5 Best RX 5700 XT Aftermarket Cards for 2021

Best-RX-5700-XT-Aftermarket-Cards
Best RX 5700 XT Aftermarket Card

This article is going to focus on finding the best Radeon RX 5700XT for your budget, features and performance needs. The 5700XT is AMD’s current best offering and is based on AMD’s Navi 10 chip. Various implementations have been made available from third party companies such as ASUS, MSI or Sapphire. We’re going to place all these in a few categories and rank them for best value, best cooling, best features and more. Unlike the initial blower cards that each AIB manufactured by using the exact same specification that AMD provided, not every custom implementation is the same and apart from the reference PCB, die and memory specifications that AMD is still providing, the manufacturers are free to modify the I/O, the BIOS, the cooling system and even create custom PCBs in order to make their product stand out and perform better. This is why its important to know what you’re getting when you buy one of these.

We will be taking a look at all popular options available to the consumers in order for you to pick the one that suits your build best. Most people want the cheapest card that performs reliably and we understand that but there are buyers which like to experiment with additional features (e.g like the ones the AsRock 5700XT variant is providing), or who want the most silent cooling solution out there or buyers who only care about maxing out the performance of the card at any cost. The RX 5700XT is covered very well and thanks to the abundance of options on the market, there’s a best option for everyone out there; we’re doing the research for you in order to make your purchasing experience easier.

We will be condensing the most important information in a single content piece to help you select the right version for your build and finishing with a breakdown of choices at each price point. The links to buy will be available throughout the article. Without further ado, lets get right into it and present the specs of the cards we’re going to compare!

Best RX 5700 XT Aftermarket Cards – Our Recommendations

SelectionCore ClockBoost ClockLengthExternal PowerCoolingCurrent Retail Price
ASUS RX 5700XT STRIX OC1770 MHz2035 MHz305 mm2 x 8-pin★★★★☆$450
Gigabyte RX 5700XT GAMING OC1650 MHz1905 MHz280 mm1 x 6-pin + 1 x 8-pin★★★★☆$410
Sapphire RX 5700 XT PULSE1670 MHz1925 MHz254 mm1 x 6-pin + 1 x 8-pin★★★★☆$395
Sapphire RX 5700 XT NITRO+1770 MHz2010 MHz306 mm2 x 8-pin★★★★★$450
PowerColor RX 5700 XT Red Devil1770 MHz2010 MHz300 mm2 x 8-pin★★★★★$440
MSI RX 5700 XT GAMING X1730 MHz1980 MHz297 mm2 x 8-pin★★★★☆$420
ASRock RX 5700 XT 8 GB Taichi X OC+1810 MHz2025 MHz324 mm2 x 8-pin★★★★★$450

Best Overall RX 5700XT Aftermarket Cards

The Gigabyte Gaming OC

Gigabyte RX 5700 XT Gaming OC

We’re going to start with one of the cheapest implementations out there, Gigabyte’s 5700XT Gaming OC. In this specific category, we are looking for a graphics card that can do all the cooling, noise and performance necessities without having to bump up the price too much over the reference card’s MSRP. In order to perform and cool much better than your average 5700XT, you’d have to invest more time and research into a custom cooler but Gigabyte is using a slightly altered version of their already proven Windforce 3X cooler shroud, thus minimizing the costs. Its also impossible not to get diminishing returns from over-engineered cooling solutions that may provide you with some extra performance but in return, cost a nasty premium over the normal pricing.

The Gigabyte Gaming OC is closely competing with the Sapphire Pulse in this category as the performance differences between them vary by just a few hairs while the pricing is essentially the same. Both are not attempting to over-engineer the card but instead manage to attach a very potent cooling solution and boost clocks over the reference edition to a good sweet spot; all while having a silent utilization and a good aesthetic.

The dimensions of the card sit at 279.8 x 114.3 x 49.5mm and you need to consider these closely because it may not fit in some cases due to its large nature; at the end of the day, its a beefy 2.5 slot card. The cooler has an illuminated RGB logo that lights up on the side of the card but otherwise, it’s mostly a black shroud with some creases that are surrounding the 80mm fans; these are certainly giving it a gamery feel but don’t expect a lot of additional bling past the initial impression. The three fans also support a fan technology that makes the card able to passively cool during low loads or when playing a very undemanding game, thus providing complete silence from the GPU fans themselves.

GPU thermals were good on the Gigabyte RX 5700XT Gaming OC, sometimes even range-topping and the card remains near silent under load in a closed case so we have no reason not to recommend this $410 5700XT for its way of ticking boxes in the most important areas. The second and very close recommendation in this category would be the Sapphire Pulse RX 5700XT which currently retails for $395 and is very close in performance to the one we are recommending in this category.


Best Cooling RX 5700XT Aftermarket Card

Best cooling, the Sapphire Nitro+ RX 5700XT or the PowerColor Red Devil RX 5700XT

Sapphire RX 5700 XT Nitro Plus

Powercolor-RX-5700-XT-Red-Devil

This one is a tough category because this is on that many enthusiasts care the most about. This category is dominated by the Sapphire Nitro+ and by the Red Devil 5700 XT. We no longer care about price at this point and these two trade blows in different categories of thermal and acoustic performance. To define the best cooling we have to consider a few aspects of what that means; these two cards score great results in GPU die, memory and VRM cooling without necessarily having the largest fans or aggressive fan speeds. Usually, the most efficient cooling setup comes from the quality of the heat dissipation and contact area. This is also why these cards are more expensive than other variants; outstanding attention to detail while using only quality materials and cleverly engineered fan shrouds.

Basically, all the 5700XT variants are silent with their standard BIOS settings but The Nitro+ and Red Devil implementations manage to remain silent at higher fan curves and utilization were other cards start to become audible. The two GPUs will be inaudible from inside your case as they should be with their superior cooler designs. Temperatures are well within control but some manual fan curve tweaking will push their performance and sustained clock speeds even further.

The Sapphire Nitro+ 5700 XT also looks great with its cooler dominated by straight silver and dark accents while the TRIXX software can be used for the TRIXX Boost feature and various control options such as fan curves and RGB functionalities. The Nitro+ also comes with one of the highest boost clocks out of the box, 2010 MHz; this means a rough 3% increase in performance over the basic reference design but comes at a 10-15% power consumption increase, mainly due to the overvoltage of the chip in order to stabilize it during load.

The other card in this category, the PowerColor RX 5700 XT Red Devil went through a slight PCB redesign in order for the cooler to have better fitment over the cooling areas. The card features a mere 2% performance increase over the basic reference design but does that extremely silently thanks to its “silent” and “quiet” BIOS settings. If we were to compare it to the Nitro+, we’d say that it runs a little bit hotter but more silent. With these performance results, we can definitely recommend both of these RX 5700 XT for maximum details gaming at 1440p resolution, or high-refresh-rate gaming at 1080p.

These two cards come with objectively the two best coolers on the market for 5700XT and we will evenly recommend both as the differences are within a margin of error and we can’t call a clear winner. That being said, both are really good and you should just pick based on the price, the size fitment in your case and what’s available where you live; how they look may also be a factor in your decision.


Great Value RX 5700 XT Card

Not amazing, not bad, the most average RX 5700XT: The MSI Gaming X

MSI RX 5700 XT Gaming X

Admittedly this category is not much of an honor but it’s here since not all cards can be the best or the worst. The MSI Gaming X is in the upper tier performance and cooling but its almost never on sale and you can get similar performing RX 5700XTs for lower. If you can find this card around the $410 price point then its a good deal.

The Gaming X isn’t particularly impressive in any one category. Cooling performance wasn’t as good as the Nitro+ or the Red Devil when considering the whole picture like peak GPU thermals vs power consumption and we must say they probably didn’t have enough time between the launch of the Evoque OC and this Gaming X to fix the thermal pad issue which consisted of the thermal pads not fully covering the top two memory modules and the center where the die is located. Its a pity because this way, there’s a lot of thermal performance that’s left on the table and with more attention to detail, this card may have been recommended in the first two categories instead. There’s also a lack of a dual vBIOS and at this price point, we’d like to see this feature used on these GPUs.

Sadly, it’s merely average against the impressive Nitro+ and Red Devil; that doesn’t mean its bad, mind you, just that there’s a lot more room for improvement. It doesn’t have an objectively bad cooler but it’s just very unexciting and bland. Its most unique feature is that MSI has created a new unique design for this RX 5700 XT Gaming X that looks nothing like their recent NVIDIA cards. The card is dominated by black and gray, with some red highlights. A high-quality metal backplate is included, too. Dimensions of the card are 29.5 x 14.0 CM which is not the smallest nor the biggest of the ones we’re comparing today.

Power consumption on the Gaming X is also a little bit higher than on other custom Navi cards, which is probably due to the higher voltage for its high and stable factory overclock. With 270-280 W average and a max input rated at 385W, this isn’t a huge deal as most decent power supplies will have no problems powering the card. It still hurts overall efficiency since the out of the box performance increase is only 4% compared to a 20% power increase. The memory is also not overclocked out of the box and a manual tune is necessary in order to get better performance.


Best Out-of-the-box Performance RX 5700XT Card

The ASRock Taichi X OC+

ASRock RX 5700 XT Taichi X OC

To get things straight, we might make it seem like these cards are far apart from each other in their specific strengths. That is far from the truth because, in reality, these cards perform very similarly and at the end of the day they’re still based on the same GPU chip, the 5700 XT; you’ll be able to find the differences we’re talking about but only if you look very closely. That being said, a rather special 5700 XT implementation is ASRock’s Taichi X OC+ which has a higher $480 MSRP that bumps into a whole new different GPU tier. Its aesthetic choices are the ones that stick out the most when compared to the other models but also its ability to support 6 x Display Outputs natively.

The cooler is capable and manages to perform a lot of thermal dissipation but a little bit on the noisy fans; maybe ASRock can re-engineer their fan design for future iterations. It also comes with a dual VBIOS and software suites that accompany its RGB lighting for more control. This card is feature-packed but lies on the expensive side; it also has a few additional advantages that may stick out for you: its the fastest RX 5700XT out of the box with no tweaking thanks to its highest boost clock out of all 5700XTs and thanks to its attractive but also rather gimmicky lighting setup, it will surely stand out in your build. Be careful though with its size as its a 2.5 slot card and a length of 324 mm so internal case compatibility may be an issue if you don’t check it well before.


Best PCB RX 5700XT Card

The best engineered PCB (Printed Circuit Board): ASUS STRIX RX 5700XT Gaming OC

ASUS RX 5700 XT ROG Strix OC

We will be brief with this best PCB category because this might only be valuable information for the most hardcore overclockers out there. A lot of the other cards are board side grades but a few really stand out with their PCB layout and components. For example, the Nitro+ is using just a binned version of the reference board but ASUS establish themselves as a strong contender for PCB and VRM quality in this category. The board features easy access to the die and other board components such as the capable five phase VRM. This card would be the most recommended to get if you’re into setting it up on a custom loop thanks to its beastly components if cooled right.

Thanks to factory OC, this card achieves a 2035 MHz clock speed which is an improvement over the reference, boosting the performance of the card by about 5% which is quite solid and inches in the realm of Radeon VII and RTX 2070 Super territory. ASUS is using the same flagship STRIX cooler on this RX 5700XT as for tits Nvidia RTX cards and that’s a good decision. The reworked PCB and higher-end cooling solution make it stand out as an exceptional performer only plagued by its steep price. For example, the maximum AMD reference 5700XT temperature is an expected 92 degrees Celsius; not with the STRIX though, the max temperatures during stress testing being 15 degrees lower at around 77 degrees Celsius while still managing to keep the noise levels very acceptable. We measured 36 dBA in heavy load gaming as opposed to reference’s 43 dBa. This card also has a dual vBIOS for even more silent operation if you are in need of it.

Power consumption while gaming is increased over the AMD reference but not by much, being in line with the performance uplift. Higher power limits, higher clock speeds and superior VRM colling and capacity is allowed by the good PCB of the STRIX model. There is also some overclocking headroom over the 2035 MHz limit but we warn you, there will be diminishing returns as the card will start consuming a lot more power for minimal improvements. Memory though can be tweaked in order to perform better in some game engines.


Final price breakdown

We’re basing our value calculations on US pricing so the overall ranking may be different to other parts of the world, especially Europe with its VAT. If you aim to get the reference card you should be doing it only on a large discount thanks to how these aftermarket cards are performing at very similar price points. The reference PCB though is great and can be used with water blocks in a DYI custom cooling setup; its also the building block of many of the implementations we’ve seen above.

Next up, in the $390 to $410 category we’ll keep recommending the Gigabyte Gaming OC and the Sapphire Pulse; whichever is available for you, whichever is cheaper or whichever suits your case fitment and aesthetic needs. These two have the best price/performance and justify their price very well for people who want a solid version of the RX 5700 XT without all the bells and whistles that add extra costs.

For the $420 to $450 category, options widen. The Nitro+ OC and the Red Devil are both exceptionally strong performers that can be considered equal. Nitro+’s RGB LED implementation is tasteful for the mainstream users and the Red Devil can be argued as slightly better when pushing both cards to their max. The Gaming X is also a decent candidate at this price point but it sits in the shadow of the other two. Maybe you’re going to prefer its aesthetic to the other two and that’s fine!

We hope that this article has been of help to you. All the latest deals on these RX 5700 XT cards have pushed them even further in value and people are desiring them more and more, especially since AMD has fixed all the driver issues on them and now they’re flawlessly working. The performance and efficiency that you can get out of the 5700 XT are unmatched at the $400 price point and this article is destined to help you find the best implementation for your system and needs. Stay tuned for our coverage of other popular GPUs!


Related:

guest
2 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments