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How does AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT compare to Nvidia's RTX 4090? RDNA 3, specs, and more explained

The RX 7900 XT reference version card (Image via AMD)
The RX 7900 XT reference version card (Image via AMD)

AMD unveiled the first wave of the RX 7000 series GPUs in last night's "together we advance_gaming" presentation. The new graphics cards include the high-end Radeon RX 7900 XT and the RX 7900 XTX. These offerings pack eye-catching specs that promise a flagship performance.

The new GPUs will be available starting December 13. They were priced aggressively, which resulted in the performance-per-watt metric slipping to Team Red's turf.

The RDNA 3 architecture in these new GPUs brings the company's chiplet design, introduced with the Ryzen processors, to the GPUs. It also brings substantial performance improvements over the last-gen RDNA 2-based RX 6000 series graphics cards.


How does the RX 7900 XT fare in games?

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The RX 7900 XT is a high-end GPU in the RX 7000 series of video cards. The graphics card is based on the same Navi 31 graphics processor as the higher-end RX 7900 XTX.

It comes with 10,752 streaming processors, 336 Texture Mapping Units (TMUs), 192 Render Output Units (ROPs), 84 Compute Units (CUs), and 20 GB of GDDR6 memory, which is based on a wide 320-bit bus.

AMD also uses PCIe Gen 5 connectivity with their new lineup of graphics cards. The graphics card has a base clock of 1500 MHz, a game clock of 2000 MHz, and a boost clock of 2400 MHz. Like RDNA 2 and Ada Lovelace, the RX 7000 graphics cards are clocked very high.

Team Red has also fine-tuned its architecture to be more power efficient than the competition. The RX 7900 XT is rated for 300 W. The graphics card is also priced competitively at $899. The RTX 4080 is priced at $1,199, and the RTX 4090 costs $1,599.

As a result of the lower power demand, the graphics card does not require any special power connectors or adapters, unlike the RTX 4090. This is an especially favorable feature, given that the 4090 usereporting multiple issues on forums.

Metric

Geforce RTX 4090

Radeon RX 7900 XT
GPU NameAD102Navi 31

CUDA Core (Nvidia) / Streaming Processor (AMD) Count

16,384

10,752

Texture Mapping Units (TMUs)

512

336

Render Output Units (ROPs)

176

192

Ray Tracing (RT) Core Count

128

84

Tensor Core Count

512

N/A
Compute UnitsN/A84

Video Memory Size

24 GB

20 GB

Video Memory Type

GDDR6X

GDDR6

Video Memory Bus Width

384 bit

320 bit

Base Clock Speed

2235 MHz

1500 MHz

Boost Clock Speed

2520 MHz

2400 MHz

Memory Clock Speed

1313 MHz

2500 MHz

MSRP

US$ 1,599

US$ 899

Although the above spec comparison is not a scientific way to compare the two cards, it gives us a rough idea of what to expect. The RTX 4090 will be much faster than the 7900 XT. However, AMD's unique selling proposition is a much more affordable price point and more power-efficient design.

Team Red will be introducing a bunch of new technologies with the upcoming RX 7000 series graphics cards. The list includes an updated version of their temporal upscaling technology, FSR 2. The upcoming version will rely on frame generation, the same method utilized by DLSS 3.

AMD will also introduce HYPR-RX, a feature allowing one-click optimization, including FSR and Radeon Anti-Lag tech, to maximize framerates.

Say hello to the AMD Radeon RX 7000 Series! 👋 Available to purchase on Dec. 13th and powered by the world’s most advanced gaming graphics architecture. https://t.co/svCVotKZyi

When paired with AMD Ryzen CPUs, the graphics card can utilize SmartAcess video to divide the video encoding and decoding workloads. This will significantly improve video rendering time in creative software like Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, Open Broadcasting Software (OBS), and more. The SmartAccess video tech will roll out this December.


Conclusion

The RTX 4090 is faster than the Radeon RX 7900 XT. However, Team Red has several benefits that make the card a lucrative choice for high-end gamers looking for a 4K capable GPU.

The Radeon GPUs are also getting new features that will push them closer to Nvidia graphics cards. They also come with Gen 5 connectivity to leverage the maximum of modern gaming systems.

Thus, gamers who do not want to perform productivity workloads on their rig can opt for the 7900 XT. Radeon cards are notorious for their performance. But things might change this generation, and builders will have to wait for the reviews to kick in before making a final call.

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Edited by Srijan Sen
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