Excellent price to performance if the driver issues would get out of the way.
By Charles Levere, on January 9, 2020.
As of 2020-02-21 you Can now try AMD’s Enterprise driver : https://urbandork.ca/2020/02/24/black-screen-issues-try-radeon-pro-software-for-enterprise-20-q1-1/
Update: Adrenalin 2020 Edition 20.1.1 Driver
Shortly after posting my review of the Gigabyte Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming OC, AMD released there Adrenalin 2020 Edition 20.1.1 driver. I spent the weekend trying it out and posted my testing results here https://urbandork.ca/2020/01/13/adrenalin-2020-edition-20-1-1-review/.
Now that I have the black screen/signal loss issue resolved (mostly). I took some time to do a more proper benchmark review of this card https://urbandork.ca/2020/01/20/gigabyte-radeon-rx-5700-xt-gaming-oc-8g-benchmarked/.
Gigabyte Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming OC Review
The Radeon RX 5700 XT Gaming OC is a triple fan card at an attractive price but is it worth your hard earned?
Long story short the answer is maybe? The card itself seems ok, it ticks a lot of the boxes that are popular in today’s market. It has a nice 3 fan cooler solution, a metal back plate and some RGB that lights up Gigabytes branding. Lets take a look at some of the features and some of the positives before I voice some of my opinions as well as some of my concerns.
Gigabyte RX 5700 XT Key Features and Specifications
- Powered by AMD Radeon™ RX 5700 XT
- Integrated with 8GB GDDR6 256-bit memory interface
- WINDFORCE 3X Cooling System with alternate spinning fans
- RGB Fusion 2.0 – synchronize with other AORUS devices
- Metal Back Plate
- PCI-Express 4.0 Support
- Boost Clock : up to 1905 MHz
- Game Clock* : 1795 MHz (Reference card is 1755 MHz)
- Base Clock : 1650 MHz (Reference card is 1605 MHz)
- 1x HDMI 2.0b
- 3x Display Port 1.4
Driver used during testing: 19.12.3
The Gigabyte RX 5700 XT Gaming OC performed well in my testing, I had quite a lot of fun seeing what this card could do. As you can see in the photo below, it scored a 5022 in Superposition. Superposition is a relatively new benchmark from Unigine. The card performed about the same as most of the 5700 XTs. They all seem to perform roughly the same.
The Gigabyte RX 5700 XT Gaming OC also performed well in Passmarks GPU benchmark, with a score of 15408. Passmark has been around for a long time although I am not sure how much people actually use it these days but I always use it for my own reference as I have many years of data collected from past tests with past hardware. For reference that 15408 score is about 5000 more points than my GTX 1060 6gb.
The Gigabyte Radeon RX 5700 XT performed really well in all of my games in my library. It pretty much doubled my frames in games like Atlas which is really graphically intensive. Atlas by far pushes my system harder than any other game in my library. So coming from a GTX 1060 6gb, Atlas was dreamy after installing the 5700 XT.
The Division 2 already looked great with my 1060 but still there was a night and day difference after installing the 5700 XT. That is in part due to being able to run the game on ultra settings but also in part due to AMD’s Radeon image sharpening. The image sharpening made everything pop and come to life.
Other games I have tested where Battlefield 5, Elite Dangerous, Need for Speed Payback, Madden NFL 2019 and Borderlands 3. All of which where smooth and able to be played on ultra with plenty of frames.
This is where the wheels start to fall of a bit for me anyways. The fan curve set in the cards bios as shipped to me was set pretty low and as a result the cards T-junction temperature would reach the 90’s. I spent some time setting up a custom fan curve that at first I thought was resetting every time I rebooted my PC. I took some time to read up on the issue and found people where saying to turn off Windows fast boot which I did. Problem solved right? Um no, its true the settings would no longer reset after a reboot but the problem was still there. The graphics driver would crash randomly during game play resetting the fan curve and causing what ever game I was playing to crash as well. Entering a menu in many games would cause signal failure resulting a black screen.
Clean Install of Drivers
Make sure your old drivers are not causing problems by using DDU. You can download the DDU tool at https://www.wagnardsoft.com/.
What so far has helped my problem of random game crashes graphics driver crashes, low fps as a result of the driver crashing was to do a couple things. First I reinstalled the driver as once its crashed a few times it seems its borked after that has happened. Second I went to Gigabytes website and checked to see if they had a bios update for this card and they did. My bios was f3 and the latest one on their website at the time of writing this was FA0. If you download that bios it comes with a tool to install the new bios. Flashing a bios is a bit risky so make sure you are aware of the dangers if you are going to take that step. You can check to confirm the latest bios is installed by installing another tool from their website called the @Bios tool.
Bios FA0 sets a bit more of an aggressive fan curve that helps with temperatures a bit. I wish they had of set it to an even more aggressive curve but the one they set does help and is a step in the right direction. lastly I would not mess with the tuning options in the graphics drivers settings. Just leave everything default for now until AMD improves their drivers further. People in the forums are also saying that Freesync is causing them issues so that is another thing you can test if you are still having issues. If you are using an AM4 motherboard like me you will also want to make sure you have the latest chipset driver from AMD or your motherboard manufacturer installed. You will also want to make sure you have the latest bios installed from your motherboards manufacturer and be sure to set the PCIe option in your bios to Gen 3 not auto and for sure not Gen 4.
If you are still facing issues and you are using a display port cable, you can try switching to HDMI. Some users have stated that this has helped resolve their issues.
1. Use DDU to clean old drivers out
2. reinstall drivers (if you are using an AMD platform make sure you install chipset drivers as DDU uninstalls those as well.)
3. leave the graphics settings either on standard or custom as shown below. Make sure Radeon Enhanced Sync, Radeon Chill and Radeon Boost is off.
4. if you are still having issues and are using a display port cable try switching to a good HDMI cable as lots of people have said this has fixed their issues for them.
I really want to love this card, and I would be ok with it being slightly louder in order to keep it even cooler than it is. The card itself I think would be fine but AMD needs to spend some of that Ryzen money on their Radeon drivers. The mess with their drivers is the reason I switched to team green way back when AMD bought out ATI. Their drivers where a mess back then, back in a time where most people who gamed on PC used an ATI card. They where simply the best at the time. It would seem not much has changed since AMD took over ATI. This is my first AMD card since then and as it stands now I wouldn’t recommend an RX card to a friend. Hopefully AMD gets their driver sorted so that can change.
AMD also in my opinion needs to add a ‘prefer maximum performance’ option similar to the option found in Nvidia’s driver. As I found that my RX 5700 XT is to aggressive at down clocking during games. Most notably games like BFV where you want high frames over looks as this seems to be where it down clocks the most. If you set the settings in a game such as BFV to get more frames rather then cranked up settings for looks the RX 5700 XT down clocks and you actually get much less FPS than if you had the settings cranked up.
I believe this is one of the better RX 5700 XT’s on the market especially for the price when compared to others. If AMD improves their drivers this will be a great performing card at a competitive price.
The drivers are still not fixed. Although less frequent, black screen/signal loss is still a constant looming threat. I can’t remember a piece of hardware in my over 20 years of building and repairing PCs that has caused more headache and more frustration than this 5700 XT. I would not wish this nightmare on anyone.
Driver issues are less frequent if you turn everything off and jump through this hoop and that hoop, also you may want to stand on one foot while rubbing your head counter clockwise.
I just had my PC lock up and had to do a hard reset because I had opened Chrome. I normally don’t use Chrome but I use it once in a blue moon to check something. Less than a minute after opening it my PC was locked up due to the hardware acceleration bug. Since I don’t use Chrome much I hadn’t turned it off.
The months just keep going by with no real fixes being done to the drivers. Sure in my case at least they are less frequent now since I am to afraid to turn anything on. I leave every possible setting turned off and basically sit on egg shells just praying that when I open one of my favorite games that my system wont lock up or my screen go black.