AMD’s resurgence in both the processor and the GPU market has shaken up a long-dormant industry and while it isn’t quite at its prime yet, AMD is doing enough to get its legs free from the quicksand and make some serious moves.
Nvidia’s cheeky launch of the RTX Super line-up during a strong line of 7nm announcements by AMD appeared to have zapped its momentum. But that only lasted till AMD dropped the prices of its GPU line-up barely a couple of days before launch to get back in the game. That little nasty surprise undercut Nvidia’s Super line-up and has now positioned the Radeon RX 5700 and 5700 XT as the most value-oriented offerings in its price range.
This super-competitive price war is great for consumers as they stand to benefit with faster GPUs at price points that are affordable.
For this review, we are taking a look at the Radeon RX 5700 and 5700 XT to try and answer the question that has been on everyone’s mind – Are they worth it?
The ‘drop your baby on the head’ school of design
Now I have no idea how an actual design meeting takes place but I can almost imagine a boardroom brimming with people talking up the next design for the new Radeon RX cards. Except, somebody actually dropped the poor thing on its head and everyone thought the ‘bump’ looked edgy.
It’s an odd look for sure, not the strangest thing ever produced, but pretty close to it.
The 5700 XT’s odd dent-shaped aesthetics make the 5700 look minimalist by comparison. It’s a sober-looking card and there’s nothing fancy about it, not even a RGB-lit Radeon logo on the side. It’s a rather plain-looking grey-box design that is completely understated.
To be honest, as much as I am complaining about the design here, practically once it’s stuffed inside a desktop it isn’t going to matter. What is going to matter are the ports at the back – the 5700XT comes with three DisplayPorts and a singular HDMI port and the 5700 follows suit.
So what’s new with the Radeon 5700 Cards?
In terms of hardware, the 5700 and the 5700XT provide an opportunity for AMD to start anew, with a brand new 7nm based architecture in tow. RDNA or Radeon DNA (previously Navi) architecture promises a lot of performance gains at a fraction of the costs and it’s already off to a good start. The 5700XT is priced at Rs 30,990 and the 5700 costs Rs 26,990.
The first iteration of this brand new architecture doesn’t bring any hardware-exclusive features like Raytracing with it, instead, AMD is focusing on a suite of software features like Radeon Anti-Lag and Radeon Image Sharpening. The thing is these features are going to be available across the full line-up of Radeon GPUs which means that these cards really have to deliver on performance to stand out.
Okay, so what about performance?
Before we get into the benchmarks, here’s a look at the system we are using:
CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8GHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 Aurus Master
Memory: G-Skill Flare X 16GB (2 x 8GB) 3200MHz
Hard Drive: Western Digital Blue 250GB SSD
PSU: Corsair 850W CS850M
Now let’s get started!
We benchmarked a minimum of three runs for everything that’s been tested here to draw out Minimum, Maximum and Average Framerates. We used four GPUs in total – 5700XT, 5700, RTX 2070 Super and RTX 2070, now I know the ideal GPU to compare would have been an RTX 2060 Super but we couldn’t get our hands on that in time for this review.
We also excluded the RTX 2070 Stock from Assassins Creed Odyssey and Far Cry: New Dawn benchmarks because of unexplained performance issues with the game. We tried rolling our drivers back to 417.71 to see if that fixed it but we still got an average 50fps in Far Cry: New Dawn at 1080p! Something that shouldn’t happen.
Okay, so on to the races!
Shadow of The Tomb Raider (DX 12)
We used the ‘Ultra’ preset for our testing and kept Vsync off, we tried out DLSS on the Nvidia cards to see what performance gains that got us, they have been marked separately.
At 1080p, the 5700XT gave us an average framerate of 112 with the 5700 following close behind at 102fps. The RTX 2070 Super was ahead of the RX 5700 with an average framerate of 109, while the RTX 2070 stock finished with 102fps.
At 1440p, the 5700XT averaged 76fps while the 5700 stuck close at 69fps. The RTX 2070 Super took the lead here with 79fps and the RTX 2070 stock traded blows with 5700 with returns of 69fps.
At 2160p, the 5700XT averaged 37fps, while the 5700 snuck in close behind at 34fps. The RTX 2070 Super took the lead again with 43fps while the stock RTX 2070 managed an impressive 36fps trading blows with the 5700XT this time.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (DX 11)
All testing was done on the ‘Ultra’ preset with MSAA set to ‘Off’.
At 1080p, The 5700XT gave us an average framerate of 93, while the 5700 was close behind with 88fps. The RTX 2070 Super had an average of 85fps, while the stock RTX 2070 finished last with 77fps.
At 1440p, The 5700XT gave us an average framerate of 68fps was close behind with 62fps. The RTX 2070 Super gave us an average of 61fps while the stock RTX 2070 finished with 54fps.
At 2160p, It was neck and neck with all the four cards with the 5700 XT managing a scant lead of 36fps, while the 5700 was behind by a few frames to end with an average of 33fps. The RTX 2070 Super managed 34fps while the stock 2070 topped out at exactly 30fps.
Assassins Creed: Odyssey (DX 11)
All testing was done on the ‘Ultra High’ preset.
At 1080p, the RTX 2070 Super took the lead with an average of 69fps, the 5700XT finished with 66fps and the 5700 with 61fps.
At 1440p, the RTX 2070 Super maintained its lead by a tiny margin with 56fps, while the 5700XT came within striking distance with 55fps. The 5700 finished with 47fps.
At 2160p, the RTX 2070 super finished at one again with 36fps, the 5700XT average 32fps and the 5700 finished with 29fps.
Metro Exodus (DX 12)
All testing was done on the ‘Ultra’ preset with Hairworks set to ‘Off’.
Both the RTX cards had a strong showing in 1080p with impressive framerates but the Radeon cards were well within striking distance of the RTX 2070 stock. Surprisingly, the 5700 overtakes the 5700XT by one frame.
At 1440p, 5700 XT came out on tops over the 5700 but not by a huge margin. The RTX cards put on another strong showing.
At 2160p, both Radeon cards finished a frame apart from each other while the RTX cards took the lead.
Middle Earth: Shadow of War (DX 11)
All testing was done on the ‘Ultra’ quality preset.
At 1080p, The RTX 2070 Super and 2070 had another strong showing with the Radeon cards finishing very close by.
At 1440p, Another flourish from the RTX family, while Radeon cards finished very close.
At 2160p, The RTX series still finished top here with AMD very close, nibbling at their feet.
Far Cry: New Dawn (DX 11)
All testing was done on the ‘Ultra’ quality preset.
At 1080p, the 5700 and the 5700XT stay within one frame of each other while the RTX 2070 Super walked away with the lead.
At 1440p, the RTX 2070 Super manages to hold on to a slim lead.
At 2160p, the RTX 2070 Super and 5700 XT tie in terms of performance.
Here are the 3D Mark and Unigine: Superposition scores for the four GPUs
So should you buy it?
As value for money, it’s hard to argue against the 5700 XT or the 5700. Both cards stay competitive even with the RTX 2070 Super and 2070. Though Nvidia has the advantage when it comes to raw power and exclusive technologies like DLSS and Raytracing that give team green an edge, AMD is the more value-oriented proposition (unless Nvidia decides to kill the RTX 2060 and make the 2060 Super cheaper).