AMD’s RX 7800 XT GPU Gave Me the Performance I’ve Been Craving

AMD’s RX 7800 XT GPU Gave Me the Performance I’ve Been Craving
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I have a confession, I’ve switched to AMD aka Team Red. Sadly, Nvidia’s ‘green’ badging is lost on me now that I’m running a full ‘Red’ AMD build. For most of my time being a PC gamer, I’ve had an Nvidia graphics card in my PC. It started with a GTX 1060 in 2016 (after a brief stint with a tiny AMD GPU I can’t even remember the name of), then the much beefier RTX 3060 in 2020. Now in 2024, I’ve upgraded once again to the AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT, and I’ve got to say, this is the gaming PC performance I’ve wanted my entire life.

The AMD Radeon RX 7800 X T is probably best pitched as the sensible middle-range option for PC gamers. To put it into terms Nvidia fans might be familiar with, sensible considering that Nvidia GPUs are far more popular than AMD, this is the Team Red equivalent of an RTX 4070. With that equivalence noted, the card is also considerably cheaper, making it ideal for gamers looking to get the best cost-to-performance ratio.

Something to note, I’m reviewing the RX 7800 XT alongside the new AMD Ryzen 7 8700G processor (built on the new AM5 chipset). That’s one of AMD’s new beefy CPUs, so it’s perfectly paired with a GPU like the 7800, though it may be considered a bit overkill, especially considering the ‘G’ suffix (which indicates integrated CPU graphics, which was not used in this review). Expect a Ryzen 7 8700G review later on, but I must establish early on that this is the tech I’m currently pairing the GPU with. Other specs are as follows:

  • 750W PSU (AMD recommended PSU is 700W)
  • 16GB DDR5 memory
  • Gigabyte B650 AM5 motherboard
  • Two SATA SSDs, one M.2
  • Be Quiet! 500DX case.

The motherboard, GPU and CPU were all provided by AMD for this review.

This is everything I wanted from a gaming PC

It’s difficult to put into writing my experience with the Radeon RX 7800 XT inherently because of our approach to tech reviews. We don’t normally get bogged down into bench testing and specific performance indicators, we’re more just about the experience – and as far as I’m concerned, that’s what a lot of PC gamers are really after. Sure, PC gamers love when numbers go up, but let’s be honest, we take it for granted when stuff just works.

With that in mind, I’m happy to report that upgrading to the RX 7800 XT was extremely painless. All I needed to do was wipe my RTX 3060 drivers from the computer, remove the card, plug the new card in, and begin installing drivers – we’ve got a great guide to this process here. AMD has its own auto driver installer application similar to Nvidia, but you can also download the drivers on their own through the AMD website, which are extremely easy to find. Installation is about as quick as with an Nvidia card.

The card is so big that ASUS ships it with a small GPU holder for the right side. Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

I’m cutting out the part of that explanation above where I also upgraded my PSU, CPU, Motherboard, and RAM. My former GPU had a recommended wattage of 600W, so I needed to upgrade my power delivery. I was also rocking a Ryzen 5 3600 in the former build, so naturally to get the best result from this review, that needed to be bumped up as well. Because of this, much of the rest of the system needed to go, to compensate for the leap to the AM5 CPU chipset and the DDR5 RAM standard. These progressions in PC tech are common after several years, but I want to underscore that with any major upgrade, you shouldn’t underestimate how much tinkering you’ll be doing. I love tinkering! You might not.

I was avoiding writing that last paragraph because, for the most part, you don’t need to do such an upgrade for a GPU review. If you’re upgrading from a system that can cater for the performance your new GPU can offer, then you shouldn’t need to do such a big upgrade. I, however, was upgrading from a budget build to a mid-level build. Just a word of caution.

Performance throttling and customisation with the AMD GPU app, AMD Adrenalin is also easy. it’s a breeze to navigate and it’s easy to toggle options on and off. A favourite of mine was Radeon Boost, which can be toggled by pressing Alt + K, and adjusts resolution dynamically for higher framerates.

But I was also able to adjust stuff like voltages and clock speeds, I don’t like tinkering with this stuff, but it’s neat that the option is there.

Have I noticed any performance hangups? No. I had a slight anomaly with a motherboard, but I just swapped it out and everything was fine. I’ve experienced similar bugs with components before; it’s just a PC-building thing.

The view that AMD PC builds are somehow at a disadvantage seems completely lost on me now that I’ve been using such a system for some weeks. The performance has been brilliant, and it feels terrific that I’ve finally been able to give my 2K/165hz monitor the workout it deserves.

How does it go? Brilliantly.

Come and get your benchmarks

Across every game I tested the AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT with, I was absolutely astounded at the quality. Consistently the card blew me away with its performance, especially considering the price AMD is asking for. Let’s give you an idea of the performance you can expect.

These benchmarks are meant to be indicative, and while they’re impressive, you should take them as such. The CPU is an important factor at play with these results, which we’ll be reviewing separately. Broadly across these reviews, the settings were at the most demanding quality result, with resolution set to native (2K). We also performed a test in each applicable game for AMD’s FSR technology.

Although these results are all very good, especially for the quality of image I was getting, I would recommend tinkering around with your graphics settings to get the result you want. One of the good things about PC gaming is being able to tailor performance-to-quality to your own tastes, and I support it.

Let’s start with Forza Motorsport (2023), which I’ve found to be one of the most demanding recent games. With the graphics cranked all the way up, I was able to hit 95FPS, and 99FPS with AMD FSR enabled.

In Forza Horizon 5, I was able to hit 135FPS, and 138FPS with AMD FSR enabled.

In Assassin’s Creed Mirage, I was able to hit 66FPS, and 88 FPS with AMD FSR enabled.

Those games were all tested with their integrated benchmark tools; what about some anecdotal testing?

Well, we would have tested Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2023) with the inbuilt benchmark, but it’s currently bugged and unuseable for many users. So instead, we clocked performance in a Hardpoint match of Das Haus in Multiplayer. Without any upscaling technology, the game was able to hit between 130 and 145fps with the highest settings enabled. With AMD FSR 3.0 enabled, along with frame generation, the game was able to reach a skyrocketing 250-280fps. Note that this was the only game that had support for AMD’s frame generation and FSR 3.0 technology we tested (all other games on this list used FSR 2.0).

Meanwhile, the (technically) newest game that we tested was Horizon Forbidden West, which achieved between 70 and 80fps in intense environments, and between 80 and 110 in low-intensity environments. The framerate skyrocketed with AMD FSR enabled, all the way up to between 130 and 165fps.

Finally, of course, Helldivers 2. This game doesn’t have FSR, but was able to hit between 70 and 85fps in high-intensity environments, and 90-115 in low-intensity environments.

Many of these results are blisteringly impressive, especially those FSR 3.0 numbers seen in Modern Warfare 3 (2023), however it all comes down to preference. I can comfortably say that the games all looked amazing and ran consistently without any issues across all tested games, though I’m going to continue to tinker with my settings to try and get the best performance-to-graphics ratio for me. I recommend it for you too! Especially if you’re playing on a 4K display, and your demands are much greater than mine.

The verdict: should you buy the RX 7800 XT?

I recommend the RX 7800 XT, absolutely. This is genuinely the gaming performance I wish I could have gotten a decade ago if I wasn’t so broke at the time. At the time of writing, you could pick up a RX 7800 XT for $800 (the cheapest non-sale price I’ve spotted is $879), which is absolutely worth the money if you’re an avid PC gamer looking for more than just ‘OK’ performance. The model specifically reviewed in this article, the ASUS TUF RX 7800 XT 16GB, currently goes for an on-sale price of $849.

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At Gizmodo, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.