RX 7900 XT vs RTX 3090: performance players, but which one?

RX 7900 XT vs RTX 3090 - hero

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The new AMD cards are about to be released and people are starting to ask if they are worth the change. With highly capable last-gen cards in good supply, we pit the RX 7900 XT vs the RTX 3090 to clue you in.

We know AMD’s RDNA 3 architecture is better than the RTX 30-series but how much better? Would you be ok keeping or opting for an RTX 3090 – or should you upgrade and switch to Team Red?

Nvidia is on a streak of releasing, year after year, the strongest high-end GPUs on the market. A good proof of this is how rapidly the new RTX 4090 went out of stock minutes after it was released.

Nevertheless, this is not a single-sided competition and buyers know this. AMD has its own approach and this is also something to keep in mind.

RX 7900 XT vs RTX 3090 Specs Comparison

The RX 7900 XT is from an advanced architecture and, consequently, it fits almost double the number of transistors than the RTX 3090. As a result, this gives the former a better starting point in the comparison. More transistors mean more threaded processes per unit of time, resulting in a faster GPU.

RX 7900 XTRTX 3090
ArchitectureRDNA 3Ampere
Cores537610496
Number of transistors58 Billion28.3 billion
VRAM20GB GDDR6X24GB GDDR6X
Node ProcessTSMC 5nmSamsung 8nm
RT Cores8482
Base clock speed1500 MHz1395 MHz
Boost Clock speed2400 MHz1695 MHz
Graphics Card Power (TDP)300W350W
Memory bandwidth800.0 GB/s936.2 GB/s

As we can see in the table, the RX 7900 XT is made from smaller silicon but ends up delivering more efficient performance. We’ll talk about the performance later.

For now, we can focus on the difference in frequency; the 7900 XT has a boost clock speed of 2.4 GHz, that’s almost 800 more MHz than the 3090. This will allow the GPU to reach higher frames per second and higher resolutions.

Another aspect worth mentioning is the TDP. Both GPUs draw similar amounts of power; the RTX 3090 consumes 350W while the 7900 XT needs 300W – so no need to change a PSU if you did switch.

Those 50W of difference means a lot for Team Red because that’s the proof of its philosophy; it intends to deliver the best performance-per-watt in the market.

RX 7900 Series Quick Links

US

UK

RX 7900 XT vs RTX 3090 Price

Price always plays unfavorably for Nvidia. Undoubtedly, its GPUs tend to be more expensive. Even though the public has complained, and brands like Intel have done an incredible effort to lower PC component prices, Team Green still remains at a higher price point.

The RX 7900 XT will be launched on December 13th with an initial MSRP of $899. Back in September 2020 the RTX 3090 was launched at a starting price of $1,499. That’s a $600 difference.

To be fair, the RTX 3090 was the top-tier GPU in the 30-series, and at the moment the 7900 XT is the second best from AMD – following the XTX. However not even the 7900 XTX reaches the 3090’s launch price.

On the other side, Nvidia’s prices haven’t gotten much better. After a quick look on Newegg, the average price we could find for an RTX 3090 is around $1,200. This is still high for an old-gen GPU.

If you’re doubting buying the RTX 3090 or the RX 7900 XT once it comes out, we think the price difference should unquestionably settle the dispute for a lot of people.

RX 7900 XT vs RTX 3090 performance

Back in 2021, when the RTX 3090 was the top-tier GPU in the market, there were a lot of comparatives and benchmarks done to the card showing how it didn’t improve a lot compared to lower GPUs.

For example, Techradar made a deep analysis of how well the GPU behaved and how much better it was, to come to an eye-opening revelation: the RTX 3090 is only 10-20% faster than the 3080. 

This fact about the 3090 performance is still a blow to Nvidia. We have a GPU that’s $1,200 and only gives a 20% better performance than an $800 unit. It is true the graphics card will give you a very good 4K performance though.

It’s hard to directly compare the performance of a card that hasn’t gone out to the market just yet with the 3090. So for now we can only base our conclusion on AMD’s words and indirect comparisons.

The site technical.city reveals a technical comparison between the RTX 3090 and the RX 6950 X. They stated that the 6950 XT outperforms the 3090 in almost all resolutions but 4K gaming.

RTX 3090RX 6950 XT
Full HD188 −11.7%210 +11.7%
1440p139 −5.8%147 +5.8%
4K101 +3.1%98 −3.1%
Data source: technical.city

We know as well that the RX 7900 XT is better than the previous iteration. According to AMD information, the RX 7900 XT can achieve a 29% better performance than the 6950 XT on average.

RX 6950 XTRX 7900 XT
Resident Evil Village124157
CoD Modern Warfare II92117
Cyberpunk 20774360
Watch Dogs: Legion6885

Just by comparing both tables, we should be able to build an idea about how much better the RX 7900 XT is than the RTX 3090.

Both cards are constructed for 4K gaming but essentially the newest architecture and speed of the AMD card tilt us to state confidently AMD takes the crown by far in this competition.

Conclusion

Not only does the RX 7900 XT look as though it performs better than the 3090, but it will cost less. One more time AMD gives Nvidia a lesson about how to handle their prices. Bear in mind too, we will need to see real-life benchmarks of the 7900 XT to be sure about all our assumptions.