Introduction

Micro Star Int’l needs no introduction when it comes to the high-end enthusiast PC components. They have established themselves among the top leading manufacturers of the PC stuff. MSI was established in 1986 and was manufacturing the motherboards. It was not until 1997 when MSI announced their first graphics card and barebone product. They become a public company in 1998. In 2000 they announced their first server product. In 2003, they announced their first Notebook product. MSI CE products won the IF Design Award in 2005 and 2006. There has been no stopping when it comes to continuous innovation, breakthrough designs and gamers focus in mind. MSI Gaming is a brand that has excelled in providing some cool solutions to the gamers and PC users alike.

AMD is making quite some waves with their Ryzen 3000 series CPUs which are fabricated on a 7nm process node. This is not all as their Radeon division has also been working on new graphics architecture and they have released their new architecture named as RDNA and their new Navi (10) series of the graphics cards are based on RDNA architecture and fabricated using 7nm process. The new RDNA architecture is optimized for efficiency and programmability while offering backward compatibility with the GCN architecture. It still uses the same seven basic instruction types: scalar compute, scalar memory, vector compute, vector memory, branches, export, and messages. However, the new architecture fundamentally reorganizes the data flow within the processor, boosting performance and improving efficiency. Following SKUs are released in new Navi 10 family:

  • Radeon RX 5700 XT
  • Radeon RX 5700
  • Radeon RX 5600 XT
  • Radeon RX 5600
  • Radeon RX 5500 XT
  • Radeon RX 5500

There is also a 50th-anniversary edition of the RX 5700 XT. Engineered from the ground up with superior performance and power efficiency, RDNA is the architecture powering AMD’s 7nm gaming GPU, delivering 1.25 performance per clock compared to the previous 14nm processors1. Equipped with GDDR6 memory and featuring PCI Express 4.0 support, RDNA architecture is ready for the new generation of games. RDNA Architecture is hyper-efficient with less latency, power, bandwidth needed to enable quality gaming experiences. Efficiently energetic, RDNA architecture runs faster with lower power consumption than ever before. Built on the 7nm FinFET process allows up to 1.5 performance per watt when compared to previous 14nm processors. With an improved graphics pipeline, RDNA Architecture is designed to decrease latency and render your games faster. Stream to the world and consume the latest and most demanding content with dedicated 4K encode and 8K decode Radeon Media Engine built into the RDNA architecture that will handle any codec.

Above is the shader engine picture of the RX 5700 XT. The RX 5700 XT is organized into several main blocks that are all tied together using AMD’s Infinity Fabric. The command processor and PCI Express interface connect the GPU to the outside world and control the assorted functions. The two shader engines house all the programmable compute resources and some of the dedicated graphics hardware. Each of the two shader engines includes two shader arrays, which comprise of the new dual compute units, a shared graphics L1 cache, a primitive unit, a rasterizer, and four render backends (RBs). In addition, the GPU includes dedicated logic for multimedia and display processing. Access to memory is routed via the partitioned L2 cache and memory controllers.

Today, we will be taking a look at the RX 5700 XT MECH OC from the MSI. This graphics card is based on Navi 10 and features 40 compute units with 2560 shaders clocked at 1670MHz with the boost clock of 1925MHz and Game frequency of up to 1815MHz. The MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC packs 8GB GDDR6 Micron Memory chips clocked at 1750MHz having a bandwidth of 448.0 GB/s with a bus width of 256 bit. One of the salient features of the Navi 10 and new RDNA architecture is the support for the PCIe 4.0 which enables two times the bandwidth compared to PCI Express® 3.0.

  • Item:                     RX 5700 XT MECH OC
  • Manufacturer:       MSI
  • Price:                    PKR 68,500/- At the time of the review
  • Availability:          Games and Geeks

Specifications

Packaging and Unboxing

The graphics card is shipped inside a cardboard box with an outer packing box made of the paperboard. The packing theme is of the black and red colors.

There is minimalist yet crucial information printed here. The variant is MECH OC. 6GB GDDR6 and PCIe 4.0 support are prominent at the bottom as well as several other features including FreeSync 2, HDR, Fidelity FX to name a few.

The MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC features TORX fans 3.0 for increased and directed airflow. The heatsink is made of a single piece of aluminum with 6mm copper heat pipes. The minimum system requirements include:

  • PCIe compliant motherboard with one x16 dual-slot
  • 600W or Greater PSU (750W Recommended)
  • 8GB RAM (Recommended is 16GB)
  • 64-bit operating system

Powered by Radeon 7nm GPU is printed in 22 languages.

MSI brand logo and name are printed on the top. AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT is printed at the bottom.

The inner box does not have a top cover. We can see an MSI branded container that has literature documents inside, placed on the top. There is a Styrofoam pad covering the contents of the box.

The graphics card is covered inside an anti-static container.

A user guide, decal for MECH and brochures are included.

Closer Look

The MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC is based on Navi 10 graphics processor. It has 10300M transistors using 7nm technology having a die size of 251mm². It packs 64 ROPs and 160 TMUs. We have 2560 shader units. The Pixel fill rate is 122.3 GP/s and the Texture fill rate is 308.0 GT/s. It has 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM rated at 1750MHz clocks using 256-bit bus width having a bandwidth of 448 GB/s. It supports PCIe 4.0 bus interface with backward compatibility. This is a factory overclocked card as the reference design has a game clock of up to 1755MHz with a boost clock of up to 1905MHz and a base clock of 1605MHz. This card has a game frequency of 1815MHz with a boost clock of up to 1925MHz. AMD is using Game Frequency terminology which is specified as the expected clocks when running under the typical gaming applications, set to typical TGP (total graphics power). Actual individual game clock results may vary. From the statement, it looks like AMD is referring to the boost clock but then looking at the specifications we see that boost clock is mentioned separately like in our case the Game Clock is up to 1815MHz whereas the Boost Clock is up to 1925MHz and now we have a base clock as well in RX 5700 XT to take into consideration. This is kind a blurry statement and may cause confusion. In Navi 10, the clocks are dynamically adjusted given the power of the graphics processor.

Designed from the ground up for exceptional 1440p gaming performance and high-fidelity gaming is what AMD is setting this card at. This makes the RX 5700 XT taking on the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 though Nvidia was quick enough to release the Super variant of the GeForce RTX 2070 to compete with the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT. Interesting proposition! The pricing of GeForce RTX 2070 starts at above Rs.82,000/- in the local market in official channel warranty whereas Games and Geeks are selling the AMD rival solution in Rs.68,500/- without channel warranty. Looking at the NewEgg for the international pricing, the pricing of GeForce RTX 2070 is starting at $400 tab whereas the pricing of GeForce RTX 2070 Super is starting at $500 roughly. The pricing of RX 5700 XT starts at roughly $380.

It is time to take a closer look at the design of the graphics card followed by the results of the gaming and synthetic benchmarks. The MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC is a dual-slot design though it is quite thicker and weighs much when holding in hand. It weighs around 794g. It has a dimension of 232x126x46mm. This card has a length of 232mm making it compatible with any chassis as it even does not cross the ATX size motherboard’s length. Also, it has a height of 126mm which should not cause any such trouble either.

The MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC packs Power sensor as well. This is where we have taken the maximum power draw of the card.

Let’s take a look on the shroud side of the graphics card. We have a gray and black color scheme that speaks for itself. The shroud is made of hard plastic material and is quite sturdy. The shroud has a geometrical design with insets and cutouts that really blends in quite well. The top and bottom portions on the intersection of two fans have a shiny black coating on the inset.

The MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC packs two fans. These are TORX 3.0 fans. A brand new version of the MSI TORX fan pushes the limits of thermal performance yet further than before. The new trims clearly visible on the traditional fan blade create a focused airflow which in turn is pushed down by the dispersion fan blades for increased static pressure. A special curved blade accelerates the airflow, increasing its effectiveness. These fans seem to be 85mm sized. These fans don’t have Zero DB or Auto Stop feature.

The MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC features a single aluminum made heatsink with 45 aluminum fins and 4x 6mm copper heat pipes in nickel coating. These heatpipes and two nickel-plated copper plates are making direct contact with the GPU and the VRAM chips for maximum heat transfer. Ample amounts of thermal pads are used to allow various components to transfer heat to the heatsink for better cooling.

MSI has used thermal pads on the VRAM chips and MOSFETs.

Let’s take a look at the top side of the graphics card. There is a large section open-ended for maximum ventilation. The shroud part extends over the PCB and the cooling solution. MSI brand logo, name, and RADEON are printed in white color on the shroud. The top side of the massive heatsink is quite visible showing the layout of the heat pipes.

The above picture shows a look from a different angle on the top.

This graphics card is using an 8-pin and a 6-pin power connector. The combined power draw of these two connectors is 225W. Adding 75W from the PCIe connector would make the power draw of 300W for this graphics card.

The MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC has a solid metallic black color backplate. The only exposed area on the backplate is the 4x holes giving the users access to the black screws of the GPU socket. One of these screws has a white color sticker on it. Peeling it off or tearing it would void the warranty. There is MSI branding on the backplate along with some styling lines.

A 4-pin connector in white color is on the right side of the PCB at the bottom. This is powering the fans of the card. It is PWM as the speed is regulated based on the thermal sensor of the GPU.

The shroud is bending and taking over a certain portion of the heatsink on the front side. The rest of the area is open-ended making it more ventilated. The PCB is black in color.

Following connectivity options are available at the user’s disposal:

  • 1x HDMI port 2.0 b
  • 3x DP port 1.4

Due to limitations from the source, I did not open the card to take a look at the PCB and the power delivery system.

Testing

Following is the information regarding the test system and drivers that I have used to test this graphics card:

  • Intel i7 8700k @ 5.0GHz
  • Asus Strix Z390-E Gaming Motherboard
  • Ballistix Elite 16GB kit @ 3000MHz
  • Noctua NH-U14S
  • HyperX 120GB SSD
  • Seagate Barracuda 3.5” 2 TB HDD
  • Thermaltake TP iRGB 1250W Titanium PSU

Drivers

  • Nvidia driver 442.19 For COLORFUL GeForce GTX 1650 Super NB-4G-V
  • Nvidia driver 417.71 for GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 2060
  • Nvidia driver 411.70 For ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2070 OC
  • Nvidia driver 398.35 for GeForce GTX (Pascal) graphics cards
  • Nvidia driver 417.71 for GeForce GTX 1080 [Required for Battlefield V]
  • Nvidia driver 430.86 for other GeForce GTX 1600 Series cards
  • Nvidia driver 430.86 for ASUS ROG Strix Geforce RTX 2080 OC and ZOTAC GeForce RTX 2070 Amp Extreme
  • Nvidia driver 431.60 for GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 2070 Super Gaming OC 8G
  • AMD driver Adrenalin 2019 19.4.3 for the Radeon RX 570 and RX 580.
  • AMD driver Adrenalin 2020 Edition 20.1.3 for XFX Radeon RX 5500XT Thicc II Pro
  • AMD driver Adrenalin 2020 Edition 20.2.2 for MSI Radeon RX 5700XT MECH OC

Monitoring Software

MSI Afterburner 4.62 was used to monitor and record the FPS for the games without in-built benchmarks. Three runs per game per API per resolution were made and the average is being shown on the graphs. The tough ordeal for the tester! For the tweaking EVGA Precision X1 was used.

Synthetic Benchmarks

Following synthetic benchmarks have been used:

  • 3DMark Fire Strike
  • 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme
  • 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra
  • 3DMark Time Spy
  • 3DMark Time Spy Extreme
  • Unigine Superposition

Games

Following games have been benched:

  • Ashes of the Singularity [DX11, DX12]
  • Battlefield 1 [DX11, DX12]
  • Battlefield V (DX11, DX12, DXR]
  • Metro Last Light Redux [DX11]
  • Metro Exodus [DX11, DX12, DXR]
  • Assassin’s Creed Origin [DX11]
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider [DX12]
  • Grand Theft Auto – V [DX11]
  • Final Fantasy – XV
  • Far Cry 5 – [DX11]
  • Middle Earth – Shadow of War [DX11]
  • The Witcher 3 [DX11]
  • DOOM [Vulkan]
  • Wolfenstein II The New Colossus [Vulkan]

Synthetic Benchmarks

MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC

In all three Fire Strike benchmarks the MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC is sitting above the GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 2070 Super.

MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC

Here, we have an opposite situation as compared to Fire Strike series of the tests as the MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC is behind both GeForce RTX 2070 cards.

MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC

The graph of the Unigine Superposition is sorted on the 1080p Extreme preset. Again, we are seeing this card behind both GeForce RTX 2070s.

Gaming Benchmarks

The MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC is aimed at 1440P Ultra gaming. Despite that, we have tested this graphics card for gaming performance at 1080P and 2160P to keep up with our graphs format. We will only be focusing on the 1440P gaming performance and comparing the gain over the GeForce RTX 2070/Super cards that we have reviewed earlier.

A side note on the driver part, the driver side of these cards still needs improvement for better stability as I have seen a few glitches during the testing.

Battlefield 1 DX11

The MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC is above all the GeForce RTX 2070/Super variants on our graphs.

Battlefield 1 DX12

On 1440P, the MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC is behind all the GeForce RTX 2070/Super variants on our graphs.

Battlefield V DX11

Superb performance at 1440p from the MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC as it is above all the GeForce RTX 2070/Super variants on our graphs.

Battlefield V DX12

Similar performance as is in DX11.

Metro Last Light Redux

MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC is behind GeForce RTX 2070/Super variants on our graphs.

Metro Exodus DX11

MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC is behind GeForce RTX 2070/Super variants on our graphs.

Metro Exodus DX12

MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC is sitting between the GeForce RTX 2070 and GeForce RTX 2070 Super.

Ashes of the Singularity DX11

The Ashes of the Singularity was the very first title with the DX12 and I have tested the game with DX11 and DX12 using the game’s in-built benchmark. The FPS score in the graphs is the average of all benches.

The MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC is above all the GeForce RTX 2070/Super variants on our graphs.

Ashes of the Singularity DX12

The MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC is above all the GeForce RTX 2070/Super variants on our graphs.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider DX12

MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC is sitting between the GeForce RTX 2070 and GeForce RTX 2070 Super.

Assassin’s Creed Origin DX11

I got the strange result in this game. Tested 3 times to verify but the result was the same hence reporting it as it is.

DOOM Vulkan

In DOOM the graphics cards are pulling a better FPS on 1080P and even at 1440P. The true performance potential and gain can be checked at 2160P resolution as only the 4k testing will provide a better reference point. The MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC is behind the GeForce RTX 2070/Super variants though performance is still that good.

Far Cry 5 DX11

MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC is sitting between the GeForce RTX 2070 and GeForce RTX 2070 Super.

Final Fantasy XV

The Final Fantasy XV benchmark outputs the result in terms of the score instead of the FPS.

Grand Theft Auto – V DX11

Grand Theft Auto – V does not have any graphics quality Presets. I have used maximum settings where and what available with 4x MSAA.

MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC is behind GeForce RTX 2070/Super variants on our graphs.

Middle Earth: Shadow of War DX11

MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC is behind GeForce RTX 2070/Super variants on our graphs.

The Witcher 3 DX11

MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC is behind GeForce RTX 2070/Super variants on our graphs.

In terms of the overall gaming performance, the MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC is a solid proposition in its price bracket for the 1440p gaming. In some games, it even comes on top of the GeForce RTX 2070 Super and in few, it was sitting between the GeForce RTX 2070 and GeForce RTX 2070 Super variants on our graphs. In other titles, it was behind the GeForce RTX 2070.

Boost Clocks

Now that we have taken a look at the gaming and synthetic benchmark results, it is time to take a look at the maximum boost clocks.

The MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC has boosted to 2077MHz though it was for the fraction of the second and never hit that figure again during my testing. The average was in the 1890s with the lowest dip of 1815MHz.

Power Consumption and Thermals

Power Consumption

To measure the power draw, I am taking different route as HWInfo64 shows the GPU Power (if there is a sensor on the board) and this is exactly what I have been showing on my graphs instead of overall system power draw. To monitor the maximum power draw, I am using The Witcher 3 at 1080P run of 60 minutes and then record the reported maximum power draw from the HWInfo64. The PC was set to idle for like 15 minutes before the gaming session. This way any user can check their graphics card for power consumption easily.

With 212W of power draw, this card is definitely offering a better power efficiency.

Thermal Performance

I am not using Furmark or any other stress app for thermal performance checking. Instead, the reported temperatures are actually from the gaming session using The Witcher 3 at 1080P resolution for a minimum of 60 minutes. MSI Afterburner is used to record the temperatures during the gaming session. The MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC was idling at 27°C. On stock clocks, it maxed to 67°C. The card was tested on the open-air test bench setup. Once inside the chassis, the temperature is likely to be more than this and is depending upon the multitude of the factors particularly the airflow configuration of the chassis. Keep in mind that this testing was done on the Performance BIOS. The ambient temperature was 21.7°C

Sound Level

The MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC has a better thermal performance but this performance is coming at the cost of elevated sound level as under typical gaming load the fans on Auto settings were making 52 dBA at an ambient sound level of 32 dBA.

Conclusion

The AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT is their top-end graphics solution which is designed from ground up for ultimate 1440P gaming. We got our hands on MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC for the review. The graphics card is based on AMD Radeon 2nd Gen Navi 10 graphics processor fabricated on 7nm and featuring the new RDNA architecture. It has 10300M transistors using 7nm technology having a die size of 255mm². It packs 64 ROPs and 160 TMUs. We have 2560 shader units. The Pixel fill rate is 123.2 GP/s and the Texture fill rate is 308.0 GT/s. It has 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM rated at 1750MHz clocks using 256-bit bus width having a bandwidth of 448 GB/s. It supports PCIe 4.0 bus interface with backward compatibility. This is a factory overclocked card as the reference design has a game clock of up to 1755MHz with a boost clock of up to 1905MHz and a base clock of 1605MHz. This card has a game frequency of 1815MHz with a boost clock of up to 1925MHz.  This card has a 1x HDMI 2.0b port, 3x DP 1.4 ports.

The MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC has a dimension of 232x126x46mm (LxHxW). This is a dual-slot design with a length of 232mm. The card supports and features AMD Anti-Lag, FildelityFX, Video Streaming up to 8k, PCIe 4.0 support, Radeon FreeSync2 HDR, Radeon Boost, Radeon VR Ready Premium, Radeon Rays Audio + True Audio Next, Async Compute, Radeon Image Sharpening, DX12 (12_1) to name a few.

The MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC has a beautiful shroud finished in the gray and black color resulting in an elegant design that speaks for itself. The cooling solution consists of an aluminum heatsink made of a single aluminum piece with 4x 6mm copper heat pipes finished in nickel coating. The heat pipes are making direct contact with the GPU and there are nickel-plated copper plates making contact with the VRMA chips using thermal pads. The task of dishing away the heat from the fin stack is assigned to MSI TORX fan 3.0 fans. The new trims clearly visible on the traditional fan blade create a focused airflow which in turn is pushed down by the dispersion fan blades for increased static pressure. A special curved blade accelerates the airflow, increasing its effectiveness. These fans seem to be 85mm sized. These fans don’t have Zero DB or Auto Stop feature.

There is a solid metal backplate with MSI branding. The card takes power using an 8-pin and 6-pin power connectors making the total power draw of 300W. The MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC weighs 794gm and their recommended PSU Wattage is 750W with minimum 600W PSU. 8GB minimum RAM is required with recommended 16GB capacity.

So, where does this card stand? Performance, Price, Efficiency, and Warranty, are among the top factors playing a pivotal role in the final decision on pulling the trigger. In the overall gaming performance, the MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC has performed quite well to the extent that it manages to beat the GeForce RTX 2070 Super in a few titles. In few games, it was nicely sitting between the GeForce RTX 2070 and GeForce RTX 2070 Super variants on our graphs. In a few, it was behind the GeForce RTX 2070 variants on our graphs. Remember, the drivers still need to be improved for better stability and I am hoping that AMD will do that as they have been rocking with their drivers support. This drivers instability can hit the performance factor. This performance level of the RX 5700 XT is coming at a much better efficiency of 212W as compared to the 219~220W of the other camp’s competitive offering though it is not that significant; it is what it is. The next thing is the pricing. The local pricing of the MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC is Rs.68500 as compared to the starting price of GeForce RTX 2070 to be Rs.82,000/- Please, keep in mind that the pricing of the Nvidia cards is with the official 3 years channel warranty whereas the MSI card’s price is with 1-year local warranty.

The MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC can handle the 1440P gaming that well and it is doing it with a bit better efficiency and slightly better pricing (local). The only caveat is the elevated sound level for better thermal performance. The trade-off is there and it is your choice to decide which way to go with.

I am thankful to Games and Geeks for giving me the opportunity to review the MSI AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT MECH OC graphics card.

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