Though AMD Radeon RX 5700 series supports PCI-Express 4.0 note that we are using a Ryzen 7 2700X X470 platform for testing today which supports PCI-Express 3.0. This means the video cards will not be running in PCIe 4.0 but instead in PCIe 3.0 x16 mode, just like the NVIDIA video cards.
We had intended to evaluate these video cards on a Ryzen 3000 CPU and X570 chipset platform today, however we did not actually have the time required to do this. The NVIDIA RTX SUPER launch threw us a curve ball. However, we were able to take all the data accumulated from that launch review and use it for this review. We did not have time to setup a completely new system, OS install, game installs and re-test all of the NVIDIA video cards for this review on a new Ryzen 3000 X570 platform, we only had a matter of days. Therefore, we used the data from the RTX SUPER review and installed the AMD Radeon RX 5700 series video cards on the same platform for a direct comparison.
This is good though because it gives us a baseline to use for future PCI-Express 4.0 comparisons that we will make. We plan to compare PCI-Express 3.0 to 4.0 and see if that makes an impact on performance, that will be a new separate review follow-up.
It is also good because everyone who has a system right now only has PCI-Express 3.0 x16 and not PCIe 4.0. If you are interested in buying these video cards today you are most likely installing them on your current setup, which is PCIe 3.0. Only those that are also upgrading to Ryzen 3000/X570 will have PCIe 4.0 support. Therefore, the large install base right now is still PCIe 3.0, and thus it makes sense to test performance on that platform so you know what you will get in the real-world today with these video cards.
Also, the NVIDIA video cards are also only PCIe 3.0, so it is a direct PCIe 3.0 to PCIe 3.0 apples-to-apples comparison.
Again, we will test these video cards on the PCIe 4.0 platform, and we will find out if PCIe 4.0 helps or not in gaming. That will be a follow-up review. It will get covered. Right now, enjoy what is probably a very common system configuration and see how the video card performance compares.
The AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT and RX 5700 are built by AMD reference sample video cards sent by AMD.
The NVIDIA video cards are Founders Edition video cards provided directly by NVIDIA for comparison. The GeForce RTX 2070 is the Founders Edition variant which does have a faster clock speed than the regular version. The GeForce RTX 2060 is a reference NVIDIA sample.
In our comparison you will notice we are not including any AMD Vega GPUs, specifically an AMD Radeon RX Vega 64, for example. At this time, we do not have a sample to use for comparison and pricing and availability are hard to come by. In the short amount of time we had to complete the review we could not acquire one quick enough without costing a fortune. Having that video card in this review would not have changed the outcome.
We are using AMD provided press drivers for the Radeon RX 5700 series. This driver is marked Adrenalin 19.7.1 dated June 27th. Note that this is the second release of the press driver which does include some performance improvements over the first iteration. Watch out for reviews today that they are using the older driver version. The first release driver is dated June 22nd and if anyone is using that driver it is outdated, June 27th driver is better and is what we are using. Also, just to make it even more confusing AMD released an even newer driver dated July 4th on July 5th. However, this driver only has some bug fixes to WattMan, it does not contain any performance changes. Therefore, as long as the June 27th driver is being used, we are ok.
Just note these differences because you may see some different versions of drivers being used in reviews today. Anything from June 27th and up is all good and all the same on performance.
For all of our NVIDIA drivers we are using NVIDIA press drivers released for the launch, these are GeForce 431.16.