The One Game Where The Radeon 5700 XT Beats The RTX 2080 Ti

AMD CEO Dr Lisa Su holding up a piece of 7nm silicon from the Navi GPU generation. Image: Alex Walker (Kotaku)

I'll have a fuller story on the Radeon 5700 XT, the bigger of AMD's new 7nm graphics cards, later today. But there's one small thing worth calling out ahead of that.

If you've followed any of the coverage around AMD's new GPUs, you'll have seen plenty of commentary about how much power it uses, performance per dollar comparisons, average frame rates and so on. Most of that holds up, and I'll get into a bit of it myself and how the card holds up in the Australian market particularly.

But there's one anomaly that I wanted to just highlight with a special video: the part where a $620 AMD card manages to beat a $1749 RTX 2080 Ti reference card.

It only happens in one game. I'm talking about Forza Horizon 4, which Turn 10 and Playground Studios optimised the hell out of for consoles. It runs supremely well on PCs too, but it shouldn't be any surprise that the work done making FH4 shine on consoles built on AMD hardware with the older GCN architecture has paid off in spades with a brand new AMD card.

It raises an interesting question not so much for the 5700 XT, but what might be by the end of 2020, and throughout the next generation as more developers begin optimising for consoles built on AMD hardware. Will more games start to favour AMD cards as much?

If the last couple of years is any guide, probably not. But it's nice to see the $629 card have its day in the sun against a rival that costs almost three times as much. The RTX 2080 Ti still beats it in 4K of course — the extra memory is too great an advantage — but it's nice all the same to witness just how much performance can be squeezed out when you're really, really good at your job.


    I've thought about this for a while. Consoles have traditionally used older hardware by the time they come to market. This time however, consoles will be lock step architecture wise with PC's, which you would think should see AMD based cards with a pretty huge advantage going forward.

      Never seems to pan out as much as people hope. Probably because optimising something really well ... is really fucking hard, way harder than people think, I'd venture.

        Only tangentially related to this article but since you're here Alex, my 3900X arrived just now. I'll let you know how it feels after the weekend.

          Keen. I didn't end up getting to spend any time with the 3700X -- schedules, available hardware and just other nightmares got in the way -- so please let me know how it goes!

      Consoles are already architecturally the same as PCs this generation, both PS4 and XBO use x64 Jaguar APUs that use the same microarchitecture as some of the Athlon SoCs that run on desktops and laptops. I believe that's what Alex is referring to when he says "if the last couple of years is any guide, probably not".

      I'd also like to see better standardised compatibility, though more for cross-platform port quality and simplicity than anything else.

        Having more stability -- nobody's worried that the next consoles are ditching x64 or coming up with some bizarre PowerPC creation -- helps a lot on that front too, you'd think.

          I miss consoles that use non-x86/ARM architectures. Remember when we had four entire consoles (including one handheld) running on MIPS?

          Good times.

          (I get why we use x86 and ARM, I just wish there were more CPU architectures in common usage these days. If only the 68000 architecture was still actively developed...)

            It kinda was/is in a way. The 68000 series evolved to the 88000 (powerPC) then it was split between intel, AMCC and freescale and powerPC is now handled by and they are continuing design and manufacturer. With the 3 aforementioned companies still assisting.

              PowerPC was based on IBM's POWER architecture, not the 88000.

              The 88000 was a fresh RISC design that had almost nothing in common with the 68000. It was abandoned by Motorola when they joined the AIM consortium to develop PowerPC into a desktop rival to Intel's x86 hegemony.

                "Features of the 88000 were incorporated into the PowerPC to offer customers an upgrade path."

                Zipper, Stuart (May 24, 1993). "Motorola PowerPC deal with Ford raises questions on 88K RISC fate". Electronic News.

                  From what I can tell, the features were bus-compatibility with the 88000 family for a line of PowerPC processors to satisfy Ford's demand, as Ford had intended to use the 88300 in its products.

                  It doesn't seem like any aspect of the 88000 made it into the more general PowerPC range.

                  (Ford, incidentally, were the largest buyer of PPC chips, as all their cars used them for control systems throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. Not sure if they still do now, but I'd be surprised if they do).

                  Still, cool info! Actual details on the 88000 line is very hard to come by as it wasn't used in very many applications, and certainly not at a consumer level. I did find out that it was used to power the Virtuality VR headsets, though, which is neat!

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