ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming Review

A solid 1440p performer that stays quiet thanks to excellent cooling, but ASRock's Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming lives in the shadow of the RX 7800 XT.

Published
Manufacturer: ASRock (RX7700XTPG12GO)
15 minutes & 1 second read time
TweakTown's Rating: 81%

The Bottom Line

The ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming OC is a solid mid-range 1440p performer with excellent thermal performance. The only drawback is that it sits in the shadow of the better value Radeon RX 7800 XT.

Pros

  • + 1080p and 1440p performance that beats the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti
  • + ASRock's design is quiet and cool
  • + FSR 3 has arrived and it's promising

Cons

  • - 4K performance drop-off is huge
  • - Ray-tracing performance could be better
  • - FSR 3 image quality and performance is a step behind DLSS 3
  • - Price is too close to the Radeon RX 7800 XT

Should you buy it?

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Introduction

Suppose you've been following our GPU reviews in 2023. In that case, you might have noticed that even though the Radeon RX 7700 XT is a capable 1440p gaming GPU that ticks a lot of the right boxes, the price point being so close to the Radeon RX 7800 XT does make it seem like the lesser choice - especially when you factor in that these two GPUs launched on the same day.

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It's been a few months now, and in that time, we've finally seen the arrival of AMD's DLSS 3 Frame Generation competitor arrive in the form of FSR 3, but it's a similar story for the ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming OC. The price hasn't moved for the Radeon RX 7700 XT, and even though the $449 value proposition is favorable when stacked against the $399 GeForce RTX 4060 Ti, the ASRock Radeon RX 7800 XT Phantom Gaming OC isn't much more expensive. And there's a notable performance gap between these two RDNA 3 offerings.

We reviewed ASRock's Radeon RX 7800 XT closer to the GPU's launch and were immediately impressed with all aspects of the GPU, from cooling to performance and how it stacked up against AMD's reference design. In terms of the overall build quality and cooling, the ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming OC is identical to its 7800 XT Phantom Gaming sibling - and the out-of-the-box overclock does make it a formidable option for a lot of games. It's an impressive unit, even if it lives in the shadows of the more powerful Radeon RX 7800 XT. Let's dig in.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Specifications

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.

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AMD's Radeon RX 7700 XT is the generational successor to the Radeon RX 6700 XT from the RDNA 2 generation, a card that hit the right 1440p sweet spot for many budget-conscious PC gamers. This makes the Radeon RX 700 XT the sort of GPU that sits in the best-value spot - the mid-range GPU market. Compared to the RDNA 2's Radeon RX 6700 XT, the RDNA 3-powered Radeon RX 7700 XT features a 35% increase in Stream Processor, Compute Unit, and Ray Accelerator counts.

35% is the sort of generational uplift you hope for, and even though we're talking about raw specs here and not in-game performance, it's still good to see. Comparing RDNA 3 with RDNA 2 at the spec level is not an equivalent comparison as the Radeon RX 7700 XT features the same chiplet design as the Radeon RX 7800 XT and Radeon RX 7900 XT/XTX.

There are some notable differences between the two regarding clock speeds and memory, too, with the newer RDNA 3 option on paper looking like a slight downgrade. Reference Boost Clock speeds are lower (the ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming OC does boost higher, so that's nice to see), and the memory interface has downgraded from 256-bit to 192-bit. Memory looks to be the one area where there hasn't been any real progress this generation - which can be seen with AMD and NVIDIA's latest GPUs. However, the 7700 XT's 12GB of VRAM is still viable for high-fidelity 1440p gaming.

Another disappointment across the entire RDNA 3 range is that power efficiency hasn't improved much. This might come down to the new (and groundbreaking) chiplet design.

  • GPU: AMD Radeon RX 7700 XT
  • Model: ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming 12GB OC
  • 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: 2276 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: 240W
  • What's in the Box: ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming 12GB OC, Quick Installation Guide

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

A switch on the ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming OC lets you turn the LED lighting on or off without having to fire up software - which is great. This feature also helps highlight how different this GPU looks with lighting - as the default mode is a vibrant display of color that plays off the translucent elements and purple flourishes found across the design. With or without RGB, the ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming OC is stylish, quiet, cool, and built to last.

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ASRock's Phantom Gaming 3X Cooling System is impressive because it's designed to keep the GPU cool and stay quiet. This includes a 0dB mode where the fans turn off during light workloads, but when the fans spin up, you realize there's not a lot of difference between this GPU waiting for the action to heat up and when it's in the middle of countless benchmarks measuring performance. The dimensions of 328 x 140 x 53mm are the same as the 7800 XT version, as is the 1450g weight, so it's a little on the chunky side - which is true for many modern GPUs.

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With a nickel-plated copper base and a contact area designed to maximize GPU coverage, heat dissipation is not an issue, leaving plenty of room to adjust clock speeds to push performance just that little bit higher. You can do this using the simple ASRock Tweak 2.0 app that lets you choose from predefined modes or customize your fan and OC settings.

Throw in a reinforced metal frame to avoid sag, a full metal backplate, premium thermal pads, premium power delivery, and even little things like ASRock's precision screw torque, and you've got another stellar ASRock GPU.

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.

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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

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As PC game visual fidelity and detail increase yearly, 1080p gaming is still a viable option - especially if you want to keep performance in the triple-digit region. Across our 15-game benchmark suite, which includes several titles with ray-tracing, the ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming OC delivers an average frame rate of 132 FPS. This impressive result is 9% higher than the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti's average.

Going in the other direction, the 1080p performance of the Radeon RX 7700 XT is 15.4% slower than the Radeon RX 7800 XT. With the two MSRPs of these GPUs sitting at $449 and $499, as we've seen with other Radeon RX 7700 XT models - great performance is outclassed by greater performance. Though with 12GB of VRAM, the Radeon RX 7700 XT looks good when stacked against the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti.

It even comes close in Cyberpunk 2077 with RT Ultra settings and Hitman with RT, another title with multiple ray-tracing effects. An impressive 1080p showing, but as AMD is positioning the Radeon RX 7700 XT as a 1440p GPU, let's look at those numbers.

14 Game Average FPS - 1440p Results

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Increasing the resolution to 1440p from 1080p sees the performance drop by roughly 27% on the ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming OC - a figure that still results in an average frame rate of 96 FPS. At 1440p, the performance lead over the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti increases to 14.3% while still trailing behind the Radeon RX 7800 XT by a margin of 16.5%.

Like we've seen with other RDNA 3 GPUs, there are games where the architecture performs extremely well - especially when compared to the GeForce RTX 40 Series. In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, the ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming OC managed to hit an average frame rate of 168 FPS, which is not only 40% faster than the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti but also 10% faster than the GeForce RTX 4070.

Having 12GB of VRAM to play with certainly works in favor of the Radeon RX 7700 XT for 1440p gaming. However, RDNA 3 still feels like it's a step behind the competition regarding RT-heavy games played at 1440p or 4K. Still, 1440p gaming is where the ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming OC impresses the most - which is good news because 1440p is the fastest-growing resolution for PC gaming displays. Most gaming monitors released today target a high refresh rate and 1440p visuals.

15 Game Average FPS - 4K Results

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Okay, 4K gaming is the glowing weak spot of the Radeon RX 7700 XT GPU, regardless of the make or model. Even with 12GB of VRAM, the performance drop-off for the ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming OC, when jumping to 4K from 1440p, sits at a sizable 44.8%. It's pretty huge, and even though the gap between it and the Radeon RX 7800 XT is still in the same 17% range, that 17% is often the difference between hitting a stable 60 FPS and not.

Gaming is in 4K, and the gap between the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti 8GB and the Radeon RX 7700 XT drops to 10%, so you're better off sticking to 1440p. No matter the GPU, 4K is still the realm of upscaling technologies like DLSS and AMD's FSR 2. Although the consensus is that DLSS image quality is superior to FSR 2 - at 4K using the Quality setting, FSR 2 is impressive and lives up to that "free performance" ideal.

Benchmarks - 3DMark FireStrike

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3DMark FireStrike is a synthetic DirectX 11 test used for years to measure GPU performance and is still relevant today. DirectX 11 covers countless games released over the past decade, but the ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming OC (and other RDNA 3 GPUs) results don't reflect the results found in our 15-game benchmark suite.

The three FireStrike tests included here cover 1080p, 1440p, and 4K resolutions. The 1440p score above places the ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming OC on par with the GeForce RTX 4070 and 29.6% ahead of the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti. There are games where you'll see a similar result, but those are exceptions, not the rule.

Benchmarks - 3DMark TimeSpy and Port Royal

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3DMark TimeSpy is DirectX 12-based, a more relevant synthetic benchmark for current PC games. Here, the ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming OC's score of 16544 also sits on par with the GeForce RTX 4070 - another strange result. Compared to the Radeon RX 7800 XT, the score is 10.8% lower, closer to the average gaming benchmark results we found - and reflects the pricing difference between these two GPUs. Still, with the 1440p score being 21.4% higher than the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti's, it's not a result you can bank on for everyday gaming.

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AMD's RDNA 2 generation for Radeon was the first to include hardware-accelerated ray tracing, and with the arrival of RDNA 3, RT performance has improved by a notable amount. It's still a step behind what we've seen from GeForce on the high-end, but as a mid-range GPU, the ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming OC can push real-time ray tracing.

3DMark Port Royal is a ray-tracing benchmark, and the score here positions the ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming OC higher than the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti. Out of all the 3DMark tests, this one is the closest to in-game performance, though when it comes to games with lots of RT effects like Cyberpunk 2077, Alan Wake II, Hitman, and others, RDNA 3 does begin to strain under the pressure. RT is one area where you need to enable tech like DLSS and FSR, and with that at 1440p, DLSS image quality is superior to FSR - so overall, the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti has the edge.

Benchmarks - 1080p Gaming

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Benchmarks - 1440p Gaming

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Benchmarks - 4K Gaming

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Benchmarks Summary - RT, FSR 2, and FSR 3

The benchmark results for our 15-game benchmark suite, with and without ray-tracing, show that the ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming OC is an excellent choice for 1440p gaming. With the Radeon RX 7800 XT being so close (in price), it's hard not to see that GPU - and the GeForce RTX 4070 - are more viable long-term choices. AMD's FSR 2 delivers decent results at 1440p, though DLSS offers better image quality, so if that's something you value - it's worth factoring into your decision-making process.

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What about FSR 3 and AMD's version of Frame Generation? Well, it has been a couple of months since the Radeon RX 7700 XT and Radeon RX 7800 XT launched, and the first version of the technology is now available in a few select titles like Forspoken from Square Enix and Immortals of Aveum from EA. Regarding the perceived performance increase (frame generation generates new frames, so it's not exactly 'real' performance), the 1440p and 4K results for FSR 3 - so far - look good.

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For both Forspoken and Immortals of Aveum, compared to native rendering, you're looking at up to a 2.5X - a result comparable to NVIDIA's DLSS 3 when you combine that with Super Resolution and Reflex. However, what is a little hit-and-miss with FSR 3 is image quality and the fact that AMD's latency reduction tech, Anti-Lag+, is currently in a state of limbo. Frame Generation amplifies FSR artifacts, and unless you're hitting well over 100 FPS, movement can feel "off."

To put it bluntly, I'd recommend turning on DLSS 3 and NVIDIA's Frame Generation in most games it's available in, but I am hesitant to make the same recommendation regarding FSR 3.

The good news is that AMD's approach works, and like FSR, it works on all GPUs - including GeForce RTX cards. It'll be interesting to see how the technology improves in the coming months, and with the driver-based Frame Generation on the cards (currently in preview mode) that can enable the technology in all games - AMD's Frame Generation future is bright. Will it become a game-changer like DLSS 3? Time will tell.

Temperature and Power Efficiency

The ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming OC is a great 1440p GPU that outperforms the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti. However, when it comes to power efficiency, it hits those heights by using over 40% more power than NVIDIA's GPU. Even the more powerful GeForce RTX 4070 uses less power than the Radeon RX 7700 XT. Efficiency is an important metric when reviewing a GPU, though how important it will vary from person to person.

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Take a look at the thermal performance of the ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming OC; the results are excellent. Under load, the GPU temperature not only stayed in the low 50-degree Celsius range, with a GPU Hot Spot of 68 degrees Celsius, but fan speeds hovered at around 20% or 900-950 RPMS. This means the ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming OC remains quiet and cool even when gaming: an awesome result and a testament to ASRock's excellent Phantom Gaming cooling.

Final Thoughts

The ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming OC delivers excellent 1440p results while remaining quiet and cool in the process, and the only real downside is that the ASRock Radeon RX 7800 XT Phantom Gaming OC exists and isn't that much more expensive. RDNA 3 efficiency at the mid-range level might not have been the game changer we were hoping for, but compared to RDNA 2, you are getting more mature RT performance and overall better value when looking at the MSRP pricing.

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As for ASRock's design, the Phantom Gaming GPU seamlessly switches between an RGB-lit treat and a more subtle triple-fan workhorse. Throw in nice-to-have features like content creator-friendly AV1 encoding and DisplayPort 2.1 support, and the ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming OC is something to consider.

Photo of product for sale

Performance

80%

Quality

87%

Features

80%

Value

78%

Overall

81%

The Bottom Line

The ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming OC is a solid mid-range 1440p performer with excellent thermal performance. The only drawback is that it sits in the shadow of the better value Radeon RX 7800 XT.

81%

ASRock Radeon RX 7700 XT Phantom Gaming 12GB OC

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$369.83$369.83$413.99
* Prices last scanned on 4/22/2024 at 1:49 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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