XFX THICC III Ultra Radeon RX 5700 XT Review
Published: 4th November 2019 | Source: XFX | Price: |
Let's start with the aesthetics. We have to. They are just undeniable. So often when we see triple width cooler what you end up with is a card which has been designed to be a dual width one, and then had another stack of heatpipes or fins added to it, giving you a card which doesn't look quite proportioned correctly but rather looks like exactly what it is, a dual slot design on steroids. None of those accusations can be placed at the feet of the XFX THICC III Ultra though. The card is finished in a gorgeous matte black with chrome accents around the edges. The shroud has been split down the middle to help ventilation, but the sides for both the top and bottom have been gently radiused to give a very appealing curve, a distinct difference to the sharp edges we normally see. To help the card look like a contiguous whole rather than disparate parts the inside end has an addition cage which ties the whole thing together. The combination of this and the shiny chrome really looks the business and although XFX have eschewed the common trend for heavy RGB lighting we think that the reflective surfaces will catch your case lighting beautifully and, if anything, make the card even more attractive. It's beautiful.
Looks without performance is nothing though, else Usain Bolt would wear stilettos, but thankfully the THICC III Ultra has performance in abundance. It is hardly sluggish out of the box but the powerful cooler allows you to overclock it hard, and it can keep that overclock under even the most demanding circumstances. In nearly every benchmark we have it topped our graph and the only time the result wasn't in keeping with the others that we saw - Unigine Valley 1440P @ 8xMSAA - it was clear that it was an aberration rather than the norm. If you want a Navi GPU to be the very best that it can be then you need to take a long hard look at the XFX THICC III Ultra. Its performance is nothing short of spectacular.
The million dollar question has to do with noise and temperatures though. This was the area that the XFX THICC II Ultra fell down on, to the chagrin of a lot of people. Thankfully whatever Voodoo the XFX engineers had to do to get the third iteration of their THICC card to meet expectations has been done successfully. Even under the harshest loading we can place upon it this side of Furmark we still didn't manage to get the temperature above 70°C and the hotspot, normally well into triple digits on Navi cards, was barely into the 90s. Of course you can get low temperatures just by running the fans loud and fast, but the THICC III cooler scores points here too, being quiet at all times and, with the zero percent fan when the loading is light, absolutely silent on your desktop or with undemanding titles.
If we had a small critique it has to do with the name. We know we're oldsters and our finger is only slightly on the pulse of what is going on but calling your card the THICC smacks of trend-following. It might be amusing now but in a couple of years it will be the equivalent of calling it the "XFX Doge", or if you're really old the "XFX Has Anyone Really Been Far Even as Decided to Use Even Go Want to do Look More Like?". So best pretend it's just a Rubenesque card and leave the rest with the marketing department.
With blistering performance, tremendous cooling ability and a quiet profile all wrapped up in one of the most attractive cards we can remember for a month of Sundays the XFX Radeon RX 5700 XT THICC III Ultra wins both our OC3D Enthusiast and Aesthetic Awards.