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AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT vs. 5700 XT: Which One Wins?

Hi there! Choosing the right graphics card can be tricky with so many options out there. You‘re trying to decide between the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT and the RX 5700 XT – two excellent GPUs. But which one is better for you? After looking closely at the specs, benchmarks, and reviews, here‘s my take:

If you want the absolute best performance for 1440p and 4K gaming, the RX 6700 XT is the way to go. Thanks to its faster clock speeds, improved RDNA 2 architecture, and extra memory, it beats out the RX 5700 XT in most gaming benchmarks.

However, the RX 5700 XT remains a terrific value option. It handles 1080p and 1440p gaming incredibly well, often at higher framerates than 4K televisions can display. And it costs noticeably less than the RX 6700 XT.

So in summary: Get the 6700 XT if you want the highest frame rates. But don‘t count out the 5700 XT – it‘s still a gaming beast! Let‘s get into the details so you can decide which one fits your needs and budget best.

Performance and Benchmarks

One of the biggest considerations is real-world gaming performance. How do these two GPUs directly stack up against each other? Well, according to extensive benchmarking from leading tech sites, the RX 6700 XT generally has the performance edge.

Here‘s a comparison of average frame rates across several games at 2560 x 1440 resolution (figures via Tom‘s Hardware):

Game RX 6700 XT FPS RX 5700 XT FPS
Assassin‘s Creed Valhalla 99 fps 77 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 78 fps 60 fps
Watch Dogs Legion 91 fps 75 fps
Borderlands 3 98 fps 79 fps

As you can see, the RX 6700 XT averaged 22% higher framerates across these popular games. It crossed the coveted 100 fps mark in two titles, delivering incredibly smooth performance.

The advantage held up in TechSpot‘s testing as well, with up to a 26% lead for the RX 6700 XT in games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Control at 2560 x 1440 resolution.

The delta does vary based on the game – some like Horizon Zero Dawn saw a smaller 10% gap. But when averaged across a dozen games, the 6700 XT maintained a 20% higher average FPS. That‘s a substantial real-world speed boost.

This advantage continues at 4K resolution as well based on Hardware Unboxed‘s extensive testing. They found the RX 6700 XT averaged 55.3 fps across a massive suite of games compared to the RX 5700 XT‘s 44.3 fps – a 25% increase.

Clearly, the RX 6700 XT is decisively faster than the RX 5700 XT in most games thanks to its improved architecture. But is it worth the extra cost? Let‘s dig deeper…

Architecture and Technology

One of the main reasons the 6700 XT performs better is its upgraded RDNA 2 architecture. This provides benefits like:

  • Improved energy efficiency – More performance per watt
  • Enhanced ray tracing capabilities for lifelike lighting and reflections
  • Variable rate shading for optimizing processing power where it matters most visually
  • Mesh shader support for greater geometry detail

These technologies are becoming more widespread in next-gen games and can seriously improve visual quality and immersion when supported.

According to Digital Foundry‘s analysis, RDNA 2 enhancements like ray tracing and variable rate shading gave the 6700 XT significant image quality improvements in supported titles like Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War and Watch Dogs Legion.

The RX 5700 XT lacks dedicated hardware support for these advanced graphics features. It does support basic DirectX ray tracing, but at a heavy performance cost. So the RX 6700 XT is better equipped to handle cutting-edge games while maintaining speed.

RDNA 2 also delivers PCIe 4.0 support and DirectX 12 Ultimate compatibility. This future-proofs the 6700 XT to take advantage of new technology as it becomes more common. The 5700 XT is still stuck with PCIe 3.0 and lacks full DX12 Ultimate capabilities.

Memory and Bandwidth

The RX 6700 XT ships with 12GB of GDDR6 memory versus 8GB on the RX 5700 XT. That 4GB difference is substantial. It enables the 6700 XT to handle larger textures, smooth out frame pacing, and avoid drops at high resolutions.

Let‘s look at some examples:

  • In Horizon Zero Dawn at 4K Ultra, the 8GB 5700 XT stutters badly once VRAM is exceeded, while the 6700 XT‘s 12GB avoids this issue.
  • The 6700 XT maintains much higher minimum FPS in Red Dead Redemption 2 as its extra VRAM prevents memory bottlenecks.
  • Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War consumes over 10GB VRAM at times. The 6700 XT is better equipped to deliver consistent performance.

The RX 5700 XT fights back with a higher 448 GB/s memory bandwidth versus 384 GB/s on the 6700 XT. This allows it to load textures and assets quickly, which is especially helpful at high resolutions.

So the 6700 XT wins on capacity while the 5700 XT edges it out in memory bandwidth. Overall, I‘d rather have the extra 4GB of VRAM for future-proofing and avoiding potential bottlenecks.

Power and Thermal Design

Thanks to the 7nm manufacturing process used, both of these GPUs are reasonably power efficient and run at decent temperatures. However, the RX 6700 XT‘s triple fan cooling design gives it an edge.

In Hardware Unboxed‘s thermal testing, the 6700 XT peaked at just 66°C in an intensive stress test versus 73°C on the 5700 XT. Similarly, Tom‘s Hardware saw a peak junction temperature of 100°C on the 5700 XT but only 92°C on the 6700 XT.

In real-world gaming, TechPowerUp measured lower average fan speeds and noise levels on the 6700 XT as well. So you can expect cool, quiet operation, especially in a proper airflow case.

The 6700 XT does have a slightly higher 230W TDP versus 225W on the 5700 XT. But actual power draw under load is usually similar according to reviews, thanks to efficiency optimizations.

Overall, the RX 6700 XT runs appreciably cooler and quieter while delivering equal if not better power efficiency. This allows it to maintain its high clock speeds without any thermal throttling.

Pricing and Value

At launch, the RX 6700 XT had a $479 MSRP compared to $399 for the RX 5700 XT – a difference of $80. However, current street prices tell a different story.

Due to supply and demand factors, the RX 6700 XT now sells for around $500 while the RX 5700 XT goes for approximately $370. So the real-world price gap has widened to $130.

Here‘s an example offer I found on Amazon:

RX 6700 XT: $489 on Amazon
RX 5700 XT: $369 on Amazon

At current pricing, the RX 5700 XT becomes much more competitive value-wise and is tough for the 6700 XT to justify over it simply on price/performance.

You‘re looking at around a 25% higher cost for the 6700 XT today, but only ~15-20% more performance in many games. However, you are gaining things like future-proofed technology, more RAM, and cooler operation. So it really comes down to your budget and needs.

Both are great GPUs in the value sweet spot. The 6700 XT delivers better raw performance, while the 5700 XT remains the cheaper powerhouse option.

The Bottom Line

Phew, that was a lot of data! Let me summarize the key points:

  • Performance: The RX 6700 XT is around 15-25% faster on average depending on the game and resolution.
  • Technology: RDNA 2 gives the 6700 XT big advantages in ray tracing, variable rate shading, and other cutting-edge graphics.
  • Memory: 12GB on the 6700 XT versus 8GB on the 5700 XT gives it more headroom.
  • Thermals: The 6700 XT runs cooler and quieter thanks to its robust cooling solution.
  • Value: The 5700 XT provides excellent performance per dollar, but the 6700 XT justifies its premium for those wanting the best.

If I had to buy one of these cards today, I‘d personally get the Radeon RX 6700 XT. It provides noticeably better performance today and is more future-proofed. I think the extra $130 over the RX 5700 XT is worthwhile for what you‘re getting.

But honestly, you can‘t go wrong with either card. Both deliver incredible 1080p and 1440p gaming experiences. The RX 5700 XT is probably the better choice if you want to maximize value and save some money. It remains a gaming beast!

Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m happy to chat more about graphics cards and getting the right setup for your needs and budget. Game on!

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