MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming X 8 GB Graphics Card Review – MSI Pushes Navi One Step Ahead!

By Hassan Mujtaba  / 

AMD's Radeon RX 5700 series is finally getting the much-awaited custom variants and MSI is out with an entirely new lineup designed just for RDNA based graphics cards. Launched last month, the AMD Radeon RX 5700 lineup introduced very competitive prices for mainstream tier graphics cards which would go against the NVIDIA GeForce RTX lineup, now AIBs are further expanding the lineup with their own non-reference variants that offer better cooling performance and higher out of box clock speeds.

The Radeon RX 5700 series uplifted AMD by bringing a modern architecture design and moving away from their GCN design. This allows AMD to bring more streamlined graphics performance in modern workloads and gaming titles. AMD was already ahead of the curve in utilizing new techs such as HBM and smaller process nodes and Navi is no exception. Aside from the new graphics architecture, AMD has also introduced GDDR6 memory and a smaller 7nm process node for their mainstream lineup which is a big update from the 14nm process on Polaris and Vega series cards.

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Compared to NVIDIA's RTX 20 SUPER lineup, the AMD Radeon RX 5700 is much cheaper. The AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT is $100 cheaper than the GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER while the Radeon RX 5700 is $50 US cheaper than the GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER and costs the same as the GeForce RTX 2060 (non-SUPER). The AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT costs closer to the RTX 2070 but that card has been replaced by the new SUPER option which means that the RX 5700 XT, while positioned against the GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER is priced at RTX 2060 SUPER level.

Well, in terms of performance the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT is supposed to be 10% faster than the RTX 2070 on average and the Radeon RX 5700 is supposed to be 10% faster than the RTX 2060 on average. The SUPER cards are almost 15% faster than their predecessors on average and since the Radeon RX 5700 series is much lower-priced, the should offer slightly better value. The biggest take away is that Radeon RX 5700 series doesn't support extra RTX features such as Ray-Tracing, DLSS that do make the RTX series a more compelling option and future-proof for next-gen titles that are going to support these features.

So we can say that the AMD Radeon RX 5700 series is great for users who are purely eyeing raw performance in gaming at better prices. The Radeon RX 5700 series is definitely a much-needed lineup and an upgrade from the older Polaris cards but we will find out if they hold up in our tests.

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So for this review, I will be taking a look at the MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming X. This is MSI's new and flagship custom design for the Navi 10 GPU that features dual TORX 3.0 fans along with the renowned MSI features such as Zero Frozr and Smooth heat pipe design. The card will retail at $439.99 US which is a $40 US premium over the reference model.

The AMD Radeon RX 5700 Series Family

The Radeon RX 5700 series includes three graphics cards, the Radeon RX 5700 XT, Radeon RX 5700, and the Radeon RX 5700 XT Anniversary Edition. The Navi based Radeon RX 5700 series is also the first graphics lineup to feature PCIe 4.0 support which offers twice the bandwidth when compared to PCIe 3.0.

AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT Official Specifications ($399 US)

Starting with the specifications, the Radeon RX 5700 XT comes with 40 compute units in total and since AMD has already confirmed that the Compute unit design still features 64 stream processors, we will be getting 2560 stream processors in total. The AMD Navi GPU featured on the Radeon RX 5700 series comes with 160 Texture Mapping Units and 64 Raster Operation units.

The chip itself is clocked at 1605 MHz base clock but includes two additional clock speeds, a boost clock, and a game clock. The boost clock is rated at 1905 MHz while the game clock is rated at 1755 MHz. The difference between the three clock speeds is that the base clock is the target under full load (power virus), the game clock would be the traditional boost target under gaming while the boost clock is the maximum target that the card could achieve (based per chip).

With the said boost clock, AMD expects a maximum of 9.75 TFLOPs of single-precision Compute from the Radeon RX 5700 XT. The card also features 8 GB of GDDR6 memory which runs across a 256-bit wide bus interface. AMD will be using the latest 14 Gbps memory dies which put them on par with the Turing TU104 cards that offer bandwidth of up to 448 GB/s. The card also features two 8 pin connectors and has a total board power or TBP of 225W. The graphics card costs $399 US in reference flavors and a slight premium for the non-reference variants such as the MSI EVOKE OC which I am testing today.

AMD Radeon RX 5700 Official Specifications ($349 US)

The second card is the Radeon RX 5700 based on the Navi Pro GPU. The reason we are not getting a Radeon RX 5700 Pro naming scheme is that it would be harder to differentiate that with AMD's own pro series cards which are aimed at content creators and workstation PCs.

This card has 2304 stream processors, 144 TMUs, 64 ROPs. The clocks are maintained at 1465 MHz base, 1725 MHz boost clock and 1625 MHz game clock. At peak boost clocks, the card will be able to deliver 7.95 TFLOPs of Compute performance. The card features an 8+6 pin connector config & has a rated TBP of 180W.

Now based on the TBP numbers, this card should be put against the RTX 2070 which is a 175W TBP graphics card. It will be interesting to compare both cards in terms of efficiency since the NVIDIA Turing cards are based on 12nm FinFET while AMD is using the latest 7nm process node. The card costs $349 US for reference flavors.

AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT 50th Anniversary Edition Official Specifications ($449 US)

In addition to the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT and Radeon RX 5700, AMD also introduced a 50th Anniversary Edition variant of their Radeon RX 5700 XT featuring a black and gold shroud with frequencies of 1680 MHz base clock, 1830 MHz game clock and boost clocks of up to 1980 MHz. This variant would deliver a total Compute power of 10.14 TFLOPs and should be around 5-10% faster than the Radeon RX 5700 XT. The card will be rated at a 235W TBP.

The reference variant of the Radeon RX 5700 XT cards would feature an all-aluminum alloy shroud and backplate. Inside the card is an enhanced vapor chamber which is cooled off by a blower fan. The base of the vapor chamber makes use of graphite thermal interface material which is similar to the pads used on the Radeon VII graphics card. The PCB of the card offers a 7 phase digital VRM which AMD says is designed for overclocking. The Anniversary Edtion costs $449 US and comes in reference only flavors.

AMD Radeon RX 5000 '7nm Navi RDNA' GPU Lineup Specs:

Graphics CardRadeon RX 5700 XT 50th AnniversaryRadeon RX 5700 XTRadeon RX 5700Radeon RX 5500 XTRadeon RX 5500
GPU Architecture7nm Navi (RDNA 1st Gen)7nm Navi (RDNA 1st Gen)7nm Navi (RDNA 1st Gen)7nm Navi (RDNA 1st Gen)7nm Navi (RDNA 1st Gen)
Stream Processors2560 SPs2560 SPs2304 SPs1408 SPs1408 SPs
TMUs / ROPs160 / 64160 / 64144 / 6488 / TBD88 / TBD
Base Clock1680 MHz1605 MHz1465 MHz1670 MHz1670 MHz
Boost Clock1980 MHz1905 MHz1725 MHz1845 MHz1845 MHz
Game Clock1830 MHz1755 MHz1625 MHz1717 MHz1717 MHz
Compute Power10.14 TFLOPs9.75 TFLOPs7.95 TFLOPs5.19 TFLOPs5.19 TFLOPs
VRAM8 GB GDDR68 GB GDDR68 GB GDDR68 GB GDDR64 GB GDDR6
Bus Interface256-bit256-bit256-bit128-bit128-bit
Bandwidth448 GB/s448 GB/s448 GB/s224 GB/s224 GB/s
TBP235W225W180W110W110W
Price$449 US$399 US$349 US~$150 US~$130 US
Launch7th July 20197th July 20197th July 20197th October 20197th October 2019

Radeon RX 5700 "7nm Navi RDNA GPU" Feature Set and A Word on HW-Enabled Ray Tracing

While we would share a few tidbits of the RDNA architecture itself below, there are also some highlights we should mention for the Navi GPU. According to AMD themselves, the Navi 10 GPU will be 14% faster at the same power and should consume 23% lower power at the same clock speeds as Vega 64 GPU. The AMD Navi GPU has a die size of 251mm2 and delivers 2.3x perf per area over Vega 64. The chip packs 10.3 Billion transistors while the Vega 10 GPU packed 12.5 Billion transistors on almost twice the die space.

Also, when it comes to ray tracing, AMD is indeed developing their own suite around it. According to their vision, current GCN and RDNA architecture will be able to perform ray tracing on shaders which will be used through ProRender for creators and Radeon Rays for developers. In next-gen RDNA which is supposed to launch in 2020 on 7nm+ node, AMD will be bringing hardware-enabled ray tracing with select lighting effects for real-time gaming. AMD will also enable full-scene ray tracing which would be leveraged through cloud computing.

Radeon Multimedia Engine – Seamless Streaming

Navi Stats

New Compute Unit Design
Great Compute Efficiency For Diverse Workloads

As you can tell, AMD is changing a lot in terms of architecture with RDNA (Radeon DNA) compared to GCN. There's a new Compute unity design, a more streamlined Graphics pipeline & a multi-level cache hierarchy. Aside from the GPU architecture, support for GDDR6 memory is another major change which brings AMD's graphics cards on par with NVIDIA in utilizing modern memory designs for higher bandwidth.

Last month, we got to test the Radeon RX 5700 XT EVOKE OC from MSI, a brand new design built for RDNA GPUs but MSI didn't stop at EVOKE, they have now released their best custom design for Navi GPUs, the Gaming X. We have seen several variants of the Gaming X, mostly those that come with MSI's renowned Twin Frozr 7 and Tri-Frozr cooling but the Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming X is a beast of its own. Featuring a new design scheme and a new look for the Twin Frozr 7 cooler, the RX 5700 XT Gaming X boasts some really impressive specs for a $40 US premium over the reference variant.

In addition to the custom design, the Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming X comes with a non-reference PCB that ships with a higher factory overclock, featuring an 11 phase design that features higher quality components than the reference variant which is already a really good design by itself. In terms of clock speeds, the graphics card features the same base frequency of 1690  MHz and a maximum boost clock of 2025 MHz. Following are the main features of the Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming X graphics card:

Core/Memory

TORX FAN 3.0: Supremely silent

RGB Mystic Light

Afterburner Overclocking Utility

Dragon Center

* 'Game Clock’ is the expected GPU clock when running typical gaming applications, set to typical TGP (Total Graphics Power). Actual individual game clock results may vary.

MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming X Graphics Card Gallery:

MSI Twin Frozr 7 With Refreshing New Design For Navi

With the differences out of the way, now let's talk about the similarities and the main highlights of the Gaming X cards. The MSI Radeon RX 5700 Gaming X lineup is designed to be the best custom solution for AMD's RDNA GPUs. The card is huge and bulky, featuring two TORX 3.0 fans in a 2.7 slot design, a custom PCB that is designed for overclocking and a huge heatsink featuring the new wave curved II design.

The much anticipated return of MSI’s iconic dual fan GAMING series. Combining a mix of black and gunmetal grey with a classy brushed metal backplate, this masterpiece provides you premium design with magnificent and smooth RGB light effects on the outside. The new MSI GAMING card is designed to amaze you!

MSI has incorporated and refined a couple of things in the new Gaming series graphics cards. First is the TORX fan 3.0 which uses both traditional and dispersion fan blades to accelerate airflow and push it down in a steady stream. These fans are made up of an extended life bearing design which ensures silent functionality in heavy loads.

The fans are fully compliant with the Zero Frozr Technology and are actually comprised of three areas. All of these would stay at 0 RPM (idle state) if the temperatures don't exceed 60C. When it does exceed 60C, all fans would start spinning. You can change that through the MSI configuration panel if you want more cooling performance over noise load but it's a nifty feature which I do like.

In addition to the cooling fans, the heatsink has been designed to be denser by using a wave curved fin design. It allows more air to pass through the fins smoothly, without causing any turbulence that would result in unwanted noise. Airflow Control Technology guides the airflow directly onto the heat pipes, while simultaneously creating more surface area for the air to absorb more heat before leaving the heatsink.

Talking about the heatsink, the massive block is comprised of five 6mm and a single 8mm copper squared shaped heat pipes with a more concentrated design to transfer heat from the copper base to the heatsink more effectively. The base itself is a solid nickel-plated base plate, transferring heat to the heat pipes in a very effective manner. To top it all off, MSI uses their exclusive Thermal Compound X which is said to offer higher thermal interface and heat transfer compared to traditional TIM applications.

On the back of the Gaming X graphics card is a solid backplate with a dual-tone design which comes in brushed aluminum and matte silver finish. It also strengthens the card and thanks to some cleverly placed thermal pads even help to keep temperatures low.

A die-cast metal sheet acts as a Close Quarters Heatsink for the memory modules and doubles as an Anti-Bending safeguard by connecting to the IO Bracket. The power phases towards the right side are covered by a plate that is fused directly to the heatsink for excellent cooling.
MSI has bundled its exclusive software such as Dragon Center that now comes with a creator mode. The creator mode is specifically tuned for Gaming X series graphics cards, offering peak performance and greater stability in multiple productivity workloads.

The MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming X graphics card come inside a large cardboard box. The front of both packages has a large "MSI" logo on the top left corner & the "Gaming X" series branding on the lower-left corner. A large picture of the graphics card itself is depicted on the front which gives a nice preview of the new EVOKE design.

The packaging also comes with an AMD 50 sticker since the red team celebrated their 50th year anniversary in 2019. Other features of the graphics card are also mentioned such as the RDNA architecture, 7nm, Fidelity FX, Freesync 2 HDR along with some specs such as 8 GB GDDR6, PCIe 4.0 support, and OC edition.

The back of the box is very typical, highlighting the main features and specifications of the cards. The three key aspects of MSI's top tier custom cards are its new TORX Fan 3.0 cooling system, the Twin Frozr 7 thermal design, and the wave curved heatsink. A large list of product specifications and features are also mentioned which you can see in the picture below.

The sides of the box once again greet us with the large Radeon RX branding. There's also the mention of 8 GB GDDR6 memory available on the card. The higher memory bandwidth delivered through the new GDDR6 interface would help improve performance in gaming titles at higher resolution over GDDR5 based graphics cards.

Outside of the box, the graphics card and the accessory package are held firmly by foam packaging. The graphics card comes with a few accessories and manuals which might not be of much use for hardcore enthusiasts but can be useful for the mainstream gaming audience. The card is nicely wrapped within an anti-static cover which is useful to prevent any unwanted static discharges on various surfaces that might harm the graphics card.

Useful manuals and installation guides are packed within an MSI labeled letter case. There is an MSI Quick Users Guide, a Support bracket installation guide, a sticker letter, the MSI DIY comic, and a single drivers disk. It's best to ignore the driver disk and install the latest software and graphics drivers directly from the AMD and MSI official web pages as the ones shipped in the disks could be older versions and not deliver optimal performance for your graphics cards.

After the package is taken care of, I can finally start talking about the card itself. The card itself is simply stunning to look at and the shroud is really well-built with great texturing along the sides.

MSI’s Twin Frozr heat sinks are some of the most iconic heatsink cooling solutions that I have ever tested. With the Radeon RX 5700 series cards, MSI is offering a brand new Twin Frozr 7 design. The Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming XT measures at 297 x 85 x 140 mm while it is also slightly taller, taking up 2.5 slots of space.

The design of the MSI RX Gaming X series is brand new, as in we haven't seen a similar shroud and backplate design on any other cards even though there have been several Twin Frozr variants that came before it. The red and black color scheme along with the brushed aluminum finish does look good, offering a cleaner look than the more futuristic-looking GeForce based Twin Frozr cards.

The back of the card features a solid backplate which looks stunning with its dual-tone finish that comes in matte grey and brushed aluminum colors. The backplate is made out of solid metal and has several heat pads to dissipate heat off the back.

The dual fan Torx Fan 3.0 has already been seen on MSI's Gaming (Twin Frozr) variants but the Gaming X series for Radeon RX 5700 just has that unique feeling which I got when I tested their Evoke OC series card last month.

The new heatsink is a slightly modified version of the one used on MSI's Gaming X series with the main changes being the shroud and a massive wave-curved heatsink design that takes up most of the space on this behemoth.

Coming to the fans, the card actually features two based on the Torx 3.0 system. Both fans combine traditional and dispersion fan blade technology to offer better cooling performance.

The dispersion fan blade technology has a steeper curved blade that accelerates airflow and as such increases effectiveness in keeping the GPU cool. All fans deploy double ball bearing design and can last a long time while operating silently.

The MSI TORX 3.0 fans deliver 50% more air pressure than standard blade fans and 15% more air pressure than MSI's TORX 2.0 fans. Utilizing the dispersion blade fan technology allows for higher static pressure and air to be pushed through the aluminum fin heatsink.

MSI also features their Zero Frozr technology on the Twin Frozr heatsink. This feature won’t spin the fans on the card unless they reach a certain threshold. In the case of the Twin Frozr heatsink, that limit is set to 60C. If the card is operating under 60C, the fans won’t spin which means no extra noise would be generated.

I am back at talking about the full-coverage, full metal-based backplate which both card use. The whole plate is made of solid metal with rounded edges that add to the durability of this card. The matte and brushed aluminum finish on the backplate gives a unique aesthetic.

We can also see the MSI Dragon logo on the back which looks stunning. MSI is also using heat pads beneath the backplate which offer more cooling to the electrical circuitry on the PCB.

There's no multi-GPU connector on the card as AMD uses their XDMA architecture for CrossFireX capabilities. This allows GPUs to communicate directly over the PCIe bus rather than an external bridge.

With the outsides of the card done, I will now start taking a glance at what's beneath the hood of these monster graphics cards. The first thing to catch my eye is the humungous fin stack that's part of the beefy heatsink which the cards utilize.

The dual fin stacks run all the way from the front and to the back of the PCB. It also comes with the wave-curved fin stack design which I want to shed some light on as it is a turn away from traditional fin design and one that may actually offer better cooling on this monster graphics card.

You can see that through large copper heat pipes run through the aluminum finned heatsink. The copper heat pipes come out from the GPU block and cover the entire aluminum heatsink block.

Talking about the heatsink, the massive block is comprised of five 6mm and a single 10mm super copper squared shaped heat pipes with a more concentrated design to transfer heat from the copper base to the heatsink more effectively. The base itself is a solid nickel-plated base plate, transferring heat to the heat pipes in a very effective manner. To top it all off, MSI uses their exclusive Thermal Compound X which is said to offer higher thermal interface and heat transfer compared to traditional TIM applications.

I/O on the graphics card sticks with the reference scheme which includes three Display Port 1.4a, & a single HDMI 2.0b.

MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming X Trio Teardown:

The MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT EVOKE OC makes use of a slightly non-reference PCB design, featuring a 9+2 Phase design and coupled with better components such as solid-state capacitors along with a series of higher-quality chokes. MSI also uses several thermal pads and an anti-bending bracket, however, the two top-most heat pad only cover 60% of the DRAM surface area which may not be an ideal scenario for a card that costs almost $450 US.

The MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming X has dual 8 pin power connectors which feed the card. The Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming X has a rated TDP of 250W, same as the reference model.

We used the following test system for comparison between the different graphics cards. Latest drivers that were available at the time of testing were used from AMD and NVIDIA on an updated version of Windows 10. All games that were tested were patched to the latest version for better performance optimization for NVIDIA and AMD GPUs.

MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT EVOKE OC Test Bench:

CPUIntel Core i9-9900K @ 4.70 GHz
MotherboardAORUS Z390 Master
Video CardsMSI Radeon RX 5700 XT EVOKE OC
Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER Gaming OC
MSI GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER Gaming X Trio
Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER Gaming OC
MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Lightning Z
MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Gaming X Trio
Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Gaming OC
Colorful iGame GeForce RTX 2080 TI Vulcan X OC
ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 2080 TI OC
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition
ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 2080 OC
AORUS GeForce RTX 2080 Xtreme
MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio
MSI GeForce RTX 2080 DUKE OC
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition
MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio
MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Lightning X
ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 2070 OC
MSI GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Z
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X
MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Ventus XS
MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Gaming X
MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ventus XS
MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Titanium
MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Armor X OC
MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti Lightning OC
Gigabyte Radeon RX Vega 64 (Reference Air)
XFX Radeon R9 Fury X Liquid Cooled
ASUS ROG STRIX RX 580 OC
MemoryG.SKILL Trident Z RGB Series 32GB (4 X 8GB) CL16 3600 MHz
StorageSamsung SSD 960 EVO M.2 (512 GB)
Power SupplyASUS ROG THOR 1200W PSU
OSWindows 10 64-bit

DOOM

In 2016, Id finally released DOOM. My testing wouldn’t be complete without including this title. All cards were capable of delivering ample frame rates at the 1440p resolution using Nightmare settings, so my focus turned to 4K.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Wolfenstein is back in The New Colossus and features the most fast-paced, gory and brutal FPS action ever! The game once again puts us back in the Nazi-controlled world as BJ Blazkowicz. Set during an alternate future where Nazis won the World War, the game shows that it can be fun and can be brutal to the player and to the enemy too. Powering the new title is once again, id Tech 6 which is much acclaimed after the success that DOOM has become. In a way, ID has regained their glorious FPS roots and are slaying with every new title.

Ultra HQ-AF, Vulkan, Async Compute On *if available, Deferred Rendering and GPU culling off

We tested the game at Ultra settings under the Vulkan API which is standard. Async Compute was enabled for graphics cards that support it while deferred rendering and GPU culling were disabled.

You can read our detailed analysis of GPU Culling and Deferred Rendering graphical settings for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus here!

Battlefield V

Battlefield V brings back the action of the World War 2 shooter genre. Using the latest Frostbite tech, the game does a good job of looking gorgeous in all ways possible. From the open world environments to the intense and gun-blazing action, this multiplayer and single player FPS title is one of the best looking Battlefields to date.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Humanity is at war with itself and divided into factions. On one end, we have the pure and on the other, we have the augmented. That is the world where Adam Jensen lives in and this is the world of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. The game uses the next generation Dawn Engine that was made by IO interactive on the foundation of their Glacier 2 engine. The game features support of DirectX 12 API and is one of the most visually intensive titles that taxes the GPU really hard.

Hitman 2 (DX12 Highest Settings)

Hitman 2 is the highly acclaimed sequel to 2016 Hitman which was a redesign and reimaging of the game from the ground up. With a focus on stealth gameplay through various missions, the game once again lets you play as Agent 47 who embarks on a mission to hunt down the mysterious Shadow Client. The game runs on IO’s Interactive’s Glacier 2 engine which has been updated to deliver amazing visuals and environments on each level while making use of DirectX 12 API.

Metro Exodus

Metro Exodus continues the journey of Artyom through the nuclear wasteland of Russia and its surroundings. This time, you are set over the Metro, going through various regions and different environments. The game is one of the premier titles to feature NVIDIA’s RTX technology and does well in showcasing the ray-tracing effects in all corners.

Shadow of The Tomb Raider

Sequel to The Rise of the Tomb Raider, Shadow of The Tomb Raider is visually enhanced with an updated Foundation Engine that delivers realistic facial animations and the most gorgeous environments ever seen in a Tomb Raider Game. The game is a technical marvel and really shows the power of its graphics engine in the latest title.

Assassins Creed: Origins

Assassins Creed Origins is built by the same team that made Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag. They are known for reinventing the design and game philosophy of the Assassins Creed saga and their latest title shows that. Based in Egypt, the open-world action RPG shows its graphics strength in all corners. It uses the AnvilNext 2.0 engine which boosts the draw distance range and delivers a very impressive graphics display.

We tested the game at maxed settings with TAA enabled and 16x AF. Do note that the game is one of the most demanding titles out in the market and as such tweaks and performance issues are being patched out.

Far Cry 5

Far Cry 5 is a standalone successor to its predecessor and takes place in Hope County, a fictional region of Montana. The main story revolves around doomsday cult the Project at Eden’s Gate and its charismatic leader Joseph Seed. It uses a beefed up Dunia Engine which itself is a modified version of CryEngine from Crytek.

Final Fantasy XV

Ghost Recon: Wildlands

Using the new Anvil Next engine that was developed by Ubisoft Montreal, Ghost Recon: Wildlands goes wild and grand with an open-world setting entirely in Bolivia. This game is a tactical third-person shooter which does seem an awful lot similar to Tom Clancy's: The Division. The game looks pretty and the wide-scale region of Bolivia looks lovely at all times (Day/Night Cycle).

The Witcher 3 Game of The Year Edition

Witcher 3 is the greatest fantasy RPG of our time. It has a great story, great gameplay mechanics and gorgeous graphics. This is the only game I actually wanted to get a stable FPS at 4K. With GameWorks disabled, I gave all high-end cards the ability to demonstrate their power.

Middle Earth: Shadow of War

The successor of 2014’s epic, Shadow of Mordor, Shadow of War continues the previous game’s narrative continuing the story of the ranger Talion and the spirit of the elf lord Celebrimbor, who shares Talion’s body, as they forge a new Ring of Power to amass an army to fight against Sauron. The game uses the latest Firebird Engine developed by Monolith Productions and is very intensive even for modern graphics cards.

No graphics card review is complete without evaluating its temperatures and thermal load. The MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming X series is fitted with the most advanced version of the TORX 3.0 fans. The cooler features a massive heatsink with multiple heat pipes which extend beyond the fin-based aluminum block that lead towards the incredibly dense heatsink block.

The patented Torx fan 3.0 design and Zero Frozr technology featured on this card make sure that it delivers the best cooling performance and best acoustics while operating.

Note – We tested load with Kombuster which is known as a ‘power virus’ and can permanently damage the hardware. Use such software at your own risk!

I compiled the power consumption results by testing each card under idle and full stress when the card was running games. Each graphics card manufacturer sets a default TDP for the card which can vary from vendor to vendor depending on the extra clocks or board features they plugin on their custom cards.

AMD Radeon RX 5700 series is based on TSMC's 7nm process node. The 7nm process is a major upgrade over the 14nm FinFET node, delivering better efficiency and a much smaller chip footprint.

I have been waiting for the MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming X since the moment it was announced and now that it has launched, I am glad I got to take a first look at it. MSI has topped out their Twin Frozr 7 design with this iteration of the cooler, expanding and turning it into a monster of its own that's more than enough to keep a GPU such as Navi 10 tamed under full load.

The card rocks some impressive clock speeds, 2025 MHz boost, highest I have seen so far on any RX 5700 XT variant. The clock speeds provide a massive bump over the EVOKE OC which featured its own respectable out of box factory overclock. In terms of performance, the Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming X offers superb performance for a $440 US graphics card. This variant is $60 US cheaper than the RTX 2070 SUPER while having close calls with the more expensive graphics card.

While the Radeon RX 5700 series is super competitive in terms of pricing against the RTX 2060 & RTX 2070 SUPER series, one of the major issues that have crippled the reference cards was the standard heatsink design coupled with a blower fan cooler which makes too much noise. Cooling alone gives NVIDIA RTX SUPER lineup an edge over the RX 5700 series but now, with an influx of superb custom variants like the Gaming X, users will be able to get their hands on better cooling and acoustic design for a small premium over the reference models.

The extra costs go into the behemoth shroud design that comes with a solid metal backplate, and a dual-fan cooling system fitted with MSI's most advanced TORX 3.0 technology. A solid PCB with an 11 phase design and dual 8-pin connectors keep this card fed with lots of power which would be useful in getting that extra juice out with manual overclocks. I even saw some nice gains in AAA titles with a small overclock which just shows it is waiting to be pushed even more.

The temperatures are really good on the card and nothing as rampant as what we saw on the reference models. AMD clarified that temperatures of up to 110C are expected and within spec of the RX 5700 series but you don't have to worry about this specific card hitting anywhere close to those numbers. With that said, the 0db technology and the added quiet mode are great profiles for users who want a silent operation with this card. The card is also beautiful on its own, a stunning brushed aluminum design which covers the front and backplate along with MSI's Mystic Aura RGB technology which provides a spectacular light show on the side 'Gaming' logo.

MSI's Radeon RX 5700 XT EVOKE OC is a fantastic card in its own regards but the Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming X further pushes AMD's rDNA architecture, providing a fantastic performance uplift by providing one of the highest factory overclock, a monster cooling solution and a price that remains to be beaten by other manufacturers.

Contents

Products mentioned in this post

MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming X
USD 419.98

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9.8

The Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming X further pushes AMD's rDNA architecture, providing a fantastic performance uplift by providing one of the highest factory overclock, a monster cooling solution and a price that remains to be beaten by other manufacturers.

Performance9.8
Value9.8
Design & Aesthetics10
Features9.5

Pros

  • Great Price ($439 US)
  • Huge performance uplift versus Polaris cards
  • Much cooler than the reference model
  • Much quieter than the reference model
  • Great factory overclock out of the box
  • Amazing Shroud design with Twin Frozr 7
  • Performance and Silent Mode Options in Dragon Center App
  • TORX 3.0 cooling system with finned aluminum heatsink
  • First GPUs Built Entirely on 7nm Process node
  • PCI-e Gen 4.0 Support
  • Good I/O (DSC 1.2a for 8K 60 Hz, Triple Display Ports 1.4 HDR, HDMI 2.0)

Cons

  • No dedicated hardware for Ray Tracing
  • Not a lot of overclocking headroom left
  • Power consumption slightly on the high side
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