Its been a while since the launch of the Radeon RX 7900XTX/XT from AMD and today we’ll be looking at the offering from PowerColor, the Radeon RX 7900 XTX Hellhound. For those unfamiliar with the RDNA3 architecture, its the next-generation GPU architecture froim AMD released in Q4 2022 and debuts with the flagship two models: the Radeon RX 7900 XTX and the Radeon RX 7900 XT. It has been a few months now and AMD has not released any new cards with RDNA 3 despite the architecture featuring the first chiplet design on GPU which solves a few things, one of them is optimal utilization of their node.
RDNA3’s chiplet design allows AMD to move components that don’t require bleeding edge to still be fabbed on older nodes hence RDNA3 will feature a mix of 5nm and 6nm modules on the die. Alongside this, AMD also improved performance on RDNA3 to provide a leap around 50% much like RDNA2 from its predecessor.
In this review we’re taking a look at the top-end Radeon RX 7900 XTX as desingned by PowerColor. The company has multiple variants of the RX 7900 series starting with the Hellhound, the Red Devil and the Liquid Devil. The Hellhound is the starter model from the PowerColor’s offering but features much of the essentails that make up their entire product stack.
The PowerColor Radeon RX 7900 XTX Hellhound’s most distinct feature is its bi-color fans. While it doesn’t feature RGB, the frozen blue and grim purple do jive with the Hellhounds’s theme. The fan themselves are dynamic and temperature controlled with the PowerColor setting a 60*C target from idle for the fans to ramp up while it targets 50*C before the fans ramp down from load. This in turn cools the new large cooler. This cools the Navi 31 GPU as well as the 12+3+2 VRM on the Hellhound.
AMD decided to go with the currently-used PCIe power connectors unlike NVIDIA who went with the new ATX 12VHPWR. You will need two 8-pin PCIe power connectors for the Radeon 7900 XTX. The 7900XTX is rated for 350W and the 7900 XT at only 315W.
In this review we’ll talk about performance of the PowerColor Radeon RX 7900 XTX Hellhound.
Power Draw, Clock Speed and Temperature
We start off by testing how high our GPU clocks go as well as how much power our card uses. We run Final Fantasy XV 4K benchmark as well as Kombustor for this tests so that users will have an idea what kind of usage behavior they can see from these cards.
Given that most cards will boost all the way to their highest potential, the numbers we see here should be a good indicator of what to expect from these cards in general. Results are capture via PCAT or Powenetics for power for maximum card-only data capture.
Idle Temperature and Power Draw
Gaming Temperature and Power Draw
Load Temperature Behavior
Test Setup and Methodology
Processor: Intel Core i9-13900K
Memory: Kingston FURY Renegade DDR5-6400 32GB
Storage: Kingston FURY Renegade 2TB SSD
PSU: FSP Hydro G Pro 1000W
Cooling: ROG Ryujin II 360 AIO Cooler
Monitor: ROG PG27UQ 4K 144hz HDR1000
For a full-hardware workout, visit https://benchmarks.ul.com for our system warm-up and stress test of choice.
For benchmarking methodology please see our game benchmark method guide.
Test results are gathered and produced on CapFrameX. This makes it easier for use to get both line graph comparison and raw averages without extra tools. Simply the easiest tool for benchmarking and its available for everyone to use, free of charge. Check it out at capframex.com.
Since this is a GPU review, we benchmarked the area of the games that put heavy load on the GPU.
All our test runs are repeatable, click the links below for area and details. Read our benchmarking methodology.
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive: FPS Benchmark Workshop Map
- DOTA2 – The International Main Event – Day 6: T1 vs PSG.LGD Game 2 (48:00) – The 10-Man Buyback Fight
- Rainbow Six: Siege – Benchmark Mode
- PUBG Battlegrounds – Custom Scene
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022)
- Grand Theft Auto V – Palomino Highlands
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider – Kuwaq Yaqu
- Destiny 2 – The Tower
- Forza Horizon 5
- Elden Ring – Custom scene, FPS cap removed, offline
- Cyberpunk 2077 – Little China, noontime
- Marvel’s Spider-Man – Empire State area
- F1 2022 – Bahrain, night time
- Microsoft Flight Simulator – Landing mission, YSSY
See our Youtube playlist for benchmark sequences.
You can click on any of the benchmark charts enlarge. You can also move forward and backwards to quickly navigate through our charts via gallery view. For this test, only the out-of-box normal mode will be tested.
Kindly let me know if you spot an errors in the charts. I do my best to keep them error free but while test results are reliable and accurate, bringing them over to Excel and relying on formulas to generate the reports sometimes can cause mix-ups.
- All data are gathered from exactly the same system, with exactly the configuration we list here. No data is reused from another system or from any variations of. We gather data from only one system as indicated here.
- Graphics cards are allowed to heat up prior to benchmarking. Cooler graphics cards may boost higher than normal.
- Following up on the above, we try to enjoy the game and play a bit before proceeding to the actual benchmark scenario. This allows us to detect any other problems like stuttering, frame skipping, or any other problems.
- Games that receive graphical updates that affect performance e.g. (DOTA2 moving from DX9 to DX11) will be retested completely.
Please take note that we are rebuilding our GPU review database starting with the RTX 40 series.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO)
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, popularly known as CSGO, competes for Steam’s most popular game. It has found a resurgence in its popularity and has recently peaked in 2020 in the number of players that play the game. Based on Valve’s Source Engine, the game received major asset overhauls during the years since its inception nearly 10 years ago. Still, it’s a light game and can be played on fairly lighter systems but the competitive scene for CSGO has seen average players demand high FPS from their systems thus gaining favorable standing with GPU vendors just from the demand for higher FPS alone. CSGO is a game that can easily go past 500FPS on enthusiast systems on maximum settings. We’re including CSGO as requested by our community.
API: DirectX9 (default)
Maximum In-Game Settings
Texture Streaming Disabled
Note: JUNE 2020 – DOTA2 has recently implemented a transition from DirectX9 to DirectX11 and new install of the game will prompt users to switch from DX9 to DX11. With that said, we are testing DOTA2 in DX11 from now on.
In contention for the most popular game on Steam and the biggest competition in eSports: DOTA 2 is powered by the Source 2 engine. The game is fairly light on low to medium settings but maxed out, with heavy action on screen especially during clashes, can really stress most systems. This is a game where frame times matter as responsiveness is very important in high-stakes competition. We’re looking at consistently low frametimes in this game for the best experience
Our test uses actual game replay, using the segment from game 2 of PSG.LGD versus T1 during Day 6 of the Main Stage. The clash during the 48:00 where we see a drawn-out fight which sees both team expending all of their buybacks to secure this clash.
You can watch the replay of the actual game used in the benchmark in your Dota2 client. You can browse the TI10 replay files to see the actual match. You can download it for your own reference. (save it to your DOTA2 replays folder)
API: DirectX11 (default)
Best-Looking slider setting (Ultra)
Rainbow Six: Siege
Nearly 4 years later and Rainbow Six: Siege has become a phenomenon after a lukewarm beginning. The massive shift in focus of the game sees it stepping into eSports territory and the excellent mix of gameplay mechanics, good design and a dedicated dev team has put R6: Siege in a position it couldn’t even picture during launch. Rainbow Six: Siege focuses heavily on tactical and creative gameplay and its vertical levels and highly destructible maps encourage players to be quick on their feet so the action is always going. Powered by Ubisoft’s own AnvilNext 2.0 engine which powers some of Ubi’s recent visual masterpieces, R6:Siege also feature excellent graphics and can get very taxing at high detail settings. The game also features an Ultra HD texture pack download for those that want higher resolution textures but will of course demand more from the system.
API: DirectX 11
Anti Aliasing: TAA
Ultra HD Texture pack not installed
Ambient Occlusion: SSBC
The game automatically drops to 50% render resolution when Ultra preset is selected
The battle royale genre sees multiple titles emerge and Respawn Entertainment’s most successful title to date, Apex Legends differentiates itself from main rival PUBG as it presents itself in true, fast-paced FPS. Existing in the same universe as Titanfall, Apex Legends sees contenders in traditional battle royale elimination format but gameplay heavily gears towards more familiar FPS mechanics. As a Respawn Ent. game, its closer to COD versus PUBG’s more sluggish and heavier gameplay.
API: DirectX 11
Texture Streaming Budget: 6GB VRAM
FSP Cap Disabled
Developed and published by PUBG Corporation, PlayerUknnown’s Battlegrounds now officially PUBG Battlegrounds, was an ARMA3 mod which has gained a massive global playerbase after being released as a stand-alone game. The game is now available for almost all platforms from PC to mobile but PC has been the definitive edition of the game. The game has evolved much since its release, receiving multiple polish to arrive at its current state.
API: DirectX 11
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 (2022)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) is the latest addition to the COD franchise and once again puts the main game back into the hands of Infinity Ward. With Black Ops Cold War and Vanguard both failing to continue the success of 2019’s COD Modern Warfare which has in-turn changed to Warzone, Activision is set on resetting the slate once again with COD Modern Warfare 2. Built alongside Warzone 2.0 on the IW 9.0 engine, CODMW2 ditches some partner technologies like ray tracing to keep it friendlier to all systems but still pushes more detailed models and environments for a modern look.
API: DirectX 12
Render Resolution: 100%
Overwatch 2 runs on an upgraded version of the original Overwtch engine but implements changes to support larger maps and allows the development team to better utilize the maps for story-based missions.
API: DirectX 11
Frame Cap: 600
Developed by League of Legends developer, Riot Games, Valorant is a first-person shooter featuring multiple heroes or agents which have unique skills to assist them within the games traditional team-based FPS combat. The game is gaining incredible success and has taken a large chunk of the now-incredibly massive CSGO playerbase as well, presenting a more refreshed take on classic TDM FPS but spices it up with skills, etc. Like CSGO and League, this game is light as a feather for the largest adoption possible. With 360hz monitors and input lag/system latency a major focus for these games, we’re now including it as reference for players.
API: DirectX 11
Max Detail settings
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
CD Projekt Red’s latest installment in the Witcher saga features one of the most graphically intense offering the company has to date. As Geralt of Rivia, slay monsters, beasts and men as you unravel the mysteries of your past. Vast worlds and lush sceneries make this game a visual feast and promises to make any system crawl at its highest settings. This game has found great resurgence in its playerbase thanks to the release of Netflix’ Witcher series. On December 2022, The Witcher 3 received a next-gen patch which bring ray tracing as well as many other changes to the game.
API: DirectX 12
Grand Theft Auto V
The fifth and most successful installment to date in the highly controversial Grand Theft Auto series brings a graphical overhaul to the PC version of GTA V which many have lauded as a superior approach in porting a console game to PC. Featuring large areas and detailing, GTA V is a highly challenging application in terms of scene complexity.
Our benchmark uses a run from Palomina Highlands running through a lush area to a remote road all the way to a neighborhood in our car to simulate multiple scene changes.
API: DirectX 11
Very High settings
Anisotropic Filtering: 16x
Motion Blur disabled
Advanced Graphics enabled
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the latest installment in the reboot run of the classic Tomb Raider franchise. The game follows the story set forth by the previous game which Shadow of the Tomb Raider short follows after. Technology-wise, the game uses the Foundation engine updated to meet the demand of developer Eidos Montreal to push the engine to its limits. The game supports DirectX 12 and is one of the launch titles to support RTX technology namely DLSS which launched a couple of months post-launch.
API: DirectX 12
Graphics Settings Preset: Highest
Texture Quality: Ultra
Texture Filtering: 8x Anisotropic
Raytraced Shadow: OFF
Destiny 2: New Light is an MMOFPS which sees a persistently sizable playerbase. The game features traditional MMO elements but played in an FPS approach which allows a more skill-dependent game versus traditional MMORPG formats. The game features a futuristic sci-fi universe with lush and detailed in-game locations that puts respectable workload on a gaming system.
API: DirectX 11
Forza Horizon 5
Developed by Playground Games and published by Xbox Game Studios, Forza Horizon 5 is the latest installment in the Forza series, picking up straight after the British escapades of Horizon 4, Horizon 5 takes us now to Mexico for another open-world racing spectacle, that is Horizon. Built on proprietary ForzaTech engine, the game harnesses its power to provide an excellent experience on both PC and Xbox.
API: DirectX 12
The most anticipated game of 2020 has just received its sort of “launch patch” this 2022 with version 1.5 changing many things in terms of performance as well as few things in the graphics department. Perhaps the most anticipated game of the last decade, Cyberpunk 2077’s launch has been a rollercoaster gamers on PC are largely in agreement that it was definitely worth the wait bar the bugs. Made by CD Projekt Red and based on the REDengine4, Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the most modern games introducing full utilization of raytracing amongst others. We do not enable raytracing in this test segment, that will be for the latest section of this review..
API: DirectX 12
Settings: Ultra Preset
Ray Tracing Performance
In this page we see how our test cards perform when Ray Tracing is enabled in game. Games will have varying degrees of how they utilze raytracing. We enable everything to their highest setting although for Cyberpunk 2077, we did not go with Psycho setting and used Ultra. The numbers show the amount of reduction in FPS we with ray tracing enabled versus regular raster performance.
In this page you’ll see the performance overtime of our graphics card.
Final thoughts on the RX 7900 XTX
Knowing what we know now about the Radeon RX 7900 XTX, it offers a much more compelling performance average for its price point compared the RTX 4080 but in only a few instances would it compete with an RTX 4090. This doesn’t even include ray tracing performance where its a complete bust when it comes to development from last generation.
Compared to last generation, the Radeon RX 7900 XTX is a worthy upgrade over the RX 6900 XT especially considering the price backet of the older card. Compared the RTX 4080, the difference differ here and there. At the end of the day, its best to check the individual games you play. As AMD’s drivers mature and they develop more partnerships with developers, its highly likely this will improve. But that’s not a nod to the “fine wine” tropa that AMD has been riding on for the longest time. Bad driver performance on day 1 is simply that: bad driver performance. For the most part, we don’t see that here but AMD’s been quite selective on their press launch slides and which game they use.
AMD still lags behind in terms of ecosystem and has yet to have anything that rivals DLSS and Frame Generation. This also goes the same for their broadcasting ecosystem. While this may not be important for the majority of gamers, the added value it has for content creators and professionals leaves a massive void in terms of functionality that would easily swing the buying decision to its competitor. That said, the RX 7900 XTX sits in a nice spot between the RTX 4070 Ti and the RTX 4080. As mentioned, with performance around the same tier as the RTX 4080 but for far less, its easy to choose the RX 7900 XTX.
Final thoughts on the PowerColor Radeon RX 7900 XTX Hellhound
Compared to nearly all the RTX 40-series cards we have reviewed, the PowerColor Radeon RX 7900 XTX Hellhound is much more compact and while its not as small as previous RX 6000-series cards, it will fit in the majority of ATX cases around right now.
The PowerColor Radeon RX 7900 XTX Hellhound consumes around 375W in gaming loads. Its still around the ratings taht AMD set for it but it will occassionally spike to around 400W+ during use. While lower than NVIDIA’s RTX 4090, take note that in most gaming use, the RTX 4090 will only use 370W as well and will only drive up to 450W+ under certain usage. Temperatures look great though and great job by PowerColor in keeping temperatures below 60*C.
Available locally for around Php 65,000 ($1180), the PowerColor Radeon RX 7900 XTX Hellhound is the cheapest 7900 XTX around but it is by no means a “cheap” card. Its got a solid shroud reinforced with metal components and the card itself is decently made with both good cooling and decent components. There’s really nothing to nitpick about this card. Going past AMD’s own shortcomings, the PowerColor Radeon RX 7900 XTX Hellhound still delivers as a gaming card and is easily a competitive option if you’re coming off an older generation and want to upgrade this generation’s top end card.
PowerColor backs the Radeon RX 7900 XTX Hellhound with a 2-year warranty. I give it my B2G Recommended Seal.