AMD RX 5700 XT vs. Nvidia RTX 2070: Performance Preview

Can AMD's new RX 5700 XT graphics card outperform the Nvidia RTX 2070?

AMD has revealed its next-generation “Navi” graphics cards, known as the Radeon RX 5700 series. This new graphics card series is built on a 7nm process node and features a new RDNA architecture offering increased performance and greater power efficiency. At the top of the line is the RX 5700 XT, which boasts some serious performance capabilities.

But, how does the new Navi flagship card fare against the competition? AMD is pitting the RX 5700 XT against the Nvidia RTX 2070 on price and performance. However, with the company yet to release the 5700-series, there is no way we can give you a head-to-head comparison of the these two cards.

What we can do, though, is give you a rough estimate of how these cards compare by looking at their specifications as well as AMD’s first party benchmarks. Ready? Let’s get started.

RX 5700 XT vs. RTX 2070 Performance (in terms of Pure Specs!)

First things first, AMD has a significant advantage in transistor size over Nvidia. The GeForce RTX 2070 – which is part of Nvidia’s Turing 20-series – is built upon the 12nm process compared to the 7nm process on Radeon RX 5700 XT.

The 7nm process node should help boost performance – although AMD has said that the die shrink accounts for just 30% of its performance increase over previous generations. The rest is made up by improvements driven by the AMD RDNA architecture.

AMD Navi performance gains

The new RDNA architecture is a major improvement over its predecessor, Graphics Core Next (GCN). It offers a 1.25x projected uplift in performance-per-clock, and up to 1.5x performance boost in power-constrained environments when compared with an equivalent GCN configuration.

Moving to the core count, the RTX 2070 sports 2,304 CUDA cores while the RX 5700 XT has 2,560 Stream processors. But since both graphics cards have different designs, core count comparisons won’t be particularly relevant when gauging performance.

AMD RX 5700 XTNvidia RTX 2070 FE
Process node7nm12nm
Graphics cores2560 Stream processors2304 CUDA cores
Base Clock1605MHz1410MHz
Boost Clock1755MHz (game clock),
1905MHz (boost clock)
1710MHz
Memory8GB GDDR68GB GDDR6
Memory Speed14 Gbps14 Gbps
Memory Bus256-bit256-bit
Memory Bandwidth448 GBps448 GBps
TDP225W185W
MSRP$449$599

In terms of clock speeds, Nvidia’s 2070 Founders Edition comes with a base clock of 1410MHz and a boost clock of 1710MHz. In comparison, the RTX 5700 XT runs at 1605MHz base and 1755 game clock. The “Game Clock”, according to AMD, is a conservative estimate of the clock players will see when running actual titles over significant periods of time.

The 5700 XT features a boost clock of 1905MHz, and this value doesn’t even represent the maximum potential speed – AMD refers to this as “near-max”. You can expect this frequency to be raised to 2GHz in the third-party options and with overclocking.

Memory is identical between the two cards as both feature 8GB of GDDR6 on a 256-bit memory bus interface. For AMD, this is a huge shrink compared to the first and second generation Radeon Vega cards, but the move makes sense outside of productivity workloads.

AMD RX 5700 XT vs Vega 64: Performance per watt/area

The TDP on AMD’s Navi flagship is still higher than the RTX 2070. With that said, TDP is not a stand-in for power consumption, but it’s actually the hardware that determines how the GPUs compare.

Looking at the performance-per-area, Navi has got a substantial improvement with a 251mm2 part compared to Vega 64’s 495mm2 part. The RTX 2070, in contrast, is 445mm2.

Based on the gains above, the RX 5700 XT should easily outperform the Nvidia GTX 1080 and be on par with the latest-gen RTX 2070. Yes, as previously rumored, the red team will keep Radeon VII in-market against Nvidia’s flagship RTX 2080.

Real-World Performance Comparison

As for the real-world performance, we only have AMD’s own benchmarks so far, which put the RX 5700 XT a bit above the RTX 2070 in a number of games.

RX 5700 XT vs. RTX 2070 Performance

Looking at these first-party benchmarks, the AMD 5700 XT is 8% faster on average, which is pretty good against an RTX card. It would have been even nicer if AMD could pull the DX11 and DX12 information as well, but still, we get the idea about how the two cards could compare in general.

According to AMD, these benchmarks are best-case-scenario for its competitor, so you shouldn’t see a huge difference between these and the real world. The performance is promising of course, but as always, it’s better wait for reviews from third-parties before taking such numbers to heart.

Apart from gaming benchmarks, AMD also demonstrated a new tech during its E3 2019 keynote. This new tech, called the Radeon Anti-Lag, helped cut the input lag on the RX 5700 XT against the RTX 2070 in The Division.

RX 5700 XT vs RTX 2070 Input lag comparison in The Division

The game was running at 60fps, and when Anti-Lag was turned on, the latency on the RX 5700 XT suddenly dropped from 56ms all the way down to 44ms.

Radeon Anti-Lag benchmarks

AMD claims that the Radeon Anti-Lag feature can cut click-to-response times by up to 35%. This should potentially give AMD GPU owners a slight competitive advantage in games like Dota 2,CS:GO, and League of Legends.

Verdict

Well, based on what we know so far, it seems that AMD’s 5700-series flagship could give some serious competition to Nvidia’s best mid-range card and even surpass it in terms of performance. We’re very excited about what this new Navi-based card can offer, especially when it comes to much-higher boost clock.

With that said, we’re still not sure how well this card is going to perform in the real world. Also, there are questions about the RTX price cuts, that need to be answered before we can finally determine which graphics card wins the competition overall.

The Radeon RX 5700 XT will cost $449 at launch, compared with the ~500 price of the RTX 2070. This means if the 5700 XT could provide the type of performance we’ve seen in the first-party benchmarks, it would be a better value option than Nvidia’s RTX graphics card.

But, at the same time, we’re hearing rumors about Nvidia prepping its own range of new “Super” RTX cards for launch in July. Some reports suggest that these revamped RTX cards will indeed debut before the new Navi cards even launch on July 7.

This could result in Nvidia introducing price cuts for its current RTX 20-series cards. Now if that happens, this would change the price per performance of the RTX 2070. Which, in turn, could directly impact the result of this comparison. So right now, all we can do is wait and watch how things go in the next few days.

We’ll do an in-depth comparison of specs and performance of the two cards once the new Navi 5700-series graphics cards are launched next week. Since then, stay tuned.

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