Overall and Final Verdict

With my review of the AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT reference card we learned a lot about where the new RX 7800 XT GPU fits in with the competition. But while the reference design is still my favorite overall with its all-metal construction, its compact size does put limitations on its cooling performance, and being a reference design it isn’t overclocked. Getting to check out the XFX Merc 319 7800 XT Black helps us complete the picture, especially when our only RX 6800 XT was also an XFX Merc 319 Black. The Merc 319 7800 XT Black hasn’t changed its styling at all but the similar black and silver styling with no unneeded “gamer” shapes or lighting in the card design has kept XFX’s design relevant. It is a lot like a tuxedo, staying simple, clean, and always in style. The thick dia-cast aluminum backplate was a nice addition as well, I would still love to see the shroud also be metal to match but the backplate helps give the big card the strength needed to not sag. Of course, like with most cards these days and especially when compared to the reference 7800 XT the Merc 319 7800 XT Black is a huge card so you do have to keep that in mind. That size played a big role in its cooling performance in our testing. The fans when cranked up to 50% and 100% fan speed were loud, but with a real load on the card the Merc 319 7800 XT Black ran extremely cool and the fans were quiet. It also improved the GPU Hotspot temps which were an issue in the reference 7800 XT testing. The Merc 319 7800 XT Black also uses standard PCIe power plugs, so you don’t have to worry about running an adapter or having to upgrade your power supply just yet which will help keep build costs down.

As for performance, the Merc 319 7800 XT Black impressed with a higher than average performance improvement. Normally 3% is what you can expect from overclocked cards but in a lot of my tests, I saw 4.5%. This just reinforced what I saw previously on the 7800 XT, It has solid 1440p performance that will handle the sweat spot high refresh rate 1440p monitors and is capable at 4K as well if needed. While using more power the Merc 319 7800 XT Black improved on the score-watt efficiency which is rare for an overclocked card, which is normally sacrificed. The Merc 319 7800 XT Black outperformed the RTX 4070 across the board of course and did make strides in matching the RX 6800 XT but was still just slightly behind in our tests. I spoke a lot about it in our reference card review, but while it is clear that AMD has the 7800 XT positioned to replace the 6800 not the 6800 XT, the optics of the 6800 XT matching and sometimes outperforming the new card is still a tough one. Blender performance, like with all of the AMD cards compared to Nvidia’s current performance was rough, if that is what you are mainly going to be using the card for it isn’t a good match. AMD has made big improvements in ray tracing and FSR performance but Nvidia is still ahead there as well.

As always pricing will make or break things and I’m told that the Merc 319 7800 XT Black is expected to hit stores at 529.99 to 539.99 which isn’t too much more than the MSRP of the reference 7800 XT. The value compared to the RTX 4070 looks promising. But that will only become clear once the stock of older RX 6800 XT cards clears out. Those are currently selling around the price of the reference 7800 XT which makes it even harder to look at an overclocked 7800 XT like the Merc 319 7800 XT Black. That said if you know you are shopping for an RX 7800 XT then the XFX Merc 319 7800 XT Black is looking great. Its performance over the stock card was impressive especially when it came to cooling performance where it dominated and even helped its under-load noise testing noise levels to be among the quietest that we have tested. Of course, all of that cooling does mean you have to deal with a huge card. AMD has also bundled Starfield Premium with these which runs $99, so if you were planning on picking that up that could sweeten the deal.


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Author Bio
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: http://lanoc.org
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.

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