MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT Evoke review

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Final words and conclusion

.final words

As stated in the reference reviews already, NAVI sits at the Vega performance level. That makes this architecture sound and working. The realm AMD is sitting in performance-wise with the RX 5700 series is the non-Super models 2060 and 2070 with exceptions here and there. Then there is, of course, the discussion on how relevant you find hardware-accelerated Raytracing and Tensor support. Most of you don't care at this time, but much like anything in the tech industry, everything will evolve, and AMD positioned itself to be smack down in the middle of that next step in the gaming evolution. By not offering at least RT support, their trump card really needs to be pricing and proper shader-based gaming performance. MSI does offer something fresh and new design, a dual-fan cooler and a bit of a tweak - however acoustics we need to have a chat about.



I'll generalize both the 5700 and 5700 XT here, both show good, in fact, super (pardon the pun) strength at Quad HD resolutions in that 2560x1440 realm of resolutions. Games like Battlefield V will make you aim, shoot and smile. As always comparing apples and oranges, the performance results vary here and there as each architecture offers advantages and disadvantaged in certain game render workloads. Battlefield V and Metro: Exodus skyrockets for NAVI. So you'll be seeing wins and losses in perf compared to team green. AMD has got the right amount of graphics memory applied, the right type this time as well as 8GB GDDR6 graphics memory running over that 256-bit bus at 14 Gbps, is done right. The new architecture does show strength and IPC increase, especially seen from Polaris the results are pretty amazing. However, that statement has no merit, as they are not priced the same region. Realistically the XT card makes good sense in the Wide Quad HD space (monitor resolution of 2560x1440) and can even properly handle games at 3840x2160 (Ultra HD). Result vary per game title though. 


The XT remains steeply-priced at 399 USD for the reference model. We expect the AIB custom premium boards to be roughly 25 bucks more expensive, but we need to wait and see how things pan out with availability, as that has an extensive effect on street prices. Even today we're not even sure if there will be heaps of volume for these cards available. 

.cooling & noise levels

The card tops out at roughly 65 hitting maybe 70 C in a poor ventilated chassis (Degrees C) while gaming. So that's not bad at all, the acoustics I'd rate as below par. The cooler on the EVOKE has a too high RPM and once we noticed it we addressed this to the MSI VGA team who is currently looking into lowering RPM, at the cost of a slightly higher temperature. Acoustics wise we find the reference 5700 XT blower-style cooler poor. This, however, is the affordable SKU and at least it's nott worse than the AMD reference cooler.

Update August 14 - a few hours for the release. As explained I have contacted MSI last week to address the fact that this is a too noisy product. MSI, as a result, today contacted us that based on out feedback they will release a more silent BIOS for people that would like to install it. That BIOS will become available on the MSI website.

We've quickly tested the BIOS and several things will happen after installing it. Your temperature will rise with roughly 2-3 degrees C in the 69 Degrees C marker. The fan RPM with the default BIOS reached almost 2300 RPM, the new Silent BIOS has that lowered with roughly 10% towards a 2000 RPM domain.  The end result is that the product now runs 2 DBa lower at 43 DBa. That's still moderately noisy, however far more acceptable to being a normal ' acoustic' level and definitely better than the reference blower-style cooler. Below you can see the new temp/fan rpm behavior, we have added the results into the temperature and acoustic level charts:




The TDP for this XT we measure to be roughly 238 Watts. That number varies a bit per game title, workload, resolution and even refresh rate of course. It's a substantial wattage, especially compared to the competition's products in the same performance bracket.


Oh hey, no RGB! and the MSI EVOKE series is a good looking product really, the looks are lending design elements from some older models with that bare-metal feel. The color you'll either like or hate. The factory tweak didn't yield heaps of extra performance though. See, the power limiter kicks in making this card perform close to reference levels. However open up that power limiter, give it a bit of a bump in frequency and you'll easily gain 7% extra perf with a manual tweak as that ~2050 MHz domain is a sure possibility but at the cost of higher power consumption. These cards behave well in the normalized 2560x1440 range of resolutions, but with some titles, perf can cave in where at others it takes a lead. Whether or not this performance is justified at the recommended retail prices, I don't know and we'll have to wait and see how that pans out but the EVOKE should be priced very close to the reference MSRP. The EVOKE comes with a proper 8GB of GDDR6 memory. Really, that's exactly right and what these products it get. Games like Battlefield V manages to pull roughly 110 FPS on average in WQHD for the XT. That's 80 FPS for Shadow of the Tomb Raider and 100 FPS in Far Cry: New Dawn. These are good values at such monitor resolutions and remember we always apply the better if not best, relevant image quality settings. With cooling, the somewhat average noise levels and looks addressed the rest all boils down to performance and sheer pricing. The XT does perform well in many games, and a bit less in others. As such pricing will be so important as NVIDIA has some very competitive 2060/2070 Super cards available as well. And whether you like or disklike RT and DLSS, it does come as an extra added benefit to fool around with. But for brute raw shader performance, hey we like the 5700 XT and what MSI did with it, that noise level though remains substantial even with the new more silent BIOS, and that is restraining me from handing out an award as for an AIB, you need to do better than this. on the plus side - we do expect the card to be very close to reference MSRP and yeah other than that the coloring might be a notch hard to match your PC. It's certainly a unique design though.

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