Right now, we’re having a tough time thinking of a better time to buy a new graphics card, thanks in large part to the new Nvidia Super RTX graphics cards, and of course, AMD Navi. Why’s that? Well, before the AMD Radeon RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT, we’ve never seen graphics cards this affordable that can provide such amazing performance in this price range.
But, no matter how awesome these graphics cards are, it can be hard to decide once and for all which AMD graphics card is best for you – especially when they’re priced so closely together.
Luckily, here at TechRadar we’ve spent an inordinate amount of time obsessing over the best graphics card, so we can help you decide whether to go with the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT or the Radeon RX 5700.
Price and specifications
The AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT and Radeon RX 5700 are actually priced extremely close to one another – there’s just a $50 (about £40, AU$70) difference between the two, at $399 (about £315, AU$580) and $349 (about £275, AU$500), respectively.
And, because the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT offers 4 more compute units, with just 256 more stream processors, you’re paying 13% more for just 9% more raw horsepower. However, because the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT has a higher “game clock” at 1,755 MHz vs the 5700’s 1,525MHz, you should be getting a bit more performance out of the more expensive graphics card.
However beyond clock speeds and stream processors, these two graphics cards are essentially the same.
On both the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT and Radeon RX 5700, you’re getting 64 ROP units, 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM clocked at 14Gbps.
Just based on the specs, the AMD Radeon RX 5700 easily comes out on top – $50 might not seem like a lot, but that’s most of a new PC game. Plus, you get the same bonus 3-month subscription to Xbox Games Pass on PC with either one.
In terms of raw performance, the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT is definitely the winner… but not by much.
In our testing, the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT is between 4-11% faster than the AMD Radeon RX 5700. Again, when you’re paying 13% more for the faster card, that small of a delta in performance just doesn’t make much sense.
For instance, in Metro Exodus at 4K Ultra settings, the AMD Radeon RX 5700 averaged 29 fps, compared to the Radeon RX 5700 XT’s 30 fps. That’s literally one frame more for $50.
In synthetic benchmarks the spread is a little more noticeable. In TimeSpy Extreme, for instance, the Radeon RX 5700 XT scored 4,119 points, compared to the 5700’s 3,753. That’s a 9% performance difference, but that’s still a bit small for the price difference.
On the other side of things, that performance delta also comes with a difference in power draw and temperatures. The AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT drew as much as 197 watts, while the RX 5700 topped out at 153W – 23% less power than the XT.
At the end of the day, the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT is the more powerful graphics card, but for most people we’d recommend the AMD Radeon RX 5700 instead. That $50 price difference likely isn’t worth that small of a performance uplift.
AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT vs AMD Radeon RX 5700: which should you buy?
We couldn’t be happier that AMD Navi has finally arrived, but in our eyes it’s easy to see that the Radeon RX 5700 is simply the better value for most people. That said, both of these cards will get you absolutely amazing performance at 1440p, and both have the same amount of VRAM and memory speed.
If you’re looking for the best possible performance out of the two, the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT is the obvious winner – it’s going to be around 10% faster most of the time. But, if you ask us, the best graphics card for most people is one that balances excellent performance with great value, and the winner there is easily the AMD Radeon RX 5700.
Still, either of these cards will give you a great 1440p PC gaming experience, so you really can’t go wrong – it’s just a question of what you want to spend that extra 50 bucks or quid on.