On November 3rd, AMD announced its RDNA 3-based RX 7900 series cards built on the Navi 31 die. The duo of cards in the form of the RX 7900 XTX and the 7900 XT come in at $999 and $100 less, respectively, to take on Nvidia's $1,199 RTX 4080 16GB model, which is now simply called RTX 4080 as Nvidia killed or rather "unlaunched" the 12GB variant. The lesser 4080 is apparently becoming the RTX 4070 Ti according to tipsters.
With the launch date of the RX 7000 cards now being so close, over the last few days, we have had several benchmark leaks. The first such leak showed the RX 7900 XTX severely underperforming, though, it was likely a relief for most enthusiasts and AMD fans to see a revised score in the same benchmark showing closer to a 100% improvement. This was more in line with what we estimated the performance of the 7900 XTX and XT to be using AMD-provided data.
Following the 7900 XTX revised leak, we also had the first leak of the smaller 7900 XT. While the performance was once again decent, it was quite a bit slower, by 16%, despite being just 10% cheaper. Overall this result may be somewhat of a disappointment for many owing to the high price of the XT GPU.
Following those Geekbench results, today we have another benchmark in the form of Blender. The Blender open database right now lists a single entry each for the 7900 XTX and 7900 XT. The two cards are now in reviewers' hands and it's possible one of them was testing the GPU on Blender in order to gauge what these cards can do.
Before we dive into the latest leak, bear in mind that these are still somewhat early drivers, even if they are the ones provided to the press. Hence it is possible that we could see a better showing with future driver updates. Also, this is one sample that is likely to be skewing the benchmark results and more test samples could certainly improve it or even make it worse. But we will still report on it and discuss it as we do with anything tech that is or can be, of interest to our readers. You are of course free to share your opinions below.
While AMD has not been great in Blender, the company is making decent progress gradually with Heterogeneous Interface for Portability (HIP) support improving with almost every new Blender release. However, it may not be enough to close the gap with Nvidia's OptiX or CUDA any time soon. The RX 7900 XTX and XT have respectively scored 3783.31 and 3461.95 points. Hence these are coming in at the level of last-gen RTX 3070 Ti or maybe a 3080 at best, at least according to these results.
The disappointing aspect though is the performance improvement of the two new AMD RDNA 3 GPUs compared to their predecessors. The RX 7900 XTX is only 34.8% and 41.2% faster than the 6950 XT and the 6900 XT respectively in the latest Blender 3.4. Meanwhile, the 7900 XT is 23.3% and 29.2% faster than the same two cards.
In the same test, the RX 6700 XT (RDNA 2) is around 60% faster than the 5700 XT (RDNA 1) card, and this is despite the 6700 XT having the same number of compute units (CUs) as the 5700 XT, unlike the 7900 XTX and XT that have more CUs than the 6900/6950 XT. Meanwhile, Nvidia RTX 4090 and 4080 show big gains as well compared to their previous-gen counterparts.
But as mentioned above, these are still not released and we could be looking at vastly improved performance figures in reviews in a few days. Besides, if you are a gamer only, this shouldn't bother you much.