Best RX 7900 XT Graphics Card

Before you spend $800 or more on a GPU such as the RX 7900 XT, make sure you pick the right model. Here are the best RX 7900 XT graphics cards.

NVIDIA’s RTX 4000 and AMD’s RX 7000 Series are undoubtedly some of the fastest GPUs we have seen, but every single GPU of this lineup comes with an immense cost. Thankfully, the RTX 4070 Ti and AMD’s RX 7900 XT are some of the more sensible options at $800.

However, $800 is still a whole lot of money for a GPU, so, if you plan to get a RX 7900 XT, you should ensure you get the right model.

To ease this research process for you, we put together a buying guide with all the necessary information you need when buying a GPU, including performance, overclocking, thermals, and more!

Let’s see what the different RX 7900 XT graphics cards offer!

The Pros:

  • Impressive factory boost clockrnGreat price for an AIBrnVery quiet

The Cons:

  • No downsides

The Sapphire RX 7900 XT Pulse is one of the more affordable options coming from this brand, but even then the cooling is usually more than sufficient.

Pricing

On release, the RX 7900 XT had a $900 MSRP, which was already overpriced, considering that the RX 7900 XTX and RTX 4070 Ti were $1000 and $800 respectively.

Sometime after the release, AMD officially cut the price down to $800. So, in short, Sapphire’s RX 7900 XT Pulse is in the $820 range.

Design

It appears as though Sapphire’s design inspiration for the Pulse comes from AMD’s reference GPU design. However, that’s not a negative thing. The straightforward black reference design looks remarkably good, while Sapphire adds a bit more personality to it with subtle red accents.

The red lines run across the entire front of the GPU all the way to the back where it turns into a pulse line, referencing the GPU’s name.

It’s quite lightweight for a cooler with three fans, only weighing 1420g!

Performance And Overclocking Capabilities

The advertised boost clock for the RX 7900 XT Pulse is 2450 MHz, but, in-game, the clocks average around the 2680MHz mark and may peak up to 2900 MHz!

With such a high peak in stock boost clocks then there is certainly potential for overclocking. Looking at TechPowerUp’s overclock test, this RX 7900 XT reached an average GPU clock speed of 2936 MHz. That’s a 10% higher boost clock than stock!

What is even more surprising is that the 10% higher clock speeds lead to a 12% performance improvement, getting the GPU much closer to its bigger brother, the RX 7900 XTX.

Thermals And Acoustics

If you decide to leave the RX 7900 XTX at stock settings, its thermals and acoustics are quite tame. The average GPU temperature doesn’t go over 70 degrees Celsius, while noise levels sit comfortably around 29 dBA.

The Pros:

  • MSRP pricernRuns cool while staying quiet

The Cons:

  • Unsubstantial factory boost clock

AMD has its own GPU cooler design just like NVIDIA Founders Edition design. But, these reference cooler designs don’t get a lot of love since they are usually louder and clocked lower.

However, the lower price of this RX 7900 XT Reference Design compared to other aftermarket cards might make this a solid alternative.

Pricing

The RX 7900 XT’s Reference card is available for $800. If it is anything above this price point, consider getting an AIB card instead.

Design

The RX 7900 XT Reference Design is probably one of the darkest GPUs you can buy right now. The entire shroud is black with a couple of darker grey accents here and there and only a small amount of subtle red accents.

For anyone looking to make an entirely black build without any RGB lighting, this is the card you should go for.

It is also worth mentioning that it is only 276 mm long, making it a great choice for those with a smaller PC case.

Performance And Overclocking Capabilities

An acknowledged disadvantage of standard GPUs is their clock speeds. However, despite AMD’s RX 7900 XT being promoted to boost to 2400MHz, its in-game clock speeds typically average around 2700 MHz.

Unfortunately, the reference cooler doesn’t allow for any significant overclocking, although it is possible to push the memory clock up to 2700 MHz, which could slightly enhance in-game performance.

Thermals And Acoustics

The reference design RX 7900 XT doesn’t seem to run hot at all, averaging around 58 degrees Celsius. However, it runs cool because the stock fan curve is just too aggressive.

The average noise level is around 37 dBA even though the fans ramp up to about 1750 RPM. That’s pretty loud, so make sure you have a substantial cooling setup in your case. Proper case cooling will also provide more room to adjust the fan curve.

The Pros:

  • Cheapest RX 7900 XTrnExceptionally cool at stock settings

The Cons:

  • Cool, but also very loud

A frequently reliable option for an AMD GPU AIB is XFX. So, let’s have a look at XFX MERC 310 7900 XT. XFX’s MERC has two versions, Ultra Gaming, and Black Gaming, but they’re practically the same, with a small difference in design/color. So, you can go with either one.

Pricing

The XFX Merc 310 usually respects the $800 price tag for the RX 7900 XT, but it also often gets significant discounts, so it might end up being the cheapest variant out there.

Design

Not much to say about the design of this XFX card. A pretty simplistic design and color choice and is very similar to the previous generation GPUs like the RX 6800 XT.

Although it’s worth mentioning that it is a perfect fit for white builds since the backplate is completely white while the front (shroud around the fans) is grey/black.

In terms of lighting, there is an XFX logo on the side that is RGB illuminated.

Performance And Overclocking Capabilities

The Merc 310’s specifications show a boost clock of 2535 MHz, but the GPU generally sits around the 2650 MHz mark.

With a proper overlock, the GPU can be pushed to 2850 to 2900 MHz and runs stable.

Thermals And Acoustics

With the stock fan settings, the Merc 310 stays exceptionally cool even though the RX 7900 XT is quite the power-hungry GPU.

It’s even more awesome than the reference RX 7900 XT which had an average of 58 degrees Celsius! The XFX GPU has an average of about 54 degrees Celsius, making it one of the lowest temperatures we’ve seen on any GPU when using the default settings.

But, how does that affect noise levels?

Well, while under load and with the stock fan curve, the XFX Merc 310 is quite loud averaging about 43 dBA. So, if you can’t stand loud fan noises while working or gaming, XFX’s RX 7900 XT might not be the best option.

Although, you can always adjust the fan curve to reduce noise and increase temperatures.

Which RX 7900 XT Should You Get?

The RX 7900 XT isn’t as popular as its bigger brother (RX 7900 XTX) so the AIB options are in a shorter supply. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any good AIB variants of the 7900 XT. On the contrary, all three options we added to this buyer’s guide are quite good.

So, which one of these three should you get?

If you want a no-compromise GPU that overlocks well and stays quiet and cool, the Sapphire RX 7900 XT Pulse isthe Best Overall GPU. But, its cost can be $20 to $50 more than MSRP.

If you want to get an RX 7900 XT at MSRP, consider the XFX Merc 310 RX 7900 XT as it offers the Best Value. Just don’t forget to adjust the fan curve!

Impressively enough, even the Reference Design RX 7900 XT is quiet and cool enough for us to recommend it!

Recommended Reads

Best Cloud Gaming Services
Best Cloud Gaming Services 2023
Branko Gapo

Keeping up with the incredibly fast evolution of computer technology is impossible. That is why Branko will be using his knowledge on this matter to share news and information on all the latest essential technological innovations and advancements.