The new AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT and Radeon RX 5700 graphics cards will be the first to use the AMD Navi GPUs based on the RDNA architecture. And they’re coming real soon, July 7, to be precise.
Continuing AMD’s history of releasing a pair of cards based on the same GPU silicon at the same time, it is also dipping into its ATI heritage to re-introduce the XT suffix. We had hoped it might go the whole silicon enchilada and introduce the XTX, Pro, and GT versions into the RX 5700-series… though there is time to flesh out the entire range down the line.
The two new cards are being parachuted in to take on Nvidia’s Turing-based RTX cards, with the RX 5700 XT taking aim at the RTX 2070 and the straight RX 5700 going shader-to-shader with the RTX 2060. And judging by the – inevitably carefully picked – benchmark performance that AMD has released into the wild both the Radeon cards have the frame rate edge over the GeForce GPUs. How will Nvidia react – Super new chips, lower prices, both?
It’s looking clear that Nvidia will have to do something, as the new Radeon GPUs are set to deliver AMD a pair of graphics cards that can genuinely compete with their rivals, and beyond just the entry and lower mainstream levels.
Though if you were one of the people who believed the “RTX 2080 for $250” rumours excreted over the last six months or so, and railed against Nvidia’s high prices, then you might be a little disappointed by the fact that AMD is maintaining the new GPU pricing status quo with the RX 5700 XT and RX 5700.
AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT release date
The two new Navi-powered graphics cards will launch on July 7 this year, alongside AMD’s new Ryzen 3000 processors. It’s going to be a busy month and a whole lot of stress on those TSMC 7nm manufacturing lines.
AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT price
The current top-tier Navi GPU will go on sale in the RX 5700 XT with a reference price of $449, while the RX 5700 is a little less at $379. Compared with the RTX 2070’s MSRP of $499, and the RTX 2060’s $349, it’s clear AMD is looking to match rather than topple Nvidia’s high pricing strategy.
AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT specs
The two new cards both use the same Navi 10 GPU, built using the new RDNA graphics architecture. The RX 5700 XT has 2,560 cores, 8GB GDDR6, and a typical gaming clock speed of 1,755MHz, now referred to as Game Clock. The RX 5700 has 2,304 cores, the same 8GB GDDR6 memory, and a Game Clock of 1,625MHz.
AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT performance
Given that both the new cards are aiming specifically at the RTX 2070 and RTX 2060 competition it’s not a huge surprise to see both Radeon cards just about outperforming the GeForce GPUs in AMD’s selected gaming benchmark figures.
AMD finally unveiled the July 7 RX 5700 XT release date at the end of the Next Horizon Gaming event at E3 this year. Scott Herkelman finished off his Radeon RX 5700-series presentation with the pricing for the new RX 5700 XT and straight RX 5700 reference cards, while also nailing down July release date.
There is a pricier RX 5700 XT 50th Anniversary Edition too – definitely not a Founder’s Edition – but we don’t know if that likely limited edition will go on sale at the same time.
AMD is obviously confident that it has got the manufacturing capability to nail both new product launches at the same time. TSMC’s 7nm capacity must have been working overtime in the run up to this summer, or else there are going to be a lot of sad Red team fans unable to buy into one or the other new PC technologies.
We’ve not heard anything about potential supply issues, but it wouldn’t be the first time a big GPU launch has been scuppered by problems around supply…
We have the MSRP for both the new Navi graphics cards, with the RX 5700 XT priced at $449, while the RX 5700 is set to cost $379. There will also be that 50th Anniversary Edition of the RX 5700 XT, sporting gold trim and with Dr. Lisa Su’s initials scrawled on it. It is set to be the fastest version of the XT card too, offering essentially a factory overclocked option for $499.
The interesting point in all this is the relative pricing with regards to Nvidia. Much has been made of the Turing generation’s frustratingly high price tags, and we wholeheartedly agree. We had been hoping AMD would turn this around and make a stand on GPU pricing, but sadly it seems to have opted to place the 5700-series in the same artificially high price/performance bracket.
But, while the RX 5700 XT has an MSRP that’s $50 less than the RTX 2070, the RX 5700 is actually priced higher than the cost of a reference-clocked RTX 2060. While they look to be outperforming their GeForce competition, they’re not necessarily outpricing them.
At launch there will only be the reference-clocked RX 5700-series cards, with factory overclocked, third-party versions likely to come at least a month after the initial July 7 release date.
We don’t know what sort of price premium those will have attached, nor do we know just what the volume and availability of the new GPUs will be – and that will have a massive impact on the real-world pricing of the RX 5700/XT cards. Scarcity will inevitably drive up pricing… remember how much RX Vega 64 and Vega 56 cards were retailing for in the months after the first few cards were sold out?
The Navi generation of graphics cards is the first to come with the new RDNA GPU architecture. The RadeonDNA design is the replacement for the long-lived Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture that’s been powering AMD GPUs since the dark ages. Well, 2012, anyways…
The Navi 10 chip is the inaugural RDNA GPU, and powers both the RX 5700 XT and the RX 5700 cards. The 9.75 TFLOPS XT version uses the full Navi 10 specification, with 40 RDNA dual compute units (CUs), split between four processing clusters, and two shader engines. With that you get the complete 2,560 core spec, with 64 ROPs, and 160 texture units.
|Radeon RX 5700 XT 50th Anniversary Ed.||Radeon RX 5700 XT||Radeon RX 5700|
|GPU||AMD Navi 10||AMD Navi 10||AMD Navi 10|
|Lithography||7nm FinFET||7nm FinFET||7nm FinFET|
|Memory||8GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6|
There has been a bit of a change brought about regarding the reporting of GPU frequencies, with the introduction of the Game Clock. This is essentially the typical clock speed that the GPU will operate at during gaming, and is distinct from the much higher Boost Clock of the Navi cards. It’s similar to the Peak Engine Clock notion that AMD introduced with the Radeon VII.
It feels a little more honest, though does mean that AMD can still get the likely mostly unattainable 1,905MHz Boost Clock into the specs sheet with impunity…
The 7.95 TFLOPS Radeon RX 5700 comes with two fewer dual compute units (for cut-down RDNA GPUs AMD will have to cut them out in twos) which results in 36 total compute units and therefore 2,304 cores. The Base, Game, and Boost clocks are also set rather lower than the higher-spec RX 5700 XT, but it will be interesting just how close to its bigger sibling’s performance it can get with a bit of judicious overclocking.
It’s also got the same 64 ROPs, but fewer texture units at 144. But both cards have the same memory configuration, using 8GB of GDDR6 memory, running at 14Gbps, and offering 448GB/s of memory bandwidth.
In terms of power, both cards are using a combination of 8-pin and 6-pin power connectors, with respective TDPs of 225W and 180W for the RX 5700 XT and RX 5700.
The best way to think about the two new Radeon RX 5700-series GPUs is in terms of the Nvidia GeForce GPUs they’re being put up against. The RX 5700 XT is targeting the RTX 2070 in terms of straight gaming frame rate performance, and on the whole looks like it has managed to just squeeze past the competition.
There are a few outliers, such as Metro Exodus and Battlefield 5 where the XT manages to get 15% and 22% higher frame rates than the RTX 2070, but for the most part you’re looking at gaming performance that swings between 6% faster or 1-3% slower than the GeForce GPU.
The other point that AMD is trying to make in its messaging about the new RX 5700 XT card is that it enables a genuine step up in quality too. Comparing it with the RX Vega 56 card AMD demonstrates how the RX 5700 XT can offer you either a move up to ‘Ultra Quality’ gaming at over 60fps, or a step up in resolution from 1080p gaming to 1440p.
Taking Monster Hunter and Dirt Rally 2 as its high-performance examples, AMD shows that with the RX Vega 56 you’re getting below the 60fps line using the highest quality settings in-game, but the RX 5700 XT will get you over that performance line. It does the same for Apex Legends and PUBG for the 90fps level in terms of competitive online games.
The 1440p slide is perhaps more telling, however, as it demonstrates that the new card isn’t just offering the same level of gaming performance at 1440p as the RX Vega 56 delivers at 1080p, it actually exceeds it. The weirdly scaled graphs don’t really make it clear by how much the performance improves, so while the bar on Civ VI might look impressive, it’s still only going to be a few percentage points difference.
I do find the positioning of the RX Vega 56 against the RX 5700 XT a little odd given that the $449 price tag of the new card and the original $499 MSRP of the RX Vega 64 might make it more of a relevant comparison. Though with the RX Vega 56 starting out life as a $399 card, and the new Navi GPU sitting directly in between them, you could make the argument for either comparison.
But AMD is also targeting 1440p gaming for the slightly lower-spec RX 5700 card too. Here AMD is directly positioning it against the RTX 2060, and seemingly comfortably beating it too. There are fewer outliers in performance terms here, but where they do appear it’s the times where performance is closer to Nvidia which seem like the anomalies.
On average you’re looking at the RX 5700 being around 10% quicker than the RTX 2060, using the best-performing API for both GPUs in each benchmark. So if DX12 was faster for both that was the API used, but if DX11 was faster the benchmark was run with that API.
It is worth noting, however, that by the time the new Navi-based cards are out in the wild, we’ll probably have the full details of the new Nvidia RTX Super cards. We’ve already heard mostly confirmed rumours about what the new series will offer, and it seems likely that team GeForce will tune both the refreshed RTX 2070 and RTX 2060 cards to ensure they outperform their respective Radeon competition… and probably with designs on a very similar price point too.
That’s the benefit, for Nvidia, of releasing super high-priced graphics cards when you don’t have any competition – when you do you can just cut prices to match. Whatever happens, though, it’s us PC gamers that win out in such a head-to-head GPU scrap.
Bring it on.