The Bottom Line
- + 1080p and 1440p that handily beats the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti
- + Excellent cooling and thermal performance
- + Rugged ASUS TUF Gaming look and build quality
- + Competitively priced
- + FSR 3 and AMD Fluid Motion Frames are coming soon
- - Ray-tracing performance is a letdown
- - FSR image quality at 1440p is not as good as DLSS
- - There is a sizeable performance gap between this and the Radeon RX 7800 XT
- - This makes the 7800 XT look like the better option
Should you buy it?AvoidConsiderShortlistBuy
The Radeon RX 7700 XT is the latest RDNA 3 GPU to hit the market, arriving alongside its beefier sibling, the Radeon RX 7800 XT. Regarding the card's overall performance and general capabilities, you're looking at a product that sits between the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti and GeForce RTX 4070 (outside of ray-tracing heavy titles), which is also reflected in the price point. With an MSRP of USD 449, the Radeon RX 7700 XT is a mid-range or entry-level enthusiast-grade GPU designed to power all your PC gaming needs at the current sweet-spot resolution 1440p.
Today, thanks to ASUS, we're taking a look at the new ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7700 XT OC Edition 12GB GDDR6, a just-under-three-slot GPU that sits firmly in the TUF Gaming family of rugged style and sturdy construction with exceptional cooling, albeit in the form of the new Radeon RX 7700 XT. If you've been following our GPU reviews for a while, you'll know that we're big fans of the TUF Gaming aesthetic and overall design; even though there are variations between models to accommodate the different underlying technology - you're getting a consistently well-built GPU.
Although AMD released a reference model for the Radeon RX 7800 XT, which we reviewed, the company opted to keep the Radeon RX 7700 XT limited to partner cards like the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7700 XT - which does overclock the GPU compared to the reference specs outlined by Team Red. Based on the results, especially regarding cooling and overall noise levels, it's safe to say that ASUS has delivered another great (and TUF) GPU here. Let's dig in.
The RDNA 3 Generation
"The world's first chiplet gaming GPU" is how AMD described its new RDNA 3-based GPUs when it lifted the lid on the new Radeon RX 7000 Series. In layperson's terms, the GPU chip isn't just one big square or die anymore, with billions of transistors all arranged in a single layout. Like with its Ryzen CPU range, which embraced chiplet design to great effect (look at how Ryzen has grown in popularity over the years), bringing this design philosophy into the GPU space felt like the natural evolution for AMD's Radeon brand.
For RDNA 3, what was once a single Graphics Compute Die (GCD) has now split into a GCD plus a Memory Cache Die (MCD). The GCD still makes up most of the hardware grunt and uses the newer 5nm process technology - a step up from RDNA 2's 7nm process. Interestingly, the MCD uses 6nm process technology, which allows AMD to keep costs down as the complexity and cost of manufacturing high-end tech continue to rise.
And to mitigate any performance impact that could arise from going the chiplet route, AMD has also managed to include the "fastest chiplet interconnect in the world," with speeds of 5.3 TB/s. That said, the Radeon RX 7600 entry-level models using the 'Navi 33' GPU follow a more traditional single-chip setup using 6nm process technology to help keep costs down. But with the same RDNA 3 architecture.
AMD's groundbreaking chiplet design can be found in the 'Navi 32' and 'Navi 31' GPUs - Radeon RX 7700 XT, 7800 XT, 7900 XT, and 7900 XTX. AMD's RDNA 3 architecture also features second-generation AMD Infinity Cache, another CPU-like feature designed to boost performance in 1440p and 4K gaming - a "bandwidth amplifier" that sits alongside the GDDR6 memory interface. It helps alleviate the need for more expensive and power-hungry memory buses and is one of those forward-thinking designs we love seeing.
RDNA 3 also represents a significant leap forward for AMD regarding ray-tracing and AI accelerators. RDNA 3 GPUs feature the second generation of dedicated RT hardware and new hardware-based AI acceleration. Real-time ray tracing is hardware intensive; this is one area many were looking for AMD to improve compared to RDNA 2. Which, admittedly, was the company's first attempt at hardware-based ray tracing.
RDNA 3 GPUs are the first graphics cards supporting the new DisplayPort 2.1 spec. The latest DisplayPort interface supports up to 4K 480Hz and even 8K 165Hz, which makes it more of a future-proofing measure than something applicable today. But the real benefit comes with 12-bit HDR support and full Rec2020 coverage for improved color accuracy and detail.
RDNA 3 also introduces hardware-based AV1 encoding to step up its video game for content creators, which means better quality video using the same bitrate. Very cool. For gamers, the introduction of AMD FSR 2 rendering is fully supported here and helps improve performance in intensive games. FSR 2 support might not be as widespread as NVIDIA DLSS, but its addition to games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Starfield is a great sign. Plus, as the tech is fully supported on Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 (with both consoles using AMD graphics hardware), in-game FSR support should grow as time passes.
AMD's DLSS 3-like FSR 3 frame generation technology called 'AMD Fluid Motion Frames' will debut in September 2023 after this review goes live. FSR 3, like FSR 2, will be platform agnostic in that it will work across AMD, NVIDIA, and Intel hardware - but on RDNA 3 and Radeon GPUs, it will take advantage of the new Anti-Lag+ to reduce latency (something NVIDIA alleviates by pairing DLSS 3 with its Reflex latency reduction technology). Ultimately, RDNA 3 is an impressive leap forward for AMD, bringing massive changes to the underlying hardware while delivering a sizable performance leap over the previous RDNA 2 generation.
Specs and Test System
Here, we can see how the specs and hardware stack up for the AMD Radeon RX 7700 XT and 7800 XT compares to the previous generation's AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT and 6800 XT.
AMD's new Radeon RX 7700 XT is the gen-on-gen successor to the Radeon RX 6700 XT, which has been a popular option for new builders of late thanks to some sizeable discounts being offered as the old makes room for the new. Speaking of the new, the Radeon RX 7700 XT delivers a tasty generational bump in specs with a 35% across-the-board increase in the Stream Processor, Compute Unit, and Ray Accelerator counts. Dedicated AI Accelerators are also added with the move from RDNA 2 to the latest RDNA 3 architecture.
As an OC Edition, the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7700 XT offers a very modest boost in clock speeds, up to 2599 MHz compared to the 2544 MHz of the reference spec, which means not much in the way of a performance difference unless you make use of ASUS's GPU Tweak III platform to push this number higher.
One area where there has been a regression (at least in capacity) comes with the AMD Infinity Cache size dropping to 48MB from 96MB. However, it's second-generation Infinity Cache that can still deliver more 'effective bandwidth' than what was available previously. The other area is the memory interface with the same 12GB of VRAM now on a 192-bit bus versus the 256-bit of the 6700 XT. It's a minor difference that doesn't impact the performance gains regarding 1440p gaming.
Although the 245W power rating means the Radeon RX 7700 XT is not a juice guzzler, it's indicative of the RDNA 3 generation, where we see that the overall efficiency gains aren't at the level of what NVIDIA has delivered with the GeForce RTX 40 Series - which has been unprecedented in a lot of ways. The result is a situation where the Radeon RX 7700 XT outperforms the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti and falls short of the GeForce RTX 4070 - but it consumes substantially more power than both when gaming. As the card's closest price competitor, the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti uses around 40% less power than the Radeon RX 7700 XT.
- GPU: AMD Radeon RX 7700 XT
- Model: ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7700 XT OC Edition
- Interface: PCI Express 4.0
- Stream Processors: 3456
- Compute Units/Ray Accelerators/AI Accelerators: 54/54/108
- Clock Speeds: Boost Clock: Up to 2599 MHz, Game Clock: 2425 MHz
- Memory: 12GB GDDR6
- Memory Speed: 18 Gbps
- Memory Interface: 192-bit
- Display Connections: 1 x HDMI 2.1, 3 x DisplayPort 2.1
- Power Connectors: 2 x 8-pin
- Total Board Power: 245W
- What's in the Box: ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7700 XT OC Edition, TUF certificate of Reliability, TUF Gaming Graphics Card Holder, TUF Velcro Hook & Loop, Collection card, Thank you card, Speed setup Manual
Kosta's Test System
- Motherboard: MSI MPG X670E Carbon Wi-Fi
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 7900X
- Cooler: Corsair iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT Liquid CPU Cooler
- RAM: 64GB (2x32GB) Corsair DOMINATOR PLATINUM RGB DDR5 DRAM 5200MHz
- SSD: Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus-G M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSD 4TB, Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSD 8TB
- Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower GF1 850W
- Case: Thermaltake Core P3 Tempered Glass Snow
- OS: Microsoft Windows 11 Pro 64-bit
Physical Design and Cooling
There's no other way to say it other than to compare the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7700 XT OC Edition's build quality to a tank, thanks to the "metal exoskeleton" and the industrial meets military aesthetic that blends hard angles with high-tech iconography. With three dual ball fan bearings in all three of the axial-tech fans and dimensions of 319.8 x 150.9 x 59.2 mm - you're looking at a somewhat chunky, just-shy-of 3-slot thickness with enough heft to warrant ASUS packing in a brace to prevent sag and damage to your motherboard.
That said, as far as Radeon RX 7700 XT models go, this premium design has exceptional and very generous cooling - ample vents, massive heatsinks, and large fans. The fans spin clockwise and counterclockwise to improve airflow, and when the GPU temps drop below 55 degrees, they stop entirely for silent performance. This feature is slowly becoming the standard for modern GPU design, so its inclusion here is less of a surprise than a box that should be ticked.
You've also got some ARGB action on the top, where the ASUS TUF logo and a small strip light up (with AURA SYNC compatibility), which is a nice touch. The ASUS TUF Gaming aesthetic isn't about delivering a light show; its inclusion here is more complimentary than a key part of the overall look. As a 3-slot class GPU, you'll need ample room to fit it into a case, but when it comes to cooling, the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7700 XT OC Edition remains remarkably cool and quiet when in use.
Benchmarks - 15 Game Averages
The Games and Tests
In 2023, PC gaming is a complicated and varied space, from indie games to major blockbuster releases and titles that push hardware and technology to their limit with the adoption of effects like real-time ray-tracing.
This is all a way of saying that the 15 in-game benchmarks we've chosen (run at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K) represent a wide range of styles, not only in terms of genres, like first-person shooters and racing games, but also in the API technology (DirectX 11, 12) and cutting-edge features like ray tracing and upscaling technology.
Results include DLSS and FSR 2, where possible, as both technologies are the sorts of things, especially in 1440p and 4K, which you'd turn on. Six of the 15 game benchmarks also feature ray tracing. Also, each title is set to ultra-equivalent quality settings to push GPU hardware and minimize CPU bottlenecks at higher resolutions.
Also, it's just fun to max out a game's visual settings and see the results. Here's the breakdown of games, graphics settings, and what's being tested.
- Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Ultra High-quality settings, with the in-game benchmark tool used.
- Borderlands 3: Ultra quality settings, with the in-game benchmark tool used.
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II: Ultra quality setting, in-game multiplayer benchmark tool used. AMD FSR 2 and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
- Cyberpunk 2077: Ultra quality setting, in-game benchmark tool used. AMD FSR 2 and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
- Cyberpunk 2077 (RT): Ray tracing Ultra quality setting, in-game benchmark tool used. AMD FSR 2 and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
- DOOM Eternal (RT): Ultra Nightmare quality setting with ray-tracing enabled, the opening of Mars Core campaign level used to benchmark. NVIDIA DLSS results included.
- F1 22 (RT): Ultra High-quality setting with ray tracing, one lap of the Bahrain track benchmarked. AMD FSR 2 and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
- Forza Horizon 5 (RT): Extreme quality setting with ray tracing enabled, in-game benchmark tool used. AMD FSR 2 and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
- Hitman (RT): Ultra-quality settings with ray-tracing, Dubai scene benchmarked. AMD FSR 2 and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
- Horizon Zero Dawn: Ultimate quality setting, in-game benchmark used.
- Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy (RT): Ultra quality setting with ray tracing enabled, the in-game benchmark tool used. NVIDIA DLSS results included.
- Rainbow Six Extraction: Ultra quality settings and in-game benchmark tool used. NVIDIA DLSS results included.
- Red Dead Redemption 2: Maximum quality settings, with in-game benchmark tool used. AMD FSR 2 and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
- The Division 2: Ultra quality settings with in-game benchmark tool used.
- Total War: Warhammer III: Ultra-quality settings with the in-game Battle Benchmark tool used.
15 Game Average FPS - 1080p Results
When AMD lifted the lid on the new Radeon RX 7700 XT and 7800 XT combo, the main takeaways were that both cards were made for high refresh-rate 1440p gaming, with the former being an alternative to the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti and the latter going head-to-head with the GeForce RTX 4070. And with that (and no previous-gen Radeon RX 6700 XT on hand to make that comparison), most of the GPU vs. GPU notes from here on out will involve these four cards.
Although it's not the resolution sweet spot for the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7700 XT OC Edition, it is a bit of a beast in 1080p gaming, delivering an average of 135fps across our 15-game benchmark suite. Compared to the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti (and NVIDIA's 8GB model is more affordable than the 7700 XT), you're looking at an 11.6% increase in overall performance at this popular resolution.
Compared to the Radeon RX 7800 XT, the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7700 XT OC Edition is 13.5% slower, which is reflected in the USD 50 separating the MSRPs of these GPUs - though bumping up the resolution to 1440p is where we see the real difference in overall performance.
14 Game Average FPS - 1440p Results
With an average of 98 fps across our 15-game benchmark suite, the drop off in performance from 1080p to 1440p for the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7700 XT OC Edition sits at around 27% - a respectable figure. This means the performance increase compared to the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti 8GB at 1440p increases to 16.7% - another respectable figure.
It's a lead that the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7700 XT OC Edition manages to maintain in most titles tested, often with a noticeably larger gap. It's only when you begin to look at games with a heavy dose of ray-tracing, like Cyberpunk 2077 and Hitman, where the Radeon RX 7700 XT and GeForce RTX 4060 Ti 8GB performance remains pretty close.
On the other end, you've got some impressive results in games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, where the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7700 XT OC Edition's 1440p performance is around 45% higher than the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti. Overall performance at this resolution is about 14.8% slower than the Radeon RX 7800 XT, but the close to triple-digit performance with detail settings cranked points to the Radeon RX 7700 XT being a great choice for 1440p gaming.
15 Game Average FPS - 4K Results
The jump from 1440p to 4K and the performance drop off for the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7700 XT OC Edition is close to 46% - a massive decrease that sees average performance drop below 60 fps. Looking at individual results, it's clear that ray-tracing is where the Radeon RX 7700 XT (and most RDNA 3 GPUs) begin to fall apart. This is not to say that 4K gaming with the Radeon RX 7700 XT is impossible. You're looking at a situation where you'll need to lower in-game settings and potentially lean on upscaling technology like AMD's FSR 2 - which can deliver decent results in 4K.
With its 16GB of faster VRAM and beefier specs, the Radeon RX 7800 XT delivers, on average, 17.2% better performance for 4K gaming. So if this is a resolution you game at, that could be the better option, budget permitting.
Benchmarks - 3DMark FireStrike
3DMark FireStrike is a DirectX 11 test and something that has been used to measure GPU performance for several years. DirectX 11 covers many games released over the past decade as an API, so it's still a relevant test. The three FireStrike tests cover the main three resolutions - 1080p, 1440p, and 4K. The 1440p test is the one highlighted above, and as a synthetic benchmark, it shows that the Radeon RX 7700 XT delivers a score 30.3% higher than the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti and a score that is roughly on par with the GeForce RTX 4070.
The 3DMark FireStrike results don't match the in-game results we found but could indicate the card delivering better gains with older titles and engines.
Benchmarks - 3DMark TimeSpy and Port Royal
3DMark TimeSpy is DirectX 12-based, a more relevant synthetic benchmark for modern games that use the latest API. Here, we see results that more closely match the in-game benchmarks, though still skewed in favor of Radeon. The Radeon RX 7700 XT's 1440p score is 21% higher than the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti 8GB and roughly 11% lower than the Radeon RX 7800 XT. The latter almost matches the price discrepancy between the new RDNA 3 GPUs almost exactly.
3DMark Port Royal is a ray-tracing benchmark, and surprisingly, the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7700 XT OC Edition delivers a score 11% higher than the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti. The margin here is smaller than the non-RT 3DMark benchmarks and, in some ways, is a testament to the RT performance increases that AMD has brought to the table with RDNA 3.
For example, at 1440p with RT effects enabled, F1 22 performance on the Radeon RX 7700 XT beats the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti, though this margin drops considerably when playing an RT-heavy title like Cyberpunk 2077 in the RT Ultra mode. There is a catch, though, as most titles with ray-tracing support DLSS and, in a lot of cases, AMD's FSR too - and there is a noticeable difference in image quality for these upscalers at 1440p, with NVIDIA's DLSS delivering the best results.
Benchmarks - 1080p Gaming
Benchmarks - 1440p Gaming
Benchmarks - 4K Gaming
Benchmarks Summary - RT, FSR 2, and FSR 3
The ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7700 XT OC Edition carries a USD 20 premium over the USD 449 MSRP based on the high-quality build and premium quality components and cooling you get from choosing an ASUS TUF Gaming product. Plus, a little extra for the out-of-the-box OC action. This makes its closest competitor, at least in terms of pricing, the Radeon RX 7800 XT and not the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti. This generation of GPUs has been confusing thanks to increased prices and models like the GeForce RTX 4070 Ti being comparable to the Radeon RX 7900 XT and the new Radeon RX 7700 XT being close to the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti.
As a mid-range option for 1440p gaming, the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7700 XT OC Edition delivers great results. It is even a solid, if not all that exceptional, performer regarding light ray-tracing loads. AMD's FSR 2 technology is great for boosting performance, but at 1080p and 1440p, image quality suffers quite a bit when put up against NVIDIA's more mature and AI-powered DLSS tech.
The big lingering question mark surrounding the software side (and GPUs are more than a simple measure of raw performance) is AMD's FSR 3 and Fluid Motion Frames technology - the company's answer to DLSS 3 and Frame Generation. It's yet to make a proper debut, so it's hard to gauge what impact this will make on the overall value proposition for the Radeon RX 7700 XT. But, we can summarize the performance by stating that you get excellent 1080p and 1440p performance with most titles - from competitive shooters to cinematic AAA blockbusters.
Temperature and Power Efficiency
As briefly mentioned, the overall power draw of the Radeon RX 7700 XT and the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7700 XT OC Edition reviewed here sits in the 220W or so region when under load. Compared to the competition (that is, NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 40 Series GPUs), you're looking at a significant difference in power efficiency and performance-per-watt - an area that AMD can improve upon going forward.
When it comes to the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7700 XT OC Edition, you've got impressive thermal performance - with hot spot temperatures of around 65 degrees when put under stress. The kicker is that the GPU maintains this with fan speeds of under 750 RPM (about 30% capacity), so the overall performance is quiet. A whisper-quiet GPU is worth its weight in gold, and the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7700 XT OC Edition delivers here.
Final Thoughts and Starfield
Thanks to a promotion that lines up perfectly with the release of the game and the launch of the Radeon RX 7700 XT, if you do pick one of these up, you'll get a free copy of Bethesda's latest epic RPG - the highly anticipated Starfield. If you were planning on playing the game on PC, it's a case where you can factor in the cost of the game and, in your head, subtract it from the GPU price to present an image that you're getting a killer deal. It certainly helps make the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7700 XT OC Edition look more attractive, so let's look at Starfield's performance on the GPU relative to the Radeon RX 7800 XT.
Highlighting the 1440p performance, with the aid of FSR 2, the game is playable with Ultra settings enabled - though you still get performance dips here and there. Either way, you're looking at image quality that runs faster than and looks better than the Xbox Series X version of the game. 60 fps is entirely possible for most of your playtime with the game.
In the end, the biggest negative or downside to a GPU like the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7700 XT OC Edition is that the more powerful Radeon RX 7800 XT is competitively priced at USD 499. Going from USD 449 to USD 499 is something you could easily justify when you've got a noticeable bump in overall performance. However, there's a lot to like about the Radeon RX 7700 XT as a 1440p card - and this well-built model from ASUS adds exceptional cooling to the list, including a 'built like a tank' aesthetic and build quality.