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RTX 4070 vs RX 7900 XT: Is the AMD GPU the Better Value?

RTX 4070 vs 7900 XTAre you debating between purchasing the RTX 4070 or the RX 7900 XT? In this guide, we’ve highlighted the main differences between each GPU to help you make the right decision for your needs and budget.

This GPU generation seems to finally—even if only gradually—be filling out at the lower end. The RTX 4070, RTX 4060 Ti, and RX 7600 have all now been released.

This is great news for those of you who have been holding out for a more affordable current-gen GPU. But these budget graphics cards won’t compete with higher-end 40-series cards like the 4070 and AMD cards like the 7900 XT—cards that are, despite their higher price tags, pretty good value.

Also Read: RTX 4060 Ti vs RTX 4070: Which is the Best GPU Upgrade?

When comparing the 4070 vs 7900 XT, then, we need to consider how they mesh not only with current AMD and NVIDIA GPU line-ups but also with upcoming GPU releases.

We must also consider improvements made since the two cards were released—especially for the 7900 XT, which has seen big performance increases over the past few months thanks to driver updates. Let’s take a closer look.

Buying Options

RTX 4070 Advantages

  • $300 cheaper at MSRP
  • Can use DLSS 3 upscaling
  • Consumes less power
  • Smaller card

RX 7900 XT Advantages

  • AMD driver updates have made it best-value sub-$1,000 GPU
  • Much better 1440p and 4K performance
  • Better memory configuration
  • Retailing for $100 cheaper than MSRP

What is the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070?

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 is a graphics card that delivers high-end performance while maintaining a price tag hundreds of dollars cheaper than most other current-gen GPUs.

NVIDIA launched this ‘Ada Lovelace’ architecture GPU in April 2023, using a scaled back AD104 chip—the same chip used in the RTX 4070 Ti. One of the key allures of the 4070 is its ability to use DLSS2 and DLSS3, because these upscaling technologies allow it to perform well even at 4K resolution, albeit with a graphical fidelity hit.

What is the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT?

The AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT is a high-end graphics card that offers fantastic high-end performance for its sub-$1,000 cost.

AMD launched this ‘RDNA 3’ architecture GPU in December 2022, alongside the RX 7900 XTX. While the 7900 XT can’t deliver the same level of 4K, upscaling, and ray tracing performance as its NVIDIA competitors, we will see that recent driver updates have significantly improved its performance, making it stellar value.

NVIDIA 40-Series vs AMD 7000-Series Features

RTX 4070 RX 7900 XT
Upscaling DLSS 2, DLSS 3 FSR 2 (FSR 3 upcoming)
Variable Refresh Rate GSync, GSync Compatible, FreeSync GSync Compatible, FreeSync
Input Lag Reduction NULL, Reflex Anti-Lag

Both the 4070 and 7900 XT have next-gen features like improved AI and ray tracing hardware, AV1 hardware encoding, upscaling technologies, variable refresh rate (adaptive sync) support, and input lag reduction technologies.

The NVIDIA card, however, currently offers more next-gen features than the AMD card.

Most importantly, the 4070 supports frame generation via DLSS 3, which more than doubles framerates when enabled. The 7900 XT has FSR 2 upscaling—which is like DLSS 2’s upscaling—but should support frame generation via FSR 3 when AMD launches the tech.

Both the 4070 and 7900 XT support driver-level input lag reduction via NVIDIA ULL or AMD Anti-Lag, but only NVIDIA currently offers the best of the bunch with NVIDIA Reflex. Reflex, however, has to be enabled in-game, and not every game supports it.

Finally, while both GPUs support some kind of VRR technology, only the NVIDIA GPU supports full-fledged GSync. But good GSync Compatible and FreeSync monitors tend to do adaptive sync just as well as GSync monitors do, these days.

Read More:

7900 XT vs 4070: Price Comparison

RTX 4070 RX 7900 XT
MSRP $599 $899
Cheapest retail prices $599-$699 $799-909

The RX 7900 XT is $300 (50%) more expensive than the RTX 4070 at MSRP.

4070 models aren’t going for cheaper than MSRP right now, but you can pick some RX 7900 XT models up for about $100 cheaper than MSRP. This means that the 7900 XT is currently only $200 (33%) more expensive than the 4070.

Alternative GPUs

If you want a current-gen GPU for as cheap as possible, an RTX 4070 is your best bet until the 4060 Ti launches.

If you’re considering any current-gen GPU under $1,000, however, there are a few more options.

First, there’s the RTX 4070 Ti, which costs $200 more than the 4070 and $100 less than the 7900 XT. It performs about 20-25% better than the 4070, and originally performed about the same as the 7900 XT.

However, driver updates have improved the 7900 XT’s performance, making it a better value proposition than the 4070 Ti—unless you really value the 4070 Ti’s better upscaling and ray tracing performance.

If your budget extends up to $1,000, you might also consider the 7900 XTX, which performs about as well as the RTX 4080 and costs $200 less. Again, though, the 4080 offers better ray tracing and upscaling performance, so if you really value these technologies, an NVIDIA GPU might be a better bet.

Read More:

Graphics Card Specs

  RTX 4070 RX 7900 XT
Architecture Ada Lovelace RDNA 3
GPU AD104 Navi 31
CUDA Cores / Stream Processors 5,888 5,376
Tensor Cores / AI Accelerators 184 168
RT Cores / Ray Accelerators 46 84
Stream Multiprocessors / Compute Units 46 84
Memory 12GB GDDR6X 20GB GDDR6
Memory speed 21GT/s 20GT/s
Memory bandwidth 504GB/s 800GB/s
Clock speed (base/boost) 1.9GHz / 2.5GHz 1.5GHz / 2.4GHz
Power connector (reference) 1x 16-pin or 1x 8-pin (depending on manufacturer) 2x 8-pin
TDP (TBP) 200W 315W

It’s not advised to put too much weight behind specification differences between two GPUs of unique architectures—especially when comparing an AMD vs NVIDIA GPU. Design and architectural differences mean that more shader cores, for example, might not equal more rasterization performance in practice.

However, one area that can—to an extent—be compared directly is memory configuration. We see that the 7900 XT has 8GB more video memory, and a wider memory bandwidth thanks to a wider memory bus. This, however, might be offset by the RTX 40-series’ increased L2 cache.

Another thing to note is that, thanks to the graphics card’s lower power consumption, some RTX 4070 GPUs require only 1x 8-pin power connector. Some require the full 16-pin connector, however, so make sure you check the model in question for its PSU requirements.

Dimensions

  RTX 4070 RX 7900 XT
Length 244mm 276mm
Width 112mm 135mm
Height 40mm 51mm

The RTX 4070 is certainly a smaller card than the RX 7900 XT.

The 7900 XT isn’t big by this GPU generation’s standards—it’s smaller than the RTX 4080, for example—but the 4070 is markedly smaller, being about the same size as previous-gen lower-high-end cards like the RTX 3070.

Power Draw and Thermal Performance

As well as being smaller than the 7900 XT, the 4070 also consumes 115W less power. Its 200W TDP (TBP or TGP) leads NVIDIA to recommend a 650W for the 4070, whereas AMD recommends a 750W PSU for the 7900 XT’s 315W TDP.

Also Read: The Best Power Supplies for 2023

Thermally, there’s little in it between the two cards. Some online reviews have the 4070 coming out on top, and some have the 7900 XT coming out on top. In all cases, however, both graphics cards stay shy of 70c while gaming, which is well under safe temperature thresholds.

What will be more important for keeping temperatures low—apart from ambient room temps—will be the specific AIB card choice. Some AIB models will have better cooling than others, and this applies to both the 4070 and the 7900 XT.

4070 vs 7900 XT: Gaming Performance

There’s a spanner in the works when calculating the 4070 vs 7900 XT’s gaming performance. This spanner is the 7900 XT’s seemingly miraculous performance increase, thanks to driver updates.

Most online reviews benchmarked the 7900 XT upon release, but if LinusTechTips’ recent tests are accurate, the 7900 XT has gained a lot of extra performance since its release thanks to driver updates, giving credence to the idea that AMD GPUs age like fine wine.

So, rather than presenting a single set of charts comparing the two graphics cards at each resolution, we’ve presented two for each resolution.

Also Read: 1080p vs. 1440p vs. 4K: Which Resolution Is Best for Gaming?

The first chart under each resolution heading shows a framerate comparison that averages out 4070 and 7900 XT benchmark results from several sites such as TomsHardware, TechPowerUp, and TechSpot. The second chart under each heading shows the framerate comparison from Linus’s 4070 review, reflecting the 7900 XT’s performance using newer AMD drivers.

1080p Benchmarks

4070 vs 7900 xt 1080p avg framerates

Framerates averaged from multiple online benchmarks.

On average, the RX 7900 XT performs about 19% better than the RTX 4070 at 1080p.

For 1080p gaming, an RTX 4070 should be more than enough for most gamers, so it will probably be worth saving the $200-$300 by opting for one instead of an RX 7900 XT.

At 1080p, the 4070 should stay above 120fps in almost any modern game on max settings and should stay above 100fps even while playing the most graphically demanding games. The 7900 XT should stay above 144fps in most games, and above 120fps in the most demanding games.

4070 vs 7900 xt 1080p avg framerates post driver updates

Framerates taken from LinusTechTips’ testing.

Based on Linus’s benchmarks, the RX 7900 XT now performs about 36% better than the RTX 4070 at 1080p.

After driver updates, we can see that the performance difference has increased by about 16%, but because the 4070 is good enough for playing any game on a 120Hz or 144Hz monitor, it still won’t be worth the extra cost for most gamers.

If you’re looking to play graphically intensive titles on an ultra-high refresh rate monitor (say, 240Hz or 360Hz) at 1080p, a 7900 XT will be a great value buy, but for most gamers looking to game at 120Hz or 144Hz, a 4070 will suffice.

1440p Benchmarks

4070 vs 7900 xt 1440p avg framerates

Framerates averaged from multiple online benchmarks.

On average, the RX 7900 XT performs about 26% better than the RTX 4070 at 1440p.

For 1440p gaming, even using older drivers, a 7900 XT would probably have been worth the extra cost for most gamers, providing you’re gaming on a 144Hz or 120Hz monitor.

Also Read: Is 1440P Worth it for Gaming?

At this resolution, the 7900 XT will get you above 120fps or 144fps in many more games on max settings than the 4070. In the most demanding titles, the 4070 will struggle to hit even 100fps, while the 7900 XT should stay well above this threshold.

4070 vs 7900 xt 1440p avg framerates post driver updates

Framerates taken from LinusTechTips’ testing.

Based on Linus’s benchmarks, the RX 7900 XT now performs about 41% better than the RTX 4070 at 1440p.

The 7900 XT seems to gain an extra 15% performance advantage over the 4070 from driver updates. This makes the 7900 XT an even better value proposition at this resolution, because it puts it more in line with the RTX 4080.

According to Linus’s benchmarks, the 7900 XT should now not only guarantee over 100fps in many more games than the 4070, but it should far surpass this threshold in many more games, securing a high framerate for 120Hz or 144Hz 1440p gaming in most titles even on max settings.

4K Benchmarks

4070 vs 7900 xt 4K avg framerates

Framerates averaged from multiple online benchmarks.

On average, the RX 7900 XT performs about 31% better than the RTX 4070 at 4K.

For 4K gaming, a 7900 XT would be worth the extra cost even using older AMD drivers. In part because of its extra 8GB VRAM, the 7900 XT can guarantee smooth framerates at high resolutions in many more games than the 4070.

Also Read: Is 4K Worth it for Gaming? Why Most Gamers Don’t Need a 4K Monitor

In fact, only in the most demanding games like Cyberpunk 2077 should it drop below 60fps, and in most games it should average high enough above 60fps that more intensive game scenes shouldn’t become too choppy.

While the 4070 will manage a 60fps average in most games on ultra settings, in these games it will sometimes drop below 60fps and in very demanding titles it will sometimes struggle to average even 40fps.

4070 vs 7900 xt 4K avg framerates post driver updates

Framerates taken from LinusTechTips’ testing.

Based on Linus’s benchmarks, the RX 7900 XT now performs about 41% better than the RTX 4070 at 4K.

After driver updates, we see that the performance difference between the two cards at 4K resolution has increased by about 10%. This could make the difference between a super-demanding title being a choppy 35fps for the 4070 but a smooth almost-60fps for the 7900 XT.

If these performance increases from driver updates are accurate, then, there might be a new value king for 4K gaming: the 7900 XT. If these increases are vindicated and verified, the 7900 XT will become the cheapest GPU capable of maintaining smooth framerates in pretty much any game at maximum settings, 4K resolution.

Ray Tracing and Upscaling

4070 vs 7900 xt ray tracing scores

Score taken from PCGamer’s testing (4K charts).

Based on PCGamer’s 3DMark Port Royal testing, the RX 7900 XT does ray tracing about 24.3% better than the RX 7900 XT at 4K.

Although NVIDIA GPUs tend to do better at ray tracing than AMD GPUs, this does not hold true for the 7900 XT vs 4070. The 7900 XT ray traces significantly better than the 4070, and this should have a bigger overall impact on framerates for the 4070, given that its rasterization performance is already worse and its framerates are already lower.

On the other hand, ray tracing’s performance cost can be entirely offset for the 4070 by enabling DLSS 3 in those games that support it. And if you don’t use ray tracing, DLSS can boost framerates for smooth 60Hz gameplay in any game at 4K or smooth high refresh rate gameplay at 1440p.

The 7900 XT, on the other hand, can only use FSR 2 for upscaling. FSR 2 can often deliver DLSS 2’s level of performance, but not without sacrificing a little visual fidelity. And it currently offers no response to DLSS 3’s frame generation—although this should change when FSR 3 launches.

Game Performance Summary

At 1080p, because both GPUs offer high enough framerates for 120Hz or 144Hz gaming, it probably makes sense to save money and opt for a 4070 instead of a 7900 XT for 1080p gaming.

At 1440p, a 7900 XT will guarantee 120fps or 144fps in a great many more modern games than a 4070 will at max settings, making it a fantastic choice for the price, especially given performance improvements from AMD driver updates. But if you don’t want to play the latest games on max settings, a 4070 should be good enough for 120Hz or 144Hz 1440p gaming, too.

It makes more sense to opt for a 7900 XT than a 4070 for 4K gaming unless you’ll be enabling DLSS. At 4K, the 7900 XT should deliver about 60fps or higher in pretty much any game on max settings, while the 4070 will struggle.

The 7900 XT also does ray tracing significantly better, although it doesn’t have the option to use DLSS 3 to offset ray tracing’s performance hit like the 4070 does.

More Performance Comparisons

Verdict: Should You Buy an RTX 4070 or an RX 7900 XT?

If recent 7900 XT benchmarks are accurate, the 7900 XT might just be the best value sub-$1,000 GPU on the market right now.

If they’re accurate, this would signal a big shift, since the 7900 XT was arguably a dud upon launch as it sat just $100 cheaper than the much quicker 7900 XTX. According to Linus’s most recent benchmarks, however, the 7900 XT now pretty much matches the 7900 XTX’s and 4080’s performance.

Not only that, but the 7900 XT is currently retailing for about $100 cheaper than its MSRP, making it $200 cheaper than the 7900 XTX, $400 cheaper than the 4080, and only $200 more expensive than the 4070. For 1440p and 4K gaming, it might now be the perfect value buy. Sure, it’s still expensive—as are all GPUs this generation—but with the GPU market we’re in, it’s about as good as we can hope for.

That this performance increase seems to have occurred isn’t completely out of the blue, either. The 7900 XT has heaps more raw horsepower than the 4070—22 extra TFLOPS of FP32 compute power, to be exact. If AMD has tweaked drivers enough to make better use of this compute power, it’s no wonder that performance increases could be so great.

There’s still room for the 4070, though. For 1080p gaming, for example, it makes little sense to spend the extra $200-$300 on a 7900 XT unless you’re using an ultra-high refresh rate monitor. Similarly, unless you want to max out your settings in demanding games, a 4070 should be enough for smooth 120Hz or 144Hz 1440p gaming. Plus, DLSS 3’s frame generation is always alluring.

But for those of you wanting a great value card capable of demolishing games at 1440p and providing smooth max settings gameplay in pretty much any game at 4K resolution, the 7900 XT might now be the best value proposition on the market—again, providing the latest benchmarks are accurate and will continue to hold true. In fact, it might even be the best graphics card on the market right now.

Jacob Fox

Jacob's been tinkering with computer hardware for over a decade, and he's written hardware articles for various PC gaming websites. Outside of the wonderful world of PC hardware, he's currently undertaking a PhD in philosophy, with a focus on topics surrounding the meaning of life.

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