App & Software Gaming Review

AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT and 7700 XT review: a nudge into the 1440p era

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I’ve been hoping that the newest technology of GPUs would actually push us firmly into the 1440p period on the $300 to $400 mark, however up to now that hasn’t been the case. Nvidia and AMD have each been targeted on 1080p with their entry-level $399 RTX 4060 Ti and $269 Radeon RX 7600. Now, the $499 Radeon RX 7800 XT and $449 RX 7700 XT are right here to fill the hole within the RDNA 3 lineup and nudge us towards 1440p, however at costs that don’t enterprise underneath the important thing $400 mark.

AMD is aiming to beat Nvidia’s RTX 4060 Ti with its newest $449 RX 7700 XT card and specifically the $499 16GB model, which Nvidia just cut to $449 in a transparent response to the RX 7700 XT. AMD’s $499 RX 7800 XT can be aimed squarely at besting the $599 RTX 4070 — which was basically RTX 3080 ranges of efficiency at $100 much less.

AMD’s RX 7700 XT comfortably beats Nvidia’s RTX 4060 Ti at each 1440p and 4K, which is hardly stunning: some assessments of Nvidia’s personal previous-generation RTX 3060 Ti beat the corporate’s newest card. The RX 7800 XT additionally beats the RTX 4070 at 1440p, dropping out extra at 4K and in ray-traced video games. However technology over technology, the RX 6800 XT nonetheless holds sturdy in opposition to AMD’s newest card, making the RX 7800 XT an advanced choose at its $499 worth.

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How we price and evaluate merchandise

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AMD’s Radeon RX 7800 XT reference design is 2.5 slots extensive in a desktop PC, with a two-fan cooler. It’s very unassuming inside a case, with no LED lights getting in the way in which. It’s roughly the identical size because the RX 6800 XT reference design, regardless of the two-fan design.

Most of AMD’s companions look like choosing three-fan coolers, although. That’s what XFX picked for the 7700 XT I’ve been testing. It’s additionally 33cm (13in) lengthy, which is longer than Nvidia’s RTX 4090 Founders Version. It’s a ridiculously giant card given it’s nowhere close to as highly effective because the RTX 4090.

Each the 7700 XT and 7800 XT ship with three DisplayPort 2.1 outputs and a single HDMI 2.1 port. There’s no USB Sort-C show output like we noticed on each the RX 7900 XT and 7900 XTX.

The RX 7700 XT (backside) is a really lengthy card.

Whereas Nvidia has opted for the newest 12VHPWR energy connector on its RTX 40-series playing cards, AMD is sticking with eight-pin connectors. There are two on the aspect, so there’s no fussing with adapters. The entire board energy of the RX 7700 XT is 245 watts, up 15 watts from the 6700 XT. You’ll now want a 700-watt energy provide, as a substitute of the 650-watt suggestion for the RX 6700 XT.

Fortunately, the RX 7800 XT heads in the best path of effectivity. It could use as much as 263 watts, down from the 300 watts max on the 6800 XT. Which means the RX 7800 XT solely wants a 700-watt energy provide as a substitute of the 750-watt suggestion for the RX 6800 XT.

Each of AMD’s playing cards additionally provide up extra within the reminiscence division than their Nvidia equivalents, with AMD eager to level out the RX 7700 XT sports activities 12GB of VRAM in comparison with the $399 RTX 4060 Ti or $449 RTX 4060 Ti 16GB mannequin. Even the RX 7800 XT ships with 16GB of reminiscence in comparison with the 12GB discovered on the RTX 4070. We’re beginning to see trendy video games already eat up 8GB playing cards at max settings for 1080p or 1440p gaming, so it’s encouraging to see AMD not skimp on the VRAM.

1440p benchmarks

For 1440p testing, I paired each the RX 7700 XT and 7800 XT with AMD’s newest Ryzen 7 7800X3D processor. I put the RX 7700 XT head-to-head with the previous-generation RX 6700 XT, a few Nvidia’s RTX 30-series playing cards, and Nvidia’s newest RTX 4060 Ti (8GB) and the RTX 4070.

I examined quite a lot of AAA video games like Cyberpunk 2077Forza Horizon 5, and Murderer’s Creed Valhalla. All video games have been examined at excessive or extremely settings throughout all the GPUs examined, and most managed to comfortably exceed 60fps at 1440p until ray tracing was concerned.

The RX 7700 XT comfortably beats Nvidia’s RTX 4060 Ti (8GB). Nvidia didn’t provide the 16GB mannequin for evaluate, however as the one modifications are on the reminiscence aspect, it’s unlikely efficiency would change. The efficiency hole may be as excessive as round 20 p.c in titles like Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Murderer’s Creed Valhalla, or Returnal.

The place the RX 7700 XT doesn’t compete as nicely in opposition to Nvidia is in ray-traced titles. AMD has at all times been a step behind right here, and even FSR 2 doesn’t assist claw again the ray-tracing efficiency in video games like Cyberpunk 2077. When you don’t care about ray tracing, then the rasterization efficiency right here is spectacular over the RTX 4060 Ti, and the $449 pricing has already put the strain on Nvidia’s 16GB mannequin.

The RX 7800 XT additionally fares nicely in opposition to the RTX 4070 in some assessments, beating Nvidia’s $100 dearer card. It’s head-to-head in Shadow of the Tomb Raider and manages to comfortably beat it in Returnal, Murderer’s Creed Valhalla, and Watch Canines: Legion. The place it actually struggles in opposition to Nvidia’s RTX 4070 is as soon as once more in ray-traced titles. Nvidia’s DLSS helps increase body charges in Watch Canines: Legion with extremely ray tracing enabled, and regardless of a formidable displaying in Cyberpunk 2077 at extremely settings, as quickly as you allow ray tracing with FSR 2, AMD’s card simply doesn’t sustain right here.

However take a look at the RX 6800 XT outcomes. AMD’s previous-generation card holds its personal in opposition to the RX 7800 XT in lots of assessments, with the RX 7800 XT beating the previous-generation card by small percentages. This card beforehand debuted for $649, and I used to be critically impressed with it when it beat the RTX 3080. Practically three years later, it’s nonetheless going sturdy. If yow will discover any in inventory, you’ll be able to nonetheless seize an RX 6800 XT for round $530 at retail, so AMD’s last-gen card might be placing the strain on this $499 RX 7800 XT whereas inventory lasts.

Both manner, for those who don’t care about ray-tracing efficiency, then the RX 7800 XT is a straightforward choose over the RTX 4070 at $100 much less for 1440p gaming.

4K benchmarks

AMD isn’t advertising and marketing the RX 7700 XT or RX 7800 XT at 4K gaming, however that hasn’t stopped me from eager to know the way these playing cards carry out at this stage. I paired these GPUs with a 31.5-inch Acer Nitro XV2 monitor. This monitor helps refresh charges as much as 144Hz, however each the RX 7700 XT and 7800 XT didn’t come remotely shut to creating use of that refresh price.

Nvidia marketed the RTX 4060 Ti (8GB) as a 1080p card, and it’s simple to see why at 4K. It crumbles up in opposition to the RX 7700 XT, the place the 16GB mannequin of Nvidia’s card could fare higher. Both manner, the RX 7700 XT beats the RTX 4060 Ti in almost each take a look at at 4K.

An enormous exception is Watch Canines: Legion with extremely ray tracing enabled. The RTX 4060 Ti manages simply 15fps even with the assistance of DLSS, however the RX 7700 XT barely runs at only a 5fps common. This seems to be a difficulty associated to Watch Canines: Legion and the RX 6700 XT / RX 7700 XT playing cards, however I wasn’t in a position to efficiently troubleshoot with AMD in time for publication.

Both manner, given the RX 7700 XT struggles to clear the 60fps threshold at 4K in loads of assessments, you’re going to should drop the settings or simply keep away from 4K in favor of 1440p.

The RX 7800 XT fares higher at 4K, however I nonetheless suppose 1440p is the higher choice for this card. The RX 7800 XT does beat the RTX 4070 in most assessments right here, aside from the place ray tracing is concerned. The RTX 4070 additionally has the benefit of DLSS 3 at 4K resolutions, which makes an enormous distinction in video games like Cyberpunk 2077.

Nonetheless, the RX 7800 XT manages to hit 60fps or above in most titles the place ray tracing isn’t enabled however simply barely within the case of Gears 5 and Watch Canines: Legion, and it narrowly misses the 60fps mark in Returnal. I’d wish to see extra 4K efficiency right here to suggest the RX 7800 XT for 4K in trendy video games, however at $499, I wasn’t anticipating a lot given the $599 RTX 4070 isn’t nice for 4K both.

AMD continues to impress me with its software program, although. AMD’s management panel is filled with choices and helpful instruments to overclock these GPUs. It’s far superior to Nvidia’s bizarre mixture of its growing older management panel and trendy GeForce Expertise app.

AMD’s newest drivers now embody Hypr-RX, a single toggle that may robotically activate FSR (or the extra restricted RSR when FSR shouldn’t be supported), Radeon Anti-Lag, Radeon Enhance, and different performance-boosting options.

FSR 3 can be on the way in which, which, very like Nvidia’s DLSS 3, additionally provides body technology. It basically makes use of machine studying to dream up a brand new body between present ones, boosting body charges. I haven’t been in a position to take a look at FSR 3 but, as we’re ready on video games to assist this new upscaling method.

The RX 7800 XT is a strong choose for 1440p.

Total, I’m impressed with each the RX 7700 XT and RX 7800 XT at 1440p. They each provide sturdy efficiency, even when the pricing isn’t fairly radical sufficient. There’s an opportunity AMD’s pricing will put the strain on Nvidia, although. At $449, the RX 7700 XT has already pushed Nvidia to low cost the RTX 4060 Ti 16GB mannequin.

However AMD ought to have matched or undercut the RTX 4060 Ti 8GB pricing. It’s disappointing to see that respectable 1440p efficiency continues to be above the $400 worth level.

With the $499 RX 7800 XT beating the $599 RTX 4070, we may additionally see additional strain on Nvidia’s pricing — significantly as RTX 4070 playing cards can nonetheless usually be discovered at nicely above $600. The pricing will get difficult whenever you issue within the wonderful RX 6800 XT, which continues to be performing nicely at 1440p even in opposition to Nvidia’s newest RTX 4070 and the RX 7800 XT.

Both manner, it seems like I’ll be ready on Nvidia’s and AMD’s next-gen playing cards or worth cuts to get us to strong 1440p gaming at between $300 and $400.

AMD’s RX 7700 XT is obtainable now, beginning at $449. The RX 7800 XT additionally launches right now with costs beginning at $499. Each playing cards include a free copy of Starfield to sweeten the deal.

Images by Tom Warren / The Verge

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