It’s been a busy hardware season, but it seems to finally be slowing down in terms of releases. AMD’s last announced card, the RX 6900 XT, launched today. It is a top of the line behemoth that supposedly can trade blows with Nvidia’s RTX 3090. This card is the last shot that AMD will have for quite a while to claim the top spot in the GPU market, something the company hasn’t done in over a decade.
First announced at the second of AMD’s “Where Gaming Begins” shows this past October, the RX 6900 XT was shown to be a beefed-up version of the RX 6800 XT. In fact, in terms of specs, there are only a couple of differences between the 6900 XT and 6800 XT. Both cards pack the same base and boost clocks of 2,015 MHz and 2,250 MHz respectively, and they both have the same 16 GB of GDDR6 VRAM running at a blazing quick 16 Gbps. The only real difference between these two cards is in their number of compute units. The 6800 XT sports 72 while the 6900 XT has 80, just eight more. That difference translates into a $350 USD jump in price from the 6800 XT to the 6900 XT.
Big Navi with less of a hit to your wallet
At MSRP, the 6900 XT will run consumers $999 USD, a full two-thirds of the total cost of its Team Green competitor. Still, that doesn’t matter if the 6900 XT can’t actually compete against the RTX 3090. From reviews so far, the card is undoubtedly powerful. It runs games at 4K resolution with barely a hiccup, and usually matches the performance of Nvidia’s RTX 3090. That is until ray tracing gets into the mix. AMD still doesn’t have all of its dedicated software for ray-tracing on the market, so Nvidia’s RTX 3090 is a clear winner across the board in these cases.
For those that have already picked the card up at launch, the RX 6900 XT is likely a fantastic buy. It’s perfect for the folks that aren’t extremely concerned about ray tracing or are confident that AMD will have a driver update for these cards that gives them comparable performance. Until that happens, there are clear use cases for both Nvidia and AMD, as well as clear markets.