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Radeon RX 5700/ RX 5700 XT: performance analysis

Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Assassin's Creed Unity, Battlefield 1.

From here, performance takes the fore as we look at how the new Navi graphics cards compare to their closest competitors, including Nvidia's recently-announced RTX Super duo and the original RTX cards that AMD set out to beat. Our test system is equipped with a powerful Core i7 8700K running overclocked at an all-core turbo speed of 4.7GHz. This speed allows us to avoid most CPU bottlenecking in our tests. This is paired with two 8GB sticks of 3400MHz DDR4 RAM from GSkill, with all titles running from solid state storage. To ensure that this power-hungry processor doesn't hit its thermal limits, a Gamer Storm Castle 240mm all-in-one liquid cooler and open-air test bench is used.

Depending on how you view this page, our performance metrics are presented in one of two ways. If you're reading this on a mobile device, you'll get a simple table with average frame-rate and lowest one per cent measurements, giving you a quick way to see how fast each GPU is in each game we tested. However, if you're on a desktop or laptop, you get our results as we truly intended, with live frame-rate and frame-time stats running once you hit play on the YouTube video of our test scene. Beneath that you'll see our barcharts, which are dynamically generated from the frame-time metrics. Remember that you can mouse over the charts and press the mouse button to swap over to the more useful percentage differentials.

It's a system designed to give you as much in-depth data as you want while still allowing for relatively glanceable stats, all based on frame-perfect video captures of each GPU in our test suite. This way, we can ensure pinpoint accuracy - something not always possible with internal frame-rate measurements.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Despite bundling Assassin's Creed Odyssey with some Radeon graphics cards, the game's high CPU utilisation and AMD's inefficient DirectX 11 driver means that the game actually runs better on Nvidia hardware. The RX 5700 manages to effectively tie the vanilla RTX 2060, but falls significantly behind the RTX 2060 Super in all three resolutions we tested. The new Nvidia card manages a seven per cent lead at 1080p, 12 per cent at 1440p and 15 per cent at 4K. We see a similar story for the RX 5700 XT, which meets the performance of the RTX 2060 Super and RTX 2070 but sits 10 per cent behind the 2070 Super at 1080p. This rises to a massive 21 per cent lead for the 2070 Super at 4K, although both cards are some way shy of hitting 4K60 without sacrificing graphics settings.

AC Odyssey: Ultra High, TAA

Assassin's Creed Unity

Our classic AC Unity test has long flummoxed AMD hardware, with most GPUs showing excellent frame-rates in some parts of the scene and very poor results in the remainder, while Nvidia cards show relatively little variation. That's generally down to the use of a depth-of-field effect in the game that AMD cards seem ill-equipped to deal with. The RX 5700 series shows signs of positive progress here, with less variation than its peers at a comfortable 64 and 72 fps average for the two cards at 1440p. Each Navi card performs well against its old Nvidia counterpart at this resolution, with the 5700 beating the 2060 and the 5700 XT tying the 2070, but the Super cards flip the script with solid wins in each category. The 2060S beats the 5700 by 10 per cent, while the 2070S claims a 13 per cent lead at 1440p. At 4K, the Super cards take the win against their counterparts by eight per cent and 15 per cent, respectively.

Assassin's Creed Unity: Ultra High, FXAA

Battlefield 1

Battlefield 1 is one of a few DirectX 12 titles in our test suite, and AMD's DX12 dream comes to fruition with excellent results on its hardware. The RX 5700 series cards show their best performance yet. At 1080p we're looking at just a three per cent advantage for the RTX 2060 Super over the Radeon RX 5700, despite costing $50 more, while the RTX 2070 Super holds onto the lead against the $100 cheaper RX 5700 XT by a similarly narrow margin of two per cent. AMD's strengths increase in line with resolution, with small wins or effective ties at 1440p and greater margins at 4K. Unsurprisingly, the original RTX 2060 and RTX 2070 cards look downright anaemic here, trailing their Navi competitors by around 20 per cent at 4K.

Battlefield 1: Ultra, TAA

AMD Radeon 5700/ Radeon RX 5700 XT Analysis

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Will Judd avatar

Will Judd

Deputy Editor, Digital Foundry

A bizarre British-American hybrid, Will turns caffeine into technology articles through a little-known process called 'writing'. His favourite games are Counter-Strike, StarCraft and Fallout 2. Will also tweets the latest tech deals at @DealsFoundry.

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