AMD Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT review: A glorious return to high end gaming

With the debut of the Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT, AMD is obviously on a roll.

Mere weeks in the past, the corporate’s Ryzen 5000 processors seized the unquestionable functionality lead from Intel—sure, even in video games—for the primary time in over a decade. On Wednesday, it’s the graphics department’s flip to polish with those two Radeon RX 6000-series “Large Navi” graphics playing cards powered by means of AMD’s new RDNA 2 structure.

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Rival Nvidia has in large part been competing towards itself within the high-end GPU house for a number of years now. AMD’s Vega choices confirmed up disappointingly past due and disappointingly underpowered in 2017, adopted by means of (superior) first-gen RDNA playing cards that unfortunately crowned out with the midrange Radeon RX 5700 XT in 2019. The Radeon RX 6000-series ends Nvidia’s streak.

AMD’s $579 Radeon RX 6800 dominates Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3070 around the board in conventional video games. The $649 Radeon RX 6800 XT trades blows with the GeForce RTX 3080 at 4K solution and regularly wins outright at decrease resolutions, for $50 lower than Nvidia’s flagship. Each playing cards come supplied with massively upgraded coolers and beefy 16GB reminiscence setups that go away Nvidia’s VRAM having a look downright stingy when put next. They’re additional strengthened by means of an cutting edge new “Infinity Cache” generation that cribs concepts from AMD’s server processors. And sure, RDNA 2 provides real-time ray tracing to Radeon’s arsenal—despite the fact that, crucially, no DLSS rival.

Welcome again to the excessive finish, AMD. The Radeon RX 6800-series comes in a position to play day after today’s video games simply in addition to these days’s. Let’s dig in. There’s so much to hide, so if you wish to leap to a selected phase, use some of the at hand hyperlinks beneath: 

[ Further reading: Best graphics cards for PC gaming ]

Radeon RX 6800-series: Specifications, options, and RDNA 2

dsc01267 Brad Chacos/IDG

Graphics processors constructed the use of AMD’s upgraded RDNA 2 structure beat within the center of the Radeon RX 6800 and 6800 XT, full of extra, smartly, the whole lot than their predecessors. The brand new 7nm GPUs come with extra compute gadgets, extra move processors, extra reminiscence, extra ROPs, upper speeds, you identify it:

rdna 2 vs 1 AMD

RDNA 2’s final 80-compute-unit incarnation will hit the streets because the $999 Radeon RX 6900 XT, which is able to problem Nvidia’s $1,500 GeForce RTX 3090 when it launches December eight. We trustworthy a whole article to what’s new throughout the RDNA 2 structure in case you’re concerned with finding out extra, however we’ll hit the highlights right here.

The Radeon RX 6000-series hits a lot upper clock frequencies than its predecessors (and competitors), with the each the Radeon RX 6800 and 6800 XT exceeding the 2GHz barrier at top speeds. They keep swift even beneath load. The Radeon RX 6800 XT is rated for a 2,015MHz Sport Clock—AMD’s time period for the predicted frequency all through gameplay—and boosts all of the method as much as a daft 2,250MHz in some eventualities. Activating the brand new, non-compulsory “Rage Mode” in Radeon Instrument at the Radeon RX 6800 XT can ship the cardboard hovering even upper by means of expanding the ability restrict and fan speeds. Then again you’ll activate Quiet mode for far cooler, quieter operation and an insignificant one-percent hit to functionality, AMD says. (Rage mode isn’t to be had at the non-XT 6800.)

preset tuning AMD

First-gen RDNA graphics playing cards couldn’t hit those speeds for plenty of causes, however the reminiscence subsystem was once a part of it. The Radeon RX 5000-series merely couldn’t scale up so far as those new Radeon RX 6000-series GPUs can with out changing into starved for reminiscence bandwidth, AMD engineers mentioned. This era of playing cards features a modern “Infinity Cache” to lend a hand with the issue.

infinity cache solution AMD

The Radeon RX 6800, 6800 XT, and approaching 6900 XT all come with an enormous 128MB Infinity Cache baked proper into their GPUs. It’s necessarily a large bite of L3 SRAM impressed by means of a identical configuration in AMD’s Epyc processors, however 4 occasions denser and optimized for gaming workloads. (Ryzen processors additionally just lately followed an enormous L3 cache to enhance gaming functionality.)

rdna 2 chip AMD

The RDNA 2 die.

Equipping the GPU with one of these huge, high-speed cache shall we it stay many of the running information for any given body on-die, which helps to keep the GPU from having to ship indicators all of the method around the bundle to the 16GB of onboard GDDR6 reminiscence in lots of instances, particularly for the reason that Infinity Cache holds numerous temporal and spatial information that may be reused in next frames. That improves each persistent potency and latency, and allowed AMD to pair the hefty 16GB of GDDR6 reminiscence within the Radeon RX 6800-series with a modest 256-bit bus with out a unwell results in video games.

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