In a rather staggering move, TechPowerUp has managed to overclock the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX card to a point where it can match the Nvidia RTX 4090 in the demanding Cyberpunk 2077 benchmark.
Now let’s not get carried away: on paper, a $999 GPU that goes hand in hand with a $1,599 gaming card is, on paper, a huge loss to Nvidia. But that’s just one test; Also found TechPowerUp that their overclocked RX 7900 XTX was unable to achieve the same performance as the RTX 4090 in other benchmarks, although performance improved significantly.
Still, it’s very impressive – and not entirely unexpected. There have reportedly been issues with the clock speed of the Navi 31 matrix that powers the RX 7900 XTX, which allegedly limits its performance a bit – something AMD may address in future driver updates. It still won’t overshadow the 4090 (which will have its own drivers), but it’s worth bearing in mind that AMD’s flagship GPU doesn’t currently use 100% of the available power. TechPowerUp’s powerful overclocking to 3.2GHz brings a lot more graphical grunt out of the card.
Analysis: Even more trouble for Nvidia
Nvidia has been plagued with issues around the launch of its next-gen Lovelace graphics cards – from melted 4090 power supplies to a rushed “startup” of the RTX 4080 12GB – and this seems to be another problem for Team Green.
TechPowerUp used a factory overclocked Asus TUF card for its tests, which was already slightly faster than the original AMD RX 7900 XTX card we tested in our review. Including manual overclocking (which required a complex step-down process to extract the most power from the GPU), it was 23.1% faster than the competitor RTX 4080 16GB.
Sure, it’s comparing an overclocked card to a card running at reference clocks, but it’s still worrying news for Nvidia. The RTX 4080 16GB has been condemned by many for being underpowered at its hefty $1,199 price tag, and this further reinforces that argument: AMD’s new top-of-the-line GPU is $200 cheaper and comfortably outperforms it in most areas.
Notice we said “most” – the Nvidia card still wins in Blender and other software that favors CUDA cores for performance. If you’re looking for a GPU for professional creative work, Nvidia is still your best bet. However, these numbers support AMD’s repeated claims that Radeon is the best choice for gamers.
This is unlikely to change until Nvidia ships more affordable cards, whether it be the new RTX 4070 and 4060 models, or by cutting the price of the existing RTX 4080 16GB. Even then, Team Green is likely to fall behind: AMD’s price curve gives it an edge here, so we can expect Team Red’s mid-range and budget RX 7000 GPUs to be very competitively priced. In short: Nvidia has a tough battle ahead of it. A lot of goodwill among gamers was wasted due to the mess around the new Lovelace cards, and AMD was quick to take advantage of the situation.