Power and Temp
In the graph we are comparing total system Wattage at the wall, results are in Watts. As you look at the power numbers above remember how the video cards actually lineup in terms of performance. Lower power is preferred.
In terms of idle power draw, all video cards are about the same and there is no difference there.
At load however, there are definitely some differences. The AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT video card pulled the most power out of all the video cards here while gaming. Though these are peak numbers, the average power draw was higher in every game we played with the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT compared to the competition.
Here’s what we know about performance, generally the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT performs at the level of the GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition. However, the Radeon RX 5700 XT draws more power at the same performance level of the RTX 2070 FE. In terms of power efficiency, that makes the RTX 2070 FE more power efficient. Also, in terms of performance we know the GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER beats the Radeon RX 5700 XT most of the time, yet it is doing so with less power as well. Finally, Radeon RX 5700 XT is faster than the RTX 2060 SUPER, and rightly so it demands more power to do that.
The real gem is the Radeon RX 5700. It actually pulls the least amount of power of all the video cards here! Yet it is faster than the GeForce RTX 2060 in most games. That makes the AMD Radeon RX 5700 an incredibly efficient video card!
The AMD Radeon RX 5700 is priced the same as the RTX 2060, yet performs faster, and with less power, that’s a great value right there. The Radeon RX 5700 XT though is more power hungry than we thought it’d be.
Temperature results are rather high on the AMD Radeon RX 5700 series reference design coolers. The AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT not only pulled the most power but also got the hottest out of the bunch. It reached a GPU temp of 80c on the reference design cooler. When we put our hands to the video card it was so hot on the shroud and backplate that we could not leave our fingers on it for more than 3 seconds. This video card was seriously hot, all over. Keep in mind this is in an open-case environment where air can get all around it. Inside a case we’d imagine it will get quite toasty. You will want a well ventilated well cooled case with a fan directly blowing toward this video card. The idle temperature was also concerning at 40c just sitting there doing nothing.
The AMD Radeon RX 5700 was also hot, it got up to 78c and 35c at idle. Once again, the front shroud was also hot to the touch. Even with this video card you’ll want a well-ventilated case and good air circulation.
On the plus side, the fan was completely silent at idle, it appears to barely even run, which is why the temps are so high at idle. While gaming it doesn’t really get that faster either. GPUz showed that it only reached 43% fan speed while gaming. This means that noise is great, there is no fan noise. The downside is that temps are very high and the card runs very hot. We think the video cards could benefit from a fan curve adjustment to allow the fan to run 10-15% higher when gaming in our opinion. We’d like to see AMD make this change in its driver. Otherwise, we look forward to custom video cards with custom cooling to give us the cooling we want.