ASUS Radeon RX 5700 XT TUF EVO Review - Improved Cooler, Tested 57

ASUS Radeon RX 5700 XT TUF EVO Review - Improved Cooler, Tested

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Introduction

ASUS Logo

We have with us for review the ASUS Radeon RX 5700 XT TUF Gaming EVO. This is the fastest graphics card in the ASUS TUF Gaming family of durable yet value-positioned cards. The TUF Gaming ecosystem includes not just motherboards, graphics cards, and gaming peripherals by ASUS, but even extends to third-party memory, SSD, case, and PSU makers. This is the second TUF Gaming-branded RX 5700 XT model. The original TUF Gaming RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT cards, which launched among the first wave of Navi 10 custom designs last August, were heavily criticized by reviewers for having some of the worst thermals and noise levels. Acting on this feedback, ASUS redesigned the card with a new heatsink design, a trio of its "Axial Tech" webbed-impeller fans, and an airier cooler shroud. To differentiate this newer card from the original, ASUS added "EVO" to the model name.

The AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT is AMD's fastest graphics card based on its 7 nm "Navi" silicon that uses the RDNA architecture succeeding "Vega." The RDNA graphics architecture introduces a new generation of number-crunching machinery that brings out significant hardware changes over the "Vega" NGCU for higher performance, coupled with upgraded display and media engines that have caught up with the times. The RX 5700 XT also uses GDDR6 memory. An interesting series of price adjustments and product launches ensure that even at its starting price of $399, it offers slightly better price to performance than NVIDIA.

In this ASUS RX 5700 XT TUF EVO review, we'll definitely check on whether the current $420 price tag makes sense for the TUF, especially since you can now find some lower-end RX 5700 XT models for just $379.



At the heart of the Radeon RX 5700 XT is the 7 nm "Navi 10" silicon with an impressive 10.3 billion transistors crammed into a 251 mm² die. Unlike the "Vega 20", Navi is a more traditional GPU in that the package only has the GPU die and is surrounded by memory chips. AMD opted for cost-effective 256-bit GDDR6 memory over exotic design choices, such as HBM2. At a memory frequency of 14 Gbps, Navi enjoys a healthy memory bandwidth of 448 GB/s. It also features the latest-generation PCI-Express gen 4.0 x16 host interface with full backwards compatibility for older generations of PCIe, so you can pair it with AMD's new Ryzen 3000 processors on an X570 chipset motherboard. The buzz-words "7 nm" and "PCIe gen 4.0" are extensively used in AMD's marketing, as if to suggest that Navi is a generation ahead of NVIDIA's Turing, which is built on 12 nm and has PCIe gen 3.0. The RX 5700 XT is hence targeted at 1440p gaming with maxed out details, although compared to NVIDIA graphics chips such as the RTX 2060 Super, you lose out on ray-tracing features.

ASUS positions its TUF Gaming family a notch below its coveted ROG STRIX family of graphics cards. We in fact reviewed the RX 5700 XT ROG STRIX OC and found it to be among the strongest custom-design RX 5700 XT offerings. The RX 5700 XT TUF EVO in this review offers a beefier heatsink than the original RX 5700 XT TUF and has three Axial Tech fans that are designed to direct all of their airflow axially (onto the heatsink), with impeller webbing preventing lateral flow. ASUS also made serious efforts to lower the temperatures of the VRM and memory areas by giving them thermal pads to even the card's metal backplate. The company is said to have spent a lot of time optimizing the card's thermals and noise.

Radeon RX 5700 XT Market Segment Analysis
 PriceShader
Units
ROPsCore
Clock
Boost
Clock
Memory
Clock
GPUTransistorsMemory
RX 5600 XT$2702304641375 MHz1560 MHz1500 MHzNavi 1010300M6 GB, GDDR6, 192-bit
RTX 2060$3001920481365 MHz1680 MHz1750 MHzTU10610800M6 GB, GDDR6, 192-bit
RX 5700$3202304641465 MHz1625 MHz1750 MHzNavi 1010300M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
GTX 1080$5002560641607 MHz1733 MHz1251 MHzGP1047200M8 GB, GDDR5X, 256-bit
RTX 2060 Super$4002176641470 MHz1650 MHz1750 MHzTU10610800M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RX Vega 64$390 4096641247 MHz1546 MHz953 MHzVega 1012500M8 GB, HBM2, 2048-bit
GTX 1080 Ti$7003584881481 MHz1582 MHz1376 MHzGP10212000M11 GB, GDDR5X, 352-bit
RX 5700 XT$3802560641605 MHz1755 MHz1750 MHzNavi 1010300M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
ASUS RX 5700 XT
TUF EVO Gaming
$4202560641650 MHz1905 MHz1750 MHzNavi 1010300M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2070$4002304641410 MHz1620 MHz1750 MHzTU10610800M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2070 Super$5002560641605 MHz1770 MHz1750 MHzTU10413600M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
Radeon VII$6003840641802 MHzN/A1000 MHzVega 2013230M16 GB, HBM2, 4096-bit
RTX 2080$6302944641515 MHz1710 MHz1750 MHzTU10413600M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2080 Super$7003072641650 MHz1815 MHz1940 MHzTU10413600M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit

Packaging

Package Front
Package Back


The Card

Graphics Card Front
Graphics Card Back
Graphics Card Front Angled

For their TUF series, ASUS created a new design identity. The card uses black and various shades of gray. Note how the center fan is smaller than the surrounding ones—this is new on the EVO version. A metal backplate in matching colors is included, too.

Graphics Card Dimensions

Dimensions of the card are 28 x 13 cm.

Graphics Card Height
Graphics Card Back Angled

Installation requires three slots in your system.

Monitor Outputs, Display Connectors

Display connectivity options include three standard DisplayPort 1.4a and an HDMI 2.0b.

Graphics Card Power Plugs

The board uses one 8-pin and one 6-pin power connector. This input configuration is specified for up to 300 watts of power draw.

Multi-GPU Area

AMD's Navi generation of GPUs no longer supports CrossFire. DirectX 12 does include its own set of multi-GPU capabilities, but implementation requires game developers to put serious development time into a feature only a tiny fraction of their customers might ever use.

Disassembly

Graphics Card Cooler Front
Graphics Card Cooler Back

As mentioned in the introduction, ASUS had some issues with the initial batch of TUF cards, which caused public outcry from consumers and reviewers. We are testing the fixed version, which has upgraded fans with axial tech to direct the airflow through the fins. Also note how the fan impellers are surrounded by a plastic ring to ensure no air can escape horizontally. The outer fans are 90 mm in diameter, and the center fan is 80 mm across.


Once the cooling assembly is removed, you get access to the heatsink. It uses five heatpipes and a large array of fins to keep the card cool. This heatsink provides cooling for the GPU, memory chips, and VRM circuitry. Do note that the memory chips are cooled by a plate that is bolted to the heatsink—it is not part of it. This means that the heat transfer is slightly reduced, but still much better than on the original TUF, which just had a thin metal heatspreader on the memory that did not connect with the main heatsink at all.


The backplate is made out of metal to protect the card against damage during installation and handling. There are some thermal pads to pick up a little bit of heat from the other side of the memory chips.

High-resolution PCB Pictures

These pictures are for the convenience of volt modders and people who would like to see all the finer details on the PCB. Feel free to link back to us and use these in your articles or forum posts.

Graphics Card Teardown PCB Front
Graphics Card Teardown PCB Back


High-res versions are also available (front, back).

Circuit Board (PCB) Analysis

GPU Chip Voltage Controller
GPU Voltage, VRM Configuration

The GPU VRM is 7+1-phase, controlled by an International Rectifier IR35217 controller, which is among the best controllers available on the market.

Memory Chip Voltage Controller
Memory Voltage, VRM Configuration

Memory voltage uses a two-phase design and is generated by an International Rectifier IR3567B controller.

Graphics Card Memory Chips

The GDDR6 memory chips are made by Micron and carry the model number D9WCW, which decodes to MT61K256M32JE-14:A. They are specified to run at 1750 MHz (14 Gbps GDDR6 effective).

Graphics Chip GPU

AMD's Navi 10 graphics processor is their first chip to use the new RDNA architecture. It is produced on a 7 nanometer process at TSMC, Taiwan and has a transistor count of 10.3 billion with a die size of 251 mm².
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Jul 3rd, 2022 16:38 EDT change timezone

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