Note: This is a feel-good review of a company listening to its consumers. It's not often we get to see this, especially from a giant like ASUS but the company really pulled all the right moves here with the TUF GAMING EVO series cards. The first of which I have here is the Radeon RX 5700 XT.
I've been hearing quite a bit of fuss over the ASUS TUF Gaming X3 Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card, with virtually every review throwing shade at ASUS for the crappy cooling of its TUF Gaming family of Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics cards. I've got the flagship Radeon RX 5700 XT version of the TUF Gaming card here today, and I'm going to take it for a spin.
ASUS improved on the thermal solution of its TUF Gaming X3 Radeon RX 5700 XT EVO graphics card, so we shouldn't have those ridiculous GPU and VRM temperatures. The GDDR6 chips had no heat sinks on them, so the previous design relied on the mammoth fan array to keep them cool -- and that's not good enough.
In the first wave of reviews, the ASUS TUF Gaming X3 Radeon RX 5700 XT EVO was worse than AMD's own reference card, with some reviews seeing the VRAM bursting over the temperatures that Micron allows (and sometimes, over 100C). That's not the case with the revised card, something I'm going to go into a little bit of detail later on in the review.
ASUS has used a totally redesigned heat sink and a new fan solution on its revised TUF Gaming X3 Radeon RX 5700 XT EVO graphics card, with the VRAM now given a heat sink and improved cooling. As for the GPU clocks and VRAM clocks we're still looking at the same 1795MHz for game clocks, and up to 1905MHz or so for boost.
ASUS leaps out of the gate with a triple-fan cooler on its TUF Gaming X3 Radeon RX 5700 XT EVO graphics card, with ASUS putting in some engineering effort into the TUF card. The company is using "space-grade lubricant" here on the TUF Gaming X3 Radeon RX 5700 XT EVO, with the sleeve bearings delivering a quieter gaming experience over dual ball bearings -- at least according to ASUS.
The company says it puts its TUF Gaming graphics cards through a huge 144-hour validation process, where each TUF Gaming card needs to meet the "rigorous performance and reliability standards before it ships. Performance and stress tests are run with the latest chart-topping titles like Fortnite, League of Legends, Overwatch, and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. We also carry out reliability trials that include a 144-hour stability test and a series of 3DMark benchmarking runs to ensure the card performs well when pushed to the limits".
List of reviewed Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics cards so far:
- AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT reference
- SAPPHIRE Radeon RX 5700 XT NITRO+ OC
- SAPPHIRE Radeon RX 5700 XT PULSE OC
- MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT GAMING X
- ASRock Radeon RX 5700 XT Taichi OC+
- XFX Radeon RX 5700 XT THICC II ULTRA
ASUS TUF Gaming X3 Radeon RX 5700 XT EVO Details
A little more detail on the "space-grade lubricant" ASUS is using on the TUF Gaming X3 Radeon RX 5700 XT EVO graphics card.
ASUS puts a bunch of engineering work into its products, and the TUF Gaming X3 Radeon RX 5700 XT EVO is no different. This is why it'll be interesting to see later on in the review how the thermal results are on this card given the drama it is causing online in the early reviews of the card.
I'm a big fan of graphics card backplates, and while the TUF Gaming variant is a cheaper model compared to the ROG Strix RX 5700 XT it still rocks a great-looking backplate.
What is TUF Gaming?
TUF Gaming is the second highest brand in the ASUS catalogue, under the ROG (Republic of Gamers). The ASUS TUF Gaming and TUF Gaming Alliance products from ASUS partners goes through a bunch of different validation tests in order to give a "seamless plug-and-play experience".
ASUS ensures that all TUF Gaming products share a common design language, meaning that your PC has an unified aesthetic -- and that is very important. A full TUF Gaming PC looks, well, TUF. I mean, the slogan for TUF is 'The Ultimate Force' -- get it... TUF! Furthermore "stay cool, be TUF". So ASUS is telling you to stay cool (your TUF product) because you're The Ultimate Force, or TUF.
ASUS has some wicked custom TUF case mods from modders throughout the world, with the ASUS TUF Case Mod: Rockcrawler X99, Tiger Soul, Sabranco Humvee, Immortal, Hammer, and so much more. Check them all out here.
As always, ASUS has some fine looking retail packaging -- it's not as luxurious as the ROG STRIX brand gets, but it is tough enough for the TUF (pun intended).
From the front the TUF Gaming X3 Radeon RX 5700 XT EVO looks mean, rocking its military style and triple-fan cooler.
I love the backplate, it looks great for a cheaper custom RX 5700 XT graphics card.
From the top, you can see the chunky heat sink underneath -- and the 8 + 6-pin PCIe power connectors you'll need to get the card up and running.
From the bottom, we can see the 2.5-slot width of the card and the massive heat sink array ASUS has on the card. You can see at the half way mark the heat sink and plate go right over the GDDR6 chips now.
We have 3 x DP and 1 x HDMI for display output.
ASUS includes a single line of RGB lighting -- not too much, and I dig it.
I do like the LEDs for the PCIe power connectors, it's a nice touch.
Last updated: Jun 7, 2020 at 10:09 pm CDT