900 XT’s time with Optix. This isn’t essentially dangerous information for Group Pink – they’re all good numbers, however NVIDIA does have a slight leg up right here.

The story is much like OpenCL efficiency metrics in Geekbench 5. The RX 7900 Sequence falls barely wanting the RTX 3090, however takes a formidable lead in Vulkan efficiency measurements. In different phrases, the RX 7900 Sequence excels at gaming and does properly sufficient for itself in computational duties.

Geekbench 5 benchmarks

Graphic: Damien Gula / Gizmodo

Vitality Effectivity and Thermal Efficiency

With the entire discuss velocity and energy, now we have to look again at AMD’s purpose with RDNA 3: implausible efficiency at an affordable energy and value. We’ve seen some implausible efficiency information from each RX 7900 GPUs, however what about energy consumption and warmth?

Whereas we have been operating our benchmarks, we saved a detailed eye on the RX 7900 Sequence to maintain AMD sincere in its claims. In spite of everything, we noticed Ryzen 7000 Sequence CPUs hit some fairly excessive numbers, so we wished to ensure that the “excessive performance-per-watt” claims didn’t simply imply that RDNA 3 was going to devour a considerable amount of wattage.

So, we measured the ability consumption and warmth throughout our 4K assessments. This is able to be sure that the duties have been using as a lot of the GPU’s energy as doable. What we discovered was stunning.

4K Power benchmarks

Graphic: Damien Gula / Gizmodo

Power consumption benchmarks

Graphic: Damien Gula / Gizmodo

In each common energy supply and at their peak, the ability consumption of each RX 7900 XT and RX 7900 XTX stayed significantly decrease than the RTX 3090. While you begin to take a look at the quantity of energy consumed versus body charge output, you can begin to see that AMD isn’t enjoying round with smoke and mirrors; its playing cards are offering spectacular leads to gaming environments whereas trailing the competitors by a few 50W margin throughout energy supply averages. Trailing is an efficient factor on this circumstance.

In terms of thermal efficiency, the comparisons get rather less clear. We’re coping with two very totally different cooler varieties between the RTX 3090 Founders Version and AMD’s retail editions of RX 7900 Sequence.

That’s to not say that the numbers are dangerous; the RX 7900 XT and RX 7900 XTX maintained peak temperatures below 70 levels Celsius through the heaviest hundreds, with averages on the GPU itself hovering within the mid- to higher 60s. Now, there may be one catch to those numbers that’s not mirrored within the charts:

Thermal benchmarks

Graphic: Damien Gula / Gizmodo

Peak temperatures

Graphic: Damien Gula / Gizmodo

Whereas recording thermal information, we seen that the temperature readings on the GPU itself stayed comparatively cool, however the reminiscence thermal junction was a unique story altogether. Proper now, with minimal efficiency load on the GPU, the reminiscence thermal junction temperature is hovering round 85 levels Celsius.

We noticed one thing related with the most recent Ryzen CPUs, and that is by design. In keeping with AMD, these junctions can deal with temperatures as much as 110 levels Celsius. Sizzling junctions for that sizzling and sweaty efficiency!

This can be a results of the chiplet design. Afterall, the GCD is surrounded by the MCDs; warmth from the GCD (the place we have been recording our information from) may very well be bleeding over into these junctions. That’s purely my hypothesis.

RX 7900 XTX in box

Picture: Damien Gula / Gizmodo

The Massive Query: Is RDNA 3 Proper For You?

Whereas AMD particularly said that it’s not punching at RTX 4090 territory, the pricing, efficiency, and energy draw of the RX 7900 Sequence actually takes some heavy swings in that path, particularly on pure gaming efficiency. These punches, nevertheless, will probably be far more practical if these RDNA 3 GPUs can maintain to the final a part of AMD’s pursuit: “an affordable value.”

Now, GPU costs round $1,000 are already troublesome to abdomen, however AMD has clearly aimed on the fanatic market with this launch. For me, the RX 7900 Sequence represents a proof-of-concept. That idea? That AMD can ship killer excessive finish GPUs that may grasp on the excessive floor at a fraction of the value… with a concession or two.

Technology over era, AMD has made some distinctive strides in relation to ray tracing, however NVIDIA nonetheless has a leg up on the home of Su. FidelityFX Tremendous Decision is a promising expertise and the adoption charge is rising. Whereas efficiency uplift total matches DLSS, DLSS produces a prettier image and smoother expertise. Then, there may be entry to issues like CUDA and Optix.

The actual query is that this: if you’re available in the market for a brand new GPU, do you want these issues? For those who don’t and also you simply need excessive body charges on a (barely) decrease price range, then the RX 7900 Sequence may be best for you. Each GPUs present distinctive entry to gaming efficiency with some added quick futureproofing options like AV1 {hardware} acceleration and DisplayPort 2.1. RDNA 3 additionally makes a powerful case to construct a Group Pink system with AMD Sensible Know-how.

If that sounds such as you and it’s essential construct now, pair the Radeon RX 7900 XT with the Ryzen 7 7700X. This mix offers entry to fashionable applied sciences whereas offering a promising improve platform for years to return. Keep in mind although, that is nonetheless an estimated $899 USD for the GPU alone.

That’s not for anybody however energy hounds, however given the RTX 4090’s $1,599 value, even essentially the most discerning of players may do worse. I can let you know this: pairing the Radeon RX 7900 XTX with the Ryzen 9 7950X is an beautiful expertise. At 4K and beneath, the body charges are very good.

Nevertheless, when you’re nonetheless on the fence and all of that is too wealthy for you, the excellent news is that that is solely the start of RDNA 3. With this robust of a displaying on the high stage, it is going to be actually thrilling to see competitors within the mid-tier warmth up!