Power, Thermals and Noise
For power testing, we use an outlet power meter, which I know is not perfect but it’s repeatable and accurate enough to show the disparity between changes in the platform. All parts remained the same between tests with only the GPU changing. Just keep in mind this is the full system load power consumption while looping the Heaven benchmark.
We re-introduced power readings now that we have competing products vs Nvidia only. Here we see that the RX 5700 XT cards fall within the range of the RTX 2070 SUPER model card, while the RX 5700 falls a bit behind the RTX 2060 SUPER and even behind the RTX 2060 FE and GTX 1080.
For our thermal testing, we ran Gaming loads rather than a power virus type of load as this represents a far more realistic loading scenario for those looking to see what you can expect when gaming on your new RTX card.
When testing thermals I let each card sit for 10 minutes idle at the desktop on a fresh reboot to ensure very little should be accessing the GPU when the measurement is taken. The RX 5700 Series idle a bit warmer by about 4-5C when compared to the cards they are slotted against. Unfortunately, this thermal ceiling follows along to the loaded temps where both RX 5700 series cards are breaking into the 80C+ territory and the RX 5700 settles at exactly 80C under sustained loading, while the RX 5700 XT jumps a few more degrees to 83C where it leveled off and hung about under sustained loading. For comparison, the SUPER model cards run 10-14 degrees cooler.
The fan noise for the RX 5700 had a hollow whoosh of air as it gets up to temp, but to be completely fair, it was something I had to be within 3-4 feet from my testbench before I even heard it. The likelihood of hearing it in a closed system is less likely.
The RX 5700 XT even though it gets a touch warmer, the fan noise seems lessened, it may be a side effect of the cooler shroud or internal fin design but it was less audible than the 5700 non-XT variant.