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
Drivers, Observations, & the Test
With the launch of a new GPU architecture also comes the launch of new drivers, and the teething issues that come with those. We’ll go over performance matters in greater detail on the following pages, but to start things off, I wanted to note the state of AMD’s driver stack, and any notable issues I ran into.
The big issue at the moment is that while AMD’s drivers are in fairly good shape for gaming, the same cannot be said for compute. Most of our compute benchmarks either failed to have their OpenCL kernels compile, triggered a Windows Timeout Detection and Recovery (TDR), or would just crash. As a result, only three of our regular benchmarks were executable here, with Folding@Home, parts of CompuBench, and Blender all getting whammied.
And "executable" is the choice word here, because even though benchmarks like LuxMark would run, the scores the RX 5700 cards generated were nary better than the Radeon RX 580. This a part that they can easily beat on raw FLOPs, let alone efficiency. So even when it runs, the state of AMD's OpenCL drivers is at a point where these drivers are likely not indicative of anything about Navi or the RDNA architecture; only that AMD has a lot of work left to go with their compiler.
So while I’m hoping to better dig into the compute implications of AMD’s new GPU architecture at a later time, for today’s launch there’s not going to be a lot to say on the subject. Most of our usual (and most informative) tools just don’t work right now.
As for the gaming side of matters, things are a lot better. Compared to some past launches, I’ve encountered a surprisingly small amount of “weirdness” with AMD’s new hardware/drivers on current games. Everything ran, and no games crashed due to GPU issues (outright bugs, on the other hand…).
The only game I’d specifically flag here is Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, a DirectX 11 game. With an unlocked framerate, this is not a benchmark that runs incredibly smoothly to begin with; and the RX 5700 series cards seemed to fare a bit worse here. The amount of (additional) stuttering was easy enough to pick up with my eyes, and the game’s own reporting tools recorded it as well. It is not a night and day difference since the game doesn’t start from a great place, but it’s clear that AMD has some room to tighten up its drivers as far as frame delivery goes.
Finally, for whatever reason, the RX 5700 cards wouldn’t display the boot/BIOS screens when hooked up to my testbed monitor over HDMI. This problem did not occur with DisplayPort, which is admittedly the preferred connection anyhow. But it’s an odd development, since this behavior doesn’t occur with Vega or Polaris cards – or any other cards I’ve tested, for that matter.
Meanwhile, as a reminder, here is the list of games for our 2019 GPU benchmarking suite.
|AnandTech GPU Bench 2019 Game List|
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider||Action/TPS||Sept. 2018||DX12|
|F1 2019||Racing||Jun. 2019||DX12|
|Assassin's Creed Odyssey||Action/Open World||Oct. 2018||DX11|
|Metro Exodus||FPS||Feb. 2019||DX12|
|Strange Brigade||TPS||Aug. 2018||Vulkan|
|Total War: Three Kingdoms||TBS||May. 2019||DX11|
|The Division 2||FPS||Mar. 2019||DX12|
|Grand Theft Auto V||Action/Open world||Apr. 2015||DX11|
|Forza Horizon 4||Racing||Oct. 2018||DX12|
And here is the 2019 GPU testbed.
|CPU:||Intel Core i9-9900K @ 5.0GHz|
|Motherboard:||ASRock Z390 Taichi|
|Power Supply:||Corsair AX1200i|
|Hard Disk:||Phison E12 PCIe NVMe SSD (960GB)|
|Memory:||G.Skill Trident Z RGB DDR4-3600 2 x 16GB (17-18-18-38)|
|Case:||NZXT Phantom 630 Windowed Edition|
|Video Cards:||AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT
AMD Radeon RX 5700
AMD Radeon RX Vega 64
AMD Radeon RX Vega 56
AMD Radeon RX 580
AMD Radeon RX 570
AMD Radeon R9 390X
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 2070 Super Founders Edition
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 2060 Super Founders Edition
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 2060 Founders Edition
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
|Video Drivers:||NVIDIA Release 431.15
AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.7.1
|OS:||Windows 10 Pro (1903)|