AMD RX 6800 XT And 6800 Review: Radeon Rising

    With the launch of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, AMD has been in a position to re-establish a footing within the dialog round high-end graphics processing. All that speak about RDNA 2 GPUs put the corporate within the highlight, and its efforts amounted to some {powerful} next-generation gaming consoles. Both the Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 video playing cards convey the ability of the RDNA 2 structure to PC gaming and, primarily based on our outcomes, they make actually robust instances for PC fanatics to contemplate AMD–which is one thing that we’ve not earnestly mentioned in fairly a very long time.It’s tough, although. Nvidia has been breaking floor since 2018 with its RTX GPUs that combine hardware-based options for ray tracing and AI-driven graphics tech. Over two years, we have seen builders progressively undertake real-time ray tracing in video games for photorealistic lighting, shadows, international illumination, and reflections. The minimize in efficiency whereas utilizing these options may be important however ray tracing has made strides since its introduction into mainstream gaming. The rising assist for DLSS (deep studying supersampling) makes 4K picture high quality and ray tracing possible whereas preserving body charges excessive, too. In regards to innovation, Nvidia remained untouched. While AMD put out some stable mid-range playing cards with the RX 5000-series in that point, it wasn’t in a position to problem Nvidia on the high-end.The RX 6800 (high left) and RX 6800 XT (backside proper).That modifications with the launch of the RX 6800 XT and RX 6800. When it involves uncooked efficiency metrics, AMD’s new playing cards are proper up there with Nvidia’s finest, buying and selling blows relying on the sport and graphics settings–finally, some good competitors. When contemplating the RX 6800 XT’s recommended retail value of $650 USD (in comparison with the RTX 3080’s value of $700), AMD actually offers Nvidia a run for its cash. And in lots of instances, the marginally cheaper Radeon RX 6800, which matches for $580 USD, comfortably positions itself between the Nvidia’s RTX 3080 and RTX 3070, even encroaching on Nvidia’s top-of-the-line card in uncommon cases. It’s a powerful displaying and it is thrilling to see AMD make a comeback, however it additionally presents PC avid gamers with the robust query of easy methods to spend that hard-earned video card cash. Our benchmark checks ought to no less than assist with that.Technical ParticularsWhen it involves the RDNA 2 structure, the development in efficiency boils right down to effectivity. At least with the RX 6800 XT and RX 6800, the main target is on working frequency to get extra out of the GPU on a per-watt basis–basically, excessive clock speeds whereas having extra environment friendly compute models are the important thing to how AMD’s new playing cards obtain excessive efficiency. This strategy additionally permits GPUs within the RDNA 2 household to scale simply (not in contrast to what you see between the Xbox Series X and the less-powerful Xbox Series S).Another main development within the new Radeon video playing cards is the AMD Infinity Cache–it’s a bit robust to clarify, however it’s principally how RDNA 2 GPUs obtain excessive efficiency reminiscence bandwidth effectively and as a strategy to complement conventional GDDR6 video reminiscence. As AMD places it, the Infinity Cache “allows fast data access and acts as a massive bandwidth amplifier.” What you should know is that this ends in efficiency that earlier AMD playing cards could not obtain.AMD’s resolution to real-time ray tracing additionally differs a bit from Nvidia’s. On AMD’s RDNA 2 playing cards, every of its compute models are paired with ray accelerators, which decide up the workload for DirectX ray tracing (DXR) duties. Nvidia’s RTX playing cards, in the meantime, have devoted RT Cores that solely deal with caring for ray tracing tasks–it’s a considerably completely different means (and label) to the identical finish.What AMD would not have is hardware-based AI processing just like the Tensor core present in Nvidia’s RTX playing cards. These cores are liable for DLSS, a function that creates native decision picture high quality whereas utilizing a decrease base decision to maintain body charges excessive and video games wanting sharp. It’s a perk that solely Nvidia affords and it is a boon at 4K. Although assist for it’s rising, solely a handful of video games can use DLSS. There is not an AMD parallel proper now, however it does have one thing in improvement that could possibly be an identical resolution. We merely do not know it’s going to pan out simply but.There are AMD-only perks to contemplate, although. The most notable one is Smart Access Memory (SAM). If you pair an AMD Ryzen 5000-series CPU with a Radeon RX 6000-series GPU on a X570 or B550 motherboard with PCI-e 4.0, you may allow this function. It’s primarily a complete AMD ecosystem that totally makes use of the GPU reminiscence and reduces system bottlenecks. Unfortunately, we’re not geared up to check SAM ourselves, however AMD claims round a mean of 6% will increase in efficiency throughout completely different video games. This is vital for brand new system builders and present homeowners of Ryzen 5000-series CPUs–it’s free frames-per-second. Though outcomes will fluctuate, that is worth added for utilizing AMD’s ecosystem and an attention-grabbing perk to contemplate.As for the RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 designs, each include one HDMI 2.1 port, two DisplayPort 1.4 outputs, and one USB-C port. The 6800 XT is, after all, the beefier GPU of the two–it has extra pc models, larger clock speeds, is bodily larger as a 2.5-slot card, and is rated for a 300-watt TDP. The RX 6800 is basically a scaled-down model in all respects (though they each require two 8-pin energy connectors). You can see the essential specs within the desk beneath. AMD Radeon RX 6800 XTAMD Radeon RX 6800Compute Models72 CUs60 CUsStream Processors46083840″Game” Clock Velocity2015 MHz1815 MHzBoost Clock Velocity2250 MHz2105 MHzVRAM (GDDR6)16GB (+128MB Infinity Cache)16GB (+128MB Infinity Cache)TFLOPs18.6 TFLOPs13.9 TFLOPsTDP300 W250 WSize10.5 inches, 2.5-slot10.5 inches, 2-slotPrice (MSRP)$650 USD$580 USDMethodology And Test BenchFor the needs of this overview, we used the identical check bench as we have been utilizing for the Nvidia RTX 30-series critiques. Although we have had entry to restricted assets given our working situations, our setup represents a reasonably high-end construct that offers these video playing cards the chance to flex their stuff and utilizing the identical setup additionally retains issues constant throughout our efficiency metrics.MSI Mag Z490 Tomahawk motherboardIntel Core i7-10700 (non-Okay) 8-core/16-thread CPU clocked at 4.7GHz Corsair H100i AIO Liquid Cooler16GB (2x8GB dual-channel) Corsair Vengeance DDR4-3000 RAMSamsung 960 Pro 512GB NVMe SSDSeasonic Prime 1000W (80 Plus Platinum) PSUWe included two video playing cards from every producer in our checks to check and distinction their variations in efficiency: AMD’s RX 6800 XT and RX 6800, and Nvidia’s RTX 3080 and RTX 3070. For drivers, we used the beta model of Radeon Adrenalin for AMD and Game Ready 457.30 for Nvidia.The RX 6800 XT operating in our check bench.With AMD within the combine, we needed to change up our benchmarking somewhat bit. Our earlier checks additionally included the Nvidia-exclusive DLSS, which we will not use for comparative functions (and we clarify the influence within the following outcomes). But to color a transparent image of the place AMD stands with regard to DirectX ray tracing, we used two main video games: Metro Exodus and Control. We additionally used seven video games with in-game benchmark instruments to get fundamental efficiency metrics: Godfall, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Red Dead Redemption 2, Dirt 5, Final Fantasy XIV, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Forza Horizon 4–contemporary video games that signify the vary of efficiency calls for of PC video games at present. Our outcomes centered on the typical frames-per-second output, and since we’re working with high-end video playing cards right here, we used 4K and 1440p resolutions and most in-game graphics high quality settings.Benchmark ResultsEverybody Loves Ray TracingTo measure DXR efficiency for the RX 6800 XT and RX 6800, we used each Metro Exodus and Control with and with out ray tracing enabled. These are two very demanding video games, particularly with the suite of ray tracing options cranked to the max. (Remember you could all the time flip graphics settings down for higher efficiency in actual gameplay situations.)Metro ExodusWhen you max out each graphics setting, Metro Exodus actually pushes video playing cards to their restrict. With ray tracing set to “Ultra” and general high quality settings on “Extreme” (which is not totally reasonable for gameplay functions), top-end video playing cards will nonetheless battle at 4K, however benchmarks do showcase their capabilities.Generally, what you see is that Nvidia’s RTX playing cards maintain a gentle lead over AMD in terms of ray tracing. While AMD’s new playing cards are actually able to placing out first rate efficiency with ray tracing enabled, they battle to maintain tempo as they are not as well-equipped to do it. It’s evident within the efficiency numbers while you disable ray tracing–here, AMD closes the hole, massive time.Without ray tracing, the RX 6800 XT is simply behind the RTX 3080 by a slight margin, whereas the RX 6800 overtakes the RTX 3070–and these variations scale accordingly between 4K and 1440p. When you contemplate the value variations between all these playing cards, the place they land in efficiency tiers is sensible.ControlControl is one other sport that may push video playing cards to their limits with a full suite of ray tracing options. With each graphics possibility set to most (besides MSAA) and all ray tracing choices enabled, even the most effective {hardware} may not be sufficient. However, benchmarking the sport does produce attention-grabbing outcomes.Like Metro Exodus, you see the Nvidia RTX playing cards pull forward in Control with ray tracing options enabled. The RX 6800 XT lags behind the RTX 3080 by a big margin in each 4K and 1440p, and the RX 6800 trails the RTX 3070 as nicely however to a lesser extent. Again, Nvidia is healthier geared up for ray tracing it might seem–but like in Metro Exodus, the hole closes when ray tracing is turned off.With all high quality settings nonetheless at their most however with ray tracing disabled, the AMD pulls up–the RX 6800 XT is principally neck-and-neck with the RTX 3080, and the RX 6800 overtakes the RTX 3070. This typically aligns with price-performance tiers of every card.The Thing About Nvidia: DLSSThere is one main caveat to the instances of Metro Exodus and Control, nonetheless. Both video games function DLSS, and as beforehand talked about, it is a particular benefit for Nvidia RTX video playing cards. DLSS is form of the nice equalizer when paired with ray tracing, serving to increase body charge to offset the calls for of ray tracing whereas producing native decision picture high quality. Based on our checks, DLSS boosts body charge by roughly between 45% to 54% at 4K–needless to say that these are enormous positive factors.Games with Nvidia-supported ray tracing will usually embrace DLSS, so if in case you have an RTX card, it’s usually the case that you might use them simultaneously–recent examples being Watch Dogs: Legion and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, to not point out the highly-anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 as nicely. So whereas the RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 are in a position to go toe-to-toe with their competitors when DLSS and ray tracing are each out of the image, Nvidia merely has this superior (and advantageous) tech on lock for now.Raw PerformanceSupport has been rising for ray tracing, however the majority of present video games have but to undertake it, as is the case with the next video games used as benchmark checks. In these instances, the RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 assert themselves as {powerful} playing cards, typically overtaking their Nvidia equivalents.GodfallNo matter the place you stand on the general high quality of Godfall, there is not any denying that it is visually impressive–one of the really new-gen video games from a graphical standpoint. It’s a console unique to the PS5 and its PC model makes for an excellent benchmark for a brand new period of video playing cards.This is a sport that is optimized for Radeon playing cards, and you’ll see in our outcomes that the Radeon 6800 XT pulls forward of the RTX 3080 at 4K by a slight margin, however considerably widens the efficiency hole at 1440p. The identical may be mentioned concerning the RX 6800 when in comparison with the RTX 3070. But there’s one thing to notice right here with the RX 6800–its efficiency at 4K is positioned as you’d anticipate, however at 1440p, it begins to shine and comes actually near the RTX 3080.Editor’s Note: Godfall obtained a patch on November 18, 2020 that added DXR ray tracing choices. Our testing befell earlier than the patch was launched.Assassin’s Creed ValhallaAs the primary entry within the Ubisoft franchise for next-gen {hardware}, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla generally is a actually spectacular visible showcase. Using the PC benchmark and all the things set to “Ultra High,” you see outcomes favor AMD playing cards much more so than in Godfall.At 4K, the RX 6800 XT comes out on high and hits a mean of 60fps whereas the RTX 3080 trails behind with 55fps. Even the RX 6800 comes near Nvidia’s high-end card and stays well-ahead of the RTX 3070 at this decision. At 1440p, AMD sails proper previous Nvidia in an enormous way–the RX 6800 XT has a 22.4% improve over the RTX 3080, and even the RX 6800 outclasses Nvidia’s finest by 7.9%. AMD is unmatched at 1440p right here.Red Dead Redemption 2We reconfigured our Read Dead Redemption 2 benchmark from earlier checks, now utilizing the utmost preset graphics settings within the menu (which nonetheless leaves out some options, however it’s high quality as a result of the sport nonetheless seems to be beautiful).In easy phrases, our outcomes present every card falling consistent with their anticipated price-performance tier. At 4K, the RTX 3080 comes out on high fairly simply (surpassing a 60fps common) with the RX 6800 XT trailing by a noticeable margin and the RX 6800 barely holding a lead over the RTX 3070. However, AMD has a stronger displaying at 1440p again–the RX 6800 XT performs nearly on par with the RTX 3080, and the RX 6800 will increase its lead on the RTX 3070.Dirt 5Dirt 5 is one other sport that is a part of the next-gen console push, and within the PC model, you see it may be fairly graphically demanding. With each possibility set to “Ultra High” utilizing native resolutions, the benchmark outcomes closely favor AMD, which is sensible because it’s an AMD optimized sport.It would not want a lot explaining however the RX 6800 XT earns a big 23.2% lead over the RTX 3080, and even the RX 6800 maintains a small 3.8% lead over Nvidia’s top-end card. At 1440p, the hole in AMD’s leads widened with each new playing cards leaving the RTX playing cards within the dust–the RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 have 40% and 14% positive factors over the RTX 3080, respectively. Not unhealthy for cheaper video playing cards.Final Fantasy XIV: ShadowbringersFinal Fantasy XIV is not graphically demanding, however it’s the finest MMORPG (and RPG, when you ask me) in latest reminiscence. It additionally displays how these high-end video playing cards fare in low-spec video games.The Shadowbringers benchmark brings issues again right down to earth as every video card form of falls inside their price-performance tier. At 4K, the RTX 3080 maintains a noticeable lead with the RX 6800 XT following swimsuit. The RX 6800 additionally solely has a really minor lead on the cheaper RTX 3070. The outcomes scale accordingly going to 1440p, however at that time, the sport turns into rather more CPU-bound.Horizon Zero DawnHorizon Zero Dawn generally is a nice wanting sport (apart from its handful of bugs on PC) and its benchmark is an effective check for straight efficiency.At 4K, the outcomes once more present every card lining up the way in which you’d anticipate, and each the RX 6800 XT and RTX 3080 are in a position to break a 60fps common. But the outcomes at 1440p are rather more interesting–the RX 6800 XT pulls forward of the RTX 3080 by an honest margin, and the RX 6800 is not too far behind.Forza Horizon 4Forza Horizon 4 remains to be a tremendous-looking sport, particularly while you crank all of its graphics choices to their most. The detailed benchmark software is a pleasant check, and right here, it is outcomes share similarities to what you see in Horizon Zero Dawn.There’s nothing too shocking at 4K, with the RTX 3080 barely forward of the RX 6800 XT, however oddly the RX 6800 and RTX 3070 are equivalent. At 1440p, the tables flip once more with the RX 6800 XT overtaking its Nvidia counterpart–however, at these body charges, the variations will not be that noticeable.VerdictIt’s been some time since we might severely suggest an AMD video card for high-end PC gaming. The RX 5000 collection and the RX 500 collection supplied stable mid-range choices throughout their time, however AMD form of conceded the high-end to Nvidia.Nvidia is forward of the sport with ray tracing, which is as anticipated given they’ve had two generations to iterate on its RTX platform. It’s good to see AMD maintain its personal with DirectX ray tracing, however the RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 are merely outclassed on this regard. Not to say that Nvidia’s DLSS is likely one of the most impactful options we have seen in graphics tech in an extended time–it’s what principally makes video games playable at 4K with ray tracing enabled. More video games are adopting these options as builders develop into extra aware of them, and hopefully AMD can present their very own equal in due time.But for AMD’s comeback to high-end GPUs, it is displaying lots of promise by making a robust assertion in uncooked efficiency metrics. In many instances, the RX 6800 XT is appropriate for full native 4K gaming, both simply trailing barely behind the RTX 3080 or exceeding it, relying on the sport. And at 1440p, we see each AMD playing cards scale their efficiency higher than the Nvidia playing cards do. That makes the RX 6800 an interesting card, too–although it is costlier than the RTX 3070, it might probably even stand as much as the RTX 3080 in a handful of video games.Choosing a video card comes right down to what you anticipate out of your gaming PC. If ray tracing is interesting to you, alongside the prospect of utilizing DLSS (which ought to excite you if in case you have a 4K show), Nvidia has you lined with the RTX 3080 or RTX 3070 at $700 and $500 MSRP, respectively. But when you merely need excessive body charges at 4K, or 1440p particularly, with maxed out graphics settings, the RX 6800 XT seems to be very nice at $650 MSRP. The RX 6800 at $580 MSRP is not so unhealthy both, however if in case you have room to spend somewhat further, you will need to go along with the XT model. Those with Ryzen 5000-series CPUs or need to construct a Ryzen-based PC, remember the fact that AMD’s Smart Access Memory might supply some significant efficiency boosts.Finally, there’s some good competitors within the GPU house for high-end PC gaming. And it isn’t nearly AMD preserving Nvidia trustworthy, there’s an actual option to ponder when you’re ready to contemplate spending $500 or extra on a video card, which certain is some huge cash lately. Either method, on this value vary, you will be getting nice efficiency for PC video games.More broadly, the Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6800, and the RDNA 2 structure they’re constructed on, show that AMD is definitely again.

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