Undervolted AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT Gets Benchmarked With Impressive Results
A new video from Techtesters helps illustrate the potential benefits available to PC users who are willing to undervolt their graphics cards. Undervolting might help your graphics card run quieter and cooler, as well as cutting electricity costs, but many will be concerned about a corresponding drop in performance. The good news, as illustrated in this video, is that the trade-off may not be prohibitive. With this particular Radeon RX 7800 XT, undervolting to precipitate a 40% reduction in power consumption reduced performance in a range of games by only 9%, on average.
The 'guinea pig' graphics card which underwent this tweaking exercise was a Gigabyte Radeon RX 7800 XT Gaming OC. It is quite a power hungry sample, with a default TDP of 286W. An AMD reference model would have a 263W TDP, for comparison. In a way, this in itself illustrates the large power increases that are traded off against minimal GPU clock/performance gains for the sake of marketing.
Techtesters graphs show that the Gigabyte Radeon RX 7800 XT Gaming OC has a "problem" with high power consumption, but they decided on a plan to cut consumption via undervolting / power limiting to around 200W. After the changes were put in place, the YouTubers assessed the graphics card via a handful of games and system readings.
Above you can clearly see the before and after undervolting performance figures aren't at all frightening. Perhaps if you are a Starfield or MSFS player you might want to cancel this undervolt for a gaming session, but many other games show little discernible difference.
It is also important to show the Gigabyte Radeon RX 7800 XT Gaming OC running at 200W battling against its nemesis - the GeForce RTX 4070 (see above). With the same 11 games selection, the battle is very even - you might call it a draw.
At its newfound 200W TDP, the tweaked RX 7800 XT consumed similar amounts of power to the RTX 4070 when gaming. In our review of the RX 7800 XT it was quite a convincing performer in comparison to the NVIDIA challenger. Interestingly, even after this significant cut in power consumption, it remains competitive.
If you are of a certain age, you might remember when canny PC users frequently dabbled in the art of overclocking. Now, with computer hardware manufacturers selling their bits and pieces at what you might call pre-optimized configurations, with a view to performance out of the box, PC undervolting may become the dominant trend.
Lastly, we thank Techtesters for showing how much difference undervolting can make on the latest graphics hardware.