AMD has announced its brand new lineup of graphics card: the RX 6000 Series. Revealed during a digital event on Wednesday, the cards are based on the RDNA2 architecture that the company has been working on for the last few years.
Three new cards were announced during the event with the flagship being the RX 6800 XT. It’s a card that AMD is pushing to compete with, and best, Nvidia’s RTX 3080 at both 4K and 1440p performance. In addition to the RX 6800 XT, AMD unveiled two other consumer cards that will utilize RDNA2, the RX 6800 and RX 6900 XT.
The RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT launch on November 18 for $579 and $649, respectively. The higher-end RX 6900 XT will be available on December 8 for $999.
Each card features 16 GB GDDR6 VRAM on a 256-bit memory bus. Where the differences come in are with compute units, stream processors, and clock speeds. The RX 6800 has 64 compute units, 4096 stream processors and a base clock of 1815 MHz. The RX 6800 XT comes in a bit more powerful with 72 compute units, 4608 stream processors, and a base clock of 2015 MHz. Lastly, the 6900 XT tops both RX 6800 cards with 80 compute units, 5120 stream processors, and a base clock of 2040 MHz.
Next-gen power from AMD
When it comes to gaming, AMD showcased numbers that put it either on par with or above the main competition from Nvidia. Games like Forza Horizon 4 and Doom Eternal consistently sat above 100 frames per second at both 1440P and 4K60i ahead of the RTX 3080 and RTX 2080 Ti. The card was also close to the competition in games like The Division 2 and Wolfenstein: Young Blood.
Comparing generation over generation, the new RDNA2 GPUs see a 54% boost in performance-per-watt. From a graphical perspective, AMD showed a 2x boost over the prior generation in 4K performance for games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Battlefield V.
Aside from the gaming performance, arguably the most impressive feature from AMD is the reduced power consumption of the RX 6000 Series. According to AMD, the RX 6900 XT and RX 6800 XT provide 1440p and 4K visuals at just 300W TDP.
|Radeon RX 6900XT||Radeon RX 6800XT||Radeon RX 6800|
|GPU||Navi 21 XTX||Navi 21 XT||Navi 21 XL|
|Release Date||December 8||November 18||November 18|
To increase the performance of the Big Navi GPU, AMD is introducing what it calls Smart Access Memory. With this new feature, those who have a Ryzen 5000 Series CPU will see an increase in the accessible memory between the CPU and GPU, thus increasing overall performance. There’s also a new one-click overclocking feature for the Big Navi cards that AMD calls “Rage Mode.” With both features enabled, according to AMD, users will see an average performance increase of 6%. The last new propriety feature AMD introduced is what it calls “Infinity Cache.” This new 128MBs of on-die cache will help reduce the overall latency between input and action on screen.
Gunning for the competition
AMD made it clear during the event that the RX 6800 XT is its direct competition to the RTX 3080 from Nvidia, so much so that it comes in at $50 cheaper than the main competitor. On the other hand, while the RX 6900 XT is the highest-level card from AMD, it’s not expected to compete directly with Nvidia’s RTX 3090. Though with a $500 cheaper price point and a similar form factor to that of the 6800 XT, some consumers will likely find themselves more tempted to pick it up instead of the $1,500 competition.
One thing missing from the RX 6000 reveal was an example of how ray tracing works with the AMD RDNA2 cards. It was touched on during the reveal, but no specific examples were shown or discussed during the event. In fact, the only gameplay we really got to see was a very short glimpse at Godfall. If AMD wants to make a major dent in the Nvidia market share in the graphics card department, it’s going to have to answer a few more questions about the RX 6000 Series.
*NOTE: All prices listed in USD.*