AMD RX 5700Source: Windows Central

Best AMD GPUs Windows Central 2020

NVIDIA gets a lot of the spotlight when it comes to desktop GPUs, but the truth is that AMD has been improving its game a lot in recent times. The red team has some excellent options out there now backed up by some neat software features, but ultimately if you want the best of the bunch, you want an RX 5700 XT.

Best Overall: AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT

Xfx Thicc 5700xtSource: XFX

The RX 5700 XT isn't the outright most powerful GPU that AMD makes right now, but on balance, it's the best of all. For one, it's based on the latest generation Navi 7nm architecture, and while 4K gaming is still out of reach in most cases, at 1440p, this is a strong GPU for high frame rates and detail.

There are several manufacturer-customized versions out there, but the base specs are pretty impressive. At its heart, you'll find 40 compute units, 2560 stream processors, a base frequency of 1605 MHz and a peak single-precision compute performance of 9.75 TFLOPs. The RX 5700 XT also supports PCIe 4.0 when paired with a compatible motherboard.

It's backed by 8GB of GDDR6 memory with a maximum memory bandwidth of 448 GB/s, and display outputs include both HDMI 2.0b and DisplayPort 1.4 with FreeSync supported over both. The balance of price and performance currently makes this the Radeon to buy.

Pros:

  • Great performance at 1440p
  • FreeSync over HDMI and DisplayPort
  • GDDR6 memory
  • Attractive price

Cons:

  • No HDMI 2.1

Best Overall

AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT

The current cream of the crop

This XFX version of the RX 5700 XT has a beefy triple-cooler and an attractive price for a fantastic 1440p gaming experience.

Value Choice: AMD Radeon RX 590

Asrock Rx 590Source: ASRock

The RX 590 is from the previous generation of Radeon GPUs, but when shopping on a tighter budget, it's well worth consideration over something like an RX 5500 XT. Compared to the RX 5500 XT, the RX 590 edges raw performance in several games, and price-wise is usually similar to the 4GB version of the 5500 XT while having twice the amount of VRAM.

At 1080p, you'll be able to drive high details and above 60 FPS in a heap of games, and you're given a range of display outputs that include DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI, and DVI-D. Core specs include 36 compute units, 2304 stream processors, a base frequency of 1469 MHz, and a maximum compute performance up to 7.1 TFLOPs.

It's based on the older 12nm architecture and uses GDDR5 memory over GDDR6. Still, while it can outperform AMD's current budget offering for similar or even less money, it's a smart buy for those on a tighter budget.

Pros:

  • Attractive price
  • Solid 1080p performance
  • Betters the RX 5500 XT in several cases

Cons:

  • Older architecture
  • Runs warmer than an RX 5500 XT

Value Choice

AMD Radeon RX 590

A quality budget pick from the previous generation

Even though it's a previous-generation GPU, the RX 590 still outperforms the new budget choice, the RX 5500 XT in a lot of games, and for similar money, it's an excellent choice to make.

Ultimate Choice: AMD Radeon VII

Xfx Radeon ViiSource: XFX

Technically speaking, the Radeon VII has been discontinued after a short run, but it's still available, and on specs alone, it's AMD's current most potent, range-topping GPU. It doesn't use the same Navi architecture as the RX 5700 XT, but it was proudly AMD's first 7nm GPU.

The Radeon VII is quite the beastly thing. For one, it has 16GB of memory, and it's using HBM2 as AMD used on its Vega 56 and 64 GPUs rather than the more commonly found GDDR6. There are no custom designs to speak of, with all manufacturer-branded variants following the same triple fan design. Gaming performance isn't a massive stretch beyond the RX 5700 XT in a lot of cases, but if you're looking for a lot of VRAM, this has what you need.

Specs include a core clock of 1400 MHz and a boost clock of 1750 MHz, but if you're fine with tweaking (and you probably are if you're buying one of these), you can squeeze a little extra performance reasonably easily. Display outputs include HDMI 2.0b and DisplayPort 1.4, and it is capable of gaming at 4K.

Pros:

  • AMD's highest overall performance
  • FreeSync over HDMI and DisplayPort
  • 16GB video memory
  • Reasonable prices to be had

Cons:

  • No HDMI 2.1
  • No PCIe 4.0 support

Ultimate Choice

AMD Radeon VII

Even though it's discontinued, it's still AMD's overall performance king

If you're looking for big dollops of VRAM and still fantastic performance in games up to 4K, the Radeon VII is still around, so get one while you can.

Best for 1080p: AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT

Sapphire Pulse Rx 5600 XtSource: Sapphire

If you're targeting a strong 1080p build based on Radeon that's also keeping the budget in check, then the RX 5600 XT should be your choice. It sits between the RX 5500 XT and RX 5700 in the lineup and is based on the same 7nm Navi architecture as both. The RX 5600 XT comes with 6GB of GDDR6 memory, 36 compute units, and a peak performance of 7.19 TFLOPs.

It also supports FreeSync 2 over both DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0b as with its bigger brothers, as well as HDR, 4K video output, and works with the latest software features like Radeon Chill and image sharpening.

1080p really is the limit for this card, though, in some games, you will be able to step up to 1440p. The price is extremely attractive, and there are several smaller designs from hardware partners, which means the RX 5600 XT is also a good shout for those building a smaller gaming PC.

Pros:

  • Great performance at 1080p
  • Smaller design options for compact builds
  • GDDR6 memory
  • Great price

Cons:

  • No HDMI 2.1
  • Not a good choice for 1440p

Best for 1080p

AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT

AMDs latest mid-ranger is perfect for 1080p

If you're looking to put together a compact build or one that's built for 1080p gaming, then this is the GPU to put inside it.

Bottom line

AMD's current lineup of GPUs has a lot going for it, with reliable performance and a great price possible whatever type of PC you want to put together. But if you want the best of the bunch, then you want the RX 5700 XT.

Its gaming performance isn't a massive amount behind the Radeon VII while costing significantly less to buy, and it's based on AMD's latest architecture with support for all the newest software features and hardware ones like PCIe 4.0.

Your best bet is getting one of the third-party versions, of which there is a good selection, but if you're putting together a red team build right now, especially if you're targeting 1440p gaming, then its easily the one to buy.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Richard Devine Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming.

Rich Edmonds is a staff reviewer at Windows Central, which means he tests out more software and hardware than he cares to remember. Joining Mobile Nations in 2010, you can usually find him inside a PC case tinkering around when not at a screen fighting with Grammarly to use British words. Hit him up on Twitter: @RichEdmonds.

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