Is it finally time for AMD to regain favor in the graphics card market? The brand manages to return to that of processors against Intel and it chains generations of increasingly convincing graphics cards. But Nvidia isn’t giving its competitor a reprieve with GeForce RTXs also getting more and more powerful.
The new AMD RDNA 3 architecture is promising and brings to life the Radeon RX 7900 XTX we were able to test.
AMD Radeon RX 7900XTXTechnical properties
The Radeon RX 7900 XTX represents what AMD does best with the RDNA 3 architecture. It integrates a 58 billion transistor Navi 31 GPU with manufacturing using the 5 nm and 6 nm etching process. It integrates 96 CUs with an in-game frequency of 2.3 GHz and a video memory of 24 GB in GDDR6 on a 384-bit bus.
|Fashion model||AMD Radeon RX 7900XTX|
7680 x 4320 pixels
HDMI 2.1, USB-C, DisplayPort 2.1
2 x 8-pin PCIe
|Increase the frequency||
|Amount of video memory||
|Recommended power supply||
We received a Radeon RX 7900 XTX made and loaned by AMD for this test.
AMD Radeon RX 7900XTXDesign: a more classic format
Unlike Nvidia, which has embarked on a very imposing graphics card format with its GeForce RTX 4090 and 4080, AMD has chosen to stick with design codes we know. The Radeon RX 7900 XTX is still heavy and bulky, but much less so than Nvidia’s competitors.
In addition, AMD’s card offers two eight-pin PCI-E power connectors. Nvidia made the controversial choice to use the new 12VHPWR standard, which had a few hiccups in the beginning.
Connectivity is also an area where AMD excels. The company had rather smart choices to ensure some resistance to time for its cards. Thus, the DisplayPort port mainly complies with the 2.1 standard future-proof because it can handle 8K displays at 165 Hz or 4K displays at 480 Hz.
AMD Radeon RX 7900XTXConfiguration used for the test
We are introducing a new graphics card testing platform.
- Motherboard: ROG Strix Z790-E GAMING WIFI
- Processor: Intel Core i9-13900KF (5.8 GHz, 24 cores, 32 threads)
- Cooling : NZXT Kraken Z73 RGB (360mm)
- Memory : 32GB DDR5 5200MHz RAM (Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB)
- SSD: Seagate FireCuda 520 1TB NVMe PCIe 4.0
- Power supply : Corsair HX1500i
- Case: NZXT H7 Current
- Software : Windows 11 2022 (with AMD Adrenalin 23.3.1 drivers)
This platform is based on the latest generation of Intel processors and memory, which makes it possible to exclude cases of performance limitations due to the CPU.
AMD Radeon RX 7900XTXSynthetic benchmarks: still behind ray tracing
3DMark Time Spy Extreme
We start with our usual benchmark under 3DMark with Time Spy Extreme. The test runs a 3D scene in 4K without the ray tracing or modern display technologies. It simulates the performance of graphics cards in 3D games up to the PS4 Pro generation.
This is an exercise that appeals to AMD graphics cards, which often show some rather weak points with ray tracing. Here the Radeon RX 7900 XTX outperforms the GeForce RTX 4080 despite a price difference in favor of the AMD card. However, we note that AMD’s best graphics card falls nowhere near what Nvidia can offer with the GeForce RTX 4090, which remains an exceptional card.
3D Mark Ray Tracing
3DMark also offers a special benchmark ray tracing. This is a particularly greedy scene that has brought several generations of graphics cards to their knees.
Without matching its competitors, the Radeon RX 7900 XTX manages to deliver a nice surprise here with an average of 49 frames per second. It’s much better than the 31 images the 6900 XT offered in its day. Unfortunately, if we bring Nvidia back into the equation, we find that AMD is still a generation behind ray tracing : The Radeon RX 7900 XTX is placed at the level of the GeForce RTX 3080 and 3080 Ti.
AMD Radeon RX 7900XTXAchievements in video games: avoiding ray tracing
Nothing beats more concrete performance tests on modern games. With the Radeon RX 7900 XTX we aim for performance of 4K 3840 x 2160 pixels.
Cyberpunk 2077 remains one of the most demanding games on the market to this day, offering both an open world in an urban environment and ray tracing. It should be noted with this game that we repeatedly ran into issues that led to the machine rebooting. Impossible to explain exactly the reason for this crash, but in our other tests we never had the problem. Knowing the game’s reputation, we can’t point the finger at the graphics card with certainty.
We were still able to run the in-game benchmark in 4K with the ray tracing effects enabled (preset: ray tracing ultra). The graphics card gets away with an average of 21 frames per second. This is much less than Nvidia graphics cards: a GeForce RTX 4080 achieved 29 frames per second in the same test. It’s simple, the Radeon RX 7900 XTX offers the same performance as a GeForce RTX 4070 Ti here, while Nvidia sells its card for several hundred euros less.
Fortunately, the FSR 2.0 still raises the bar to an average of 58 frames per second. This is the same technology as Nvidia’s DLSS. We lose in image quality, but the fluidity is very different. As a reminder, the GeForce RTX 4070 Ti averages 60 to 87 frames per second in DLSS 2 or DLSS 3.
A Plague Tale Requiem
Asobo Studio’s game impresses with its level of technical performance, making it a good PC benchmark. With the settings on maximum, without ray tracingruns the game in 4K at an average of 58 frames per second on our configuration.
The activation of ray tracing drops performance to just 36 IPS and is extremely unstable. This is an option we won’t recommend on AMD GPUs, especially if the titles don’t offer the FSR option.
Red Dead Redemption 2
On games that are limited to rasterization, i.e. without ray tracing, the Radeon RX 7900 XTX does an excellent job. This is the case of Red Dead Redemption 2 where the RX 7900 XTX averages 103 fps at 4K 3840 x 2160 with presets maxed out.
Forza Horizon 5
We get the same results on Forza Horizon 5 with an average of 105 frames per second on the integrated benchmark with the same settings.
The other games
We’ve run the graphics card with other popular games, but need no further analysis compared to what we’ve already seen above.
- Eternal fate (4K, RT): 132 fps;
- Overlook 2 (4K): 228 frames per second;
- Watch Dog Legion (4K, Ultra, RT Ultra): 39 frames per second on average.
AMD Radeon RX 7900XTXVideo montage
AMD has done a good job with the encoding engine of its new graphics cards. The Radeon RX 7000s support all modern decoding and encoding formats, even the very recent AV1 codec.
If AMD still doesn’t offer a tool similar to Nvidia Broadcast, which specifically lets you replace your background with your webcam in real time, the company has integrated a noise reduction module into its graphics drivers anyway. If you’re used to having conversations on Discord, Zoom, or otherwise, a Radeon can now help you be heard better.
AMD Radeon RX 7900XTXFairly high consumption
Thanks to the HWinfo software, we were able to measure the consumption of the Radeon RX 7900 XTX during our gaming sessions. If it’s satisfied with an average consumption of 20W on the Windows desktop, the figure rises to 350W peak on the most resource-intensive titles.
This is quite a high consumption for a card of this caliber. AMD may be paying for a delay in the manufacturing process used against Nvidia here. Result: The Radeon RX 7900 XTX consumes as much as a GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and more than the GeForce RTX 4080, while delivering lower performance.
AMD Radeon RX 7900XTXPrice and availability
The Radeon RX 7900 XTX is officially marketed for 1349 euros in France, but can be found cheaper from 1199 euros since its launch.
Where to buy
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX for the best price?
This is a fairly high price despite AMD’s use of certain manufacturing tricks as a process chiplet. The brand competes here directly with the GeForce RTX 4080, the price of which has dropped significantly since its launch. It can now be found for a price of around 1269 to 1299 euros, or 100 euros more than the Radeon RX 7900 XTX for much higher performance.