Shootouts

AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT and 5700 review: Right back in the game

By Koh Wanzi - 28 Jul 2019

Test setup & gaming performance

Test setup

The detailed specifications of our new graphics card testbed system is as follows:-

  • Intel Core i7-8086K (4.0GHz, 12MB L3 cache)
  • ASUS ROG Strix Maximus X Hero (Intel Z370)
  • 4 x 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR4-3000 (Auto timings: CAS 15-15-15-35)
  • Samsung 860 EVO 500GB SSD
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
  • ASUS PB287Q, 4K monitor

The full line-up of graphics cards tested are listed below:

  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Founders Edition
  • AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition
  • AMD Radeon RX 5700
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Super Founders Edition
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition

Test cards compared
 
 

Next up, here's a list of all the benchmarks used:

  • 3DMark
  • Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Far Cry 5
  • Metro Exodus
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of War
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • Tom Clancy's The Division 2

 

3DMark

The synthetic 3DMark benchmark tests graphics and computational performance at different resolutions, starting at 1080p and going all the way up to 4K. A series of two graphics test, one physics test, and then a combined test stresses your hardware in turn to assess its performance.

The scores are pretty close between the competing cards here, with the Radeon RX 5700 XT coming quite close to the GeForce RTX 2070 Super and the Radeon RX 5700 doing the same to the GeForce RTX 2060 Super. In Fire Strike Extreme, the 5700 XT was around 11 percent faster than the GeForce RTX 2060 Super, while the Radeon RX 5700 was 16 percent ahead of the GeForce RTX 2060. 

 

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation

Ashes of the Singularity has long been the poster child for the performance benefits a low-level API like DirectX 12 can bring. It is based on the Nitrous engine and can be extremely punishing thanks to the huge number of onscreen units and the sheer level of detail accorded to each unit. However, the CPU does become the limiting factor at lower resolutions and settings. 

As in 3DMark, the Radeon RX 5700 XT and 5700 were neck-and-neck with the GeForce RTX 2070 Super and 2060 Super respectively. However, it's important to remember that the Radeon RX 5700 is actually the same price as the GeForce RTX 2060, and it's actually a good 13 percent faster. Similarly, at the more demanding 1440p resolution, the Radeon RX 5700 XT was roughly 10 percent ahead of the GeForce RTX 2060 Super, which also cost US$399. 

 

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Mankind Divided features just about every trick to make your game look pretty, including things like volumetric and dynamic lighting, screenspace reflections, and cloth physics. Even though it was released in 2016, the game is capable of bringing even the most powerful systems to their knees. 

The same pattern is observed here as well, and the Radeon RX 5700 XT and 5700 continued to beat the GeForce RTX 2060 Super and 2060 at the same price. For example, at the 1440p resolution and Ultra settings, the Radeon RX 5700 XT was 11 percent faster than the GeForce RTX 2060 Super, while the Radeon RX 5700 was a solid 15 percent ahead of the GeForce RTX 2060. 

 

Far Cry 5

Far Cry 5  doesn't seem to scale that well between different graphics cards and settings. At the 4K resolution, the GeForce RTX 2070, Radeon RX 5700, and GeForce RTX 2060 Super even turned out the same result, which is odd for the demanding 4K resolution where the graphics card is supposed to be the limiting factor. Either way, it speaks to how close in performance many of the cards here are. 

However, the Radeon RX 5700 had a particularly standout performance against the GeForce RTX 2060 here (again, remember that both cards cost the same). At 1440p and Ultra settings, the AMD card was a whopping 25 percent faster. 

 

Metro Exodus

Metro Exodus runs better in DirectX 12, so that's the setting we chose to run our benchmarks at. There's just one caveat though – actual in-game performance is generally better than the results you get in the in-game benchmark, so this is best taken as an indicator of relative performance, rather than the absolute numbers you can expect in game.

The Radeon cards continued to edge out their similarly priced NVIDIA counterparts here, with the Radeon RX 5700 XT beating the GeForce RTX 2060 Super by nearly 14 percent at 1440p and Ultra settings. Likewise, the Radeon RX 5700 was ahead of the GeForce RTX 2060 by a good 22 percent. 

 

Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Shadow of War offered NVIDIA a chance to fight back, and the GeForce RTX 2060 Super traded blows with the Radeon RX 5700 XT at different settings and resolutions. The Radeon RX 5700 still had a clear lead over the GeForce RTX 2060 though, particularly at the less demanding settings. 

 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Like Metro Exodus, Shadow of the Tomb Raider runs better in DirectX 12 as well. DLSS and ray tracing have been added to the game already, but these numbers are obtained without those features turned on.

Performance was really close between the GeForce RTX 2060 Super and Radeon RX 5700 XT, and it was difficult to tease out significant differences across the board. That said, at 1440p and Highest settings, the Radeon RX 5700 still raced ahead to a 26 percent lead over the GeForce RTX 2060. 

 

Tom Clancy's The Division 2

Division 2 is another new addition to our benchmark suite, and it replaces 2016's The Division. We've also shifted to DirectX 12 here as well because of the performance gains offered by the low-level API. 

Once again, AMD has the advantage here when comparing directly for price. Still, the difference was smaller at Ultra settings. The Radeon RX 5700 also continued to command a significant lead over the GeForce RTX 2060, posting a good 15 percent advantage at 1440p and High settings.