Read more about the RX 7800 XT here
AMD's RDNA 3 midrange cards are finally here, filling the massive performance gap between the RX 7600 and RX 7900 series. Based on AMD's Navi 32 GPU die with a chiplet design, the 7800 XT and 7700 XT will be the last two cards in the RDNA 3 family. AMD is taking the fight to Nvidia with aggressive pricing.
Midrange Battle: AMD vs Nvidia (MSRP)
The promotional benchmarks weren't far off the mark, and AMD's new midrange cards do indeed offer impressive bang for buck 1440p gaming. As expected, the RX 7800 XT is an absolute beast at $499. In terms of rasterisation, it easily brushes the RTX 4060 Ti 16GB aside with an advantage of almost 30% at 1080p and 1440p. If you were wondering why Nvidia silently reduced the 16GB model to $449, there's your answer.
The RX 7800 XT has bigger fish to fry, and manages to beat the RTX 4070 by 5% at 1440p. This is an impressive victory considering the Nvidia card is $100 more at $599. But let's not get too carried away, as the RTX 4070 still has superior ray tracing, enhanced power efficiency, and DLSS 3.
Nvidia's ray tracing advantage isn't too overwhelming and the RTX 4070 has a lead of 5%-15% depending on the game, however the difference is quite pronounced in Nvidia-sponsored titles like Cyberpunk. During gaming, the RTX 4070 draws only 201W in comparison to the 7800 XT's 250W, so that's quite a significant win for Team Green, especially if you live in an area where energy prices are high. DLSS 3 is still a big selling point for Nvidia, allowing gamers to maintain frame rates at higher resolutions with ray tracing enabled. It will be interesting to see how AMD's upcoming FSR 3 shapes up against DLSS 3 and DLSS 3.5.
Another intriguing comparison is the RX 7800 XT versus its predecessor. The RX 6800 XT has been one of the standout value 1440p cards for quite some time, filling the midrange void left by AMD. The cards are neck and neck, with the 7800 XT having a paltry 3% advantage in rasterisation and ray tracing. This isn't very encouraging as far as generational improvement, but the performance per dollar does make for better reading.
The RX 6800 XT has an MSRP of $649, but in reality it's going for closer to $530. So the $499 RX 7800 XT is slightly cheaper with slightly better performance, making it one of the best cost per frame cards on the market today. The 7800 XT has the added benefit of improved efficiency over its predecessor, even if it cannot match Nvidia in this metric.
As we stated in our RDNA 3 midrange preview, the RX 7700 XT is curiously priced at $449. We think most consumers won't budge to pay an $50 extra for the RX 7800 XT, given the 20% performance advantage. When pitted against the now equally priced RTX 4060 GB Ti 16GB, the 7700 XT does have a chunky advantage in rasterisation and actually matches it in ray tracing.
Even though the RX 7700 XT has less VRAM than the RTX 4060 Ti (12GB vs 16GB), it's the 192-bit memory interface that makes the difference especially at 1440p. While the 7700 XT easily outvalues the RTX 4060 Ti 16GB, it finds itself in no man's land as the 7800 XT and 6800 XT present much better value at slightly higher prices. This card would make a much more compelling case at $399.
Don't completely disregard the RTX 4060 Ti 16GB, as it still has better power efficiency and DLSS 3 upscaling. But the RTX 4060 Ti 8GB and 16GB models would make more sense at $349 and $399, something that was already apparent on launch. Will AMD's new midrange beasts put pressure on Nvidia pricing? We're holding thumbs.
AMD's latest cards include support for DisplayPort 2.1 and HDMI 2.1, as well as AV1 hardware encoding and decoding. The 7800 XT and 7700 XT come bundled with AMD-sponsored title Starfield, a game that retails for $69.99. This certainly makes it a juicy value proposition.
So it comes down to this: AMD's cards are dominant in rasterisation and performance per dollar, while Nvidia have an advantage when it comes to tray tracing, DLSS 3, and power efficiency. FSR 3 looks promising and AMD has already announced 12 games, so if AMD can make up ground here it could further improve their position. One thing is for sure, the new RDNA 3 cards have put Nvidia on the back foot, and the onus is on Team Green to make the next move.