Ada Lovelace vs. Navi! For the first time in consumer GPUs, AMD RDNA 3 architecture employs a multi-chip module design, similar to what we’ve seen with Ryzen on the CPU side. Smaller dies appear to provide higher yields and lower manufacturing costs, which are passed on to the consumer. In this review, we put the new Radeon RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT through their paces to see if they can compete with Nvidia’s Ada juggernaut at a more affordable price.
The Radeon RX 7900 XTX and Radeon RX 7900 XT Navi 31 GPUs are built on AMD’s newest RDNA 3 architecture. The Radeon RX 7900 XTX has a total of 6,144 stream processors thanks to the full graphics Navi 31 chip architecture (SPs). With 5,376 SPs under the hood, the smaller RX 7900 XT is no slouch.
In comparison to RDNA 2, the RDNA 3 architecture has been completely redesigned. In the RX 7900 XTX, the new multi-chip module (MCM) package combines six memory cache dies (MCDs) and a graphics compute die (GCD). The manufacturing process has now been switched to a smaller node than RDNA 2, but this has resulted in no substantial changes in clock rates.
There are 192 AI units in addition to the redesigned ray tracing units, which now incorporate up to 96 ray accelerators. These, however, do not yet equal the raw performance provided by Nvidia’s tensor cores. AMD is generous with VRAM capacity, equipping the top model with 24 GB of GDDR6 memory. This is largely comparable to the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090. The RX 7900 XT has 20 GB GDDR6 but has a minor advantage over the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 because the second-fastest Ada GPU only has 16 GB of VRAM.
The media engine has also been updated, and AV1 is now supported on both the hardware and software sides. AMD supports the most recent DisplayPort 2.1 connectivity standard, which Nvidia has left out of its RTX 4000 devices. On the Radeon RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT, up to four screens can be used at the same time.
The test samples presented here are AMD reference models. Both cards are outfitted with a 2.5-slot cooler with three axial fans. The cooling unit on the two RDNA 3 cards, however, differs from that of the RTX 4090 and RTX 4080 Founders Edition cards.
The new graphics cards are also substantially smaller than the RTX 4090, so they should fit into more compact PCs. When it comes to power supply connections, many users will undoubtedly breathe a sigh of relief Because AMD sticks to the tried-and-true 6+2 pin connectors on both models.
Comparison of the Radeon RX 7900 series with other AMD GPUs
|Specifications||Radeon RX 7900 XTX||Radeon RX 7900 XT||Radeon RX 6950 XT||Radeon RX 6900 XT||Radeon RX 6800 XT||Radeon RX 6800|
|GPU||Navi 31 XTX||Navi 31 XT||Navi 21 XTX||Navi 21 XTX||Navi 21 XT||Navi 21 XL|
|Manufacturing Process||5/6 nm||5/6 nm||7 nm||7 nm||7 nm||7 nm|
|Texture Mapping Units||384||336||320||320||288||240|
|Base Clock||2.270 MHz||2.000 MHz||1.925 MHz||1.825 MHz||1.825 MHz||1.700 MHz|
|Game Clock||2.300 MHz||2.000 MHz||2.116 MHz||2.015 MHz||2.015 MHz||1.815 MHz|
|Boost Clock||2.500 MHz||2.400 MHz||2.324 MHz||2.250 MHz||2.250 MHz||2.105 MHz|
|Infinity Cache||96 MB||80 MB||128 MB||128 MB||128 MB||128 MB|
|Memory Bus Width||384-bit||320-bit||256-bit||256-bit||256-bit||256-bit|
|Memory Bandwidth||960 GB/s||800 GB/s||576 GB/s||512 GB/s||512 GB/s||512 GB/s|
|Memory Size||24 GB GDDR6||20 GB GDDR6||16 GB GDDR6||16 GB GDDR6||16 GB GDDR6||16 GB GDDR6|
|TBP||355 W||315 W||335 W||300 W||300 W||250 W|
RDNA 3 in conjunction with AMD Ryzen 9 7950X on the test bench
For this review, we used an AMD Ryzen 9 7950X platform based on the Gigabyte X670E Aorus Master. The Alphacool Eisbear Aurora 360 AiO cooler effectively cools the CPU. G.Skill 32 GB DDR5-6000 RAM is used in conjunction with the relevant EXPO profile. The monitor of choice was the Gigabyte M32U.
The complete system specifications are as follows:
- Dynamic Lian-Li O11 case
- BIOS: F8a Alphacool Eisbear 360 AiO cooler AMD Ryzen 9 7950X Gigabyte X670E Aorus Master
- PSU Corsair RM 1000x
- EXPO G.Skill Trident Z5 Neo DDR5-6000 2×16 GB (DDR5-6000 CL30-38-38-96)
- Crucial MX500 2 TB Microsoft Windows 11 Professional 64-Bit Corsair MP600 2 TB (Version 22H2)
Conditions of Testing
We were given a beta Adrenalin Edition driver version 22.40.00.57 to test the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX and RX 7900 XT. All gameplay testing was carried out at their original resolution. FSR and other upscaling features were not utilized.