RTX 4080 vs 7900 XT: a matchup where cost is key

RTX 4080 vs RX 7900XT - hero

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The AMD Radeon 7900 XT was revealed to us on November 3rd; AMD’s second flagship GPU will be released on December 13th. And like you, we are eager to see a direct real-world comparison of this generation’s GPUs: The RTX 4080 vs 7900 XT.

Before we start comparing aspects there’s an important differentiation we need to address. Team Red and Team Green both have different approaches toward the units they’re delivering.

As Nvidia is focusing all of its efforts on improving ray tracing performance and deep learning abilities, the advances in core architecture allow the brand to make stronger GPUs.

AMD, on the other side, has built an efficiency-aware GPU. It is tilting its enhancements to get the best performance-per-watt from its graphics cards.

The solution Team Red is giving solves the ever-increasing power hunger from PC components and opens the path of a more conscious performance upgrade.

RTX 4080 vs RX 7900 XT Specs Comparison

Both GPUs are the second-best versions of their generation. AMD has the 7900 XTX which is pegged to compete in the highest category, while the XT competes directly with the 4080. On the other side, the RTX 4080 won’t face the most difficult battles.

RTX 4080RX 7900 XT
ArchitectureADA LovelaceRDNA 3
CUDA cores / Pipelines97285376
Number of transistors45,900 million58,000 million
VRAM16 GB GDDR6X20 GB GDDR6X
Memory Interface Width256-bit memory bus width320 Bit memory bus width
Process TechnologyTSMC 4nm Navi 31
Base clock speed2205 MHz1500 MHz
Boost Clock speed2505 MHz 2400 MHz
Graphics Card Power (TDP)320W TDP300W TDP
Memory bandwidth735.7 GB/s Up to 800 GB/s

As we can see in the table, the RX 7900 XT has more transistors and a higher VRAM. It uses its cores and architecture to deliver a clock speed differently.

Furthermore, AMD has a base frequency of 1500 MHz with the XT. This lower performance compared to the 2205 MHz of Nvidia is proof of AMD’s efforts to deliver a more efficient performance.

According to AMD, this GPU has a game frequency of 2000 MHz. This will be the clock speed reached while gaming. AMD separates these frequencies, so the GPU has not only the ability to get more powerful and fast but is also able to perform slower (drawing less power).

Nvidia cares more about power. The Ada Lovelace architecture uses its cores more efficiently than the previous generation, to deliver a faster clock speed while also withdrawing more power from the GPU.

So Team Green’s GPU will run at a base frequency of 2205 MHz and can be boosted up to 2505 MHz using fewer transistors and less memory space while requiring almost 7% more power from the rig.

RTX 4080 vs RX 7900 XT Price

Pricing difference has always been a clear factor between Nvidia and AMD. The latter is known for providing much better prices for really strong GPUs, while Nvidia is still seen a little off in pricing but clear in its performance edge.

The RX 7900 XT will be released to the market on December 13th with a starting price of $899. The RTX 4080, on the other side, has an initial MSRP of $1,199. That is a $300 difference between the two cards.

Furthermore, now that the shortage and GPU rush has diminished we might be able to see some prices going down. AMD, one more time, is better in this aspect than Nvidia; its prices tend to get lower with time, while Nvidia’s prices usually stay put.

The clear winner purely on price then? The RX 7900 XT.

RTX 4080 vs RX 7900 XT Performance

It’s 2022 and technology has delivered amazing achievements. Even with super-high requirements from video games making use of ray-tracing, 4K gaming, and three-digit FPS, GPU manufacturers manage to deal gracefully with these factors and provide us with a performance we’ve never previously imagined.

AMD has revealed a performance preview for both the RX 7900 XT and 7900 XTX compared to the current RX 6950 XT. That showed us the result from games such as Resident Evil Village, Cyberpunk 2077, and Watch Dogs: Legion.

In that preview, the Radeon RX 7900 XT showed a great improvement over the previous gen’s 6950 XT. In Resident Evil, the 7900 XT showed a performance improvement of 27%, and in total, the GPU outperformed the previous gen by approx 30%. This is impressive, particularly taking into account that the 7900 XT is not the strongest GPU of this new generation.

4K highest settingsRTX 4080RX 7900 XT
Watch Dogs: Legion (FPS)8485
Cyberpunk 2077 (FPS)6057
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (FPS)100117
RTX 4080 FPS based on available benchmarks. RX 7900 XT FPS based on AMD provided performance

The table above helps us see a direct comparison in FPS between the two contenders. As can see FPS are pretty equal, although Team Red wins with CoD MW2. However, both results are without DLSS and Raytracing. When we see these values turned on, AMD’s performance falls deeply while Nvidia keeps fairly stable.

That Nvidia wins with the RTX 4080 overall in this way shouldn’t be surprising for $300 more. But is that card worth $300 more than an RX 7900 XT and do you want to spend that?

We’ll update this page with more performance information when the RX 7900 XT is released on December 13th.

RTX 4080 vs RX 7900 XT Conclusion

In conclusion, AMD is the king in delivering the best performance-per-watt, and per USD$ too, while the RTX 4080 from Nvidia will give the best overall gaming experience.

After all, the latter has improved its technology to take advantage of deep learning, and that has paid off with a lot of benefits. Although cost isn’t one of them.