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The AMD Radeon RX 5700 is one of the first two graphics cards on the market using the Navi architecture and a 7 nm manufacturing process.
In this article, we’re going to walk you through the best currently-available options for the RX 5700, and provide a detailed buying guide so you can make the right selection. In addition to helping you decipher the specs we’ve provided for each GPU, we’ll also give you solid performance numbers so you can know what to expect once one of these best RX 5700 cards are finally humming away inside your PC.
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Buying The Best RX 5700 For You
In this section, we’re going to walk you through all your need-to-know questions as a consumer. We’ll go over what the various specs we listed above actually mean, and we’ll also discuss things like performance and competing cards.
What is the RX 5700? How is it different from the RX 5700 XT?
The AMD Radeon RX 5700 series is a set of two GPUs released by AMD, boasting their new Navi architecture for improved performance and efficiency.
The difference between the RX 5700 and the RX 5700 XT manifests as a roughly 10 percent performance gap, which may sound minor, but makes a major difference in this price range.
This pits the two cards against two completely different competitors- the 2060 Super for the 5700, and the 2070 Super for the 5700 XT- without either losing significant ground. Both cards are superb for their value, especially considering that the 5700 matches the price of the base RTX 2060 despite outperforming it significantly.
What cards does it compete with?
The RX 5700 was built to compete with the RTX 2060 Super at a lower price, and for the most part it does a really great job. Outside of a few titles optimized explicitly for Nvidia GPUs, the RX 5700 meets or exceeds the RTX 2060 Super’s performance at a far lower price point. The non-Super RTX 2060 retails for the same price as the RX 5700, and is outright beaten by a very significant margin in performance.
Where the RX 5700 falters when compared to the two RTX 2060 cards is in features like real-time ray-tracing. To keep costs low, features like this were omitted from the AMD Navi launch, allowing these cards to be competitive in actual gaming performance. Today, this is a very justifiable decision, since ray-tracing tanks performance in even the best scenarios and is only rarely supported…
Some years down the line, though, and not having ray-tracing may be a bit more of a downside. If you plan on keeping this GPU for five years or longer, for instance, you may end up missing out. If you’re on a standard four-year or shorter upgrade cycle, though, chances are it won’t bother you.
How does it perform in games?
We’ve established how this card compares to its 5700 XT brethren and its Nvidia competition, but what does that actually mean in performance numbers? First, we’ll go ahead and link to some reputable benchmarks from our peers at Digital Foundry. If you don’t feel like going through all their pages of reviews, we’ll go ahead and cover common resolutions and the performance you can expect below.
- 1080p – Stellar. Expect to push 120+ FPS at high/ultra settings in all but the most demanding games. This is an ideal card for pushing games on high-refresh 1080p displays.
- 1440p – Great. Expect to push 70+ FPS at high/ultra settings in all but the most demanding games. Less ideal for high-refresh displays unless you turn down some settings, though.
- VR – Since most VR headsets and games just about match 1440p gaming in hardware demands, the same applies here. Using things like SteamVR resolution scaling may help improve performance or visual quality, depending on the scenario.
- 1800p – Good. With some minor settings adjustments, 60+ FPS should be easily achievable at this resolution with this graphics card, same as the others in this price range.
- 4K – Okay. Expect 30-to-40 FPS in modern games at high/max settings, and don’t be surprised if you have to turn down settings to hit this target. In the case of 4K gaming specifically, we recommend bumping down to 1800p before changing anything else- for only a minor loss in visual quality, you get a great amount of performance in return.
Understanding clock speed differences
Whenever you buy one of these RX 5700s, you’re going to be buying a card with a fundamentally identical GPU chip inside. These GPU chips will share the same rough level of performance across-the-board, with higher factory overclocks indicating slightly improved out-of-box performance.
The main reason to buy based on clock speed is if you have no plan to do user-end overclocking yourself. If this sounds like you, then shooting for a graphics card with higher out-of-box performance will pay off, even if by a little bit.
Higher factory overclocks can also seem appealing for other reasons. Generally-speaking, the higher the manufacturer is willing to set it, the more confident they are in their cooling design. So even if you do plan on doing your own overclocking, opting for a card with a better cooler can still come in great use.
Width, length, and compatibility
Width and length are the two physical specs that will have the greatest impact on whether or not you can fit your graphics card into your system.
Width refers to the width of your graphics card, measured in PCI Express slots. 2-Slot is standard, but many cards on this list will go for 3-Slot or somewhere in between. (Which is often still effectively 3-Slot, in the way that you can’t take up 2.5 parking spaces and still claim that there is 1 available for someone else).
Length refers to the length of the longest side of your graphics card, measured in millimeters. This will be the most important compatibility concern for most users, and you’ll want to check that the required spacing is available inside your PC. You can do this by either checking for yourself or consulting the spec sheet of your case, wherever you may find that.
What ports you need
Last up, let’s talk about the common display connectors you’ll see on the back of your graphics card in 2019.
- DisplayPort – The most common standard, used most frequently by PCs with PC monitors. Offers the best support for features like G-Sync and FreeSync, as well as more variety in available resolutions and refresh rates.
- HDMI – The second most-common standard, which is universal for most media devices in general. Doesn’t always offer the same features as DisplayPort, but provides compatibility with HDMI-only devices that you PC otherwise wouldn’t have, allowing for living room gaming setups and more.
- USB-C – A rarer standard– but a useful one– used for simplifying VR connections with the VirtualLink technology.
VGA/DVI/Other Old Standards – All along obsolete, and unfortunately their modern support taken with them. If you’re buying a beefy new GPU like this, you should probably get a new monitor to go with it. But if you’re still insistent on using something like this, a DisplayPort to DVI adapter could be a great choice.