PowerColor Radeon RX 7900 XTX Hellhound Spectral White review

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Final words and conclusion

Final words

The PowerColor Hellhound RX 7900 XTX Spectral White may not stand out from other Radeon RX 7900 XTX cards based on its specifications and benchmark results alone. However, its larger cooling solution and unique design language make a big difference in managing temperatures and keeping the card very selent, even under load. While AMD's Radeon RX 7900 Series performs exceptionally well at resolutions up to 2560x1440, its Achilles' heels are Raytracing performance and the disproportionate reliance on extra L3 cache (infinity cache) for UHD resolutions. Despite these limitations, AMD's frame-for-frame rendered performance is cheaper very competitive towards NVIDIA and can be enhanced with technologies like FSR2. In many scenarios, the PowerColor Hellhound RX 7900 XTX Spectral White competes with NVIDIA's 4080 at a starting price of $999 (USD), making it an attractive option for high-performance gaming. Additionally, its raw shader performance outperforms the previous 6900 series significantly. While the pricing of high-end graphics cards has become increasingly prohibitive, the PowerColor Hellhound RX 7900 XTX Spectral White provides excellent performance at a competitive price point. Overall, this card is a cool and quiet competitor to NVIDIA's 4080, and a great option for PC gamers looking for top-notch performance.

Performance

If you're looking for high gaming performance and rendering quality, the RX 7900 XTX graphics card is an excellent choice for you. Compared to the 4080, the RX 7900 XTX offers some value for your money, providing raw performance levels that enable gaming at 4K resolution. This card is designed to meet the needs of enthusiast gamers who play at UWHD, QHD, or UHD monitor resolutions. The new rasterizer engine of the RX 7900 XTX breaks through the previous limits of extreme performance, delivering impressive raw shader engine performance that often sits at the level of a 4080. Although NVIDIA's Raytracing and DLSS3 with its frame generator surpass AMD's FSR2, the XTX's performance is still impressive. The card adds another 1% to the overall performance. We don't understand why the card wasn't clocked a notch faster.


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Cooling & noise levels

When it comes to gaming, choosing between the silent and performance BIOS mode can be difficult. While the performance mode may offer (slightly) higher clock speeds and better performance, it also comes with slightly increased noise levels and power consumption. We found that the default perf mode runs games at a 33~34 DBa level, you can hardly hear it while keeping the graphics card at 60-65 degrees Celsius. Additionally, FLIR imaging didn't reveal any alarming findings. 

  

Energy

Remember that the Radeon RX 7900 XTX is a high-end gaming product that still uses much power. Under full load, the reference edition uses about 350 Watts (average TBP). This Wattage is directly related to how much heat the GPU, which sits inside a closed case, gives off. The 373W (TBP) on average gaming with peaks passing 420W.


Coil whine

Any card will exhibit a notch of coil whine once is reaches a high FPS.  Is it annoying? It's at a level you can hear it when you hit extremely high framerates. In a closed chassis, that noise would fade away in the background. However, you can hear the coil whine/squeal with an open chassis. Graphics cards all make this in some sort or form, especially at high framerates this can be perceived. It's as good as it can get, and we have not been bothered by it.

Pricing

The reference edition costs USD 999, which is a lot of money still for something that can be used to play PC games. AIB cards will cost even more however Powercolor kept pricing fairly fair, at $1029. In euroas that's close to 1100 though.  Now, I can say all kinds of rude things about prices, but these products will still sell no matter what I say. 

Tweaking

The card tweaks well; on the unlocked BIOS you, however get even more TGP available. The power limiter (allowed wattage) at +15% helps out, so that's your first and quickest option to tweak. You get extra perf on the card's default power budget. The boost clock frequency can take a suitable 3250 MHz but end up dynamically at ~2900 MHz (frequencies vary per game title as they are dynamic). The memory could be tweaked to ~21.5 Gbps, so all these accumulated values brought ~8% additional performance on challenging GPU situations, measured from reference performance. 



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Conclusion

The PowerColor Hellhound RX 7900 XTX Spectral White boasts an efficient cooling solution that allows for additional overclocking potential with minimal effort. Further, fine-tuning will  unlock even greater performance. The increased power consumption is significant, reaching 420 of total board power (peak), but the card remains impressively quiet and cools effectively.

Designed to support QHD and 4K UHD resolutions, the PowerColor version of the RX 7900 XTX meets these expectations with its sturdy construction and attractive appearance. While the out-of-the-box performance gap is relatively minor, unique features like vibrant blue fan lighting and dual BIOS options help the custom card stand apart from its reference model counterpart. Priced at a reasonable $1029 for the model as tested, the RX 7900 XTX offers a competitive and cost-effective alternative to the RTX 4080. Thanks to its infinity cache, the card occasionally surpasses the 4090 in performance, particularly in lower resolutions, fillrate, and CPU-bound scenarios. While its raytracing capabilities are somewhat inferior to its competition, the inclusion of FSR support can help bridge the gap. In terms of pricing, it presents a better value than the RTX 4080, which starts at $1199.

Given the limited initial availability of the 7900 XTX, it is unlikely that it will be purchasable at its suggested retail price, and EU pricing may exceed 1200 EUR. This high-performance card caters to a niche market and its price point might be excessive for some. In such cases, waiting for the next GeForce RTX 4070 (Ti) or 7900 XT could be a more prudent choice. Overall, the PowerColor Hellhound RX 7900 XTX Spectral White is an premium GPU, particularly for those seeking to assemble a white-themed Radeon gaming rig. It offers impressive speed, quiet operation, and an eye-catching design. PowerColor has indicated a modest $20-30 premium for the white version. If an all-white Radeon RX 7900 XTX is the final component for your build, the PowerColor Hellhound RX 7900 XTX Spectral White is a nice choice.

- Hilbert, LOAD"*",8,1.

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