MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT Evoke Review 32

MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT Evoke Review

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Introduction


MSI today debuted its Radeon RX 5700 XT Evoke, a brand-new series of graphics cards by the company launching first with the Navi RX 5700 series. This card is part of several custom-design RX 5700 XT graphics cards from multiple vendors that are launching this week, a little over a month after the debut of these GPUs on the 7th of July. These cards have, until this week, only been available in the AMD reference-design sold by AMD's add-in board partners.

The Radeon RX 5700 XT is AMD's first true performance-segment graphics card since the RX Vega series released over two years ago. It's based on the brand new "Navi" architecture that leverages the 7 nm silicon fabrication process and brand new number-crunching machinery AMD calls RDNA compute units. These constitute the biggest update to AMD's GPU design since the very first Graphics CoreNext (GCN) architecture circa 2013. Together with clock-speeds, RDNA is designed to bring about massive IPC improvements over GCN. The silicon also has a number of architectural changes. An interesting series of price adjustments and product-launches ensures that even at its starting price of $399, it offers a bit more price-performance than NVIDIA.



AMD had originally planned to launch the Radeon RX 5700 XT at $449 and the RX 5700 at $399, with the two cards beating the $499 NVIDIA RTX 2070 and $349 RTX 2060, respectively. This forced NVIDIA to refresh its lineup with the new RTX 2070 Super at $499 and the RTX 2060 Super at $399. The RTX 2060 Super in particular was carefully crafted not to cannibalize the RTX 2070. AMD seeped into this imbroglio of NVIDIA and slotted the RX 5700 XT at $399, and the RX 5700 at $349, at which prices they outclass the RTX 2060 Super and the original RTX 2060, respectively. NVIDIA didn't adjust prices of its RTX 2060 Super or RTX 2070 Super any further, and we hence have a fair bit of headroom between the RTX 2060 Super and the RTX 2070 Super, in which AMD's board partners can launch custom-design RX 5700 XT cards with factory-overclocked speeds and other goodies, such as quieter coolers.

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.

MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT Evoke features an all new card design language not found on other MSI cards. A champagne-gold metallic cuboidal triple-slot cooler dominates the design and gives the card a new-age industrial feel. The top is dominated by two 90 mm fans that turn off when the card is idling. Underneath are five nickel-plated heat pipes and an aluminium fin-stack heatsink. The design is neatly finished off with the backplate that fuses seamlessly with the cooler shroud. The circuit board closely resembles AMD's reference design, with its 7+2+1 phase VRM, but there are clear signs of customization, including the VRM components and controller and better-overclocking Micron memory. The card is running at a base clock of 1690 MHz, game clock is set at 1835 MHz, and highest boost is 1945 MHz. It is priced at US$430, a $30 premium over the $400 reference design.

Radeon RX 5700 XT Market Segment Analysis
 PriceShader
Units
ROPsCore
Clock
Boost
Clock
Memory
Clock
GPUTransistorsMemory
GTX 1070 Ti$4502432641607 MHz1683 MHz2000 MHzGP1047200M8 GB, GDDR5, 256-bit
RTX 2060$2901920481365 MHz1680 MHz1750 MHzTU10610800M6 GB, GDDR6, 192-bit
RX 5700$3502304641465 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$400 4096641247 MHz1546 MHz953 MHzVega 1012500M8 GB, HBM2, 2048-bit
GTX 1080 Ti$7003584881481 MHz1582 MHz1376 MHzGP10212000M11 GB, GDDR5X, 352-bit
RX 5700 XT$4002560641605 MHz1755 MHz1750 MHzNavi 1010300M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
MSI RX 5700 XT Evoke$4302560641690 MHz1835 MHz1750 MHzNavi 1010300M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2070$4402304641410 MHz1620 MHz1750 MHzTU10610800M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2070 Super$5002560641605 MHz1770 MHz1750 MHzTU10413600M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
Radeon VII$6803840641802 MHzN/A1000 MHzVega 2013230M16 GB, HBM2, 4096-bit
RTX 2080$6302944641515 MHz1710 MHz1750 MHzTU10413600M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
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