AMD has finally released cards in the mid-range, targeting high refresh-rate gaming at 1440p with its new RX 7700 XT and RX 7800 XT graphics cards. The new cards start to round out the full product stack from AMD in the RDNA 3 line of GPUs, providing an alternative at the $500 price range from last-gen and competitor offerings.
AMD RX 7700 XT & RX 7800 XT First Thoughts
AMD’s latest GPUs squarely target the mid-range, providing potential consumers with an upgrade path if the previous RX 7900 XT and RX 7900 XTX were out of reach since their launch last December. Using the same chiplet design for its GPU as the rest of the RDNA 3 line, the RX 7700 XT and RX 7800 XT both target 1440p gamers.
We covered the chiplet design in more detail in our review of the RX 7900 XT and XTX, which you can check out here. The chiplet design splits the GPUs into two regions: the 5nm Graphics Compute Die in the center with the 6nm Memory Cache Die flanking the GCD on each side. This design is only possible thanks to the incredible engineering by AMD’s team to create the high-speed 5.3 TB/s interconnect, bringing some of the design language from its incredibly popular Ryzen and EPYC CPUs.
The RX 7700 XT and RX 7800 XT share the same amount of transistors (28.1 billion), though the 7700 XT looks slightly pared-down than the 7800 XT. The 7700 XT has fewer compute units (54 versus the RX 7800 XT’s 60 CUs), fewer of AMD’s 2nd generation ray accelerators (also 54 versus the RX 7800 XT’s 60), as well as fewer stream processors (3456 versus 3840). Both sport 2nd generation AMD Infinity Cache, with the RX 7700 XT boasting 48MB compared to the RX 7800 XT’s 64MB of Ifinity Cache. Both have large pools of VRAM, with the RX 7700 XT having 12GB of GDDR6 memory while the RX 7800 XT has 16GB of GDD6 to go along with the 192-bit and 256-bit memory bus interfaces, respectively.
AMD’s RX 7700 XT and RX 7800 XT both take advantage of the latest updates in AMD’s ecosystem, including AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution and AMD’s HYPR-RX, which releases with these two cards. HYPR-RX is a one-click solution within the AMD Adrenaline Software on select titles that aims to help give the best performance and lower input lag. By enabling this in the software on titles such as Cyperpunk 2077, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II and more, it effectively activates any relevant AMD technologies that work with the game, such as RSR or FSR, Anti-Lag or Anti-Lag+, Radeon Boost and more.
With Nvidia’s DLSS 3 Frame Generation available in many titles on the market nowadays, it’s a feature many will use to eke out extra framerates in their titles. AMD’s own solution, FSR 3’s Fluid Motion Frames, isn’t ready yet for consumer use. It’ll be rolling out first on Immortals of Aveum and Forspoken soon, but it’ll be a while before we see more titles adopt the technology. It’s hard to recommend a card based on a tech that isn’t available on them just yet, nor do we know exactly how well this tech will work when it is released. However, it’s promised to generate frames, boosting performance in demanding games with minimal impact on input latency, thanks to AMD’s Anti-Lag technology.
Visually, the RX 7800 XT Reference Card looks like a slightly smaller version of the RX 7900 XT and XTX cards before. It has the same iconic red strip running down the side of the heat sink fins as its more powerful brothers, with the Radeon logo emblazoned on its gunmetal grey backplate. The RX 7800 XT only has two fans on the front of the card, and unlike its 40-series competitors, it doesn’t need a separate adapter to connect to a power supply. Instead, it uses the same two sets of 8-pin connectors many GPUs have used for years now.
AMD sent us the XFX Speedster Quicksilver 319 RX 7700 XT GPU instead of a Reference board for our testing. The GPU itself is longer than the RX 7800 XT, using a three-fan design to keep the GPU cool under pressure. It doesn’t sport any RGB, and I appreciate the muted, sleeker design versus something a bit louder and gaudy. As much as I liked the 6000-series Radeon card’s reference design, I’m starting to really open up to the more minimalist approach with some of the cards this generation.
Like the other RDNA cards before them, the RX 7700 XT and RX 7800 XT both come set up with DisplayPort 2.1 on the cards to help with compatibility with some of the highest refresh rate monitors starting to hit the market. Radeon’s RDNA 3 cards also come set up with AV1 encoding, giving creators access to the AV1 codec for their streams and video captures to boost quality.
AMD RX 7700 XT and RX 7800 XT Gaming And Synthetic Benchmarks
How do these cards stack up in practice? We tested the XFX RX 7700 XT Speedster Quicksilver 319 and RX 7800 XT Reference cards in a series of gaming and synthetic benchmarks. We compared the GPUs to the latest 40-series GPUs from Nvidia, as well as the last generation’s 1440p performer from AMD, the RX 6750 XT.
A note about our testing: We do not currently have access to the RTX 4060 Ti 16GB since no review samples were sent out earlier this summer to our outlet. As a result, we’ll be testing the RTX 4060 Ti 8GB variant here, which it is important to remind readers that there is no difference between it and the 16GB model except for the amount of VRAM. The specs, otherwise, are the same, including the memory bus width.
We used in-game benchmark tests (Hitman 3, Cyberpunk 2077, Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker, F1 2022) to provide the most consistent result possible. In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition, which has no benchmark tool, we would play a repeatable path through the game world, attempting to push the card's limits in as consistent a run as possible. In The Witcher 3, we ran a predefined path around the city of Oxenfurt, passing over the Pontar to highlight reflections, transparencies, and more.
We tested with adaptive upscaling methods enabled in ray tracing tests, such as Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) or AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution. We opted to test with these reconstructions used to show real-world performance as players would actively use ray tracing while gaming. If you're toggling on RT effects, chances are you're using some reconstruction to make it playable at higher framerates. In games that had frame generation options, we tested with those as well with cards where the technology works to provide that data point as well.
You can check out our full post about our test bench and the various parts we’ve chosen to put GPUs and other PC hardware through their paces. Here it is broken down for quick reference:
- CPU: Intel i9-13900K
- Motherboard: MSI MPG Carbon Wifi Z790
- RAM: XPG DDR5 32GB RAM @ 5200Mhz
- Cooling: Corsair H150i Elite LCD 360mm Liquid Cooler
- Storage: Intel 760p 2TB M.2 NVMe SSD; Samsung 970 EVO 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD
- PSU: Gigabyte P1200 80+ 1200W Platinum
- Case: ASUS ROG Strix Helios
- XFX Speedster Quicksilver 319 RX 7700 XT
- AMD RX 7800 XT Reference
- Sapphire RX 6750 XT Nitro+
AMD RX 7700 XT and RX 7800 XT Synthetic Benchmarks
As always, we start with the synthetic benchmarks, using 3DMark’s suite of synthetic tests. These are aimed at pushing each GPU in DirectX 11, DirectX 12 and ray tracing workloads.
Firestrike Extreme, the 1440p variant of the popular DX11 test, shows the RX 7800 XT leading the RX 7700 XT by 14%, though only costing 11% more money at MSRP. Compared to the RX 6750 XT the gulf is a bit wider, with the 7800 XT enjoying a 31% increase in overall score. We see the RX 7700 XT sit closer on par with the RTX 4070, narrowly beating the Nvidia card.
TimeSpy also sees the RX 7800 XT beating the 7700 XT by 9% in its DX12 test, while the gulf compared to the 6750 XT sees the same 31% increase in combined score. This time around the RTX 4070 beats the RX 7700 XT, though the RTX 4060 Ti 8GB is beaten by all three of AMD’s offerings in our bench. The ASUS TUF RTX 4070 Ti OC beats all cards in both tests, though it costs much more money.
AMD RX 7700 XT and RX 7800 XT Gaming Rasterized Benchmarks
With regular rasterized gaming benchmarks, the XFX Speedster Quicksilver 319 RX 7700 XT and RX 7800 XT were put through their paces at 1080p and 1440p. In Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, we see all three AMD cards in our bench beat the RTX 4060 Ti 8GB card at 1080p, while the RX 7700 XT falls well short compared to the RTX 4070, with the Nvidia card performing 14% better comparatively. The RTX 4070 Ti sits atop the pack, while the RX 7800 XT also falls short of even the RTX 4070 here, though only by 4%.
This trend continues at 1440, with the RX 7800 and XFX Speedster Quicksilver 319 RX 7700 XT both falling the RTX 4070 Founders Edition in FFXIV. F1 2022, however, flips the script, though, as this game seems to adore AMD cards. At 1080p, the RX 7800 XT averages 303 frames per second at full ultra on the Bahrain track, while the XFX RX 7700 Xt sits just 10fps below the RTX 4070 FE (269fps to 279fps, respectively).
At 1440p this bears out again, with the RX 7800 XT leading the pack, though its lead is narrowed a smidge over the RTX 4070 Ti. The RTX 4060 Ti still leads up the rear, losing by a large margin compared to the RX 7700 XT, with the AMD card 14% faster.
CDPR’s Cyperpunk 2077 sees the RX 7800 XT beat out the RTX 4070 at 1080p and 1440p by quite a bit, though the RTX 4070 Ti still sits atop all of the cards. At 1440p, the RX 7700 XT beats out both the RTX 4060 Ti 8GB and RTX 4070, though it still comes up short compared to the RTX 4070 Ti. The RX 7800 XT comes within 6% of the performance of the 4070 Ti here at 1440p, despite Nvidia’s MSRP on the card being almost 70% higher.
Hitman 3 still sees the 4070 Ti sitting atop all the cards, though the RX 7800 XT and 7700 XT both take losses to the RTX 4070 at 1080p. The RTX 4060 Ti is consistently getting beat out by the RX 6750 XT in almost every test, finally breaking that trend in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition. The XFX Qick 319 RX 7700 XT beats the RTX 4060 Ti 8GB by 22%, while the RTX 4070 Founders Edition loses to the RX 7800 XT, sitting at 121fps versus 139fps respectively at 1080p.
At 1440p, the trends stay the same, with the RTX 4060 Ti 8Gb beating the last-gen RX 6750 XT, though only narrowly. The RTX 4070 also loses out to the RX 7800 XT (76fps compared to 84fps, respectively). The RX 7700 XT sits just behind the RTX 4070 at 66fps, though it beats out the RTX 4060 Ti 8GB by 15% in performance.
AMD RX 7700 XT and RX 7800 XT Ray Tracing Gaming And Synthetic Benchmarks
3DMark’s ray tracing benchmark, Port Royal, is great at pushing these cards to their limit with ray tracing applications without any upscaling. AMD’s ray tracing capabilities tend to sit behind Nvidia’s as the latter has a generational headstart on hardware-accelerated ray tracing. Port Royal bears this out, too, in its results, with both AMD cards sitting behind the RTX 4070 Founders Edition in the test.
This is also mostly presented in our tests as well. All of the games we tested supported both DLSS and AMD’s FSR. Even without frame generation enabled Nvidia’s cards tended to come out on top.
F1 2022 showed some of the best results for AMD (this game really loves AMD hardware, it seems), with the RX 7800 XT when running at full ultra-quality ray tracing and using FSR 2, it surprisingly beats out the ASUS TUF RTX 4070 Ti, with the RX 7700 XT topping the RTX 4060 Ti. At 1440p in F1 2022, all three AMD cards are beat by the RTX 4070, with the card only narrowly beating the RX 7800 XT by a 5% increase.
Cyberpunk 2077 shows incredibly playable framerates, despite its ultra ray tracing preset being incredibly demanding, at 1080p across the board, but even here, you can clearly see the generational gap in ray tracing performance, with the RX 7800 XT seeing a 43% gulf in performance compared to the RTX 4070, despite only a 20% price difference at MSRP between the two cards. At 1440p the RTX 4060 Ti 8GB narrowly beats out the XFX Speedster Quicksilver 319 RX 7700 XT by just five extra frames (65fps to 60fps, respectively), with the RX 6750 XT taking up the rear at 44fps average.
The Witcher 3’s ray tracing is also pretty demanding, and even when using reconstruction techniques like FSR or DLSS it can still stress a system. At 1440p, we’re still seeing averages above 60fps on the RX 7800 XT, though it’s just under the 68fps mark on the RTX 4070 Founders Edition. The XFX RX 7700 XT beats out the RTX 4060 Ti 8GB at 1440p as well, with the RTX 4070 Ti topping all the cards in the bench.
Everything is flipped squarely on Nvidia’s side once frame generation is enabled. Across the board, even in the AMD-friendly F1 2022, DLSS 3 boosted performance in each game. It makes the RTX 4060 Ti 8GB, which has consistently been at the tail end of all these tests, look competitive overall when it’s turned on.
Hitman 3 sees the RTX 4070 average almost 100 frames more than the RX 7800 XT at 1080p with DLSS 3 versus just standard FSR 2. And while any one of these cards except the Sapphire Nitro+ 6750 XT would be competent performers at full ultra RT at 1440p on Cyberpunk 2077, the addition of frame gen pushes the Nvidia cards much farther ahead.
AMD should be getting its own answer soon, but it’s hard to recommend on a promise, especially when we don’t have independent testing to tell whether it will feel as good as Nvidia’s counterpart.
AMD RX 7700 XT and RX 7800 XT Thermals and Acoustics
AMD’s RDNA 3 cards have been rather cool across the generation, and the two cards we’ve tested here are no exception. Both cards ran incredibly quiet during testing, and in real-world gaming with Starfield and Baldur’s Gate 3, they never seemed to break a sweat. The triple fan design on the XFX Speedster Quicksilver 319 RX 7700 XT really helped to keep it cool under pressure, never eclipsing the 70 degrees Celsius mark during our testing, while the RX 7800 XT kept similarly cool.
AMD RX 7700 XT and RX 7800 XT Performance Thoughts and Conclusion
What do we make of all this? At $449 and $499 for the RX 7700 XT and RX 7800 XT, respectively, the two GPUs perform quite well, especially in normal rasterized games compared to their Nvidia counterparts.
When pitting the XFX Speedster Quicksilver 319 RX 7700 XT up against the RTX 4060 Ti Founders Edition, the AMD card sits quite ahead on average at 1440p, performing 15% better on average in our testing. Considering this card, at the suggested retail price, is only 12% more expensive, it’s not bad, especially if you don’t really care about ray tracing performance just yet.
The more expensive RX 7800 XT also outperforms its nearest competitor on average at 1440p in our testing, with the AMD card seeing an average uplift in performance to the tune of 6%, despite the RTX 4070 Founders Edition, at an MSRP of $599, being 20% more expensive.
It isn’t until you get into ray tracing tests that Nvidia really seems to take off. Even without accounting for frame generation, each AMD card falls behind the Nvidia cards on average. At 1440p, the RTX 4070 Founders Edition performs 18% better on average in our testing at ray-traced titles, even without frame generation, compared to the RX 7800 XT, with that gap widening compared to the RX 7700 XT to 33%.
This, to me, is indicative of the fact that AMD is just simply a generation behind Nvidia when it comes to hardware-accelerated ray tracing, and its second-generation ray accelerators have some work to do to keep up with Nvidia’s 3rd generation RT Cores.
AMD’s FSR 2 implementation can be hit or miss as well, and it’s incredibly dependent on the native anti-aliasing technique being used by the game itself. Where DLSS uses machine learning to resolve its image, AMD isn’t, instead using a spatial upscaler to resolve the image.
While DLSS has had its issues with clean images, especially in the early days of DLSS 3, it does, on average, resolve more detail across the board in games versus FSR. During my testing and my normal gameplay, I sometimes got frustrated with how soft FSR made my games look, notably in Baldur’s Gate 3, which still uses FSR 1, and FSR 2 in The Witcher 3.
Games like Starfield looked great, however, proving that the native solution also plays a role in how clean the final FSR image was.
HYPR-RX launches now, too, and while the pool of supported games is rather small, I’m glad the technology is out in the wild. Games that don’t natively support FSR can use RSR to resolve more detail and upscale an image. It’s a nice, easy touch for gamers who want a one-click-and-done solution for their games, and it can toggle features that you might have otherwise forgotten, such as Anti-Lag or Boost. This is exclusive to RDNA 3 cards at the moment, as is the newly released Anti-Lag+ feature.
Both the RX 7700 XT and RX 7800 XT are good 1440p cards, with the RX 7800 XT able to lean into 4K gaming with its extra VRAM pool when leveraging FSR. Baldur’s Gate 3 ran at above 60 fps average in the city proper on the 7800 XT at 4K using its FSR 1 Quality Mode, and the newly released Starfield, which is an AMD-sponsored title, looked great on the 7700 XT. While New Atlantis struggles to maintain 60fps on both cards, everywhere else I tested it performed well above that clip at 1440p, with the RX 7800 XT even eking into playable 4K framerates with a VRR display.
It comes down to the age-old question that is the case with every major AMD review: How much do you care about ray tracing? If it’s a feature you need in your games, right now, AMD still feels behind Nvidia here, especially as FSR 3’s Fluid Motion Frames is still to release while Nvidia just announced its DLSS 3.5, which is aimed squarely at improving the quality of ray tracing itself.
Pricing-wise, I think both of these cards are on the right track, especially the RX 7800 XT. Undercutting the RTX 4070 Founders Edition by $100, the RX 7800 XT feels right at $499, especially as it’s competitive across the board in rasterized games. The RX 7700 XT feels strangely positioned at only $50 less.
At only 11% cheaper than the RX 7800 XT, the 7700 XT’s likely set at $449 as it’s the lowest AMD could go and still make money on the product, but I can’t help but feel this would be right at home at $399 alongside the RTX 4060 Ti 8GB. With only $50 separating the two, I would lean on the 7800 XT if I was considering upgrading one right now, especially going from an older AMD or Nvidia card. Considering that the more expensive card performed about 15% on average at 1440p than the 7700 XT, it might make more sense to look past the cheaper card and on to the 7800 XT.
All told, both cards are good 1440p performers. The XFX Speedster Quicksilver 319 7700 XT at $449 is a no-brainer alternative to the RTX 4060 Ti, even with the latter's overall better ray tracing performance. The extra 4GB of VRAM, plus the wider memory bus, will help to future-proof the card, and while it’s hard to say how FSR 3 will shake out, the raster performance is there that if you can’t spend the extra $50 to grab the RX 7800 XT, it’s not a bad investment.
However, the RX 7800 XT feels better positioned overall, especially as it competes against the more expensive card in regular rasterized titles. While its ray tracing performance suffers by comparison, its performance is still plenty playable, meaning if you don’t mind waiting for frame generation on the card, it’s a nice alternative to the more expensive Nvidia counterpart.
Full Disclosure: The product discussed was provided by PR for the purposes of this review.