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AMD's RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT Navi GPUs bring the fight to Nvidia's RTX 2060 and RTX 2070 on July 7

AMD have finally lifted the lid on two of their new AMD Navi GPUs, the Radeon RX 5700 XT and the Radeon RX 5700. Unveiled at their Next Horizon Gaming event at E3 this evening, the RX 5700 is AMD’s answer to Nvidia’s RTX 2060, while the RX 5700 XT is their RTX 2070 competitor, and if AMD’s performance stats are to be believed, the race for best graphics card just got a heck of a lot more interesting.

Let’s start with the RX 5700 XT. Priced at $449, which is about $50 less than the cheapest RTX 2070 cards around at time of writing, this 7nm Navi GPU will have 8GB of GDDR6 memory to its name, 40 compute units, as well as a base clock speed of 1605MHz and a boost clock speed of 1905MHz.

On stage, AMD top lady Dr Lisa Su gave us our first glimpse of what the XT will look like, too. Built with a redesigned aluminium alloy thermal shroud and backplate, AMD hopes the RX 5700 XT will be cooler, quieter and more primed for overclocking than any of their previous graphics cards. They didn’t mention any power draw specs, admittedly, but at least we won’t have to wait very long to find out how cool and quiet it runs, as both the RX 5700 XT and RX 5700 are due to arrive on July 7.

Here’s a sneaky peak of the RX 5700 XT under the hood:

As for performance, AMD showed off another demo that put the RX 5700 XT ahead of the RTX 2070, just like their did with Strange Brigade at Computex a couple of weeks ago. This time, the demo game was zombie-fest World War Z. Running at 2560×1440 on Ultra settings, the RX 5700 XT finished the game’s benchmark with an average of 117fps, while the RTX 2070 finished in just 102fps.

That’s an impressive result considering its lower price, and if that gap of 15-odd fps bears out across additional benchmarking tests once I get on in for review, then those after a high-end 1440p card or entry-level 4K GPU could well be putting the RX 5700 XT at the top of their list instead of Nvidia’s RTX 2070.

The regular RX 5700, meanwhile, will cost $379, which is actually a fraction more than the cheapest RTX 2060 cards, but AMD are hoping its supposedly similarly superior performance will make it just as good, if not better value for money than its Nvidia rival – but more on that in a second. First, some specs.

Just like the RX 5700 XT, the non-XT version will also have 8GB of GDDR6 memory, but here you’ll only find 36 compute units and a base clock speed of 1465MHz, boosting up to 1725MHz. You’ll also notice a new ‘game clock’ spec up there, which is the speed AMD say you’ll likely see on average while playing a game. For comparison’s sake, the XT’s game clock is 1755MHz.

And to show off the RX 5700’s performance, AMD showed a short clip of Apex Legends where one player was chucking multiple grenades into the distance. With the RX 5700, it maintained an average frame rate of 88fps at 2560×1440 on max settings, while the RTX 2060 managed just 72fps.

Fortunately, AMD had a lot more performance stats up their sleeves for the RX 5700 than just a single demo this time, and you can see the results below. While some games aren’t that impressive, with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey offering just a 2% boost at 1440p on max quality, others such as Battlefield V and Metro Exodus where you’re looking at 21% and 16% faster speeds respectively are much more eye-catching.

Interestingly, AMD made no mention of ray tracing during their presentation, but shots were fired at Nvidia’s DLSS tech. One of the new features coming to AMD’s Radeon RX 5700 family, for example, is AMD’s Fidelity FX tech, which offers sharper detail in low contrast areas with virtually no performance hit whatsoever.

In practice, I’m not sure you’re actually going to notice the difference, either, as the examples AMD showed off only showed a very minimal increase in sharpness – which you can just about see in still images (as per the examples below from Borderlands 3), but in motion? I doubt you’ll be able to see it.

Still, fancy effects tech aside, I’m pretty pumped to put these new RX 5700 cards to the test. With lower or just about comparable prices to what Nvidia’s offering, AMD might just be back in the game again.

Oh! And AMD are also going to be releasing to be releasing an even faster 50th Anniversary Edition of the RX 5700 XT that will be available exclusively over on AMD’s website. Costing a little bit more at $499, this gold variant will have a base clock of 1680MHz, a boost clock of 1980MHz, and a game clock of 1830MHz.

See our E3 2019 tag for more news, previews, opinions, and increasingly surreal liveblogs.

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Who am I?

Katharine Castle

Hardware Editor

Katharine writes about all the bits that go inside your PC so you can carry on playing all those lovely games we like talking about so much. Very partial to JRPGs and the fetching of quests.

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