Power, Temperatures, & Noise

Last, but not least of course, is our look at power, temperatures, and noise levels. While a high performing card is good in its own right, an excellent card can deliver great performance while also keeping power consumption and the resulting noise levels in check.

Radeon Video Card Voltages
5700 XT Max 5700 Max 5700 XT Idle 5700 Idle
1.2v 1.025v 0.725v 0.775v

Looking at boost voltages for AMD's new midrange 7nm cards, we don't have too many points of comparison right now. But still, with AMD's drivers reporting a maximum boost voltage of 1.2v for the 5700 XT, not even the incredibly juiced Polaris 30-based Radeon RX 590 took quite so much voltage. It may very well be that TSMC's high-performance 7nm process simply requires a lot of voltage here, but it may also be a sign that AMD is riding the voltage/frequency curve pretty hard to get those high clockspeeds.

By contrast, the 5700 (vanilla) is a much more mundane card. With its lower clockspeeds, the card never goes above 1.025v according to AMD's drivers. Which given the impact of voltage on power consumption, it's actually a bit surprising the spread is so large.

Radeon Video Card Average Clockspeeds
(Rounded to the Nearest 10MHz)
Game 5700 XT 5700
Max Boost Clock 2044MHz 1750MHz
Official Game Clock 1755MHz 1625MHz
Tomb Raider 1780MHz 1680MHz
F1 2019 1800MHz 1650MHz
Assassin's Creed 1900MHz 1700MHz
Metro Exodus 1780MHz 1640MHz
Strange Brigade 1780MHz 1660MHz
Total War: TK 1830MHz 1690MHz
The Division 2 1760MHz 1630MHz
Grand Theft Auto V 1910MHz 1690MHz
Forza Horizon 4 1870MHz 1700MHz

Meanwhile clockspeeds are also an interesting story. AMD said that they would no longer be holding back their chips' top boost clocks, and instead let the silicon lottery run its course, allowing the best chips to reach their highest clockspeeds. The end result is that our 5700 XT is allowed to clock up to 2044 MHz, 139MHz better than AMD's official Boost Clock metric guarantees. More to the point, this is a substaintial jump in frequency over both AMD's RX Vega and RX 500 series cards, which would top out around the mid-1500s.

That said, the 5700 XT doesn't have the TDP or thermal cap to susntain this; I couldn't actually hit 2044MHz even in LuxMark, which as a "light" compute workload tends to bring out the highest clockspeeds in processors. Instead, the best clockspeed I was able to hit was a bit lower, at 2008MHz. So while the silicon is willing, the physics of powering a Navi 10 at such high clockspeeds are another matter.

At any rate, even with TDP and cooling keeping the 5700 XT more down to earth, the card is still able to hit high clockspeeds. More than half of the games in our benchmark suite average clockspeeds of 1800MHz or better, and a few get to 1900MHz. Even The Division 2, which appears to be the single most punishing game in this year's suite in terms of clockspeeds, holds the line at 1760MHz, right above AMD's official game clock.

As for the 5700, with its more conservative TDP, clockspeed specifications, and likely some binning, the card doesn't reach quite as high. Its 1750MHz max boost clock is just 25MHz over AMD's guaranteed clock. Meanwhile its clockspeeds are overall a bit more densely packed than the 5700 XT's; all of our games see average clockspeeds between 1630MHz and 1700MHz.

Idle Power Consumption

Load Power Consumption - Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Load Power Consumption - FurMark

Idle GPU Temperature

Load GPU Temperature - Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Load GPU Temperature - FurMark

Idle Noise Levels

Load Noise Levels - Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Load Noise Levels - FurMark

Synthetics Closing Thoughts
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  • mapesdhs - Sunday, July 7, 2019 - link

    Check out Hardware Unboxed and (when it's up) Gamers Nexus for Navi reviews, they're likely to have a different selection of games. Reply
  • fizzypop1 - Sunday, July 7, 2019 - link

    There is a 5 % performance gap between the 5070-XT and the 2070 super I am thinking the anniversary edition may be able to catch the 2070super and at a lower price may be worth considering. Other reviews are saying they have driver issues so there may be more performance to be had. Reply
  • GreenMeters - Sunday, July 7, 2019 - link

    Wow, AMD has really done it on both CPU and GPU fronts. Looks like next system will be 3700X + RX 5700, Linux only, open source drivers. Only catch is the need to wait for 3rd party GPU cooler, just for quieter operation. Reply
  • rolfaalto - Sunday, July 7, 2019 - link

    Would be interesting to run tests using the new AMD CPUs ... taking full advantage of PCIe-4! Reply
  • Kevin G - Sunday, July 7, 2019 - link

    I was hoping for a last minute surprise that when paired together the link between a RX 5700 and Ryzen 3000 series chip would negotiate to an Infinity Fabric link with even more bandwidth and more importantly memory coherency. This would be more of an efficiency play than shifting peak performance higher. Compute work loads should love this arrangement. Reply
  • mapesdhs - Sunday, July 7, 2019 - link

    There will be no benefit for games with PCIe 4.0 and current Navi products. Maybe Navi 20 at 8K, but not at the moment. Benefits from 4.0 are far more related to storage just now, which for most users again is largely irrelevant. Reply
  • rahvin - Monday, July 8, 2019 - link

    Storage speed is never a non-factor. It affects everything you do. Sure it's not like going from HD to SSD but any increase in speed of the disk system has an impact because it's the slowest part of the whole computer. Reply
  • msroadkill612 - Monday, July 8, 2019 - link

    We are a rare breed Sir. I very much agree but it is heresy to say it out loud. Its not just raw speed either - even the lag & processing overhead of chipset sata ssd vs native pcie nvme is significant, especially on an underpowered rig like an APU. Reply
  • ballsystemlord - Sunday, July 7, 2019 - link

    Thanks for your hard work ryan. I'll read this after you flesh it out a bit as its sparsity makes checking it for typos rather pointless.
    I look forward to your post on the compute benchmarks in the coming weeks (months?).
    Reply
  • ballsystemlord - Sunday, July 7, 2019 - link

    @ryan , what's the die size? Reply

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