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Thread: PowerColor Red Dragon AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT Review

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    PowerColor Red Dragon AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT Review

    Being a long time nvidia fanboy and disgruntled as the 1000 and 2000 series pricing and how well AMD have been performing in reviews, I thought I'd stick it to nvidia and buy a 5700 XT. I've been looking for a while as it seems most of the non-blower reference cards take up 3 slots (and advertised as 2.n slots, but you try shoving anything in that third slot). Powercolor have come to the rescuse with their Dual and Red Dragon lines (not Red Devil), which fit in two slots.

    Scan have dropped the price on the Red Dragon from £425 to £390, so I lept at bought one (free delivery thanks to Hexus). Arrived a few days later and immeditely got installed.

    DirectX 12 has promised multi-GPU capabilities where you can mix and match different brand GPUs, let alone different models. And whilst no games actually support this, let me settle this for once - you can't stick an AMD and an Nvidia card in the same computer due to incompatible drivers. They won't work alongside each very well at all.

    Installation

    On to the actual card. Installation was fine, box was void of anything apart from the card and packing - almost single-use plastic free, but not quite. No bungs, adapters or cables etc. This card is taller than the standard expansion slot to cater for bigger fans, not a problem in my case, but may be for some people. The power connectors are on the top edge, meaning you room for the extra tall card and your power cables.

    3D performance
    As noted above, previously I was running an MSI 1070 Ti,.

    • Time Spy gave me ~6800 which increased to ~8700.
    • Rainbow Six Siege average ~30-50fps at 1080, ~10fps at 4K.
    • Rise of Tomb Raider 1080 don't know because I had vsync on (oops), 4K ~5fps.
    • Civ 6 saw a couple of millisecond off the frame time down to 8ms in 1080, and 5 down to 15ms in 4K.


    I got bored of benchmarking at this point and got on with it.

    Noise and thermals

    I generally saw low 1000 rpm speeds, and I only ever heard the fans at full pelt when the driver locked up. I generally keep a frame-cap on to avoid excess heat, and it certainly wasn't a problem. I generally found temperatures less than 70°C for most 1080 gaming. Temperatures dropped to 50°C quickly after gaming at which point the fan turns off. There is a bit of lag before they'll turn on/off to avoid a constant switching on and off.

    I couldn't heard the card over my CPU radiator during most gaming.

    This card has a backplate, which is a nice touch. The heatsink fins run the width of the card and not the length as I find more common. This means the heat will be ejected to the top of the card, and into your motherboard. Instead of out the case and towards the front. I'm unsure whether that's a good or a bad thing.

    Overlay and tools

    Previously I've used the Nvidia overlay to do things like recording of game footage, and saving last X minutes. I was pleased to find that the AMD software supplies a similar product, with some differences:

    • The overlay doesn't appear to capture the mouse, so when you move your mouse around and click on things in it, your game will be reflecting those actions. In Wildlands my guy looked like he was twitching and firing off random shots.
    • The microphone track can be recorded separately, but this is a separate file and not a separate track in the file, you have to combine and line-up your audio yourself if you do this.
    • Surround sound is recorded by default (not sure if nvidia supports it, never tried, not interested).
    • Easy selection of monitor bit-depth etc, more fine grained controls in many areas
    • Just as confusing to navigate, and looks just as stupid as the GeForce Experience app.


    I was able to overclock my ageing IPS panel to 72Hz without problem.

    Drivers

    After my initial attempt to run two driver sets side-by-side failed miserably, I cleaned and installed the latest WHQL drivers. These were unstable. I rapidly cleaned and went to the latest (19.9.3), these were less unstable.

    But as many people are reporting - omg - this is terrible. My computer crashes. You know, those things you used to see back in the nineties? Frequent graphics driver crashes and occasional black screens with fans going into oblivion waiting for somebody to button the system.

    I'm getting through one or two restarts a day, and I don't use my computer all day! Flash points seem to be transitioning states (full screen, tabbing, waking for sleep). Most of the time it works, but not all the time. I've lost work-in-progress as I fell out of the habit of saving my progress many, many years ago.

    2D Performance

    Argh. Writing this post has been terrible, it feels like I'm on a remote desktop. Dragging windows around often (not always) feels like I'm trying to pull them through treacle. VMWare virtual machines sometimes exhibit mouse lag. It's ironic that anti-lag is a thing AMD are bigging up.

    Frankly, it's frequently unusable *reboot*.

    Now. I might be able to spend hours of my life troubleshooting this and working out what setting causes the problems, but I can't be bothered. I don't spend an eye-watering amount for that.

    The long and short of it is I'm going to send it back due to poor drivers. The small boost in 4K performance is welcome as it kept things closer to 60fps, but even then, it still can't do things in ultra, there are compromises that have to be made. Given the resale value of my old card, I think I'll just save my money and spend it on games instead.

    I have been burnt by this experience, and I'm greatly disappointed as I'd like to move away from the monopoly boys, but these experiences remind me why I don't.

    No idea how to resize pictures for this forum.







    1070ti

    5700 XT
    Last edited by Dashers; 12-11-2019 at 04:33 PM.

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    Re: PowerColor Red Dragon AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT Review

    I had issues with 2D performance with HDR and 4K in Windows 10 with AMD hardware. I had to turn off HDR which solved it.

    EDIT: Cheers for the review, nicely done.

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    Re: PowerColor Red Dragon AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT Review

    Stability is still bad for me with 5700 XT

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    Re: PowerColor Red Dragon AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT Review

    Quote Originally Posted by nazhuggybear View Post
    Stability is still bad for me with 5700 XT
    That's really disappointing given how long it has been. I'll certainly think twice before buying AMD again.

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    Re: PowerColor Red Dragon AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT Review

    I replaced my DisplayPort cables to certified one's from http://displayport.org and changed to driver 19.12.1 and everything is now stable for me. My screen and video driver would constantly crash with old or new drivers so I'll be sticking to 19.12.1 for the foreseeable future.

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    Re: PowerColor Red Dragon AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT Review

    Really wanted to enjoy my 5700 XT but drivers have just ruined it. It's a shame AMD are giving Nvidia customers for free. No issues with my 2070 Super in terms of driver issues.

    Nice review thoguh!

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    Re: PowerColor Red Dragon AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT Review

    mate new drivers 20.5.1 are rock solid - great performance, zero issues with stabilty and support Hardware Accelerated GPU Scheduling.

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    Re: PowerColor Red Dragon AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT Review

    I am on the same card as well, on the latest July drivers, nicely undervolted to get higher clock speeds and lower temps and fan speed. Works great. Playing most AAA games at 1440p High locked to 60fps.

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    Re: PowerColor Red Dragon AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT Review

    Sorry for the thread hijack but I'm in the market to replace my old R9 390 and am looking at some brand of 5700XT. Been reading about driver issues and cooling problems, are they really as prevalent as I'm reading on the likes of Reddit?
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    Re: PowerColor Red Dragon AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT Review

    If you know how to remove drivers using DDU and then restarting and installing fresh drivers then you are sorted. If someone cant do this, they should pay extra for a Nvidia card.

    Been using this card for months and no issues.

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    Re: PowerColor Red Dragon AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT Review

    Quote Originally Posted by clown_abhi View Post
    If you know how to remove drivers using DDU and then restarting and installing fresh drivers then you are sorted. If someone cant do this, they should pay extra for a Nvidia card.

    Been using this card for months and no issues.
    In the interest of combating FUD:
    * No, it shouldn't be a requirement to use a thirdparty bit of software to prepare your PC for the driver installer to work correctly.
    * As it happened, I'm well versed and experienced in this sort of thing and DDU was one of the tools used to try and resolve the issues.
    * Not all users are impacted equally, which lead me to my suspicion that it might be a hardware quality issue.

    I've got no idea where the state of drivers are now, I play games with somebody who has a Vega64 and they still experience driver problems occasionally, but I can't say for the 5700XT. Personally, I wouldn't risk the money on it unless I was confident that there are no longer reports of crashes. And for the record, I've been back on my 1070ti for a year now and in that time I haven't had a single driver crash or system lock up.

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    Re: PowerColor Red Dragon AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT Review

    Gotta say, I've not really had any major issues with my Red Dragon 5700 (non XT).. Apart from a fan issue when I first got it which was quickly fixed via an updated vbios from PowerColor.

    Very good card with decent temps and is very quiet under full load. I'd consider my system including GPU as very stable with no reboots, black screens, game crashes or any other weirdness. Guess I'm one of the lucky ones!

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