AMD has begun official sales of the flagship Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics accelerator in the reference version. Following the formal start of sales, various specialized publications began to publish their reviews of this novelty. Unfortunately, due to the very limited edition of the video cards, they have not yet reached Russia, so we have to rely on the experience of using them by our Western colleagues.
Briefly, the Radeon RX 6900 XT is based on a full-size GPU Navi 21 XTX based on AMD RDNA 2 graphics architecture. The chip includes 80 execution units with 5120 stream processors, 80 ray tracing acceleration units, 320 texture units and 128 ROP units. … The reference operating frequency range for the GPU is 1815 to 2250 MHz.
The video card has 16 GB of GDDR6 video memory with an effective frequency of 16 GHz and support for a 256-bit bus width, as well as an additional 128 MB of fast Infinity Cache buffer memory, which increases the bandwidth of the main memory stack. The declared power consumption of the video card is 300 watts.
In the reference version, it is equipped with two 8-pin power connectors, is 267 mm long and requires 2.5 free expansion slots in the PC case.
The novelty is positioned as a direct competitor for the GeForce RTX 3090 model. With the recommended price of the latter at $ 1500, AMD’s flagship solution costing $ 500 less at the time of the announcement seemed a very worthy alternative.
According to the resource TechPowerUpof the graphics card tests, the temperature of the Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics chip in idle mode was 45 degrees Celsius. Under load, the highest value was 78 degrees. At the same time, at the hottest point of the board, journalists observed a temperature value of 95 degrees. In the absence of load, the cooling system of the video card does not start the fans; under load, their noise is 30 dB. In other words, the card is very quiet.
Tom’s Hardware observed similar levels of noise and temperature. The reviewers noted that when using the graphics accelerator in games, the level of its power consumption, on average, in most cases remained within the 300 watts declared by the manufacturer. At peak gaming load, the journalists noted the figure at 322 watts. In synthetic tests, the peak was 314 watts. At this point, the video card was tested in Furmark. A very decent result for a flagship, considering that the younger model Radeon RX 6800 XT showed about 3-4 W more consumption under the same conditions. Also, the power consumption level of the Radeon RX 6900 XT cannot be compared with the results of the GeForce RTX 3090. In the same Furmark, the power consumption value for the latter was 405 W, and at peak gaming load – 386 W.
Let’s go directly to the gaming tests. Resource Tom’s Hardware tested the Radeon RX 6900 XT in 13 game titles and brought the average performance value of the video card against the background of other models, including the direct competitor GeForce RTX 3090. The graphs also show the results obtained when the Rage Mode mode is activated in the video card driver. At its core, it is a basic automatic overclocking method that allows you to increase the maximum GPU frequency in Boost mode up to 2400–2550 MHz (with a nominal 2250 MHz) by pressing one button.
The game tests of the Radeon RX 6900 XT were played by Tom’s Hardware in the following games: Horizon Zero Dawn, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Borderlands 3, Dirt 5, The Division 2, Far Cry 5, Final Fantasy XIV, Forza Horizon 4, Metro Exodus, Red Dead Redemption 2, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Strange Brigade, Watch Dogs Legion. Their results can be found below.
In games with DLSS and ray tracing technologies, the Radeon RX 6900 XT lags far behind the GeForce RTX 3090. Tests were carried out in such game titles as COD: Black Ops Cold War, Control, Fortnite, Crysis Remastered, Dirt 5, Metro, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Watch Dogs Legion and more. At best, the AMD video card turned out to be faster than the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and GeForce RTX 3070 models, but it could not even catch up with the GeForce RTX 3080. The average performance result in 10 games with the above functions enabled was as follows:
Separately, it is worth noting AMD Smart Access Memory (SAM) technology, which allows the Ryzen series central processor to access the entire video memory of discrete Radeon graphics accelerators at once. In theory, this allows you to squeeze additional percentages of performance out of the graphics accelerator in gaming applications. Resource TechPowerUp conducted tests of the Radeon RX 6900 XT video card with the active SAM function in virtually ideal conditions – as part of a system based on Ryzen 9 5900X. In this case, in games at 1080p, the performance gain averaged 7%, at 1440p – 4%, and at 4K – 2%.
Based on the results of Tom’s HardwareThe Radeon RX 6900 XT is on average only 4-7% faster than the Radeon RX 6800 XT, but it costs almost twice as much as the latter. Excluding ray tracing technology, but taking into account its cost, the Radeon RX 6900 XT looks very worthy against the background of the GeForce RTX 3090, which is $ 500 more expensive. At the same time, the AMD flagship still managed to overtake the latter in some games, and not far behind in others. At the same time, the performance of the Radeon RX 6900 XT when using ray tracing (DXR) technology did not seem very impressive to reviewers. For example, at a resolution of 1440p, AMD’s flagship lagged behind the formally cheaper GeForce RTX 3080 by an average of 25%. Resource TechPowerUp for his part, he highlighted the excellent gaming performance of the Radeon RX 6900 XT in 4K resolution, the quiet operation of the video card, its outstanding energy efficiency and high overclocking potential.
If you notice an error, select it with the mouse and press CTRL + ENTER.