AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE vs RX 7900 XT: What’s the difference?

Is the upgrade worthwhile?

Comparison of two graphics cards, AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT vs GRE, with "vs" symbol indicating a versus guide highlighting the difference in their performance and specifications.

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With the introduction of the Radeon RX 7900 series, AMD once again raises the bar for gaming and graphics performance. Among the offerings in this series, the Radeon RX 7900 GRE and RX 7900 XT stand out as powerful contenders, each promising a high-end gaming experience. But what sets them apart? Let’s delve into the details in our AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE vs. RX 7900 XT comparison guide.

AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE vs. RX 7900 XT: Specs comparison

When examining the AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE and RX 7900 XT, it’s evident that both graphics cards, built on the advanced RDNA 3.0 architecture and utilizing a 5 nm process size, mark a significant leap in AMD’s GPU offerings. This section delves into the specifics that distinguish these two powerhouse GPUs.

GPU core base clock speeds

The gpu core base clock speeds stand as a critical metric in assessing the raw processing power of a GPU. The RX 7900 XT is designed with higher base clock speeds, enabling it to tackle more calculations per second, a boon for high-end gaming where every frame matters. This higher clock speed suggests that the RX 7900 XT can offer superior performance in rendering complex scenes and maintaining high frame rates.

Conversely, the RX 7900 GRE, while featuring slightly lower base clock speeds, is engineered to provide a balanced blend of performance and power efficiency. This makes it an ideal candidate for users who require a potent GPU capable of handling demanding tasks without significantly driving up power consumption.

Ray tracing refined

RDNA 3 features upgraded ray tracing hardware, promising better performance in games that support this realistic lighting feature.  However, benchmark tests are needed to see how big an improvement this is over RDNA 2 cards and how both RX 7900 models compare to Nvidia’s RTX offerings in this area.

Number of shaders

Shaders are pivotal in rendering graphics, as they determine how textures and lighting are processed. The RX 7900 XT boasts a higher number of shaders, allowing it to excel in rendering intricate thorough evaluations of textures and lighting effects, such as volumetric lighting, with more finesse. This abundance of shaders translates to smoother and more realistic graphics, particularly noticeable in AAA titles and professional 3D rendering applications.

The RX 7900 GRE, while having fewer shaders, still delivers commendable performance, adept at handling a wide range of performance differences across various gaming and creative workloads. Its configuration is a testament to AMD’s architectural strategy of optimizing for efficiency without markedly sacrificing visual fidelity.

Dedicated video RAM

Dedicated video RAM (VRAM) is another cornerstone of GPU architecture, affecting how much texture, color, and frames can be stored temporarily for quick access. The RX 7900 XT is equipped with more VRAM, enhancing its ability to perform at higher resolutions without compromising on speed or quality. This additional memory is crucial when running games or applications that utilize large, high-resolution textures or when operating across multiple displays.

In contrast, the RX 7900 GRE’s VRAM allocation, while less than that of the RX 7900 XT, is thoughtfully balanced to meet the needs of most modern applications. This ensures that users experience minimal to no performance dips in standard gaming scenarios and content creation tasks. It represents a calculated compromise between offering ample memory for a broad swath of applications and maintaining cost and power efficiency.

Clock speeds and processing power

The RX 7900 XT takes a lead in the realm of clock speeds, presenting a higher base clock of 1387 MHz and a boost clock of 2394 MHz, compared to the RX 7900 GRE’s base clock of 1287 MHz and boost clock of 2245 MHz.

These differences in clock speeds suggest that the RX 7900 XT might deliver superior performance in average fps, offering smoother gameplay and more responsive experiences in PCs.

Memory configuration and bandwidth

Memory size and bus width are critical for graphics card performance, particularly in handling frames and textures in high-resolution gaming. Here, the RX 7900 XT edges out with 20 GB of memory over the RX 7900 GRE’s 16 GB, coupled with a 320-bit memory bus that facilitates faster data transfers and a higher bandwidth of 800.0 GB/s.

In contrast, the RX 7900 GRE’s 256-bit bus results in 576.0 GB/s bandwidth. These specifications indicate that the RX 7900 XT could better support gaming at higher resolutions and more complex ray tracing scenarios.

Compute units and Shading units

Diving deeper into their capabilities, the RX 7900 XT features 84 compute units and 5376 shading units, slightly surpassing the RX 7900 GRE’s 80 compute units and 5120 shading units. This marginal difference may contribute to an improvement in rendering performance and the handling of ray tracing, essential for creating more immersive and lifelike gaming environments.

Compatibility and power requirements

Both GPUs ensure broad motherboard compatibility and should fit seamlessly into most modern PCs. However, prospective buyers should note the nominal TDP and ensure their power supply compatibility; the RX 7900 XT, with its higher performance, might require a more robust power supply. This is crucial for users considering the golden rabbit edition or other special editions that might have unique power or cooling requirements.

Specs comparison table

SpecificationRX 7900 GRERX 7900 XT
ArchitectureRDNA 3.0RDNA 3.0
Process Size5 nm5 nm
Base/Boost Clock1287 MHz / 2245 MHz1387 MHz / 2394 MHz
Memory Size/Bus16 GB / 256-bit20 GB / 320-bit
Bandwidth576.0 GB/s800.0 GB/s
Compute Units8084
Shading Units51205376
Ray TracingSupportedSupported
Nominal TDPTBDTBD
Power Supply CompatibilityTBDTBD

Important notes:

  • These specs tell part of the story. Real-world gaming frame rates (average FPS) also depend on your CPU, RAM, and in-game settings.
  • Features like ray tracing performance could vary between the cards
  • Motherboard compatibility and power supply requirements should be verified before purchasing either GPU.

While both the RX 7900 GRE and RX 7900 XT promise exceptional capabilities and advancements over previous AMD RX models and even some Nvidia chips. The RX 7900 XT stands out for users seeking the pinnacle of performance for high-resolution gaming and complex computational tasks.

Nonetheless, the RX 7900 GRE remains a formidable option, especially for those prioritizing power efficiency or gaming at a lower resolution. Ultimately, the choice between these GPUs will depend on individual performance needs, budget considerations, and specific requirements such as ray tracing capabilities and average fps targets.

AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE vs. RX 7900 XT: Performance

When evaluating the performance GPU capabilities of the Radeon RX 7900 GRE versus the RX 7900 XT, the technical specs reveal that the RX 7900 XT emerges as a formidable contender in the arena of high-performance computing and gaming.

Let’s delve into the aspects that differentiate these two powerhouse GPUs.

Enhanced core performance

The RX 7900 XT distinguishes itself with boost clock speeds that are 230 MHz faster than those of the RX 7900 GRE, contributing to its elevated floating-point performance. This translates to 6 TFLOPS higher than its counterpart, providing a tangible advantage in PC games that demand intensive computational power, such as Cyberpunk and Resident Evil.

Superior memory and bandwidth

With an additional 4GB of VRAM, the RX 7900 XT is better equipped to handle high-resolution textures and more complex volumetric lighting effects. This is crucial for gaming at different resolutions and ensuring smooth performance on a defenseless planet or any other immersive gaming environment. The higher memory clock speed and effective memory clock speed further amplify its capabilities, enabling superior performance even in full HD settings.

Stream processors and texture rates

A notable advantage of the RX 7900 XT is its higher number of stream processors and a significantly greater texture rate. The 91.6 GTexels/s higher texture rate compared to the RX 7900 GRE means more detailed and lifelike images in games and applications, enhancing the overall visual experience.

Power consumption and efficiency

When choosing a graphics card, power consumption and efficiency are critical factors that can significantly impact your overall system’s power requirements and potential electricity cost savings.

The AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE and RX 7900 XT, while both offering impressive comparison of graphics capabilities, have different power consumption profiles that cater to various user needs. Let’s delve into how these GPUs compare in terms of wattage and efficiency, and what that means for users.

Wattage and power consumption

The RX 7900 XT is designed for high performance, targeting gamers and professionals who need top-tier graphics capabilities. It features a higher wattage requirement compared to the RX 7900 GRE, reflecting its increased power to deliver average frames at a high preset in demanding games and applications. This increased power consumption is something users with entry-level laptops or those concerned about electricity costs should consider.

On the other hand, the RX 7900 GRE, while slightly less powerful, is engineered with efficiency in mind. It draws fewer watts, making it a more suitable option for users looking to balance performance with power savings. This efficiency does not significantly compromise on performance, as the RX 7900 GRE still delivers a formidable range of performance differences across various applications, including those requiring similar GPU comparisons.

Efficiency and system power requirements

The efficiency of a GPU affects the direct power consumption and influences the overall system power requirements. A more efficient GPU like the RX 7900 GRE could allow for a less powerful power supply unit (PSU), potentially saving costs in building or upgrading a PC.

In contrast, the RX 7900 XT, with its higher wattage, may necessitate a more robust PSU, adding to the initial investment but justifying it with superior performance.

For users considering which GPU to integrate into a laptop model, the power efficiency becomes even more crucial. The RX 7900 GRE’s lower power consumption improves it suited for laptops, especially entry-level models designed for longevity and portability, where preserving battery life is essential.

Potential electricity cost savings

When it comes to long-term use, the RX 7900 GRE’s lower power requirements could translate into noticeable electricity cost savings, especially for users who spend many hours gaming or using graphics-intensive applications. These savings could make a significant difference for budget-conscious users or those looking to minimize their carbon footprint.

Desktop graphics performance in various resolutions

Understanding how screen resolution impacts performance is crucial when choosing between the RX 7900 GRE and RX 7900 XT.

Here’s a breakdown of what to expect:

  • 1080p (Full HD): At 1080p, both GPUs are likely to deliver extremely high frame rates in most modern titles.  The RX 7900 GRE could be the better value choice for budget-conscious gamers who don’t mind dialing down a few settings from the absolute ultra preset to maintain super-high frame rates.
  • 1440p (QHD):  A great sweet spot for many gamers, 1440p offers a noticeable increase in visual detail over 1080p. Both GPUs are likely to remain overkill for most games at this resolution, but the RX 7900 XT could have an edge in the most demanding titles, ensuring you stay above your monitor’s refresh rate for smooth gameplay.
  • 4K (UHD):  This is where the RX 7900 XT’s extra power and memory are likely to truly start paying off. It’s better equipped to handle the rigors of high-resolution gaming, maintaining playable frame rates even with demanding in-game settings. The RX 7900 GRE might struggle in some newer titles at 4K, forcing players to lower settings for acceptable performance.
  • 8K: A Future-Proofing Question While still niche, 8K gaming exists. The RX 7900 XT is the only sensible choice if you’re considering 8K. Expect even it to struggle in demanding games without technologies like DLSS or AI upscaling.

Factors beyond resolution

  • Game Optimization: Specific games can be optimized for either AMD or Nvidia GPUs. Benchmarks and reviews for specific titles you care about will give the truest picture of real-world performance.
  • Features like Ray Tracing: This can significantly impact frame rates. The RX 7900 XT’s extra power could give it a smoother experience when ray tracing is enabled.
  • CPU Bottlenecks: Even the best GPU can be held back by a slower CPU, especially at lower resolutions. Ensure your processor is up to the task.

Performance metrics: A comparative overview

SpecificationRX 7900 GRERX 7900 XTNotes
Base Clock1287 MHz1387 MHzRX 7900 XT has the advantage here
Boost Clock2245 MHz2394 MHzRX 7900 XT likely offers faster peak performance
Memory Capacity16 GB20 GBRX 7900 XT wins for handling high-res textures
Memory Bus256-bit320-bitRX 7900 XT has a wider data pipeline
Compute Units8084Slight edge for the XT

Real-world performance can vary from game to game. Certain titles might be better optimized for the RX 7900 GRE’s architecture, despite it having slightly lower specs.  Let’s look at some specific scenarios where the RX 7900 XT is likely to pull ahead:

  • 4K Gaming: The RX 7900 XT, with its extra power and memory, is better suited for demanding 4K resolutions. Expect it to maintain higher framerates in games like Cyberpunk.
  • Content Creation: The RX 7900 XT’s extra cores and faster memory might speed up tasks like 3D rendering or video editing.
  • Ray Tracing: While both cards support ray tracing, the RX 7900 XT’s extra power could result in smoother gameplay with this demanding feature enabled.

Important notes:

  • Benchmarks and game-specific tests will be needed to see the real-world difference in FPS between the cards at different resolutions.
  • Features like ray tracing, volumetric lighting, etc., can have varying performance impacts on either GPU.

AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE vs. RX 7900 XT: Price and value

Price plays a crucial role in deciding which GPU offers the best value. While official MSRP figures are always subject to change, the RX 7900 GRE is likely to be the more affordable option. This could make it appealing to budget-conscious gamers who still want strong performance for 1080p or 1440p gaming, but don’t have the need (or budget) for maximum 4K power.

The RX 7900 XT, with its superior specs, naturally commands a higher price point.  This is justified if you’re chasing the absolute best performance.

Consider these factors when deciding if the XT is worth the investment:

  • Target Resolution: If you’re a 4K gamer, the RX 7900 XT’s extra memory and raw power are more likely to provide a noticeable benefit and hold up long-term as games become more demanding.
  • Content Creation: The RX 7900 XT could be the better choice for professionals who need maximum power for 3D rendering, video editing, etc. The time savings could offset its higher cost.
  • The “Just Gotta Have It” Factor: Enthusiasts who always want the fastest GPU, regardless of price, will likely lean towards the RX 7900 XT.

Price and launch timeline

It’s worth noting that GPU prices fluctuate after launch. Early adopters often pay a premium.  It’s also common for AMD and its partners to release custom versions of GPUs with different cooler designs and possibly overclocks — these can impact prices further.

Price and value table

FeatureRadeon RX 7900 GRERadeon RX 7900 XT
Launch PriceLower, appealing for budget-consciousHigher, reflecting premium specs
Target SegmentHome PCs, basic notebooksHigh-end gaming, productivity PCs
PerformanceSolid for mainstream useTop-tier, for demanding tasks
MSRP & Launch DateAttractive price point, launched in AprilPremium, launched in July
Value PropositionGreat for entry-level laptops, Windows-based tabletsIdeal for enthusiasts seeking realistic graphics

This comparative analysis underscores that the choice between the Radeon RX 7900 GRE and RX 7900 XT should be informed by individual needs, preferences, and budget considerations. While the RX 7900 XT is undoubtedly the more powerful GPU, the RX 7900 GRE represents a compelling value proposition for those who seek reliable performance at a more accessible price point.

Important notes:

  • Actual prices can vary depending on retailers, stock availability, and “special edition” cards with custom coolers.
  • Consider your total system cost — a more expensive GPU might necessitate a stronger power supply.

AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE vs. RX 7900 XT: Real-world applications and workloads

While specs and synthetic benchmarks give a good baseline, let’s explore how the RX 7900 GRE and RX 7900 XT might perform in everyday usage scenarios:

Gaming

  • 1080p and 1440p: Both cards are likely overkill for the majority of games at these resolutions, but the RX 7900 XT’s extra power gives some extra breathing room for future, more demanding titles.
  • 4K: The RX 7900 XT is the clear winner for 4K gaming enthusiasts, offering higher frame rates and the ability to max out settings in most titles. The RX 7900 GRE might require more compromises on settings to maintain playable frame rates at 4K.

Content creation

  • Video Editing: Both GPUs can accelerate video editing, but the RX 7900 XT’s extra cores, faster memory, and larger memory capacity could make it significantly faster for rendering effects, working with high-resolution (4K+) footage, and exporting final videos.
  • 3D Modeling and Rendering: The RX 7900 XT holds a clear advantage in most 3D design and rendering software. The additional power can significantly speed up workflows, allowing for faster iterations and quicker completion of complex projects.

Productivity and general use

The RX 7900 XT will have a slight edge in specific productivity workloads like scientific simulations or AI tasks. For general web browsing, office software, and lighter tasks, both GPUs will be equal unless your workflow benefits from a particular type of GPU acceleration. For most users, the performance gain in everyday tasks won’t justify the price difference.

Important notes:

  • Software matters! Some creative apps are optimized for specific GPUs. Check if your preferred video editor, 3D software, etc., has a preference for AMD or Nvidia cards.
  • Consider your entire system: Even a powerful GPU can be bottle necked by a slow CPU, insufficient RAM, or a slow storage drive.

Similar GPU comparisons

To get a complete picture of the competitive landscape, understanding how the RX 7900 GRE and RX 7900 XT compare to both previous generation AMD cards and Nvidia’s offerings is important:

AMD –  The Last Generation:

  • RX 6800 XT / RX 6900 XT: These cards will likely be significantly outperformed by their RDNA 3 replacements, especially in tasks that benefit from new architectural improvements like better ray tracing. However, falling prices (as is common when new generations arrive) could make these older GPUs good value options if you don’t need the absolute latest tech.

Nvidia – The Main Rival:

  • RTX 3080 / RTX 3090: The RX 7900 series is likely to compete around this performance bracket. Independent benchmarks after launch will provide the most accurate picture of where they land compared to these slightly older Nvidia GPUs.
  • RTX 40 Series: These newer, more expensive cards (RTX 4080, RTX 4090) are likely a performance tier above. The RX 7900s could offer better value, but might not be able to match the raw fps of Nvidia’s latest.

The Future: Intel Arc’s Evolution:

  • Intel’s discrete Arc GPUs are still evolving, and driver updates are improving performance. It’s too early to say if they’ll be direct competitors with the RX 7900 series, but they could be worth keeping an eye on, especially if Intel is aggressive with pricing.

Factors to consider:

  • Price: AMD and Nvidia often adjust pricing in response to one another. Fluctuations could shift the value proposition after both RX 7900s’ launch.
  • Features: Nvidia’s RTX cards currently hold a slight lead in ray tracing performance (RT) and technologies like DLSS (AI upscaling) for boosting frame rates. AMD is catching up, but this matters if those features are important to you.
  • Availability: GPU shortages have been an issue recently. Initial stock levels of the RX 7900 GRE and XT after launch could impact prices and make one easier to find than the other.

Final verdict

While it may not seem so, there’s still a large difference between the RX 7900 XT and RX 7900 GRE. But when choosing between the two, we will leave that choice based on your requirements. The AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE and the RX 7900 XT represent significant advancements in GPU technology, catering to a wide spectrum of users with varying needs and preferences. While the RX 7900 GRE excels in energy efficiency and compactness, the RX 7900 XT reigns supreme in raw performance and feature set. Ultimately, the choice depends on the user’s priorities: power efficiency, performance, or value for money. 

Can I run the RX 7900 GRE or RX 7900 XT on my existing power supply (PSU)?

Maybe, but it’s crucial to check. Both GPUs have high-power requirements. Look up your PSU’s wattage and available PCIe power connectors. Use an online PSU calculator tool for help (try searching for “PSU calculator”), and ensure your PSU has enough headroom to handle the GPU. If not, you’ll need a PSU upgrade. 

Do the RX 7900 GRE and RX 7900 XT support ray tracing in games?

Yes, both GPUs feature AMD’s RDNA 3 architecture, which includes enhanced ray tracing capabilities. However, performance in ray-traced games could still lag slightly behind comparable Nvidia RTX graphics cards.

Maria is a full-stack digital marketing strategist interested in productivity and AI tools.