The AMD AMD Radeon RX 7700 XT and Radeon RX 7800 XT cards officially launched today, priced at $449 and $499, respectively. It's the usual story of a trimmed-down variant of the same core GPU — Navi 32 in this case — coming in at a lower price point. Unfortunately, some of the trimmings went too far, while the price remains too high for what you get. As the final chip in the AMD RDNA 3 architecture lineup, Navi 32 fills the middle of the product stack and looks to compete with the best graphics cards.
But if you're looking at Navi 32, you'll generally be far better served by the Radeon RX 7800 XT, at least at current prices. We have a separate review of that card, and we suggest you start there as we'll cover more of the Navi 32 details there.
The short summary: the 7700 XT comes up short and costs too much. Here's a rundown of the specifications, including the previous generation Navi 21/22 parts and the current Nvidia competitors.
|Graphics Card||RX 7700 XT||RX 7800 XT||RX 6800 XT||RX 6700 XT||RTX 4070||RTX 4060 Ti 8GB / 16GB|
|Architecture||Navi 32||Navi 32||Navi 21||Navi 22||AD104||AD106|
|Process Technology||TSMC N5 + N6||TSMC N5 + N6||TSMC N7||TSMC N7||TSMC 4N||TSMC 4N|
|Transistors (Billion)||28.1 + 3x 2.05||28.1 + 4x 2.05||26.8||17.2||32||22.9|
|Die size (mm^2)||200 + 113 (150)||200 + 150||519||336||294.5||187.8|
|CUs / SMs||54||60||72||40||46||34|
|GPU Cores (Shaders)||3456||3840||4608||2560||5888||4352|
|AI / Tensor Cores||108||120||N/A||N/A||184||136|
|Ray Tracing "Cores"||54||60||72||40||46||34|
|Boost Clock (MHz)||2544||2430||2250||2581||2475||2535|
|VRAM Speed (Gbps)||18||19.5||16||16||21||18|
|VRAM (GB)||12||16||16||12||12||8 / 16|
|VRAM Bus Width||192||256||256||192||192||128|
|Infinity / L2 Cache||48||64||128||96||36||32|
|TFLOPS FP32 (Boost)||35.2||37.3||20.7||13.2||29.1||22.1|
|TFLOPS FP16 (FP8)||70.4||74.6||41.4||26.4||233 (466)||177 (353)|
|Bandwidth / Effective (GBps)||432 / 1995||624 / 2708||512 / 1664||384 / 1278||504 / ?||288 / 554|
|Launch Date||Sep 2023||Sep 2023||Nov 2020||Mar 2021||Apr 2023||May / July 2023|
|Launch Price||$449||$499||$649||$479||$599||$399 / $499|
The RX 7700 XT looks quite good compared to the previous-gen RX 6700 XT. You get substantially more compute, which is the key selling point. Theoretically, the RX 7700 XT offers 167% more number-crunching prowess than the 6700 XT. Even though we've pointed out in other RDNA 3 reviews that performance doesn't match that lofty figure, it's a good step up from the 6700 XT.
The problem is that it's also a big step up in price relative to the existing cards, where online pricing has dropped to $329 for the RX 6700 XT and $349 for the RX 6750 XT, and even the RX 6800 costs less than the 7700 XT at a current price of $429. The RX 6800 also has more memory and a wider interface, and as we'll see later, it provides stiff competition for the newcomer.
The other problem is the RX 7800 XT that uses the full Navi 32 implementation. On paper, the RX 7800 XT offers 6% more GPU compute, but 44% more memory bandwidth and 33% more memory capacity. And you get all that for an 11% increase in price. Spoiler alert: Generally, the RX 7800 XT is up to 20% faster. Short of a price cut, it's the better buy. Maybe that's why AMD is leaving all the RX 7700 XT production to its AIB (add-in board) partners.
If you don't want to step up to the $500 RX 7800 XT, then you have to look at other cards like Nvidia's competing RTX 4060 Ti, which costs $50 less — or the same price if you get the 16GB variant. You can go lower than that as well, with the RX 6700 XT and RTX 4060. AMD's 6700 XT and 7700 XT at least provide 12GB of VRAM with a 192-bit bus, so they should be good for most games for quite some time, but if you're not dead set on maxing out all the settings in games, you can still get by with an 8GB card.
Of course, you also get the new features of RDNA 3, like AV1 encoding and decoding support, DisplayPort 2.1 (UHBR13.5) outputs, and improved AI processing hardware. Those are fine to have, though, for most people, they're not going to matter enough to sway your purchasing decision. If you care about AV1 encoding, Nvidia does it better on RTX 40-series parts; if you care about DP2.1 outputs, then you'll also need a non-existent DP2.1 monitor... or else just stick to 4K and 240 Hz or lower displays, which can work on all the previous generation parts as well.
There's also the broader ecosystem to consider. Nvidia has been pushing ray tracing for five years now, and there are certainly games that make decent use of the new API. Alongside ray tracing, you have AI and deep learning, as well as DLSS — which now has upscaling, frame generation, and soon ray reconstruction.