AMD RDNA 3 GPU leaked benchmarks disappoint some gamers

An AMD RX 7900 XTX graphics card seen from an overhead angle
(Image credit: AMD)

AMD’s RDNA 3 graphics cards are imminent, and we’ve just seen leaked benchmarks which underline what Team Red has been asserting in its pre-release marketing – namely that the flagship will be a close match for Nvidia’s RTX 4080.

VideoCardz picked up the leaked 3DMark scores for the RX 7900 XTX and 7900 XT, which are based on data collected from multiple reviewers, the site tells us; but obviously we need to be cautious around any such spillage.

The results themselves show that in 3DMark Time Spy at 4K resolution (Extreme preset), the RX 7900 XTX hits 13,729, and the 7900 XT records a score of 13,687, very hot on the flagship’s heels. That compares to the RTX 4080 on 14,005, so both AMD graphics cards are pretty close to the Nvidia product.

At 1440p resolution in Time Spy, the RTX 4080 has more of a lead with 28,050 compared to the RX 7900 XTX on 25,473 and the 7900 XT hitting 23,897.

Switching to 3DMark FireStrike, the 7900 XTX overtakes the RTX 4080, scoring 18,853 compared to the Nvidia GPU on 17,294, with the 7900 XT behind on 16,915.

And in 1440p for FireStrike, the 7900 XTX graphics card once again beats out the Nvidia card scoring 37,702, with the RTX 4080 some way off the pace on 33,932, and the 7900 XT is not far behind that with a score of 33,497.

Analysis: Driver wonkiness?

If these benchmarks are accurate, this means that the RX 7900 XTX is actually 9% and 13% faster than the RTX 4080 in FireStrike (4K and 1440p respectively), and the RTX 4080 turns the tables in TimeSpy being 2% and 10% faster. So, the idea that the two graphics cards are pretty close in performance terms – which is the line AMD has been pushing, or at least saying that its flagship RDNA 3 offering is competing with the RTX 4080 and not the 4090 – looks very much on the money (and lines up broadly with other leaks we’ve seen of late).

Naturally, aside from the leaked nature of these scores calling for skepticism, we must also bear in mind that these are synthetic benchmarks. A suite of real-world gaming results is what’s really required to be able to judge how the AMD RDNA 3 GPUs perform relative to the RTX 4080.

And the RTX 4090 for that matter, and if you were wondering about that, it’s included in the results table supplied by VideoCardz, and is unsurprisingly well out in the lead. Indeed, it’s something like 20% to 40% faster than AMD’s 7900 XTX, depending on which benchmark and resolution you’re looking at.

Although there is something of an oddity here, we should note, in that the Time Spy results show the 7900 XT is very close to the flagship XTX model, and indeed practically its equal at 4K. It seems something isn’t right here, so if there’s not a mistake with the leakage, then it could be a case of a wonky early graphics driver, perhaps? Hopefully any wrinkles here will be smoothed out for launch.

These benchmarks have prompted some disappointed reaction online, with folks basically hoping the 7900 XTX would be faster – but given AMD’s positioning of the flagship as an RTX 4080 rival, we’re not seeing where any surprise factor is coming into the equation with this leak, really. (Save for that anomaly with the potentially shaky driver, which could mean the XTX turns out faster than shown here.)

Another point of potential concern is that if as rumored, third-party custom models are considerably more expensive for RDNA 3 GPUs – as opposed to just a fair bit pricier, which is to be expected – that could leave the value proposition of the 7900 XTX not being as compelling as we’d hoped, relative to the RTX 4080 (at least in these cases). The same is true if stock is thin on the ground, as the grapevine has recently suggested, and scalpers get their oars in and inflate prices, too. And don’t forget, rumor has it Nvidia might cut RTX 4080 pricing, perhaps partly in response to the RDNA 3 launch.

We’ll see how all this plays out soon enough…

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).