AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX vs. Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080

In the dynamic world of gaming graphics, the rivalry between AMD's Radeon RX 7900 XTX and Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4080 remains a hot topic. With fresh drivers and new game releases, along with consumer anticipation for Christmas deals or Black Friday sales, an updated comparison with new benchmarks is timely and relevant.

Nov 22, 2023 - 21:25
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AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX vs. Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080

Market Pricing: Assessing the Cost Factor

The Radeon RX 7900 XTX, currently priced at a minimum of $910, often inches closer to its $1,000 MSRP. Models like the PowerColor Hellhound and Sapphire Pulse reflect this price range. Conversely, the GeForce RTX 4080 starts at around $1,100, with various models like the Gigabyte Eagle and MSI's Ventus hovering near the $1,200 MSRP. This pricing difference places the Radeon GPU at about 15% cheaper, aligning with the expected market rates for each model.

Test Setup and Methodology

For our benchmarking process, we employed a Ryzen 7 7800X3D test system, complemented by 32GB of DDR5-6000 CL30 memory. The display drivers used were Nvidia's Game Ready 537.42 and AMD's Adrenalin Edition 23.9.3, ensuring an updated and fair comparison platform.

Benchmark Analysis: Game Performance Review

In our benchmark suite, we included "The Last of Us Part I" among other titles, observing close performance at various resolutions. The RTX 4080 exhibited a slight lead at 1080p, while the 7900 XTX pulled ahead at 1440p and 4K. However, the introduction of upscaling techniques like DLSS and FSR revealed some surprising scaling behaviors, particularly with the Radeon GPU at lower resolutions.

Performance Summary: Rasterization and Ray Tracing

Across 17 games focusing solely on rasterization performance, the Radeon 7900 XTX was marginally ahead by 3%. However, this advantage widened to 7% at 4K resolution, a significant leap in certain titles. When considering ray tracing performance with upscaling, the Radeon GPU fell behind, showing an 11% slower performance on average across the reduced sample of 10 games that support these features.

Upscaled Ray Tracing: A Detailed Look

Including upscaling in ray tracing benchmarks at 1080p, the Radeon GPU lagged by 9% on average. This gap widened to 11% at both 1440p and 4K, influenced by titles where the GeForce significantly outperformed its AMD counterpart, especially in games like "Ratchet & Clank," "Cyberpunk," and "Dying Light 2."

Conclusion: The Verdict on Radeon RX 7900 XTX vs. GeForce RTX 4080

Considering the pricing and performance, the Radeon 7900 XTX emerges as a compelling option for its rasterization prowess, especially at 4K resolution. It consistently outperforms the RTX 4080 in many games, with significant margins in some cases. However, the landscape shifts when ray tracing and upscaling come into play. Here, the Radeon GPU falls behind, particularly in specific titles where the performance gap is quite pronounced.

Pros and Cons: A Balanced View

Pros of Radeon RX 7900 XTX:

  • More affordable, offering a 15% price advantage.
  • Strong rasterization performance, particularly at higher resolutions.
  • Often outperforms the RTX 4080 in traditional gaming benchmarks.

Cons of Radeon RX 7900 XTX:

  • Falls behind in ray tracing performance with upscaling.
  • Shows weaker performance in certain titles, especially with advanced graphical features.

Final Thoughts: Making an Informed Choice

For gamers focusing on high-resolution, rasterization-dominant gaming, the Radeon RX 7900 XTX presents itself as a strong contender, offering great value for money. However, for enthusiasts leaning towards ray tracing and upscaling features, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 might be the more suitable choice, despite its higher price point. This review underscores the importance of aligning GPU choice with individual gaming preferences and performance expectations.