AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX Review: Navi 31 is Finally Here!

AMD's next-gen RDNA 3 GPU architecture is here, with the flagship Radeon RX 7900 XTX reference graphics card battling the NIVIDA GeForce RTX 4080.

AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX : Navi 31 is Finally Here!
Published
Manufacturer: AMD
11 minute read time
TweakTown's Rating: 93%
TweakTown award

The Bottom Line

AMD's new Radeon RX 7900 XTX is here, and priced at $999 it's a worthy GeForce RTX 4080 competitor. The bump up to 24GB of GDDR6 is great to see, as too is DisplayPort 2.1 connectivity ready for next-gen gaming displays of the future.

Pros

  • + Navi 31 is finally here!
  • + 4K 120FPS gaming, now on Radeon
  • + DisplayPort 2.1 connectivity
  • + First consumer GPU chiplet tech
  • + Dual 8-pin PCIe power connectors

Cons

  • - Loses rather badly to the GeForce RTX 4090
  • - Backplate cooks like a mofo

Should you buy it?

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Introduction

AMD's new Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics card is finally here, with the new flagship RDNA 3-based Navi 31-powered card here to kick ass and take names... against NVIDIA's second-best Ada Lovelace GPU in the GeForce RTX 4080.

We've been waiting for what feels like years, but the new RDNA 3-based GPU is here, and we're ready to take it through its paces. Even though I've had just under a week with the card so far, I need to put a serious time sink into it and push it further than I would've liked for the purposes of the review.

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The last time we had a flagship Radeon GPU through the test bed was the refreshed Navi 21-based Radeon RX 6950 XT, but now it's time for Navi 31 to shine. AMD has bumped up everything across the board, from the first consumer-focused GPU chiplet technology -- using a 5nm TSMC design for the Navi 31 GCDs (Graphics Compute Dies) and 6nm TSMC design for the MCDs (Memory Compute Dies).

Speaking of memory, AMD has stepped up into NVIDIA territory when it comes to VRAM... with the new flagship Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics card shipping with 24GB of GDDR6 memory. This is the same framebuffer as not only the new flagship AD102-based GeForce RTX 4090, but also the previous-gen Ampere-based GeForce RTX 3090 and GeForce RTX 3090 Ti graphics cards.

AMD's new Radeon RX 7900 XTX reference graphics card costs $999, while the slightly cut down Radeon RX 7900 XT is priced at $899.

Buy at Amazon

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RDNA 3

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AMD's new Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics card features the new RDNA 3 GPU architecture, and flagship Navi 31 GPU. We have the world's first gaming chiplet GPU, with 5.3TB/sec of chiplet interconnect, and up to 54% performance-per-watt uplifts over the previous-gen RDNA 2-based Navi 21 GPU.

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The new flagship Radeon RX 7900 XTX has 96 CUs based on the RDNA 3 GPU architecture, which works out to 6144 stream processors that have a Game Clock of up to 2.3GHz and Boost Clock of up to 2.5GHz. There's 96MB of second-generation Infinity Cache, 24GB of GDDR6 -- non-X, where NVIDIA uses the faster GDDR6X standard on its GeForce RTX 4090 and GeForce RTX 4080 GPUs.

The 24GB of GDDR6 memory is spread out across a 384-bit memory bus which spits out 959GB/sec of memory bandwidth. AMD's new Radeon RX 7900 XTX reference graphics card requires just dual 8-pin PCIe power connectors, with a TDP (total board power) of 355W.

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Detailed Look

AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX Review: Navi 31 is Finally Here! 503

I truly adore the retail packaging that AMD's new Radeon RX 7900 XTX reference graphics card ships in, from the outside, it's kinda plain, but it's very different once you open up the packaging.

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As you can see, AMD includes a nice message that reads "Welcome to the Red Team" while underneath, the company quips, "The New Standard of High Performance Gaming". We'll have more of that, and AMD's claims of high-performance gaming later on in the review.

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AMD has done some rather cool design tweaks to the reference Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics card, which I think looks awesome, however, the "Radeon" logo on the front of the card doesn't light up... which is disappointing. The backplate looks good, with the "Radeon" logo bigger than ever before.

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You won't need 3, 3.5, or 4 slots inside of your machine for the Radeon RX 7900 XTX reference graphics card.

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Nor will you need the new 16-pin "12VHPWR" power connector, with all of AMD's new Radeon RX 7900 series cards -- the Radeon RX 7900 XTX here we have today, and the cut-down Radeon RX 7900 XT -- both use just dual 8-pin PCIe power connectors. The regular, normal ones inside of every gaming machine on the planet.

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But, we do have something on the I/O that NVIDIA doesn't have -- stupidly doesn't have, I might add -- next-gen DisplayPort 2.1 connectivity. We're talking 4K 480Hz and 8K 120Hz, which is simply crazy. NVIDIA is stuck with DP1.4 on every single GeForce RTX 40 series GPU... not just a pity, it's disappointing as an enthusiast.

Test System Specs

I've recently upgraded my major GPU test bed for 2022, but I will be upgrading again soon, now that Intel has launched its new 13th Gen Core "Raptor Lake" CPUs and Z790 motherboards, and AMD with its new Ryzen 7000 series "Zen 4" CPUs and X670E motherboards.

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The new upgrades include the shift to the Intel Core i9-12900K processor, ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme motherboard, 64GB of Sabrent Rocket DDR5-4800 memory, and 8TB of Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD goodness. Intel's flagship Core i9-12900K is a beast, with the Alder Lake CPU packing 8 Performance cores (P-cores) and 8 Efficient cores (E-cores) at up to 5.2GHz.

Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme

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I've got that installed into the bigger-than-life ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme motherboard, which is absolutely loaded to the brim with technologies and features that it houses everything you need. We're talking about one of the best-looking designs on a motherboard yet, PCIe 5.0 support, enthusiast-grade 10GbE networking, and oh-so-much more.

RAM: 64GB Sabrent Rocket DDR5-4800

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Sabrent helped out in a huge way by sending over 64GB of DDR5-4800 memory in the form of 4 x 16GB DDR5-4800 modules of its new Sabrent Rocket DDR5 memory. The company also helped out in an even bigger way, supplying us with a gigantic and super-fast 8TB model of its Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD.

SSD: 8TB Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus M.2

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We're talking about 7.5GB/sec+ (7500MB/sec) from a single M.2 SSD, along with a gigantic 8TB of capacity. The 2TB drives aren't big enough for all of our game installs for GPU testing... the 4TB is much better, but the 8TB gives us room to move into 2023 without worrying about installing multiple games that are 200GB+ in size.

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Some glory shots, of course.

Displays: ASUS ROG Strix 43-inch 4K 120Hz

ASUS has been a tight partner of TweakTown for many years, with the fine folks at ASUS Australia sending over their ROG Strix XG438Q and ROG Swift PG43UQ gaming monitors for our GPU test benches. They're both capable of 4K 120Hz+ through their DisplayPort 1.4 connectivity.

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AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX Review: Navi 31 is Finally Here! 912

I will be upgrading these in the near future, over to some DisplayPort 2.0-capable panels and some new HDMI 2.1-enabled 4K 165Hz panels in OLED form of course...given that next-gen GPUs are right around the corner, there has been no better time to upgrade your display or TV.

I've been working on this system for a while now, but now we're stretching its legs with the newly-released PC port of Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered. Not just in 1080p or 1440p, not even in just 4K... but at 8K with a native resolution of 7680 x 4320. I've run through some of the very fastest GPU silicon on the planet.

Benchmarks - Synthetic

AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX Review: Navi 31 is Finally Here! 101AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX Review: Navi 31 is Finally Here! 102
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Benchmarks - 1080p

AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX Review: Navi 31 is Finally Here! 111
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Benchmarks - 1440p

AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX Review: Navi 31 is Finally Here! 110
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Benchmarks - 4K

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Temps & Power Consumption

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AMD's flagship Radeon RX 7900 XTX reference graphics card runs at a nice-and-chill 61C temperature for the RDNA 3-based Navi 31 GPU, while GPU hotspot temperatures sat at around 74C. Junction temperatures are toasty, sitting at 91C while power consumption is higher than I'd have liked: 350W or so.

However... damn, that backplate gets TOASTY. it's a far cry from the much cooler-operating NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 Founders Edition and GeForce RTX 4080 Founders Edition graphics card backplates, which run so much cooler.

We got over the hot-as-hell backplates of the Ampere-based GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards, especially with the double-sided GDDR6X memory on the likes of the GeForce RTX 3090, but with the refreshed GeForce RTX 3090 Ti and its use of single-sided GDDR6X, those hot backplates were a thing of the past... until Navi 31, that is.

It does, however, mean that the backplate is doing what it's built for -- taking in all that heat, but it's being leaked out into your system, something to be aware of.

What's Hot, What's Not

What's Hot

AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX Review: Navi 31 is Finally Here! 516
  • RDNA 3 GPU architecture: The next-gen RDNA 3 GPU architecture is finally here, featuring some rather technology spooling inside of it. We have the first gaming chiplet GPU design, 5.3TB/sec of chiplet interconnect, RDNA 3 CUs and RT + AI accelerators, and a huge up to 54% performance per watt uplift over the previous-gen RDNA 2 GPU architecture.
  • First consumer GPU chiplet tech: Yeah, the first consumer chiplet GPU is pretty awesome to see from AMD.
  • Dual 8-pin PCIe power connectors: This might not seem like much, but there's no troublesome 12VHPWR power connector, and the dual 8-pin PCIe power connectors means the new Navi 31-based Radeon RX 7900 XTX can be installed into MANY more gaming machines. My little Razer ITX gaming PC can't handle the GeForce RTX 40 series GPUs, but man... the Radeon RX 7900 XTX fits in there perfectly, and has no power requirements that get blown out of proportion.
  • 24GB GDDR6 memory: You might not need 24GB of GDDR6 memory, but it's something AMD needed to do to keep up with the Joneses, and in this case, the Joneses are NVIDIA. 16GB would've been nice, 20GB would've sufficed, but 24GB is great to see.
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  • 4K 120FPS+ gaming: 4K 120FPS+ gaming is where I live and breathe, nothing else comes close to it... especially on a tasty huge 4K 120FPS-capable OLED TV or gaming display.
  • $999 price point: AMD is charging just $999 for its new Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics card, $200+ cheaper than the $1199+ entry price of its competitor in the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080.
  • DisplayPort 2.1 connectivity: NVIDIA really missed the boat with NOT including DisplayPort 2.1 connectivity on its new Ada Lovelace GPU architecture, but AMD has it here with RDNA 3 and it will truly come into play in 2023 and beyond as next-gen gaming displays hit the market.

What's Not

  • Doesn't come close to the GeForce RTX 4090: But, that's not what the purpose of the Radeon RX 7900 XTX is, however, if you were hoping for an RTX 4090 competitor, you won't have it with anything AMD has here today.
  • Cook eggs on the backplate: Man, it gets HAWT.

Final Thoughts

AMD's new Radeon RX 7900 XTX is here, and it's ready for Team Red gamers who didn't want to dive into the world of NVIDIA's weirdly-priced GeForce RTX 4080 -- $999 vs $1199+ -- offering a good chunk more performance over the Radeon RX 6900 XT.

If you are gaming at 1440p, 3440x1440 on an ultrawide gaming monitor, or in the lofty heights of 4K 120FPS+ gaming, then the new AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX is a damn fine choice. It offers performance worthy of your money, especially at its $999 price point, especially if you skipped over the RDNA 2-based Radeon RX 6000 series GPUs.

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The world's first gaming chiplet GPU is an interesting beast, with AMD tapping 5nm TSMC for the GCD and 6nm TSMC for the MCDs, the first to do so. It doesn't help AMD topple NVIDIA's utter FPS-destroying GeForce RTX 4090, but it doesn't need to. It's a fine competitor against the new GeForce RTX 4080 and priced $200+ cheaper, too.

AMD's inclusion of next-gen DisplayPort 2.1 connectivity is another winner in my eyes, which was very lacking on the GeForce RTX 40 series GPUs. This means you can drive next-gen displays of the likes of 4K 480Hz while driving up to 8K 165Hz, which is pure, pure pixel insanity... and I love it. Not that any games would run at 8K 165FPS on the Radeon RX 7900 XTX, not without the help of FSR at the very least. It's just cool to see AMD forward-thinking and including DP2.1 connectivity.

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Another thing that continues on from the Radeon RX 6000 series reference GPUs onto the new Radeon RX 7900 series GPUs is that AMD is using its tried-and-true plug-and-game experience, which removes the complexity of upgrading to a next-generation GPU.

How? By making the new Radeon RX 7900 XTX reference graphics card measure in at only 287mm long, and 123mm high with a 2.5-slot cooling design. The slightly cut-down Radeon RX 7900 XT reference graphics card is a bit smaller, measuring in at 276mm long and 113mm high, also in a 2.5-slot design... and once again, both with dual 8-pin PCIe power connectors.

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AMD has a handy chart here showing the competitiveness against NVIDIA's second-best Ada Lovelace GPU in the GeForce RTX 4080, against its new Radeon RX 7900 XTX. They have some points here, but 4K gaming performance isn't as strong as I would've liked, but I'm sure we'll see it mature with non-press drivers in the coming days... well, even hours.

But the other improvements here are key: DisplayPort 2.1 vs DisplayPort 1.4, performance-per-dollar in 4K native gaming, smaller card size, and oh-so-much more. The $999 price point of the new Radeon RX 7900 XTX is also a huge win for gamers, who don't want to shell out $1200-$1500 for a GeForce RTX 4080, or $1500+++ for the GeForce RTX 4090.

However, if you want brute performance, the GeForce RTX 4090 is still the king... by far.

AMD... you've got a mighty impressive graphics card on your hands with the Radeon RX 7900 XTX, but I'm actually very keen to see how the general public takes it. I would've wanted more performance out of the first consumer-focused chiplet GPU, the 24GB of GDDR6 memory, the mix of GCD and MCDs on 5nm and 6nm nodes at TSMC, and more.

AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX Review: Navi 31 is Finally Here! 517

I know we don't need AMD kicking ass and taking names against NVIDIA, but I truly wished this was another Radeon 9700 PRO moment or a Ryzen vs. Core moment against Intel... but it's not. It's a fantastic card and a great entry into the graphics card space, but it's just... not good enough for brute force high-resolution, 120FPS+ gaming once you've tried the insane GeForce RTX 4090.

However, the inclusion of DisplayPort 2.1, the chiplet GPU tech, the regular 8-pin PCIe power connectors, the $999 pricing... it's just hitting too many good spots not to give the tick of recommendation. What would've been a nice surprise is multi-GPU support... having 2 x Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics cards working in tandem would've been an absolute force to be reckoned with.

Now... do I recommend the Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics card? Well, yes and no. If you're like me, no... the GeForce RTX 4090 is just too damn fast to pass up. Sure, it costs way more, but you get WAY more performance. I'm a 4K 120FPS+ gamer who doesn't like to turn visual details down, and if I do, that game better have AI upscaling -- DLSS 2.x more so DLSS 3, or FSR 2.x -- if I can't run 4K 120FPS, then the 256 is not happy. The 256, is me.

AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX Review: Navi 31 is Finally Here! 504

4K 120FPS gaming is the new frontier, and it has been for many years now. You'll need to constantly upgrade to run the latest games at 4K 120FPS+ but it's worth it. 4K 120FPS on an OLED is another level, where I've got it next to two other upgrades to your PC over the last 20 years where you sit back and go "yeah wow, why didn't I do this sooner".

The first was the dual-core CPU from AMD... the second is the SSD from a HDD. The third is a 4K 120FPS+ OLED TV or gaming monitor, and once you do, you'll never, ever go back. AMD's new Radeon RX 7900 XTX is wicked fast, don't get me wrong, but it falls far short of the rumors of RTX 4090 destroying performance and twice the RX 6900 XT.

It's not a performance slouch, don't get me wrong, but the GeForce RTX 4090 is so much faster you'll have to NOT want to buy that, and have not picked up the GeForce RTX 4080 in order to be satisfied with what AMD has here today with the Radeon RX 7900 XTX. If you are gaming at 1440p 120-240Hz+ or any ultrawide monitor -- 3440 x 1440 or 5120 x 1440 -- then you've got plenty of juice left in the Navi 31 GPU tank.

Tomorrow, we'll have our review of the cut-down Radeon RX 7900 XT graphics card and another gander at what Navi 31 + 20GB of GDDR6 memory can do.

Performance

90%

Quality

90%

Features

95%

Value

95%

Overall

93%

The Bottom Line

AMD's new Radeon RX 7900 XTX is here, and priced at $999 it's a worthy GeForce RTX 4080 competitor. The bump up to 24GB of GDDR6 is great to see, as too is DisplayPort 2.1 connectivity ready for next-gen gaming displays of the future.

TweakTown award
93%

Sapphire Toxic AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Limited Edition

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$1259.99$1279.99$1299.99
* Prices last scanned on 1/29/2023 at 8:29 am CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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