In a rather amazing move, TechPowerUp managed to overclock an AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX to such an extent that it can match the Nvidia RTX 4090 in the demanding Cyberpunk 2077 benchmark.
Now, let's not get carried away: On paper, a $999 GPU to match a $1,599 card in gaming performance is, on paper, a massive loss for Nvidia. But this is just a test; TechPowerUp also found that its overclocked RX 7900 XTX was unable to achieve the same performance as the RTX 4090 in other benchmarks, although performance did improve significantly.
Still, it's very impressive, and not entirely unexpected. There were reportedly clock speed issues with the Navi 31 chip powering the RX 7900 XTX, which would limit its performance a bit, something AMD may be able to fix with future driver updates. It still won't really outshine the 4090 (which itself will get new drivers), but it's worth keeping in mind that AMD's flagship GPU isn't using 100% of its available power at the current time. TechPowerUp's powerful 3,2GHz overclock gets a lot more graphical grunt out of the card.
Analysis: Even more worries for Nvidia
Nvidia has been plagued with issues surrounding the release of its next-gen Lovelace graphics cards, from collapsing 4090 power adapters to the rushed "launch" of the RTX 4080 12GB, and this seems to be another issue for Team Green. .
TechPowerUp used a factory-overclocked Asus TUF card for its test, which was already slightly faster than the standard AMD RX 7900 XTX we tested in our review. Factoring in manual overclocking (which involved a complex underpowering process to extract as much power as possible from the GPU), it was 23,1% faster than the competing RTX 4080 16GB.
Sure, this compares an overclocked card to one running at reference clocks, but that's still worrying news for Nvidia. The RTX 4080 16GB has been derided by many as being underpowered for its hefty $1,199 price tag, and that lends even more credence to that argument: AMD's new top GPU is $200 cheaper and handily beats it in most areas.
Note that we said "most" - the Nvidia card still wins in Blender and other software that favors CUDA cores for performance. If you're looking for a GPU for professional creative work, Nvidia is always the way to go. However, these numbers support AMD's repeated claims that Radeon is the best choice for gamers.
That likely won't change until Nvidia provides more affordable cards, either the new RTX 4070 and 4060 models or through a price cut on the existing 4080GB RTX 16. Even then, Team Green is likely to be on the defensive - AMD's pricing curve gives it the upper hand here, so we can expect Team Green's budget and mid-range RX 7000 Red GPUs to be very competitively priced. In short: Nvidia has an uphill battle ahead of it. A lot of goodwill among gamers was wasted due to the mess surrounding the new Lovelace cards, and AMD was quick to capitalize on the situation.