XFX Radeon RX 5700 XT THICC III Ultra review

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Final words and conclusion

.final words

When XFX released the THICC II it received some comments specifically on the cooling design. The new THICC III likely was the XFX answer to that. The product performs more or less the same as the THICC II. The reality, however, is that for the 5700 series clock frequencies matter less than the actual TDP and TGP set by the AIB, but restricted by AMD. So any brand could set a max Turbo of 2000 MHz, but the reality is that the card will throttle back at a certain clock frequency to match the maximum allowed power the card can consume. It's quite a conundrum to fight off, as that is the reason what all cards from all brands in its default configuration perform so incredible close towards each other. Once you open up the power limited and allow the board to consume more power, you can easily add an extra 5 to maybe even 8% additional performance (at the cost of extra energy, heat, and noise of course). The new THICC III Ultra performs well and looks absolutely gorgeous. The THICC III model will be inserted at a price bracket of 439,- USD which is the same price of the THICC II Ultra, so in that respect, you cannot complain. As stated in the reference reviews already, NAVI sits at the Vega performance level. So the improved architecture is sound, and works. Compared to reference, depending on how and where you measure you gain an extra 2% in performance, which can be a bit higher depending on title and resolution though. 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 smacked 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. 



Both Radeon RX 5700 cards show good, in fact, super 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 in 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 overall as a reference product is priced at 399 USD. The XFX AIB custom premium boards are roughly 25 to 50 bucks more expensive, and XFX advertises this product with a 439 USD tag. This is the Ultra model, the non-Ultra model is the same just a fraction slower, and that one is likely the more attractive product to be brutally honest. 

.cooling & noise levels

The THICC III cooler certainly looks impressive, the acoustics are reasonable at a measured 40 DBa, which I consider to be a normal operating value. Temperatures wise we're looking at roughly 72 Degrees C under full load, which I am perfectly fine with. Both the Silent and performance (default) BIOS mode operate roughly in the same temperature bracket, the silent mode, however, is silent at 37 DBa measured at the cost of a tiny bit of performance.


The TDP for this XT we measure to be roughly 267 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 with the same performance bracket. XFX has increased the power allowance a bit, in order to gain more perf, that is what the Ultra model is all about.



XFX has improved the cooling moving towards a THICC III model, we have not asked but we think the THICC II model will be phased out at one point. That product, albeit looking mighty fine, had capacity and cooling issues in an effort to tame the beast that is NAVI on a factory tweaked condition. The THICC III solution is a bit more brutal, enlarging the aluminum radiator fins and adding a third fan. Also, the memory cooling plate is now made from copper and that does help quite a bit (seen from THICC II). It does work, but again NAVI is a bit of a beast to tame, the 72 Degrees C measured under load is fine, the acoustics are fine as well at a measured 40 DBa (I say fine here, as it is not silent - you will hear some airflow). I do have a soft spot for the aesthetics value of these cards, I mean the THICC III just looks brilliant, and remember this a non-RGB lit product. You do need to realize that that outer shell is all plastic though. Whether or not you find that important, is up to you. The overall performance is close to baseline, the tweaking performance is fairly good. But again all these are restricted to a certain degree by AMD. You will easily gain another 5 to 7% extra performance out of the card though. With that improved cooler and looks that could match a James Bond gadget all the rest all boils down to sheer performance and pricing. The XT does perform well in many games, and a bit less in others, this is the dynamic of AMD's NAVI architecture. XFX will price the THICC III exactly the same as the THICC II, which is 439,- USD. For that money, you get close to the same product and performance, but a better cooler. We love the playful naming THICC, and the aesthetics are beautiful. Is it the best 5700 XT your money can buy you? Maybe not, but the THICC III certainly THICCs a lot of the right boxes at comparatively speaking, a competing price. Pardon my wording puns.

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