After Sunday’s official “Navi” announcement, I have received many questions about STH’s reviews of the new AMD GPUs. I wanted to quickly send a Friday note to address the questions we have been getting around our AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT and RX 5700 reviews and why they have not been published.
AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT and RX 5700 Review Background
In 2019, William has been spearheading an effort to benchmark and review GPUs differently. Namely, instead of doing gaming benchmarks, we have been focused on compute-focused tasks. William’s GPU compute benchmark database now spans every configuration from dual NVIDIA Titan RTX‘s with NVLink to single GeForce GTX 1650 cards. We even explored the difference between Founders Edition and low-cost aftermarket cooled GeForce RTX 2080 Ti‘s for deep learning.
While many of these desktop GPUs find their way into gaming systems, there are popular use cases with desktop GPUs being used with servers. You can see a few examples with our DeepLearning10 and DeepLearning11 builds. Even NVIDIA allows their GeForce GPUs to be used in edge workstations and small servers like DeepLearning02.
We planned to use Navi as the time to get even more AMD results in the database since much of the competitive data we had focused around the AMD Radeon Vega Frontier Edition and AMD Radeon Pro WX 8200.
Over the past week, William has been working on benchmarking two new GPUs, the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT and Radeon RX 5700. Our working theory is that Navi, with its GDDR6 memory and new architecture would perform well, especially in our rendering tests.
Current Status of the STH AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT and RX 5700 Reviews
During the course of this week, William worked to get his pieces finished for the new AMD GPUs. He ran into issues due to the current state of the AMD OpenCL support for the cards. A quick look shows that even Ryan Smith at Anandtech found similar challenges during his compute benchmarks.
As a quick note, we also heard through back-channels that AMD is aware of this challenge. The company focused on gaming compatibility at launch. Frankly, that is a valid direction for AMD as the largest segment for the company is gaming.
Last night, I asked William to stop making progress on the Radeon RX 5700 XT and RX 5700 reviews. We are shelving the reviews until AMD remedies its OpenCL support.
I requested that William spend his time on his Super reviews instead. The first one up will likely be the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Super review since the 2060 level saw an increase from 6GB to 8GB of GDDR6 which will have an impact on many of the workloads we run. I am personally excited to see how Navi performs once drivers are in place as competition is good for the market.
At this time, if you want a GPU for compute, or compute and gaming, NVIDIA seems to have better options. We cannot recommend someone use a Navi desktop GPU for professional applications when we are seeing errors and program crashes using the current (as of 7/11/2019) driver stack. AMD is aware of this shortcoming, and it will likely be remedied soon. Until then, these cards are collecting dust.