With the launch of their RDNA2 Architecture, AMD has finally made it into the premium graphic card segment, just after Nvidia announced their new Ampere lineup of graphic cards. The 6000 series GPUs have managed to pack quite a punch in gaming performance, particularly at 1440p and 4K, with even the RX 6800 beating Nvidia’s higher-end RTX 3000 series GPUs in some titles. In this article, we will be pitting the AMD Radeon RX 6800 vs. RX 6800 XT vs. RX 6900 XT.
We will be going through the differences in performance, memory configuration, efficiency, and price, stating which card is suitable for a particular use case. If you were confused about which you should buy, we’ve got you covered, so carefully go through this article and identify the card you feel is the best for you before deciding on picking one up.
|AMD Radeon RX 6800||AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT||AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT|
|VRAM||16 GB GDDR6||16 GB GDDR6||16 GB GDDR6|
|TDP||250 W||300 W||300 W|
|Base Clock (MHz)||1700||1825||1825|
|Game Clock (MHz)||1815||2015||2015|
|Boost Clock (MHz)||2105||2250||2250|
|Memory Clock (MHz)||16 Gbps||16 Gbps||16 Gbps|
|Memory Interface||256 Bit||256 Bit||256 Bit|
|Infinity (L3) Cache||128 MB||128 MB||128 MB|
Performance of RX 6000 Series GPUs
RX 6900 XT
The RX 6900 XT is the RX 6000 series’ flagship card and packs a significant amount of power in gaming and productivity workloads. The RX 6900 XT features 80 Compute Units and Ray Tracing cores, and 5120 stream processors, enabling it to deliver exceptionally well in demanding 4K titles, performing on par with Nvidia’s flagship RTX 3090.
From the AMD benchmarks, the 6900 XT leads the 6800 XT by 7% in 4k titles and 5.3% in 1440p. With 4K framerates of 167 fps in titles like Forza Horizon and 72 fps in Borderlands 3, the card is excellent for 4K gaming at high framerates. For 1440p gaming, the card manages to cross the 200 fps marks in most games easily, though the 6800 XT also manages to do the same.
RX 6800 XT
The 6800 XT trails the 6900 XT in performance but still manages to deliver a gaming experience that is in the vicinity of the more powerful cards. In most 1440p and 4K titles, the card easily beats its Nvidia equivalent, the RTX 3080, and performs more in line with the RTX 3090, especially in titles like Battlefield 5 and Forza Horizon. With identical clock speeds to the 6900 XT, the only differences in both cards lie with the lower amount of Compute Units, RT Cores, and Shaders.
1440p gaming is the strong point of the RX 6800 XT, and it manages to perform on par with the 6900 XT. The card also plays 4K games pretty well, though, on some demanding titles, it’s best to stick with a more powerful card.
The RX 6800 is a more toned-down version of the 6800 XT, with a cut in CU’s, RT Cores, and Shaders. The card also has reduced core clock speeds of a 1700 MHz base and 2,105 MHz boost. The 6800 does manage to perform well, especially over the RTX 2080Ti flagship GPU from last year, beating it by a wide margin in almost all games.
The 6800 falls behind the 6800 XT by about 13% in QHD titles and 14% in 4k, not a suitable choice for playing games in 4k at high framerates. It still performs very well in 1440p and provides framerates that plays well with FPS titles and is the card we recommend for buyers primarily looking to play games at 1440p.
Memory configuration of RX 6000 Series GPUs
All three RX 6000 cards released by AMD have an identical memory configuration of 16 GB GDDR6 memory, a 256-bit bus, and a 16 Gbps memory clock. The GDDR6 memory, though not as fast as the GDDR6x in the Nvidia RTX 3000 series, is plenty enough for gaming and only seems to matter in demanding 4K titles where the capacity and speed of the VRAM matters.
Power consumption and Efficiency of RX 6000 Series GPUs
RX 6900 XT
The RX 6900XT consumes a total power of 300W through two 8-pin PCIe connectors and is perhaps one of the best cards for efficiency. The card should work well with a 700 W power supply, common among most buyers looking to upgrade to this card, though a higher wattage PSU will do well for overclocking the card.
RX 6800 XT
The RX 6800 XT features a total GPU power draw of 300W, just like the RX 6900 XT, and uses two 8-pin PCIe connectors. With a lower performance than the 6900 XT, the card is less efficient. Compared to the RTX 3080, the Nvidia equivalent of the card with a 320W TDP, the efficiency in 4K games is on par, since the 3080 offers a bit more performance in some titles.
In 1440p, though, the 6800 XT comes out ahead of the RTX 3080, both in terms of performance and efficiency, making it one of the best choices if you want a card that offers a premium QHD gaming experience without consuming too much power or getting hot.
The RX 6800 comes in at a much lower power consumption of just 250W and takes in power via 2x 8-pin connectors. Compared to the 6800 XT, the 17% drop in power consumption compared to the 13% fall in gaming performance makes this a more efficient card for 1440p gaming. AMD compared this card to Nvidia’s older RTX 2080Ti, which had the same 250-watt TDP but fell behind in performance. Nvidia’s RTX 3070, though with a 220W TDP, remains to be seen as a more efficient card when more benchmarks are released.
Price of RX 6000 Series GPUs
RX 6900 XT
The RX 6900 XT starts at $999, offering a significant improvement in 4K games to make it a good buy over the 6800 XT, considering it consumes the same amount of power at 300W. Compared to the RTX 3090 from Nvidia, priced at $1,499, it is a better buy if you plan on using it primarily for gaming.
RX 6800 XT
Coming in at just $649, the RX 6800 XT is one of the best value gaming cards you can get right now on the market, especially for buyers looking for high framerates in 1440p. Although having a lower efficiency than the other RX 6000 cards, it does manage to justify its price, and when compared to the offerings from Nvidia, like the RTX 3080 coming in at $699, it makes more sense to purchase this card.
The RX 6800 costs $579 and is the lowest priced model of the RX 6000 series. It is an excellent option for 1440p gamers looking to get a decent mid-range GPU. However, Nvidia’s RTX 3070 could beat it at efficiency and value for money, considering its lower price tag and TDP, though we will have to wait till the official testing scores of the RC 6800 come in.
Main technologies of the new RDNA2 Platform:
AMD’s new RDNA2 architecture implements a variety of innovative features that help improve performance, decrease load times, and increase the visual quality of games. Here’s a list of the main features that come included with the new platform:
|Infinity Cache||AMD increased the L3 cache of the RX 6000 series GPUs to 128 MB, reducing the latency and improving the card’s efficiency. It also helps improve the card’s performance in 4k and 1440p gaming and helps offset the slower speeds of the GDDR6 memory used by the cards.|
|DirectX 12 Ultimate||The RTX 6000 series cards’ new RT cores allow support for DirectX Raytracing support. The cards also support Variable Rate Shading, which directs the GPU to focus its rendering power on areas of the scene within the user’s vision, allowing higher framerates with lesser resources.|
|Smart Access Memory||Exclusive to AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series processors and 500 series motherboards, this feature lets the CPU access the GPU’s high-speed GDDR6 memory, accelerating CPU processing and providing up to a 13% increase in performance.|
|Direct Storage||This feature lets the GPU bypass CPU and directly access system storage for faster load times and better textures, thanks to lesser bottlenecks in both the storage APIs and CPU processing.|
The RX 6000 series graphics cards are AMD’s first foray into the premium gaming space, and they have already managed to make a significant impact on the GPU market. If your primary use case of a GPU is for gaming and you can afford a high-end graphics card like the RX 6900 XT or RX 6800 XT, it all comes down to the amount of money you are willing to commit.
The RX 6900 XT is a good option if you plan to invest in a 4K gaming setup with a monitor, processor, and power supply to support the graphic card’s power. Stick with the latest AMD components to make the best use of features like Smart Access Memory to improve performance.
If you are comfortable with lower framerates but want the higher 4K resolution, the 6800 XT is your next option, saving a considerable amount of money on the graphics card, but most of your system should stay the same.
Finally, the RX 6800 is the choice for gamers looking for a robust 1440p performance that does not break the bank. You can cut down on the processor and monitor options when compared to a 4k setup, but it’s still best to stick with AMD for all platforms. Though the Nvidia RTX 3070 is also a strong competitor worth considering.