Sapphire RX 7900 GRE Nitro+ review: Bigger, faster, more power, more money

Extra bling and aesthetics are the main draw here.

Sapphire RX 7900 GRE Nitro+
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

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Sapphire's RX 7900 GRE Nitro+ caters to the gamer that wants a good AMD GPU at the heart of their PC, and then they want to add some flare and aesthetics. If you're just after a great performing graphics card for $500–$600, Sapphire's Pulse line arguably does a better job at balancing price and performance. The Nitro+ takes the same core features, then puts them into a physically larger card with superior cooling, and adds some RGB bling for good measure.

Many people will be perfectly fine skipping out on the extra girth and bling that the Nitro+ brings to the party. At the same time, others want something more than just another boring-looking graphics card. Whichever route you prefer, you can't really go wrong. I might make fun of him for it, but I know a guy that built a $500 budget gaming PC several years back... and then he promptly went out and spent another $250 on RGB lighting and bling — there literally wasn't a single addition that improved performance, and that sucked up a third of the total cost of the PC! I won't mention any names, but what's important is that he was happier with the fancy-pants gaming PC, even it it wasn't any faster.

If you're that sort of person, and the Nitro+ aesthetic scratches your particular itch, by all means: Go for it. The 7900 GRE provides one of the best balanced cards in AMD's current GPU product stack, with great performance at the right price. Do you want that with something more than the base model card? Then the Nitro+ is for you.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Of course, if you're not interested in upgrading to an AMD graphics — either because you're simply not in the market right now, or you prefer Nvidia GPUs, or for whatever other reason — there's nothing new in the Nitro+ that would change your mind. As a value proposition, it's provably worse than Sapphire's own RX 7900 GRE Pulse.

Compared with Nvidia's RTX 4070 and RTX 4070 Super, while there are certainly those who will prefer an AMD GPU, there are also plenty of gamers that want access to Nvidia's superior feature set. We're talking about DLSS, including Ray Reconstruction and maybe even frame generation. There's also Broadcast, ChatRTX, and tons of AI projects others have built around Nvidia's tensor cores.

Looking forward, it's not clear right now whether AMD will actually launch new RX 8000-series RDNA 4 GPUs this year or if those won't come out until 2025. Nor is it clear just how much faster such GPUs might be, or how much they'll cost. There are of course faster AMD GPUs than the 7900 GRE, but you get diminishing returns for the money spent. Slower GPUs like the 7700 XT are another option, but even with upscaling such cards may not have sufficient oomph to handle 1440p and especially 4K gaming.

In short, $599 spent on the RX 7900 GRE Nitro+ gets you overall better performance than the fastest previous generation AMD RX 6950 XT, at a much lower price, with better power efficiency and new features like the AI accelerators, AV1 encoding, and DisplayPort 2.1 video output. There will inevitably be something faster and better down the road a year or two, but this is a solid card that should have you happily gaming until the latter part of the 2020s.

Jarred Walton

Jarred Walton is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on everything GPU. He has been working as a tech journalist since 2004, writing for AnandTech, Maximum PC, and PC Gamer. From the first S3 Virge '3D decelerators' to today's GPUs, Jarred keeps up with all the latest graphics trends and is the one to ask about game performance.

  • NeoMorpheus
    I’m not sure if “no rgb fans” is a con.

    AMD marketing team has really done a mess with the naming convention.

    Then again. Maybe its pure genius to dilute the 9x moniker.