XFX Radeon RX 5700 XT Thicc III Ultra review: A roaring muscle car, barely heard

XFX fixes flaws to field a fat, fantastic graphics card.

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Strange Brigade

Strange Brigade ($50 on Humble) is a cooperative third-person shooter, where a team of adventurers blasts through hordes of mythological enemies. It’s a technological showcase, built around the next-gen Vulkan and DirectX 12 technologies and infused with features like HDR support and the ability to toggle asynchronous compute on and off. It uses Rebellion’s custom Azure engine. We test the DX12 renderer with async compute off.

strange brigade Brad Chacos/IDG

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Shadow of the Tomb Raider ($60 on Humble) concludes the reboot trilogy, and it’s utterly gorgeous. Square Enix optimized this game for DX12, and recommends DX11 only if you’re using older hardware or Windows 7, so we test with DX12. Shadow of the Tomb Raider uses an enhanced version of the Foundation engine that also powered Rise of the Tomb Raider.

sotr Brad Chacos/IDG

Ghost Recon Wildlands

Move over, Crysis. If you crank all the graphics options up to 11, like we do for these tests, Ghost Recon Wildlands ($50 on Humble) and its AnvilNext 2.0 engine absolutely melt GPUs, even with a sequel due later this year. It’s by far the most strenuous game in our suite, even with newer stunners like Division 2 in the mix. Sequel Ghost Recon Breakpoint recently launched but has been receiving frequent tweaks, so we haven’t swapped over to it for our testing yet.

grw Brad Chacos/IDG

F1 2018

The latest in a long line of successful games, F1 2018 ($60 on Humble) is a gem to test, supplying a wide array of both graphical and benchmarking options—making it a much more reliable (and fun) option that the Forza series. It’s built on the fourth version of Codemasters’ buttery-smooth Ego game engine. We test two laps on the Australia course, with clear skies.

f1 2018 Brad Chacos/IDG

Next page: Gaming, power, and thermal benchmarks

At a Glance
  • The refined triple-fan XFX Radeon RX 5700 XT Thicc III Ultra pushes the pedal to the metal while fixing the cooling flaws of its predecessor. This muscle car roars, but you'll barely hear it.

    Pros

    • Excellent gaming performance
    • Stunningly gorgeous design
    • Dual-BIOS switch
    • Idle fan stop feature for silent desktop use
    • PCIe 4.0 compatible
    • Supremely cool and very quiet

    Cons

    • Very high power consumption
    • Long, thick card won't fit in some cases
    • No real-time ray tracing capabilities
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