A funny thing happens when we drop to 1440p testing: Things become more CPU limited, and the fastest cards are no longer able to strut their stuff. The 7900 XTX is now only 10% faster than the 7900 XT in rasterization performance, and there are a couple of games where it's basically a tie (Far Cy 6 and Flight Simulator).
The XTX hangs onto a scant 3% lead over the RTX 4080, while the 7900 XT is 6% slower overall. The 7900 XT is also only 12% faster than the previous generation RX 6950 XT, which again highlights the difficulty of the value proposition. The 6950 XT has been selling for under $800 — the ASRock RX 6950 XT Formula (opens in new tab) is right at that price from Newegg.
Basically, the holiday shopping season is here, and it's done weird things to supply yet again. For the same price, the 7900 XT would be an easy pick over the 6950, but when it's $100 extra, it's not quite as compelling. It will be interesting to see how pricing shakes out over the next few weeks.
Ray tracing is still almost entirely GPU limited, so the margins don't change too much between the various GPUs. The good news is that while 4K ray tracing may have been questionable, 1440p ray tracing is definitely in reach. The 7900 XTX averaged 60 fps across our test suite, and the 7900 XT put up just over 50 fps. Upscaling would still help, but most of the games are at least playable at 1440p with ray tracing.
The RTX 4080 still puts up 33% better performance overall, and the gap can grow to 50% or even 60% in some games (Minecraft and Cyberpunk 2077). AMD's new halo part, the 7900 XTX, can nearly catch Nvidia's previous generation leader, the RTX 3090 Ti, but that still puts AMD a generation behind on ray tracing performance.