Wow, where to start? This has been one hell of a wild ride as a reviewer watching this all unfold over the years, Im talking back into the Conroe days up to now. Enthusiasts have been lambasting AMD for the better part of a decade or more to get in the game and be competitive and with what we saw today and over the past few years in the CPU market they are ready.
Is the Radeon RX 5700 series gonna win AMD the performance crown? NO! that’s an emphatic NO, but believe me, this is one hell of a start. I look at this launch much like the initial ZEN launch at which that was the first step to where we are at today where AMD claimed the top spot in mainstream CPUs today officially after only a few years since the ball started rolling with ZEN.
Will RTG follow the AMD Ryzen lead and will we see the same monumental progression that the CPU team has made? only time will tell but signs are looking good is the RX 5700 series is an indicator.
One thing I have to get off my chest is with the power consumption as with 7nm, it should be a decent margin lower than the perf/watt we are seeing from the 12nm Turing or even the 16nm Pascal which is where they are roughly in parallel. I do believe that this 7nm NAVI die we have today is not necessarily the one that was right for AIC’s and my years in this industry have taught me many things including that sometimes you transition parts or tech to other parts to get something out. This 7nm NAVI powering the RX 5700 series feels oddly like it is a mobile/LP die that was pushed and attempts were made to scale to fit AIC performance, and one thing with a GPU design is that there is only so far it will go before your efficiency really starts to drop off. I feel like this may have been the same core silicon as we will see on the next gen consoles or even embedded/mobile parts. this is not a bad thing and may be a shot in the dark on my part but its what makes the most sense as to why the power consumption for 7nm tech would be so high. Please note I have no data to support such claims but its the only way I can make sense to the cards not sipping power rather than what we see now. Its either that or it’s simply not a very good design and wildly inefficient but then NAVI tech would not be applicable or useful for something like a STB/Console.
Now, Let’s talk turkey. AMD made a good performing GPU with both of these models and with the recent price cuts they are even more compelling. There is a chink in the armor though, and it’s a small crack for now, but as more games adopt DXR/RTX tech that crack will grow. RTG must keep pushing, and ready some GPU hardware to support Ray/Path tracing acceleration. They must also work on a larger GPU to start contending at the top end to be a real threat to Nvidia much like they have done in the CPU market with ROME and the insane barrage they have given Intel in the data center space.
Heres the score breakdown
Value – 90 The RX 5700 series with the updated prices now come into a really reasonable value albeit sans RT hardware which the comparable competing parts possess
Performance – 90 Performance was a tough one but with the shift in price it comes down to around a 90 on my scale simply because price/perf value has ascended to a level which I feel more comfortable recommending the RX 5700 series based on our observed performance thus far. The performance should also get better as driver optimizations kick in.
Innovation – 85 Innovation, this is a weird one as this is the first AMD/RTG GPU I have seen for a LONG time. But the RTG team has brought out a 14nm card that carries some aesthetic styling if not a little bland while offering some very good gaming performance for the price point and not to mention the first full new RDNA NAVI architecture on 7nm.
Quality – 85 Quality includes not just the feel and quality of the part but the quality of the experience, and is gonna be interesting here as I cannot necessarily judge this as a final product as some things are still TBD like overclocking as the driver showed up at the 11th hour, so for now its gonna score a bit lower and can always be updated later on as things are corrected and polished.
RTG had a near miss as Nvidia brought SUPER to smack it down but luckily RTG had room to adjust which saved it from being an unfortunate ‘me too’ to a tangible GPU for gamers in the 1080p/1440p space with even some 4K prowess.
AMDs Radeon Technologies Group has started its resurgence with the new RX 5700 series and if it stays the course as AMD did with Ryzen this could be a complete type of article in a relatively short few years. As it stands right now, the RX 5700 series are reasonable options as long as you don’t care about DXR/RTX features for now. With some polish and new features in the coming time, we could have some serious GPU wars happening very soon. I think it’s fair to say the Radeon 5700 series deserves a solid recommendation.