AMD Announces Radeon RX 5700 XT and RX 5700 Graphics Cards: Midrange Competitor
Navi GPUs Feature New RDNA Architecture, Available July 7
We had our first official taste of the upcoming Navi GPUs during AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su’s Computex 2019 keynote, but a distant look at the GPU die and an on-stage performance preview was all we really had to go on—until today. AMD has now officially launched the Radeon RX 5700 series graphics cards during their Next Horizon Gaming event from E3, and we finally have all the details about these upcoming products based on the new 7nm Navi GPU.
Radeon RX 5700 XT and RX 5700: Specs, Design, and Pricing
The Radeon RX 5700 XT offers 40 Compute Units for a total of 2560 Stream Processors, while the RX 5700 has 36 CUs and 2304 Stream Processors. Each card offers 8GB of 256-bit GDDR6 memory at 14 Gbps for a total of 448 GB/s bandwidth. Both cards have 64 ROPs, while the RX 5700 XT is equipped with 160 texture units and the RX 5700 offers 144 TUs.
Clock speeds are measured differently with this launch, with a new “Game Clock” that represents a more realistic sustained boost speed during gaming. This adds a third advertised clock, with Base, Game, and Boost. This may end up being a little confusing, but AMD is hoping to present a more transparent boost number for gamers which still advertising a higher peak frequency which can be sustained during shorter workloads.
The Radeon RX 5700 XT has the higher clocks of the two as you would expect, with a 1605 MHz Base, 1755 MHz Game Clock, and up to 1905 MHz Boost. For its part the Radeon RX 5700 offers a 1465 MHz Base, 1625 MHz Game Clock, and up to 1725 MHz Boost.
A special AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT 50th Anniversary Edition will also be available with higher clocks and a different finish featuring gold trim, and this will be sold exclusively on AMD.com.
The reference designs of both cards employ a blower-style cooler, which AMD has implemented for integration in systems that do not necessarily have great airflow. Board partners can of course opt for their own cooler designs, but AMD did point out to us that the fan speeds/profile have been set to favor lower noise, with a max 43 dB target.
Both an 8-pin and 6-pin PCIe power connector are required for these cards (the dual 8-pin design in the early slides is erroneous), and AMD is very close to NVIDIA’s GTX 2070/2080 with board power at 225W for the RX 5700 XT and 180W for the RX 5700. Display support includes HDMI 2.0b and DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC.
Pricing was kept under wraps until the E3 event, and the announced pricing is $449 for the Radeon RX 5700 XT, and $379 for the Radeon RX 5700. The special 50th Anniversary edition of the RX 5700 XT will be offered by AMD for $499.
Navi: Key Features
With Navi AMD now has a 7nm GPU for the mainstream segment, with the Radeon VII still at the top of the Radeon product stack. In addition to the lead in process technology AMD offers PCI Express 4.0 support with Navi, and while this offers double the bandwidth of PCIe Gen3 it remains to be seen if this will have any impact on actual gaming performance.
The GPU makes use of GDDR6 memory rather than HBM2 from the previous Vega 56/64 and Radeon VII cards based on GCN, and this makes sense for a more mainstream gaming product lineup. There is still plenty of bandwidth available without HBM2, as both new Radeon 5700 series cards match the 256-bit bus and 448 GB/s bandwidth of NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 2070 and GTX 2080.
Navi also offers AMD’s new Radeon Media Engine for media encoding, and the Radeon Display Engine featuring FreeSync 2 HDR. Navi supports Display Stream Compression (DSC) 1.2b and resolutions of up to 4K 240Hz, 4K HDR 120Hz, and 8K HDR 60Hz.
Navi is built on the same 7nm process as Radeon VII, but this is an all-new product with its own architecture: RDNA. AMD says that this was built specifically for gaming, though there are improvements to compute performance as well.
RDNA: All New Architecture
AMD was very clear about this: RDNA is new. A quick, high-level look might suggest GCN to readers familiar with AMD’s now 7-year-old graphics architecture, but there is a lot to unpack here and we will revisit RDNA soon after E3 with a deep dive into the architecture.
RDNA features a new Compute Unit design with improved efficiency, a low-latency, high bandwidth multilevel cache, and a streamlined graphics pipeline which leverages Zen design methodology, according to AMD.
No graphics card launch would be complete without some sort of indication of its gaming potential, and here AMD is comparing it to the Vega 56:
While comparing the higher-spec RX 5700 XT against the lower of the two Vega gaming GPUs Vega 56 might suggest it does not significantly outperform a Vega 64 (this remains to be seen, of course), AMD is trying to make the case for an upgrade, citing 70% of gamers are on a 3+ year old GPU.
AMD also offers slides showing the RX 5700 XT vs. NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 2070, and here it is expected to trade blows with the card, similar to what we saw from the Radeon VII and RTX 2080.
AMD also compared the non-XT model to NVIDIA’s RTX 2060, with their results showing an overall lead over the $349 NVIDIA card at this resolution.
We will have to wait until we have these cards in hand to see exactly how they compare to the rest of the existing Radeon RX family (and NVIDIA graphics cards, of course), but Navi will be here in less than a month and along with it the answers to many of these questions.