Well, today's the day, AMD announced the RX 5700 XT on their video launch at the start of March. There have been performance leaks and lots of information but today is the day where everything is released. I don’t have a reference card coming in to test but I do have an overclocked card from MSI. Their RX 6700 XT Gaming X. Today I’m going to put it through our normal test suite to see how it performs and to get an idea of where it stands in today's very complicated market.

Product Name: MSI RX 6700 XT Gaming X

Review Sample Provided by: MSI

Written by: Wes Compton

Amazon Affiliate Link: HERE

 

Specifications

Graphics processing unit

Radeon™ RX 6700 XT

Interface

PCI Express® Gen 4

Boost Clocks

2629 MHz

Memory Speed

16 Gbps

Memory

12GB GDDR6

Memory Bus

192-bit

Output

DisplayPort x 3 (v1.4)

HDMI x 1 (Supports 4K@120Hz/8K@60Hz and VRR as specified in HDMI 2.1)

HDCP support

Yes

Power connectors

8-pin x 2

Recommended PSU (w)

650 W

Card dimension(mm)

279 x 131 x 58 mm

Weight (card / package)

1179 g / 1764 g

Afterburner OC

Y

DirectX version support

12

OpenGL version support

4.6

Multi-GPU technology

Yes

Maximum displays

4

VR Ready

Yes

Warranty

3 years

 

Before diving into testing I did run GPUz on the RX 6700 XT Gaming X. I wanted to make sure the clock speeds matched the specifications but the specifications online didn’t have a boost clock listed. So I have to assume that the 2629 MHz boost clock is stock. Beyond that, though GPUz also lets us document the BIOS revision and the driver which is the AMD provided press driver.

image 1

 


Packaging

The packaging for the RX 6700 XT Gaming X sticks with the same styling that all of their Gaming X cards have. This includes the black background and red used for trim and labels like the memory and PCIe badges in the bottom left corner. MSI includes a full picture of the card on the cover which I love, if you are shopping in retail it's nice to be able to see what you are getting right away. Then in the background, they have lighting effects going out from the two RGB accents on the front of the card. The front has a red wrap around which gets you the model name and then the Gaming X branding is over on the left. Around on the back is another angled picture of the card, this time showing the top edge including the RGB backlit logo and the dual power connections. They have a basic feature listing and the system requirements built into AMD's wrap around but there isn’t anything that would be helpful in the store like the card size or clock speed. . Then up above the card picture MSI highlights features like the fans, their software, and the Core Pipe heatpipes with a drawing and a description.

image 2
image 3

Inside the box, you get a cardboard tray with a foam tray inside and a piece of foam as well. The bottom foam is cut out around the GPU which sits in its static protective bag. Then the other foam protects the top. Over that MSI has a black envelope that has the MSI branding on the front. This has your documentation. You get a user guide as well as a cartoon on how to upgrade your video card. There is a registration card and then a small paper with info on other MSI products. There weren’t any other accessories, which I was surprised that MSI didn’t include a support bracket like that have with a lot of their other cards.

image 4
image 5
image 6

 


Card Layout and Photos

The MSI RX 6700 XT Gaming X has the same styling that the RTX 3060 Gaming X Trio that I recently reviewed has. Only this card isn’t a trio with three fans, it is shorter with dual fans. The fan shroud has a heavy angular design, especially in between the fans, angles are all over the place. They have two sets of RGB accent lighting at the top and bottom between the fans which I dig. Then they used silver for part of the shroud and black for the other half, mixing it up and using the color contrast to accent the fans and to make the angles stand out even more. Being a Gaming X card, this is one of MSI's overclocked models and the cooler design isn’t as overkill as the 3060 Gaming X Trio but it is still large. 

image 9
image 10

Speaking of the size, MSI has the overall card dimensions to be 279mm long, 131mm tall, and 58mm thick. That card height puts the top of the card up about 25mm over the top of the PCI bracket so in compact cases you will have to keep that in mind and the thickness is just a hair short of being a full triple-slot, it only attaches with two but you will need the full three slots to fit this card. As for the length, it isn’t as long as the monster triple fan cards but it does extend out even past the PCB. The fan shroud also sticks out pack the backplate and the rest of the cooler because of its pointy angular design. This gets the fan all the way out to the end of the heatsink below it but if you have a tight case keep in mind that will be sticking out 15mm past the end of the rest of the card.

image 21
image 22
image 23
image 24

The Gaming X has MSI's Twin Frozr 8 thermal design which includes their Torx Fan 4.0 fans. These were the same fans on the Gaming X Trio and they have a very unique design. A lot of fans have been going to a full ring around the outside to give the blades strength but MSI has just linked together every other blade so they all have some strength but aren’t all connected together on the outside. Each fan looks to be 95mm and have 10 blades. The blades have a heavy curvature to them giving them more surface area as well and then they have mixed in a slight texture on part of the blade with glossier near the center and the outside. Looking down through the fan you can also see that the cooler itself has a ribbed-like design. These are staggered and help stick up and catch airflow while also letting the air spread across the entire heatsink.

image 11
image 12
image 13

Up on the top edge, the most visible area of the card has a few things going on. Down at the end, it has two 8-pin power connections which have the PCB notched so they can be flipped with the clip towards the PCB. They aren’t sunken down at all, so your power plugs will start at the top of the card. But MSI did do a great job of packing in that meaty heatsink around the plugs. Then the shroud itself has the MSI logo with the MSI Gaming dragon logo which are both backlit with RGB lighting and then Radeon in a gloss finish on the textured plastic. I’m not a big fan of backlit branding. I would much rather there be accents like on the front of the shroud in RGB up here or rather than a brand tell you what card you have. Having Radeon RX 6700 XT Gaming X on this edge backlit would look great and let you show off your hardware.

image 15
image 16

That near triple slot thickness is really visible once you look at the 6700 XT Gaming X from the edges. But what is also very noticeable is how thick the heatsink is. MSI doesn’t just have a universal heatsink here, each capacitor is notched around and it sits down as low as it can be to use almost all of the space. The only exception to that is down at the PCB bracket end which is open. You can see from the bottom the full thermal plate that covers the GU and memory with the heatpipes all going down to it. The cooler is split in two under each fan. The end has five heatpipes visible and on the PCI bracket side, you can see the heatpipes on that end are looped back around to spread the heat out more.

image 17
image 18
image 19

The backplate covers the entire card except for the tip of the fan shroud sticking out at the end. It is motel and the bends added around the edges as well as in the back for styling also add a lot to its overall strength. In the center between the main mounting screws is just a single white MSI Gaming dragon logo which is flips to be seen better when installed in a traditional case. Then up in the top corner near the PCI bracket, they have used gloss black to add a little accent as well. One interesting thing that happened with our card that I have to at least point out is the white box in the center is where your serial number is printed because you can’t see the PCB. Well, it ended up being printed on top of the clear plastic that comes over top of the backplate. MSI thinks this was just a fluke with our preproduction card, but if you do get one with this issue make sure you don’t throw away that back plastic!

image 14
image 7
image 8

Like I mentioned earlier, this might as well be a three-slot card but the PCI bracket is only a dual-slot. MSI has ventilation holes in the bracket even though the axial fans won’t be blowing in this direction. Then below that, you have four display connections. Three are full-sized DisplayPort and then the third one down is HDMI. Each is labeled with it stamped into the bracket. Speaking of the bracket, I would also love to see this get a nice black finish to match the rest of the card and go better with more builds.

image 20

Before getting into testing I did take a look at the RGB lighting with everything up and running. MSI lets you control the addressable RGB LEDs with their RGB Mystic Light software but by default, it runs in this scheme which looks nice. I like the triple claw-like accents on the front. The MSI logo up on top I could go without, that isn’t MSI specific, I just prefer to avoid backlit billboard-like branding when I can and have RGB for accents or to show off the card model. Overall the lighting wasn’t as bright as on my motherboard, but it was visible during the day and looked even better in the dark. 

image 25
image 26
image 27
image 28

 


Test Rig and Procedures

 

Test Rig

CPU: AMD Ryzen 3900X

Motherboard: Asus Crosshair VIII HERO WiFi

Memory: G.Skill Trident Z Royal 3600MHz 16-16-16-36

Storage: Corsair MP600 2TB

Cooling – Corsair H100i RGB Pro XT

Power Supply - Corsair AX1200w

Case - Primochill Wetbench

OS - Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

 

Our Testing Procedures

3DMark

The same goes for the most current version of 3DMark using the Fire Strike benchmark in normal, extreme, and ultra settings. Tests are also run in the DX12 focused Time Spy benchmark as well as the Time Spy Extreme test. Port Royal is also used on video cards that support DirectX Raytracing

Unigine Superposition

1080p Medium, 1080p Extreme benchmarks along with the VR Maximum and VR Future tests, both done at the Vive resolution

VRMark

Cyan and Blue rooms tested, use Average FPS for the result

Borderlands 3

Built-in benchmark testing with the ultra detail setting and medium detail setting, done at full screen with default settings at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k.

Metro Exodus

Using built-in benchmark, testing at ultra and normal details at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k.

The Division 2

Built-in benchmark at Ultra detail with V-Sync turned off at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k resolutions.

Total War: Three Kingdoms

Built-in benchmark using the Battle Benchmark setting. Tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k at both Medium and ultra detail settings

World War Z

Tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k in both Medium and Ultra Detail using the built-in benchmark.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Built-in benchmark, tested using the Medium texture setting and again at the highest texture detail setting. Both tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k

Far Cry 5

Built-in benchmark, tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k with the Ultra and Medium detail settings

Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War III

Built-in benchmark, Image and Texture settings set to the maximum setting and V-Sync turned off. Tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k

Watch Dogs: Legion

Built-in benchmark testing at ultra and high details. Tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Built-in benchmark, tested using the Medium texture setting and again at the highest texture detail setting. Both tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k

Far Cry 5

Built-in benchmark, tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k with the Ultra and Medium detail settings

Passmark Performance Test 9

Test using the GPU Compute Score inside of Passmark’s Performance Test 9

Blender

Using the new Blender Benchmark with the Quick Benchmark setting set to use the GPU, not the CPU. The result is in total seconds the test took, lower is better. All cards tests were done using the 2.90 build for compatibility with the latest cards

Basemark GPU

GPU tests were done using the OpenGL and DirectX12 APIs

Power Usage

Results come from a Kill-A-Watt hooked up in line to the power cord for the test rig. Two tests are done, one using the AIDA64 Stress Test and the second uses the 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark on the Performance setting using the combined test.

Noise Testing

Our Noise testing is done using a decibel meter 18 inches away from the video card on the bottom/fan side of the card. We test at both 50% and 100% fan speeds. The 100% test isn’t a representation of typical in-game noise levels, but it will show you how loud a card can be if you run it at its highest setting or if it gets very hot. Under load testing is also done, measuring the noise levels of the card when under load in AIDA64 over a half hour. This is done using a Protmex PT02 Sound Meter that is rated IEC651 type 2 and ANSI S1.4 type 2. Tests are done set weighted to A and set to a slow response using the max function. The ambient noise level in the testing area is 33.3 decibels using the test settings.

Temperature Testing

Using AIDA64, the GPU stress test is run for 30 minutes or until the result has leveled off. The test is run twice, once with the stock fan profile and a second time with 100% fan speed.

 


Synthetic Benchmarks

As always I like to start my testing with a few synthetic benchmarks. 3DMark especially is one of my favorites because it is very optimized in both Nvidia and AMD drivers. It's nice to not have to worry about it being favored too much either way and the repeatability of the results makes it a nice chance to compare from card to card, especially when comparing with the same GPU. Testing the MSI RX 6700 XT Gaming X however I don’t have any other matching GPU cards to compare with (yet) but we can finally see where AMD's new GPU stands compared to the competition. I should point out that this specific card is an overclocked card with a boost clock of 2629 MHz where the “stock” boost clock from AMD is 2581 MHz so there will be slower and faster cards.

The first round of tests were done in the older Fire Strike benchmark which is a DX11 test. There are three detail levels, performance, extreme, and ultra. AMD's cards have been doing better in Fire Strike or more specifically Nvidia seems to favor the newer DX12 tests more. In Fire Strike the 6700 XT Gaming X was right up near the top of our charts behind the stock RTX 3080 Founders Edition and above the RTX 2080 Ti FE in all three of the Fire Strike tests. In the extreme and ultra tests, the RTX 3070 and the 6700 XT were right together as well.

graph1
graph2
graph3

The next two were both based on the Time Spy benchmark. One is the standard test and then there is the extreme detail level. In Time Spy you can see the performance jump for the Nvidia cards here with the 6700 XT Gaming X dropping down a little. Here it was ahead of the RTX 2080 SUPER FE in both tests and just a hair below the 3060 Ti in the base Time Spy and a little bigger gap in the Time Spy Extreme test.

graph4
graph5

While in 3DMark I did also run Port Royal which takes a look at ray tracing performance. In my Nvidia coverage, I spend more time comparing RTX-specific performance but this is the only one of our ray tracing tests right now that supports AMD as well. The 6700 XT did well here coming in basically on par with the 2080 FE and 2070 SUPER.

graph6

The last test was using the Unigine based Superposition benchmark and I tested at 1080p with medium detail and again at 1080p with the extreme detail setting. In the extreme detail setting the 6700  XT Gaming X came in below the stock RTX 2080 and above the overclocked RTX 2070 SUPERs and the RTX 2080. The medium detail result on the other hand was out ahead of the RTX 2080 SUPER and the 3060 Ti.

graph7

 


VR Benchmarks

As for Virtual Reality, I love it but it is more demanding than traditional gaming. This is partially because of the resolutions needed to render for two eyes and because they render more than what is immediately visible. But also because of post effects to get the proper “fisheye” effect for it to look proper in your eyes with the HMD. You also have to have much higher expectations for frame rates in VR, skipping frames or lower FPS can cause motion sickness in VR. Because of that, I ran a few tests.

My first test was again in Superposition. This time I tested the VR Maximum and VR Future tests using the Vive resolution. Here the RX 6700 XT Gaming X once again came in between the RTX 2080 FE and the overclocked 2070 SUPERs. In the less demanding VR Maximum test, it did better, jumping ahead of the 2080 FE on that result.

graph8My second round of VR testing was in VRMark which has two tests that are similar to the VR tests in Superposition. One is future-looking and extremely demanding and the other (cyan room) is more like modern VR games. The RX 6700 XT Gaming X came in just like in the Superposition results in the blue room test which has it sitting below the RTX 2080 FE and above the overclocked RTX 2070 SUPER. The Cyan room result was even more impressive, jumping up in with the RTX 3070’s.

 

graph9

 


In-Game Benchmarks

Now we finally get into the in game performance and that is the main reason people pick up a new video card. To test things out I ran through our new benchmark suite that tests 9 games at three different resolutions (1080p, 1440p, and 4k). Most of the games tested have been run at the highest detail setting and a mid-range detail setting to get a look at how turning things up hurts performance and to give an idea of if turning detail down from max will be beneficial for frame rates. In total, each video card is tested 48 times and that makes for a huge mess of results when you put them all together. To help with that I like to start with these overall playability graphs that take all of the results and give an easier to read result. I have one for each of the three resolutions and each is broken up into four FPS ranges. Under 30 FPS is considered unplayable, over 30 is playable but not ideal, over 60 is the sweet spot, and then over 120 FPS is for high refresh rate monitors.

So how did the RX 6700 XT Gaming X do? At 1080p it did well with all of the tests coming in over 60 FPS and 10 out of the 16 were at or above 120 FPS as well. At 1440p which is where AMD has this card positioned it did extremely well. There was one result up under 60 FPS. Then 8 were over 60 FPS and 6 more were even over 120 FPS. The 6700 XT did better than I expected at 4k as well given that it isn’t designed for it. One result was unplayable at under 30 FPS and 7 were in that 30-60 FPS range which is playable but I would want to tweak things. Then the other half were all over 60 FPS.

graph26
graph27
graph28

Of course, I have all of the actual in game results as well for anyone who wants to sort through the wall of graphs below. With these, I wanted to see if our earlier results in the synthetic tests which had the RX 6700 XT Gaming X sitting between the 2080 Ti and 3080 for DX11 games, and if it was still right with the 3060 Ti in DX12 games. The first game Watch Dogs Legion has the RX 6700 XT Gaming X sitting between the 3060 Ti and the RTX 3070 at 4k and 1440p but it was a touch faster at 1080p (or more than a touch with high detail). In borderlands, the 3060 Ti was faster and the RX 6700 XT Gaming X was sitting with the RTX 2080 SUPER. The same thing happened in Metro. There were also multiple games where the RX 6700 XT Gaming X outperformed the RTX 3060 Ti to compete with the 3070 like in World War Z, Far Cry, Dawn of War 3, and Shadow of a Tomb raider to a less extent. Then in Total War Three Kingdoms, the RX 6700 XT Gaming X struggled a little and was down with the 2070 SUPER. Overall though the 6700 XT performed well. AMD has it positioned above the 3060 Ti and below the 3070 and for the most part, it performed there or higher in some situations.

graph10
graph13
graph12
graph13
graph14
graph15
graph18
graph17
graph18
graph19
graph20

graph21graph22

graph23
graph24
graph25

 


Compute Benchmarks

Now some people don’t need a video card for gaming, they need the processing power for rendering or 2D/3D production, or in some cases people who game also do work on the side. So it is also important to check out the compute performance on all of the video cards that come in. That includes doing a few different tests. My first test was a simple GPU Compute benchmark using Passmark’s Performance Test 9 and the RX 6700 XT Gaming X performed well coming in ahead of the always strong GTX 1080 Ti and with just the 3070 and higher cards from Nvidia and of course AMDs higher cards as well.

graph29

In Basemark I test with the DirectX12 setting and again with OpenGL. The RX 6700 XT Gaming X did well on the DirectX12 test coming in basically tied with the RTX 2080 SUPER. Like my experience with the 6800 XT and the previous 5000 series, the 6700 XT did struggle on the OpenGL test.

graph31

Blender is always my favorite compute benchmark because the open-source 3D rendering software is very popular and it isn’t a synthetic benchmark. Here I render two scenes and combine the total time it takes. The RX 6700 XT Gaming X took 168 seconds to finish the two tests which was better than the RTX 2080 Ti but behind the RTX 3060 Ti FE by nearly 30 seconds.

graph30

 


 

Cooling Noise and Power

For my last few tests, rather than focusing on in game performance, I like to check out other aspects of performance. These are also the most important ways to differentiate the performance between cards that have the same GPU. To start things off I took a look at power usage. For this, I use our Kill-A-Watt hooked up to the test bench to record the total wattage of the system. I ran two tests with the first using 3DMark Fire Strike to put the system under a load similar to normal in game performance. Here our test system with the RX 6700 XT Gaming X pulled 344 watts which was right on par with the 3060 Gaming X and the RTX 2060 Gaming X. Using AIDA64 the RX 6700 XT Gaming X was higher up in the charts, pulling 339 total watts. Just for future reference, I did also check on the software tracking of GPU chip power draw because I do have another 6700 XT to take a look at and I want to see how different the overclocked cards have their power settings set. The RX 6700 XT Gaming X peaked at 203 watts when running 3DMark Fire Strike.

graph32
graph33
graph34

My next round of tests were looking at noise levels. These are especially important to me because I can’t stand to listen to my PC whirling. Especially when I’m not in game and other applications are using the GPU. For my testing, though I first tested with the fan cranked up to 100% to get an idea of how loud it can get, then again at 50% to get an idea of its range. The RX 6700 XT Gaming X at 100% fan speed did surprisingly well coming in on the bottom half of the chart. At 37.2 decibels its performance when under a heavy load for over a half hour was similarly right in the middle of the cards tested. Overall it isn’t the quietest card, but it isn’t loud either.

graph35
graph36

graph37To finish up my testing I of course had to check out the cooling performance. To do this I ran two different tests. I used AIDA64’s Stress Test run for a half-hour each to warm things up. Then I documented what temperature the GPU leveled out at with the stock fan profile and then again with the fans cranked up to 100%. With the stock profile, the RX 6700 XT Gaming X leveled off at 61 degrees which is a lot cooler than I expected. With the fans cranked up it ran even lower at 49 degrees for a delta of 12 degrees.

 

graph38
graph39
graph40

While running the stock fan profile testing I also took the time to get a few thermal images so we could see what is going on. With the Gaming X warmed up the fan side of the card doesn’t have any significantly hot spots. The warmest area would be under the card where a portion of the air is being blown and is trapped. I wouldn’t recommend running an M.2 drive directly under this card or any card with axial cooling. The heatpipes are pulling heat out across both sides of the cooler but you can see that the top half is running the coolest due to the unblocked airflow of the top edge of the card where the bottom is restricted by the motherboard. The top edge does show hotter over on the left side near the GPU area. The same goes on the backplate which seems to be transferring heat well, you can see the back of the GPU is the hottest area. I’m impressed that the VRMs aren’t noticeable which means they are getting great cooling as well.

thermal 1
thermal 2
thermal 3

 


Overall and Final Verdict

Going into this I knew that AMD was focusing on this card being a solid performer at 1440p and it did just that. I only had one result lower than 60 FPS at that resolution and there were a lot in over 120 FPS as well. The same went for 1080p. The RX 6700 XT came in and stepped its game up compared to the 5700 XT. They added ray accelerators to help with ray tracing. But it is the huge jump in clock speeds that have improved the overall performance up significantly. Of course, this was an overclocked card from MSI as well which adds a little more kick to things, but MSI paired that up with one of their dual fan coolers and even without going with a monster Trio cooler the cooling performance was great. Noise performance was middle of the road but not bad at all and it will be interesting to see how it all compares to other RX 5700 XT’s when I dive into testing them.

I’m also really liking this generation of MSI cards as far as their styling goes. They have a heavy focus on angles which might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it seems every card has it now. But I love the subtle RGB accents on the sides and the mix of colors that stay color neutral but still look great. The backplate is metal which a lot of cards even from MSI haven’t been and it is strong which is good because the nearly triple-slot card is going to need that strength later in life. They could add a black PCI bracket which I think would be a nice improvement in overall styling and maybe move away from the branding billboard RGB lighting for more of the subtle accents or even if it had the card model name RX 6700 XT Gaming X backlit I would like it more.

At the end of the day, this card does exactly what is needed performance-wise and frankly, some of the weird and annoying driver issues from AMDs drivers seem to be fixed like the fan speeds never wanting to spool down if you manually set them which was a problem on the 5000 series. As far as pricing goes, MSI didn’t land anywhere near the original MSRP of a base 6700 XT which was $479. This card has an MSRP of $789.99 which they say is due to US tariffs and maybe that is true but it feels a lot like raising the price ahead of time to cut profits from the scalpers. The downside to that if it is the case is gamers who are lucky enough to get a card retail then end up getting hit hard. Though I don’t blame them for preferring to get the booming prices vs the scalpers. I wish however that you would get a crazy card like the 3060 Gaming X Trio that I recently reviewed which had that monster 3090 heatsink on it as well as a support bracket. I also have to mention that overall card availability right now is the wild west as well, which is an issue with any new card or frankly even the old cards in the used market. We can only hope that things calm down soon, even though it doesn’t look that way. But if they do, I really hope that MSI takes another look at that price because outside of the current situation people aren’t going to want to pay that much even if it is a solid card.

fv5

Live Pricing: HERE

 

 

Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: https://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

Log in to comment

We have 2008 guests and one member online

supportus