The AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT and 7900 XTX are here to rival Nvidia’s graphics cards.
Based on early Radeon RX 7900 XTX reviews, it seems AMD’s new GPUs deliver comparable performance to Nvidia’s offerings. Not only that, but both of AMD’s GPUs cost hundreds of dollars less in comparison. This is great news not only for those who side with Team Red (AMD), but for budget-minded folks who want a great GPU at a relatively affordable price.
Though the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT and 7900 XTX have their strengths, the GPUs have some issues that could sway folks over to Team Green (Nvidia). Below, we’ll go over reasons to buy and reasons to skip the new AMD Radeon GPUs.
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX and XT: Reasons to buy
We’ve had to deal with overpriced graphics cards for the past two years — particularly Nvidia’s notoriously difficult-to-find RTX 30 series. Because of that, it’s refreshing to see that AMD's new GPUs each cost $999 or less.
The AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT and 7900 XTX cost $899 and $999, respectively. In contrast, the new Nvidia GeForce 4080 and 4090 sell for $1,199 and $1,599, respectively. If you’re on a budget or simply don’t want to pay too much for PC components, AMD's cards are automatically more attractive than Nvidia’s offerings.
We should point out that AMD’s latest GPUs are more expensive than their direct predecessors. For example, the Radeon RX 7900 XT costs more than the 6900 XT, which has dipped as low as $700. However, even if AMD has bumped up the price of its GPUs, the cards are still cheaper compared to Nvidia’s.
Fastest AMD GPUs yet
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Radeon RX 7900 XTX and XT are AMD’s fastest cards yet. AMD fans will no doubt rejoice, but most importantly, the powerful (and affordable) GPUs might get Nvidia enthusiasts a reason to switch over to Team Red.
Regarding gaming performance, it sounds like AMD's 7900 XT falls somewhere between the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 and 3090 Ti. According to gaming benchmarks conducted by our sibling site Tom's Hardware (opens in new tab), AMD's Radeon RX 7900 XT delivers nearly as many frames per second (fps) as the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 when running most games at max settings in 4K resolution.
The Radeon RX 7900 XT sounds like a great card but the first wave of reviews makes its beefier sibling the RX 7900 XTX sound like the GPU to buy. That's because it seems to deliver performance significantly better than the 7900 XT for just $100 more, outclassing Nvidia's $1,200 GeForce RTX 4080 in many areas.
Specifically, Tom's Hardware discovered that the RX 7900 XTX outperforms the more expensive GeForce RTX 4080 when running many games at maxed-out settings in 4K. In games like A Plague Tale: Requiem, Forza Horizon 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2, AMD's new Radeon RX 7900 XTX outperformed Nvidia's 4080 at 4K with everything cranked to Ultra settings.
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX and XT: Reasons to skip
Weak ray tracing
Though the RX 7900 XT has great performance, its ray tracing feature isn't up to snuff. Depending on how important it is for you to have reflective glass buildings and puddles, this factor could be a deal breaker.
Tom’s Hardware found that neither the 7900 XT nor the beefier 7900 XTX could match the performance of Nvidia's 40-series cards in the raytraced game benchmarks in games like Cyberpunk 2077. As the site states, the 7900 cards aren't suited for 4K ray tracing without upscaling, with the faster XTX averaging 30 fps across the Tom’s Hardware test suite.
When the Tom's Hardware team benchmarked the Radeon cards in games like Control, Cyberpunk 2077 and Spider-Man: Miles Morales with ray tracing switched to high, Nvidia's 4080 and 4090 outperformed the latest AMD cards by a significant margin.
In its review of the 7900 XTX, sibling site PC Gamer (opens in new tab) was surprised by how much power AMD’s GPU consumed. The site said the XTX was close to topping the charts in power consumption and was one of the hottest cards it tested by “a fairly wide margin.” While the XT doesn’t run nearly as hot, it’s still power-hungry. PC Gamer theorizes that the lack of a cooler the size of the one found on the RTX 40 series cards could account for the cards running hot.
If you’re a PC player then you’re no doubt used to rigs that run hot. However, if you’re concerned about your PC overheating or about using too much power when playing games, heat and battery consumption could be an issue.
Nvidia has better support
Since Nvidia dominates the GPU space, it’s no surprise that it enjoys more support from the gaming industry. Many current titles are optimized for Nvidia’s graphics cards. There’s also the GeForce Experience application, which optimizes specific games to run their best on your PC. Nvidia’s drivers are also easy to install via GeForce Experience.
This isn’t to say games run badly on AMD cards. For the most part, your games won’t have a problem playing nicely with Team Red’s GPUs. With that said, not every title supports AMD-exclusive features like FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR). As things stand, you’ll find more games supporting Nvidia over AMD.
AMD and Nvidia have long battled for GPU supremacy — with the latter being the victor so far. But Team Red has stepped up its efforts in recent years and delivered truly competent GPUs, both in terms of performance and price. The Radeon RX 7900 XTX and XT demonstrates that the company is continuing to head in the right direction.
While AMD’s latest GPUs are objectively its best yet, the cards still fall behind Nvidia’s in several aspects. If you care about features like ray tracing, AMD’s cards will leave you disappointed. Wider support for Nvidia cards in games is also another factor to consider.
Despite some of their potential shortcomings, there’s still good reason to be more excited about the Radeon RX 7900 XTX than the RTX 4090. And if AMD continues on its path, Nvidia's cruising for a bruising in 2023. If AMD eventually gives Nvidia a reason to sweat, then we consumers will ultimately be the winners.