The AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT & RX 5700 Review: Navi Renews Competition in the Midrange Marketby Ryan Smith on July 7, 2019 12:00 PM EST
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 XT Idle
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)
|Max Boost Clock
|Official Game Clock
|Total War: TK
|The Division 2
|Grand Theft Auto V
|Forza Horizon 4
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.