In our RTX 4060 Ti 16GB review, we added three additional (relatively) recent game releases to our testing, to see if they showed any additional benefit from the added memory. We're keeping those same games for the 7800/7700 XT reviews, and adding one more: Starfield — not because it's a balanced and well-optimized game, but because it does go into full release today, and we have some numbers from other GPUs, which you can see in our Starfield GPU performance guide, so we figured why not?
The other three games consist of F1 2023, Hogwarts Legacy, and The Last of Us: Part 1. None of these are brand-spanking new, and after the initial launch woes, most of them have received some much-needed TLC. But Hogwarts and The Last of Us still have a reputation for wanting more than 8GB of VRAM at maxed-out settings, and Starfield will give us a look at a brand-new game on current and previous generation AMD GPUs as well as Nvidia GPUs — caveats apply to Nvidia performance right now.
We'll do a gallery of the benchmarks from each game, so swipe through the images to see the results at the various settings/resolutions.
F1 2023 is a bit interesting in that the presets disable ray tracing at anything besides the ultra preset, so we get results that mirror what we saw in our rasterization and ray tracing suites, depending on the settings used. For reference, we tested on the Australia track, in the rain, for one loop of the track (130 seconds).
At 1080p medium, the RX 7700 XT beats the RTX 4060 Ti by 20%. That shrinks to just 3% at 1080p and 1% at 1440p, basically tied, thanks to the ray tracing effects. But then at 4K ultra, the AMD lead grows to 12% as the 8GB card starts to run out of memory. That doesn't happen with the 4060 Ti 16GB, though with both cards sitting at 29 fps, it's a bit of a pyrrhic victory for the 16GB Nvidia card.
Hogwarts Legacy doesn't like running at maxed-out ultra settings on cards with only 8GB of VRAM, and even 12GB can be a problem at 1440p ultra with maxed-out ray tracing settings. The game will warn you about selecting settings that are too high, and then it will often crash to the desktop. We skipped the 4K testing due to the instability, not to mention performance would have been very poor on all of the GPUs. But we did manage to complete at least one benchmark run where needed.
For our 1080p medium settings, we have RT reflections, RT shadows, and RT ambient occlusion enabled, plus the overall RT quality set to medium. Our ultra settings use the ultra preset with all the RT effects enabled and RT quality set to ultra. As you'd expect, all of those ray tracing effects give the RTX 4060 Ti the lead over the RX 7700 XT.
Nvidia's RTX 4060 Ti 8GB card is 12% faster at 1080p medium, 7% faster at 1080p ultra, and basically tied (1% faster) at 1440p ultra. The 4060 Ti 16GB doesn't fall off a cliff at 1440p and maintains an 8% lead over the 7700 XT. Of course, both GPUs would benefit from enabling some level of upscaling, as 1440p otherwise dips below 30 fps at times.
The Last of Us: Part I favors AMD's GPUs, and it's an AMD-promoted game. Using the medium and ultra presets, the RX 7700 XT is 14–17 percent faster than the RTX 4060 Ti 8GB at 1080p and 1440p, and then the lead grows to 36% at 4K when the 8GB card runs out of VRAM.
The RTX 4060 Ti 16GB doesn't have that problem, naturally, and so the 7700 XT lead falls in the 13–15 percent range at all tested resolutions and settings.
Last is Starfield, a game that officially launches today (it's been in early access for purchasers of the premium edition for the past week). As we noted in our Starfield PC performance testing, there are clearly issues with non-AMD GPUs right now. Nvidia's GPUs aren't hitting their power limit and fall further behind than in other games.
The net result is that the RX 7700 XT beats the RTX 4060 Ti (8GB) by 22–34 percent. VRAM capacity doesn't factor in, as the 4060 Ti 16GB shows a similar 25–35 percent lead for AMD's 7700 XT.
We haven't mentioned the 7800 XT of late, so let's also point out that it's significantly faster than the 7700 XT — by around 30% across all tested resolutions and settings in Starfield. Whatever the game engine is doing, it definitely seems to appreciate raw memory bandwidth.