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
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’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.)
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.
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.)
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.
Via comparability, Nvidia’s RTX 3080 and 3090 deploy sooner, however extra power-hungry GDDR6X reminiscence throughout a lot wider bus widths for the next uncooked reminiscence bandwidth. The GeForce RTX 3070 additionally makes use of GDDR6 and a 256-bit bus just like the Radeon RX 6000-series, however its reminiscence modules aren’t as speedy as those in AMD’s playing cards, so it provides much less uncooked bandwidth.
AMD simply wins the capability warfare, alternatively, and that’s in all probability an much more essential metric. As of late’s video games can use numerous reminiscence if in case you have all of the graphical bells and whistles became on at 4K solution, and ray tracing calls for much more. The Radeon RX 6800 and 6800 XT each include a welcome 16GB of GDDR6, whilst Nvidia put 10GB of GDDR6X at the RTX 3080 and simply 8GB of GDDR6 at the RTX 3070—a complete already being exceeded by means of video games like Watch Canines: Legion and Doom Everlasting.
The Infinity Cache is helping with ray tracing, too. The state-of-the-art lighting fixtures generation debuted in Nvidia’s RTX 20-series GPUs and involves AMD for the primary time within the Radeon RX 6000-series. RDNA 2 features a new ray accelerator in every compute unit devoted to dealing with ray tracing. AMD focused playable 1440p functionality with ray tracing lively for its debut, and it succeeds by means of and big, as you’ll see once we dive into ray tracing functionality later.
Ray tracing principally works by means of having devoted carry out calculations of ways the sunshine rays behave, the use of a method referred to as bounding quantity hierarchy (BVH) traversal. Acting that activity may be very memory-intensive, which is why VRAM calls for soar up whilst you permit ray tracing in a recreation. AMD says it’s in a position to stay “an overly excessive share of the BVH running set” without delay throughout the Infinity Cache, decreasing latency and bettering general functionality.
What AMD lacks—for now—is a DLSS selection. Nvidia’s Deep Finding out Tremendous Sampling generation leans on devoted tensor cores within GeForce GPUs to render video games at decrease resolutions internally, then upscale the overall output symbol the use of device finding out algorithms to fill within the blanks. Doing so shall we GeForce graphics playing cards claw again probably the most frames misplaced to ray tracing’s really extensive functionality affect. DLSS 2.zero’s black magic may be very a lot proprietary to Nvidia, alternatively. AMD has teased a brand new “FidelityFX Tremendous Answer” characteristic which may be a extra open DLSS selection. The corporate claims it will have wider adoption as a result of RDNA 2 additionally powers the brand new Xbox Collection X and PlayStation five consoles. For now, alternatively, DLSS is a killer characteristic that Radeon can’t fit.
Ray tracing is simply some of the DirectX 12 Final options enabled at the Radeon RX 6000-series (and Nvidia’s rival RTX graphics playing cards). AMD’s new GPUs too can maintain nifty methods like mesh shading, variable fee shading, and sampler comments, which we lined in our take a look at DirectX 12 Final. For the reason that Xbox Collection X additionally helps DX12 Final, confidently we’ll begin to see extra video games come with the performance-boosting options going ahead. The Radeon RX 6800 and 6800 XT can even beef up Microsoft’s DirectStorage API, which debuted at the Xbox Collection X and targets to kill game-loading occasions at the PC.
Phew! Consider it or now not, that was once certainly a short lived take a look at AMD’s technical highlights. Take a look at our RDNA 2 deep-dive explainer for a lot more data concerning the Radeon RX 6000-series’ ray tracing, Infinity Cache, clock speeds, and extra.
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