The Bottom Line
- + Excellent 1440p performance
- + Military-inspired build looks wonderful in all-white
- + Stays cool and quiet even when overclocked
- + Competitively priced
- + It gives the GeForce RTX 4070 a run for its money
- - Ray-tracing performance is still not there for AMD
- - Huge performance drop-off when gaming in 4K
- - AMD's FSR 2 and FSR 3 are not in the same league as NVIDIA's DLSS
Should you buy it?AvoidConsiderShortlistBuy
There's a rugged military vehicle quality to the TUF Gaming range from ASUS, where the designs take a detour from sleek curves and compact form factors into the realm of chunky and effective cooling meets military-grade construction. Thanks to the company's 'metal exoskeleton' design, the new ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7800 XT White OC Edition is the same impressive GPU that launched alongside other AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT models this year. The only difference is that it's now available in white - a color option for GPUs and other PC hardware that has recently exploded in popularity.
How someone responds to the look and feel of a GPU changes from person to person, and it's no secret that we're fans of the white GPU aesthetic here at TweakTown. Seeing the ASUS TUF Gaming GPU move away from the same gun metal grey we've seen across several models has been a revelation. In white, I've appreciated the little flourishes and intricate detail across the GPU more than ever before. Yes, it's still built like a tank, and with a 2.96-slot thickness, it's big even for a Radeon RX 7800 XT. However, the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7800 XT is incredibly good-looking in white.
Looks aren't everything or even near the top of the list when evaluating a new graphics card. Performance is king, and with the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7800 XT White OC Edition being the latest GPU we've put to the test as part of our coverage of AMD's new mid-range champion, you've once again got a competitively priced 1440p powerhouse. With an MSRP of $499, you're looking at better-than GeForce RTX 4070 performance outside of a few RT-heavy exceptions.
AMD hitting the right balance between price and performance makes the Radeon RX 7800 XT and the ASUS TUF Gaming model reviewed here a worthwhile option. Compared to the Radeon RX 6800 XT, the gen-on-gen performance uplift is disappointing and almost nonexistent. However, when you factor in that GPU's launch MSRP of $649, the Radeon RX 7800 XT hitting that $500-range sweet spot is great.
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.
In late 2023, AMD introduced its DLSS 3-like FSR 3 frame generation technology, which uses generated frames and low-latency tech to boost perceived performance. With FSR 3 in its infancy, it's a technology set to mature in the coming months and years.
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 - compared to the previous generation's AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT and 6800 XT.
Regarding its raw specs, the Radeon RX 7800 XT is a weird GPU release in that when you compare specs to the previous gen Radeon RX 6800 XT, it reads like an across-the-board step-down. Numbers-wise, you're considering a 16.7% reduction in Stream Processor, Compute Unit, and Ray Accelerator counts. Traditionally, a GPU successor uses advanced process node technology and architecture to increase specs and put more on a die to deliver a generational leap in performance. When viewed through this lens, the Radeon RX 7800 XT performs roughly the same as the Radeon RX 6800 XT, albeit with a lower power draw and a lower introductory price point.
Numbers-wise, the only area with a notable bump comes with the Boost Clock speeds, whereas on the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7800 XT White OC Edition, you've got up to 2565 MHz. A step up from the Radeon RX 6800 XT's 2250 MHz and the reference Radeon RX 7800 XT's 2430 MHz. Moving from RDNA 2 to the multi-chip design of RDNA 3 means that like-for-like comparisons aren't fair. Still, it's interesting to see AMD position the new Radeon RX 7800 XT as more of an "affordable 6800 XT replacement" than a performance game changer.
And with that, the Radeon RX 7800 XT is more power efficient than the Radeon RX 6800 XT - though overclocking the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7800 XT White OC Edition results in more than the reference spec's 263W of power being used when gaming. What is mostly the same is the VRAM side of the Radeon RX 7800 XT, 16GB of GDDR6 on a 256-bit bus, which is still more capacity than the card's direct competitor - the GeForce RTX 4070.
16GB of VRAM in 2023 on a powerful GPU at this price point is extremely rare, so when it comes to memory alone, the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7800 XT White OC Edition will be able to handle high-end 1440p gaming for a while.
- GPU: AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT
- Model: ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7800 XT White OC Edition
- Interface: PCI Express 4.0
- Stream Processors: 3840
- Compute Units/Ray Accelerators/AI Accelerators: 60/60/120
- Clock Speeds: Boost Clock: Up to 2565 MHz (OC), Game Clock: 2254 MHz (OC)
- Memory: 16GB GDDR6
- Memory Speed: 19.5 Gbps
- Memory Interface: 256-bit
- Display Connections: 1 x HDMI 2.1, 3 x DisplayPort 2.1
- Power Connectors: 2 x 8-pin
- Total Board Power: 263W
- What's in the Box: ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7800 XT White OC Edition, 1 x TUF certificate of Reliability, 1 x TUF Gaming Graphics Card Holder, 1 x TUF Velcro Hook & Loop, 1 x Collection card, 1 x Thank you card, 1 x Speedsetup 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
ASUS celebrates the over-the-top cooling, large fans, big vents, and "massive heatsinks" of the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7800 XT White OC Edition on the product page and in press material. Are there Radeon RX 7800 XT models smaller than the 319.8 x 150.9 x 59.2 mm delivered here? Of course, but ASUS TUF Gaming GPUs are about big and boxy builds with a futuristic militarized look that is as much about extreme cooling and thermals as is about selling a rugged aesthetic.
The large axial-tech fans are larger than those found in previous equivalent TUF Gaming cards, resulting in up to 20% more air going through the card, heatsink, and vents. And when put to the test, it delivers one of the coolest and quietest Radeon RX 7800 XT cards we've tested- a real gentle giant. And like most modern GPUs, there's a 0db mode that turns off the fans when temperatures drop below 55 degrees Celsius.
What's great about the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7800 XT White OC Edition is that the default speed curve is keenly aware of acoustics and isn't as aggressive as it could be. Even in this state, the temperatures of the GPU, when pushed, remain lower than AMD's reference model by a considerable margin.
The 2.96-slot design and the massive heatsink are overkill, so you'd need ample case space to fit this in without compromising airflow. It comes packed with a white graphics card holder to match the look, which is recommended for the traditional horizontal orientation.
The ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7800 XT White OC Edition does feature some ARGB lighting, compatible with AURA Sync, but it's limited to the TUF logo and a small strip on the top. It's not a lot of RGB action, but having it tucked away in one corner adds to the overall rugged look where the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7800 XT looks more like a spaceship than a tank in white. Customizing the RGB lighting is handled by ASUS's Armoury Crate software, with GPU Tweak III required for all of the profile (Silent, Default, OC) switching and drilling down into fan speeds, clock speeds, and voltage for overclocking.
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
Regarding the competition, the formidable GeForce RTX lineup, the Radeon RX 7800 XT's competition is the GeForce RTX 4070 - and with that, a big portion of the comparisons in this review of the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7800 XT White OC Edition will be between these two models. Unfortunately, I don't have a Radeon RX 6800 XT on hand, but based on the performance we've seen and read about, the GeForce RTX 3080, Radeon RX 6800 XT, GeForce RTX 4070, and Radeon RX 7800 XT all sit within the same range - give or take.
With our 15-game benchmark suite covering a range of titles, including those with ray-tracing, the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7800 XT White OC Edition's average 1080p gaming performance is practically identical to the GeForce RTX 4070 - including 1% low performance. Compared to its RDNA 3 sibling, the Radeon RX 7700 XT, the Radeon RX 7800 XT is 16.2% faster - a big enough bump to make this the more attractive RDNA 3 offering.
Although performance is on par with the GeForce RTX 4070, individual benchmark results present a more nuanced story - with the Radeon RX 7800 XT outperforming the GeForce RTX 4070 in some games while falling behind in others. 1080p examples where the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7800 XT White OC Edition pulls ahead include Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III and Cyberpunk 2077 with ray-tracing effects turned off. Examples where it falls behind the GeForce RTX 4070 include DOOM Eternal and Cyberpunk 2077 - both with RT enabled.
14 Game Average FPS - 1440p Results
The ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7800 XT White OC Edition is not the sort of card you'd pick up for 1080p gaming (unless, of course, you're purely looking to play competitive titles), as 1440p is where this GPU comes into its own. The performance drop-off when jumping from 1080p to 1440p is only 24.7% - so you've still got a triple-digit average of 119 FPS with an impressive 1% low number to match. The performance is still within the GeForce RTX 4070 range at this resolution. However, the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7800 XT White OC Edition starts to pull ahead with a 4.4% lead.
The lead over the Radeon RX 7700 XT also increases at this resolution, with the Radeon RX 7800 XT delivering an average 21.4% faster 1440p gaming performance. The out-of-the-box overclock of the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7800 XT White OC Edition means you're also getting better performance than AMD's reference design. However, it's not a substantial increase - the more impressive difference comes via better thermal performance.
The Radeon RX 7800 XT is an excellent option for 1440p gaming, even when stacked against NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 4070. The only real downside comes when looking at titles with heavy doses of real-time ray-tracing, like Cyberpunk 2077 and Hitman 3. In titles where RT is less intensive, like F1 22 and Forza Horizon 5, the Radeon RX 7800 XT manages to match the GeForce RTX 4070 but slightly pull ahead.
For the most part, raw performance between these two GPUs is roughly the same outside of a few rare cases - like how the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7800 XT White OC Edition smashes the GeForce RTX 4070 when it comes to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II performance.
15 Game Average FPS - 4K Results
In 2023, native 4K gaming is still incredibly taxing on GPU hardware - and when making the jump to 4K with the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7800 XT White OC Edition, you're looking at a 44.6% decrease in average performance. This is huge and positions the card as better suited for 1440p gaming. Can it handle 4K gaming? Sure, especially when you throw in tech like AMD's FSR 2 upscaling. Also, the average of 66 FPS is still impressive and 4.8% faster than the GeForce RTX 4070's 63FPS average. Compared to the Radeon RX 7700 XT, the Radeon RX 7800 XT is 24.5% faster for 4K gaming.
Interestingly, for most PC gamers in 2023, the 60 FPS baseline has moved to 100 or 120 FPS - partly due to the popularity of upscalers like DLSS from NVIDIA and FSR from AMD. Although decent enough for 4K, the Radeon RX 7800 XT is roughly 20% slower than the Radeon RX 7900 XT - a card better suited for 4K.
Benchmarks - 3DMark FireStrike
3DMark FireStrike is a DirectX 11 test that has been around for years, covering quite a large portion of games released over the past decade. It's still a relevant benchmark in 2023, with the three tests covering the 1080p, 1440p, and 4K resolution. The 1440p FireStrike Extreme test is highlighted above because the Radeon RX 7800 XT is a GPU targeting this popular resolution.
Even though 3DMark FireStrike has been a reliable indicator in the past for understanding in-game performance, when it comes to the Radeon RX 7000 Series compared to the GeForce RTX 40 Series, the results do not reflect real-world gaming. With the Radeon RX 7800 XT's score being 22.3% higher than the GeForce RTX 4070 and only 3.4% lower than the GeForce RTX 4070 Ti, 3DMark FireStrike makes the GPU look a lot more powerful than it is.
Benchmarks - 3DMark TimeSpy and Port Royal
3DMark TimeSpy is a DirectX 12 synthetic benchmark and is more relevant, as this API has been used by most PC games released over the past couple of years. Here, the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7800 XT White OC Edition results across the 1440p and 4K benchmark are much closer to the in-game results than FireStrike. But they still skew in favor of RDNA 3, with the Radeon RX 7800 XT score being 11% higher than the GeForce RTX 4070. This gap is found in a few non-RT games where the Radeon RX 7800 XT generally has the edge.
The 3DMark Port Royal benchmark is a synthetic ray-tracing benchmark, and here, the result places the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7800 XT White OC Edition slightly higher than the GeForce RTX 4070. Now, RDNA 3 delivers better ray-tracing performance than RDNA 2. However, AMD's RT performance is still a step or two behind NVIDIA's. In games with minimal ray-tracing like Forza Horizon 5 and F1 22, performance between the two cards is comparable; however, in titles like Cyberpunk 2077, Hitman, or the recently released Alan Wake II - GeForce RTX hardware pulls ahead.
Benchmarks - 1080p Gaming
Benchmarks - 1440p Gaming
Benchmarks - 4K Gaming
Benchmarks Summary - RT, FSR 2, and FSR 3
In titles with or without ray-tracing, the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7800 XT White OC Edition has an excellent 1440p performance and is capable of 4K gaming. Although AMD's FSR upscaling image quality isn't on par with NVIDIA's DLSS, the results are good at 4K and 1440p using the 'Quality' setting. When you throw in the power of the Radeon RX 7800 XT's raw performance, it's probably one of the best options to pair with FSR 2 and the newly launched FSR 3, including AMD's version of Frame Generation.
Although FSR 3 debuted in two titles, Forspoken from Square Enix and Immortals of Aveum from EA, the technology's adoption has been slow and nonexistent. Still technically in a beta or early access form, the fact that AMD's latency reduction tech Anti-Lag+ has been removed from all drivers due to conflicting with game files in online titles means that FSR 3 for the Radeon RX 7800 XT is in a state of limbo. Here's hoping AMD resolves the Anti-Lag+ issue soon because providing the best possible FSR 3 and frame generation experience is necessary for the tech to compete with DLSS 3.
From a pure numbers perspective, the FSR 3 results in Forspoken and Immortals of Aveum impress, with the perceived performance increase in 1440p and 4K sitting in the 2X to 2.5X range with the help of FSR upscaling using the 'Quality' mode. Like DLSS 3, FSR 3's Frame Generation generates and inserts new frames into the render pipeline, resulting in additional latency and image artifacts.
The issue, at least so far, with FSR 3 is that image quality is prone to amplifying FSR 2 upscaling issues, and the overall smoothness and latency seem to vary depending on the input frame rate. It's certainly playable, and the perceived performance looks fast - but it's not at the level of DLSS 3, which is rapidly improving and being adopted by a wider range of titles.
Temperature and Power Efficiency
Regarding performance, the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7800 XT White OC Edition has the edge over the GeForce RTX 4070 but uses over 40% more power (when gaming at 1440p) to hit those heights. NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 40 Series is one of the most power-efficient GPU generations we've ever seen, so the fact that RDNA 3 hasn't improved efficiency over RDNA 2 only makes this side of the equation look worse. Is power efficiency an important metric? Arguably so, but if 300W versus 200W isn't a concern for you, that's fine, too.
With that out of the way, the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7800 XT White OC Edition's overall thermal performance is excellent, with temperatures hitting 57 degrees Celsius during a stress test with a hot spot of only 77 degrees. And with fan speeds of 30% or 766 RPM, you're looking at a quiet Radeon RX 7800 XT - even when put into 'OC Mode.' It's a massive improvement over AMD's reference design and another great showing for the ASUS TUF range, which is all about high-end premium cooling with a rugged aesthetic.
There's this idea that gen-on-gen GPUs need to push performance and power as far as possible, but the Radeon RX 7800 XT is a great argument for the opposite. An exciting and yet weird GPU, the 7800 XT's performance is roughly the same as the previous generation's Radeon RX 6800 XT - but the $499 price point and 16GB of VRAM makes it an attractive and exciting option for 1440p gaming in 2023. Especially when the competition, the GeForce RTX 4070, commands a premium.
That said, it's not perfect. FSR 3 and ray-tracing performance is still a step behind, and the underlying hardware's overall efficiency is a disappointment compared to AMD's RDNA 2. But, as far as 7800 XT's go, the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 7800 XT White OC Edition is an excellent choice that delivers when it comes to cooling, noise, and the quality of the physical design. And in white, it arguably takes the TUF Gaming look to the next level.