ASRock Radeon RX 7900 GRE Review: AMD Almost Hits The Sweet Spot

ASRock Radeon RX 7900 GRE: Overclocking, Power, Noise And The Verdict

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We did some overclocking the ASRock Radeon RX 7900 GRE Steel Edition as well, using the various performance and tuning tools built into AMD's Adrenaline Edition drivers, to see what kind of additional performance we could get out of the card.

Similar to previous-gen Radeons, when the GPU powering these cards is boosting, frequencies and voltages dynamically scale up or down based on the GPU's workload and temperatures at the time. That frequency and voltage curve, however, can be altered to increase performance, save power, or sometimes both if you tune the settings accordingly.

The tuning options built into AMD's driver suite give users the ability to manually alter frequencies, voltages, fan speeds, and the max power target -- using percentages or finer-grained numerical sliders. Users can also opt to use various preset modes or auto-tune a number of characteristics, including GPU and memory frequencies and the GPU voltage. Under-volting, which can actually increase sustained performance, due to reduced thermals and power consumption, is also an option.

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 ASRock Radeon RX 7900 GRE Stock Hardware Health Data

With older Radeons, a single sensor had been used to determine the GPU temperature, and data from that lone sensor was used to control the card's thermal profile. With newer RDNA 2 and RDNA 3 based AMD GPUs, like the Navi 31 powering the ASRock Radeon RX 7900 GRE, AMD has incorporated a network of multiple thermal sensors at strategic locations across the die. Data gathered from the sensors is used to determine what AMD calls the "Hotspot Temperature," and it's that number that is used to tune the card's power and thermal profiles (the Hotspot Temperature is effectively the hottest part of the GPU die at any given time).

The tuning options built into AMD's Radeon Software suite offer manual controls, along with automatic under-volting and automatic GPU and memory overclocking. Finding the highest stable memory and GPU clocks, at the lowest voltage possible, while simultaneously increasing the max power target and keeping temperatures low, is what will yield the best overall overclocking results. If you'd rather not mess around though, you could simply hit one of the auto-overclock options, or turn up the max power target for some smaller gains.

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 ASRock Radeon RX 7900 GRE Manually Overclocked, Running 3DMark

At its stock settings, we saw the ASRock Radeon RX 7900 GRE's GPU clock typically hovering in the 2,200 - 2,300MHz range while gaming (give or take) with our particular sample, with a relatively tame junction temperature in the mid-70°C range. With some tweaking, we found that we could easily increase the memory clock on our card to 2,316MHz (18.5Gbps, effective). We also undervolted the GPU to 1.025mV, tweaked the max frequency of 2,533MHz, and maximized the power target to +15%. With those settings, we typically saw a wider range of real-world game clocks, commonly in the 2,400MHz - 2,500MHz range. The junction temperature while overclocked peaked in the low-80°C range with these settings, without modifying the default fan curve. The cooling setup on this card does a great job keeping temperatures low, without making much noise, so we didn't mess with it. Bumping up the fan speed would obviously bring that junction temperature down a bit, and perhaps improve performance slightly as well.

oc1 radeon 7900 gre performance

oc2 radeon 7900 gre performance

While we had the ASRock Radeon RX 7900 GRE overclocked, we re-ran a couple of tests and saw some nice performance gains. In 3DMark Speedway, the ASRock Radeon RX 7900 GRE nearly caught the GeForce RTX 4070, but in Returnal, the GRE was able to overtake the GeForce RTX 4070 Super.

Total System Power Consumption Tests

We'd also like to cover a couple of final data points regarding power consumption and acoustics before we wrap up. Throughout all of our benchmarking and testing, we monitored noise output and tracked how much power the test system was consuming using a power meter. Our goal was to give you an idea as to how much power each GPU used while idle and also while under a heavy workload. These power numbers were captured during Luxmark and an F1 23 benchmark run with ray tracing enabled...

power radeon 7900 gre performance

Our power consumption tests show the ASRock Radeon RX 7900 GRE consuming a bit more power than the Radeon RX 7800 XT, and somewhat less power than the Radeon RX 7900 XT, which is right in-line with its performance characteristics. The ASRock Radeon RX 7900 GRE, however, consumes significantly more power than the GeForce RTX 4070 or 4070 Super, which is a testament to NVIDIA's power efficiency advantage with this Ada generation of GPUs.

Despite its considerable power consumption, noise is effectively a non-issue with the ASRock Radeon RX 7900 GRE. The card's fans are dead silent at idle, because they spin down completely when temperatures are below 60°C. In its stock config, the fans typically hovered around 1,500 RPM under long sustained loads, which produced a dull whir that wasn't particularly noticeable over our test system's PSU fans and CPU cooler. And while overclocked, the fans hovered at around 2,200 RPM, which had a minimal impact on noise output. Overall, we'd consider the ASRock Radeon RX 7900 GRE quiet in comparison to many other GPUs, and noise shouldn't be an issue for most users, especially in a closed chassis.

AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE Performance And Review Summary

In conjunction with the release of the Radeon RX 7900 GRE, AMD is shaking up the pricing strategy of is more mainstream gaming GPUs as well. The new (to our region, anyway) Radeon RX 7900 GRE has an MSRP of $549 and the suggested price of the Radeon RX 7700 XT is being reduced to $419. An approximate 10% reduction in the Radeon RX 7700 XT’s price gives it an obvious bump in value and the Radeon RX 7900 GRE puts some pressure on NVIDIA for sure. At this moment in time, the Radeon RX 7900 GRE is priced roughly on par with the GeForce RTX 4070, and about 10% - 15% below than the GeForce RTX 4070 Super. In our testing, the Radeon RX 7900 GRE outpaced the GeForce RTX 4070 more often than not, and it offers more video memory than the GeForce as well, which will likely pay some dividends in the future. In a couple of tests, the Radeon RX 7900 GRE was also able to overtake the GeForce RTX 4070 Super. Simply put, at its price point, the AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE is a strong competitor.

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The particular configuration of the Radeon RX 7900 GRE GPU, also somewhat mitigates NVIDIA’s ray tracing advantage, specifically in this price band. Ray tracing performance on the Radeon RX 7900 GRE is much better than the 7800 XT. And while the GeForce RTX 4070’s ray tracing performance is better overall, the Radeon RX 7900 GRE is right there in the mix with some titles. Conversely, the Radeon RX 7900 GRE has a big advantage in terms of traditional rasterization performance. Power consumption is a little high with the Radeon RX 7900 GRE, relatively speaking, but AMD strikes a nice balance with this card in our opinion. We do wish that AMD was slightly more aggressive with the GPU and memory frequencies, however. If AMD boosted the GPU clock by a couple of percentage points (which is clearly possible), and used somewhat faster memory on the card (like it did with the 7800 XT) -- while still maintaining this price point – it would have put even more pressure on NVIDIA. But, GPUs in this price bracket are always a balancing act, and AMD did a good job walking the line here.

Ultimately, we think the Radeon RX 7900 GRE offers competitive performance and is a good value in the current GPU landscape, and it is a perfect companion for gamers with 1440P displays looking for a relatively affordable but powerful upgrade.

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