The AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX video card is launching and will be available on December 13th, 2022. This $999 MSRP video card is AMD’s next-generation RDNA 3 architecture-based Chiplet-designed GPU and video card in its new Radeon RX 7000 Series of GPUs. This new video card is positioned at the top, currently sitting in AMD’s top-tier, flagship video card status offering the best and fastest performance to date. It has many new innovations, including a Chiplet design architecture, improved Compute Units, improved AMD Infinity Cache, DisplayPort 2.1, and many other new features.
In today’s review, we put the video card to the test at 4K, Ray Tracing, and FSR gaming performance. We put it up against NVIDIA’s latest generation GeForce RTX 4080 and RTX 4090 video cards, as well as NVIDIA’s last generation top-tier cards and the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT last-generation video card. Don’t miss our AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT review as well.
Let’s start our performance summary by talking about rasterized performance, then we’ll talk about Ray Tracing, upscaling, and 4K gaming. Starting off in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2.0 the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX allowed us to play easily at 4K and the highest in-game settings at 120FPS. This was playable, smooth, and very near to GeForce RTX 4090 performance. The Radeon RX 7900 XTX was only 6% slower than the GeForce RTX 4090 and 26% faster than the GeForce RTX 4080. With upscaling, FSR brought it up to 158FPS and was again very close to the RTX 4090, only 3% from it with DLSS. That game did seem to be an outlier, however, and was the only one where the Radeon RX 7900 XTX was that close to the GeForce RTX 4090. Otherwise, the Radeon RX 7900 XTX was closer (yet faster) to the GeForce RTX 4080.
In F1 2022 the Radeon RX 7900 XTX was playable at 4K and the highest settings at 175FPS. This was in between the RTX 4080 and RTX 4090, being 13% faster than the RTX 4080 and 14% slower than the RTX 4090. With FSR though, it actually outperformed the RTX 4090 with DLSS! We should note that F1 2022 is also going to be getting FSR 2.2 in January 2023. Dying Light 2 was a little rougher on the Radeon RX 7900 XTX, yet it still was very playable at 4K with the highest settings at 77FPS. Its performance was closer to the RTX 4080 in this game, at 3% faster. FSR2 also helped a lot in this game and brought us up to 123FPS. Far Cry 6 performed great at 4K and was playable at 121FPS. Performance was once again closer to the RTX 4090 and 16% faster than the RTX 4080.
Cyberpunk 2077, as demanding as that game is, was very much playable at 4K and “Ultra” on the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX at 70FPS. This was 8% faster than the RTX 4080 but 17% slower than the RTX 4090. FSR also helped bring performance up to 77FPS. Watch Dogs Legion was also playable at 4K with “Ultra” settings producing 97FPS and an enjoyable experience. This was 11% faster than the RTX 4080 and 16% slower than the RTX 4090.
When we look at raster performance, we start to see this trend. The AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX is mostly between the GeForce RTX 4080 and GeForce RTX 4090 in performance. In some games, it is closer to the GeForce RTX 4080, and in others it is actually not far off from the GeForce RTX 4090, coming very close. It is very game-dependent where the Radeon RX 7900 XTX will lineup between the two cards, but for the most part, it’s going to be in the middle.
Ray Tracing Performance
You can look at the Ray Tracing performance in two ways. On one hand, you can say it’s losing quite heavily to NVIDIA’s Ada Lovelace generation GPUs. Though, on the other hand, you can say that the Radeon RX 7900 XTX has improved a lot over the previous generation Radeon GPUs and is now on par with NVIDIA’s last-generation flagship GPUs. Both of these statements are actually true.
In F1 2022 the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX at 4K with the highest Ray Tracing settings is not playable at 47FPS. However, this performance level is equal to the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti FE, NVIDIA’s last-generation flagship GPU. That is a 57% performance increase over the Radeon RX 6900 XT. It’s 18% slower than the RTX 4080 and 41% slower than the RTX 4090. When we turn on FSR though, in this game that jumps up to 101FPS, a huge 115% performance increase, and then the game is very playable. Playable Ray Tracing at 4K can be achieved, with FSR. Dying Light 2 is also not playable on the Radeon RX 7900 XTX at 4K with the highest Ray Tracing, but it has improved by 68% compared to the Radeon RX 6900 XT which is huge. Ray Tracing performance is on par with the GeForce RTX 3090 in this game. Even with FSR, performance is still not very playable, you’d need to lower the FSR setting or the resolution.
Far Cry 6 actually plays very well with Ray Tracing at 4K on the Radeon RX 7900 XTX and the game is playable at 100FPS. Performance is 45% faster than the Radeon RX 6900 XT, and the Radeon RX 7900 XTX is actually 6% faster than the GeForce RTX 4080, but 12% slower than the RTX 4090. Cyberpunk 2077 is notoriously demanding, and at 4K with Ray Tracing is not playable on the Radeon RX 7900 XTX at 20FPS. This is, however, 68% faster than the Radeon RX 6900 XT, but as big as this is just isn’t playable, even with FSR. For this game, you are honestly going to have to drop to 1440p with Ray Tracing and use FSR on top of that to reach 70FPS.
Watch Dogs Legion is not playable on the Radeon RX 7900 XTX at 4K with Ray Tracing at 40FPS. The Radeon RX 7900 XTX is 67% faster than the Radeon RX 6900 XT though, which is large. It is 13% slower than the RTX 4080 and 38% slower than the RTX 4090. To make this game playable with Ray Tracing you will have to lower it to 1440p, which is then playable with Ray Tracing. In Metro Exodus Enhanced the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX is not playable at 42FPS. However, it is on par with the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti in Ray Tracing performance. This is a 58% faster performance compared to the Radeon RX 6900 XT.
Overall, Ray Tracing is demanding on the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX at 4K. In most games, 4K Ray Tracing is going to be out of the question, except in special cases like Far Cry 6. There may be other games like Far Cry 6 where it is possible, and maybe possible with FSR. However, we feel this is fewer in scope. However, the good news is that if 4K Ray Tracing isn’t playable, moving down to 1440p resolution should do the trick with the Radeon RX 7900 XTX. If that is not enough, for example in Cyberpunk 2077, then also utilizing FSR fixes that up nicely. So where 4K Ray Tracing isn’t possible, try 1440p with Ray Tracing and possibly also with FSR to really enjoy it.
In summation of our testing, we come to these conclusions. The AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX is going to fall in the middle between the GeForce RTX 4080 and GeForce RTX 4090 on raster performance. Some games will swing the card toward one or the other. In Ray Tracing performance the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX is on par with the GeForce RTX 3090 to GeForce RTX 3090 Ti performance, depending on the game. In the more demanding games, you may opt to play at 1440p with Ray Tracing, which should be feasible, else FSR can be the tool by which Ray Tracing is made playable at 4K and 1440p. FSR can add a lot of performance, and with improvements being made to new versions in image quality it is a very viable option. FSR 2.2, with even more visual updates, is coming and should be considered if you want to make Ray Tracing playable at high resolutions.
We also conclude that the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX is a feasible 4K gaming video card, as long you don’t use Ray Tracing. This video card can accelerate 4K gaming very nicely and provides plenty of performance even in demanding games like Dying Light 2 and Cyberpunk 2077. These games were playable at 4K “Ultra” settings without needing to use upscaling. This is a good 4K card, just not if you want 4K AND Ray Tracing. But again, FSR can come in clutch in such scenarios. If you want to play with full Ray Tracing in many titles, you may opt to play at 1440p. As such, if you are a 1440p gamer you will be very happy with this video card. It will provide very high framerates in all your games at 1440p and maximum game settings, without compromise. In addition, Ray Tracing will be playable, and in the absolute most demanding games like Cyberpunk 2077, FSR makes up the difference.
AMD made it clear that the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX is a GeForce RTX 4080 competitor, not a GeForce RTX 4090 competitor. As a GeForce RTX 4080 competitor, the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX is simply a better value. The GeForce RTX 4080 has an MSRP of $1,199 while the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX has an MSRP of $999. Yet, in our testing the Radeon RX 7900 XTX outperformed the GeForce RTX 4080 consistently in non-Ray Tracing performance. You will also find that the Radeon RX 7900 XTX has 24GB of VRAM, while the GeForce RTX 4080 has 16GB. Both video cards can run FSR, and FSR is a big help for performance, with version 2.2 coming FSR is better than ever. In performance, the Radeon RX 7900 XTX sometimes came very close to GeForce RTX 4090 performance, and that video card has an MSRP of $1,599.
At $999, the Radeon RX 7900 XTX offers much better value than the GeForce RTX 4080, and arguably the RTX 4090 for raster performance. If you were considering the price point of a GeForce RTX 4080, we think the Radeon RX 7900 XTX is the better option in this price segment. The RTX 4080 would be chosen if you prioritize Ray Tracing, or want DLSS 3. If you want just the absolute best performance bar none and are willing to pay the price, then the GeForce RTX 4090 is an option for the hands-down best performance, but you are looking at a much higher price point. Between the RTX 4080 and RX 7900 XTX, the choice is more clear, the Radeon RX 7900 XTX makes more sense.