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AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT and Radeon RX 6800 Review

AMD has for a number of years now lagged behind Nvidia within the graphics efficiency race, notably on the excessive finish the place ray tracing has turn into the brand new must-have characteristic to indicate off, and patrons all the time need the most recent and best. The firm’s issues are compounded in India, the place unfavourable pricing and restricted distribution usually tip the scales in Nvidia’s favour even when efficiency is comparable. Just prefer it did with its Ryzen desktop CPUs a number of years in the past, AMD has been engaged on turning its fortunes round with new Radeon GPUs constructed across the RDNA structure and its successors.

With the brand new Radeon RX 6000 sequence primarily based on the RDNA 2 structure, AMD thinks it might take Nvidia on even on the very prime finish. Three GPUs have been launched up to now: the flagship Radeon RX 6900 XT which hopes to tackle the GeForce RTX 3090; and the Radeon RX 6800 XT and Radeon RX 6800, that are for avid gamers who need nice high quality at 4K however haven’t got infinitely stretchable budgets. This is essentially the most assured that AMD has been in a really very long time, and sure, there’s even ray tracing – or at the least an early implementation of it.

Today, we’re testing and reviewing the Radeon RX 6800 XT and Radeon RX 6800. These GPUs have been launched in late 2020 however as anticipated, availability in India has been fairly constrained. Does their efficiency justify going in opposition to the grain and selecting them over competing Nvidia choices? Can AMD pull off a decisive victory in spite of everything? Let’s discover out.

AMD has designed a steel wraparound shroud with three {custom} axial followers

 

AMD RDNA 2 structure

While it might need lagged by way of PC market share, AMD’s graphics division has dominated the high-end gaming console house for years now. The present and former generations of Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox consoles have all used some type of Radeon GPU, which does give AMD some benefits and perception into what capabilities avid gamers and recreation builders can be utilizing over the following a number of years.

Last yr’s Radeon RX 5700 XT, primarily based on the RDNA 1 structure, was a big enchancment over its predecessors, delivering 50 p.c higher efficiency per Watt. AMD now says that RDNA 2 can obtain 54 p.c higher efficiency per Watt than even that. The RDNA2 chip on which these two GPUs are primarily based has over 26 billion transistors, although every GPU mannequin makes use of completely different quantities of those assets.

At the structure degree, the variety of Compute Units (CUs) has doubled, going from 40 to 80, and new ray accelerator blocks have been added for ray tracing. Even although RDNA 2 makes use of the identical 7nm manufacturing course of as RDNA, optimisations to energy dealing with, the processing pipeline itself, and boosting clock speeds by as much as 30 p.c has resulted on this generation-on-generation efficiency uplift.

A giant a part of that comes from what AMD is asking “Infinity Cache”. This high-density 128MB L3 cache is predicated on AMD’s Epyc server CPU designs. It’s mentioned to be a lot quicker than accessing GDDR6 RAM and is built-in into the on-die Infinity Fabric interconnect for high-bandwidth, low-latency communication. The Infinity cache helps maintain knowledge prepared for the GPU so it might work at excessive frequencies with out getting bottlenecked, which is a bonus when coping with 4K-quality recreation property.

Another new characteristic, which AMD calls “Smart Access Memory”, primarily permits a pc’s CPU to immediately entry your complete contents of the GPU’s reminiscence. This has up to now been restricted to 256MB due to the character of the PCIe connectivity protocol, however PCIe 4.Zero now permits for what’s referred to as a resizable base handle register (BAR). Smart Access Memory would require a Ryzen 5000 sequence desktop CPU and Radeon 6000 sequence GPU, plus a 500-series motherboard, and naturally all the most recent BIOS and driver updates. This is alleged to ship as much as 11 p.c higher efficiency in some video games, and builders may optimise higher for it sooner or later.

Along with ray tracing, the DirectX 12 Ultimate API introduces DirectStorage, which lets a GPU load recreation property immediately from a high-speed SSD to GPU reminiscence, with out going by way of system RAM or requiring CPU assets. This is being utilized in next-gen consoles and may enhance loading time for ranges and transitions in video games.

The up to date HDMI 2.1 normal will enable for 4K 144Hz or 8K 60Hz video output, and AMD says it is prepared for Display Stream Compression (DSC), which ought to enable for even increased resolutions. If you stream your gameplay on-line, you may profit from 8K AV1 decode and 8K HEVC encode in {hardware}.

The Radeon Software utility now helps computerized in addition to absolutely guide overclocking. In addition, Performance Tuning Presets will let customers apply optimised per-game profiles, which AMD says is not going to void a graphics card’s guarantee. Radeon Anti-Lag and Radeon Boost are each options that may probably make video games really feel extra responsive by optimising enter latency and dynamically decreasing decision in small patches.

amd radeon rx6800 xt thick ndtv radeon

The inventory Radeon RX 6800 occupies two slots whereas the Radeon RX 6800 XT will want two and a half.

 

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT and Radeon RX 6800 specs

4K is the goal decision for all video games at prime quality, even for the Radeon RX 6800 – lower-priced GPUs will presumably be launched later this yr for individuals who are concentrating on 1440p and 1080p, however the three fashions launched up to now all goal enthusiast-class avid gamers. The baseline for the Radeon RX 6800 is 4K 60fps in almost all current-day video games, and it is positioned as an enchancment over the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, which suggests it’ll tackle the GeForce RTX 3070. You also needs to see over 90fps at 1440p, in keeping with AMD.

The higher-priced Radeon RX 6800 XT is ready to compete with the GeForce RTX 3080, staying above 4K 60fps in as we speak’s AAA video games even on the highest high quality settings, or delivering 144-240fps at 1440p in lots of esports titles.

However, enabling ray tracing will take a toll on these figures. Even AMD’s official projected efficiency numbers point out that 1080p and 1440p are extra practical expectations if you wish to keep at or above 60fps. Nvidia will get round this utilizing its machine-learning-powered upscaling algorithm DLSS (Deep Learning Supersampling), which lets its GPUs render decrease resolutions after which stretch them out with out dropping high quality. AMD has one thing comparable within the works, but it surely is not prepared but. The excellent news is that the GPU’s ray tracing {hardware} is not only for video games; it’ll assist pace up work in content material creation functions akin to Blender and Autodesk Maya.

The Radeon RX 6800 options 60 lively CUs with one ray accelerator and 64 stream processors every, for a complete of three,840 stream processors. It runs at burst speeds of as much as 2105MHz. Its larger sibling, the Radeon RX 6800 XT, has 72 CUs with an equal variety of ray accelerators and 4,608 stream processors, and runs at as much as 2250MHz. Both characteristic 16GB of 256-bit GDDR6 RAM with a peak bandwidth of 512GBps. The two have rated TDPs of 250W and 300W, and AMD recommends 650W and 750W energy provides respectively.

amd radeon rx6800 xt ports ndtv radeon

You get one HDMI 2.1 port, two DisplayPort 1.Four outputs, and a USB Type-C port on the inventory Radeon RX 6800 and Radeon RX 6800 XT

 

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT and Radeon RX 6800 reference design

AMD’s accomplice manufacturers, which embody Asus, ASRock, Gigabyte, MSI, Sapphire, XFX, and Powercolor are free to design their very own graphics playing cards that includes Radeon GPUs, together with ones with AIO liquid coolers. However, fairly a number of of the playing cards you will see out there will use AMD’s reference design. Sapphire particularly, which is likely one of the extra simply obtainable manufacturers in India, can be promoting playing cards equivalent to the reference models that we’re reviewing as we speak.

AMD would not promote its personal playing cards like Nvidia does with its Founders Edition fashions, however loads of work nonetheless goes into their design. The Radeon RX 6800 XT and Radeon RX 6800 reference playing cards are heavy and really feel solidly constructed. They each have vapour chamber coolers and a die-cast aluminium shroud with three custom-designed axial followers. The followers can spin down fully when the GPU is not being pressured.

All that is to optimise acoustic in addition to cooling effectivity, and you must discover these playing cards quieter than the earlier technology. Even so, this design can be claimed to permit for a point of overclocking to maintain fans completely satisfied. AMD says it has used a graphite pad to interface between the GPU itself and the cooler, fairly than thermal compound which might dry out over time. There are additionally thermal pads between the cooler, GDDR6 reminiscence, and energy circuitry for higher warmth conductivity.

AMD has used normal 8-pin PCIe energy connectors, versus Nvidia’s current shrunken normal that requires an adapter. Both the Radeon RX 6800 XT and the Radeon RX 6800 have two 8-pin connectors going through upwards on the rear.

The Radeon RX 6800 XT reference design occupies 2.5 slots whereas the RX 6800 is considerably slimmer. Both are an ordinary 10.5 inches lengthy. AMD has used its signature pink color as an accent across the uncovered heatsink vents on the highest and there is a pink illuminated Radeon brand on every card.

Both playing cards have one HDMI 2.1 port, two DisplayPort 1.Four ports, and oddly, a USB Type-C port. AMD says this enables for single-wire connections to head-mounted shows since it might provide a video sign plus as much as 27W of energy. If you have already got a triple-monitor setup, you may want some adapters. The choice to go along with USB paves the best way for future displays that may be daisy-chained and have a USB hub or different built-in peripherals, but it surely’s an attention-grabbing alternative seeing as how the VirtualLink normal is successfully useless, and even Nvidia eliminated this port from its Founders Edition playing cards after only one technology.

amd radeon rx6800 xt testbench ndtv radeon

The Radeon RX 6800 and Radeon RX 6800 XT each carry out properly in benchmarks and recreation checks

 

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT and Radeon RX 6800 efficiency

All checks have been run utilizing an AMD Ryzen 2700 CPU, ASRock X470 Taichi Ultimate motherboard, 2x8GB of G.Skill F4-3400C16D-16GSXW DDR4 RAM, a 1TB Samsung 860 Evo SSD, and a Corsair RM650 energy provide. The monitor was a 4K Asus PB287Q. Windows 10 was up to date to the 2H20 launch and all drivers have been updated together with the Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020.12.2 launch.

Synthetic checks allow us to examine completely different GPUs immediately. 3DMark is the plain place to begin. The current-gen Time Spy and Time Spy Extreme checks present efficiency scaling pretty predictably with worth throughout the Nvidia and AMD camps. The GeForce RTX 30-series does pull forward within the Port Royal DirectX 12 check, whereas the Radeon RX 6800 siblings have the benefit within the older Fire Strike checks. Unigine’s Superposition benchmark, working at its 4K Optimised preset, additionally scales with worth. If all graphics playing cards have been obtainable at their MRPs, there could be no dangerous decisions, solely feature- and budget-related selections.

 AMD Radeon RX 6800AMD Radeon RX 6800 XTAsus TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3070Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Founders EditionZotac GeForce RTX 2080 Amp
3DMark DLSS Feature Test (off / on)N/AN/A37.54fps / 88fps50.33fps / 69.41fpsNA
3DMark Port Royal7,4258,7648,08310,721NA
3DMark Time Spy12,46913,72311,85713,9969,505
3DMark Time Spy Extreme6,0686,7985,9127,191NA
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme17,98020,20515,41517,78712,215
3DMark Fire Strike Ultra10,06311,8528,58710,5206,498
3DMark Wild Life72,01473,249N/AN/AN/A
3DMark Ray Tracing Feature Test21.28fps26.31fpsN/AN/AN/A
Unigine Superposition (4K Optimised)11,46813,13511,06013,708NA

Coming to in-game benchmarks, Far Cry 5 at 4K utilizing its Ultra preset, and managed to hit averages of 80fps on the Radeon RX 6800 XT and 72fps on the RX 6800. Middle Earth: Shadow of War additionally ran easily at 4K with its Ultra high quality preset, averaging 73fps on the Radeon RX 6800 however leaping as much as 82fps on the Radeon RX 6800 XT. Metro: Exodus additionally ran at 4K with its Ultra preset (which isn’t the best on this case), with out ray tracing enabled, at 61fps and 52.35fps on the 2 playing cards respectively.

In guide gameplay, Doom: Eternal was extraordinarily easy at 4K at Ultra Nightmare high quality, reaching 150-160fps on the Radeon RX 6800 XT and 120-125fps on the Radeon RX 6800, as measured by the in-game body counter even in heavy battle scenes. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt averaged 84fps and 73fps respectively, at 4K Ultra.

I then turned to Battlefield V to verify how AMD’s ray tracing implementation impacts efficiency. With no DLSS equal, there is no strategy to increase the body price to compensate for the extra stress that ray tracing places on the brand new Radeon GPUs. With the decision set to 4K and utilizing the Ultra high quality preset, the Radeon RX 6800 XT managed round 105fps in a busy scene with loads of gunfire and working round. With ray tracing enabled, that fell steeply to round 60fps. The Radeon RX 64800 confirmed a sharper drop, from round 95fps to simply 40fps. You’d must decrease the decision and compromise on high quality if you would like ray tracing results, at the least for now.

AMD’s new cooler design does appear to be efficient, and neither of the 2 playing cards examined was noisy even beneath heavy load.

amd radeon rx6800 xt power ndtv radeon

AMD has used normal 8-pin PCIe energy connectors, not like Nvidia’s new shrunken design

 

Verdict

AMD has clearly achieved very properly with this technology of Radeon GPUs. They’re undoubtedly highly effective sufficient for as we speak’s fans who demand easy visuals at 4K and at very prime quality settings. The reference design playing cards are slick and unobtrusive. However, the matter of whether or not the brand new Radeon RX 6800 XT and Radeon RX 6800 are able to difficult Nvidia’s dominance comes down to 2 components – options and pricing.

In phrases of options, ray tracing after all stands out. AMD’s implementation is not absolutely realised but. Plenty of video games do assist AMD’s strategy, and it is possible that future upscaling tech will make issues much more even between the 2 opponents. For now although, if you wish to get pleasure from all of the graphical bells and whistles, and declare bragging rights, Nvidia has the benefit. One small be aware right here is that 16GB of GDDR6 RAM is far more than what Nvidia’s present choices at this worth and efficiency degree have, and your use instances may profit from that.

Finally, we come to the thorny – and ongoing – difficulty of Radeon costs in India. To be honest, all current-gen GPUs are scarce, and there was vital worth gouging and scalping for the previous a number of months. It’s troublesome to make comparisons since costs maintain altering and a few fashions merely aren’t obtainable. However, Nvidia does promote its personal Founders Edition graphics playing cards in India at their official MRPs, by way of a distributor. Although you must undergo a tedious waitlisting course of and rather a lot will depend on luck, at the least there are periodic updates. AMD has no such association.

AMD’s official costs in India for the Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT graphics playing cards are Rs. 45,999 and Rs. 64,990 respectively, not together with taxes. In the US, they price $579 and $649 respectively. It’s unusual is that the corporate is utilizing a a lot increased alternate price for the RX 6800 XT, which makes this card disproportionately dearer than its sibling. On prime of that, avenue costs (together with tax) in India are far and wide, starting from a considerably comprehensible Rs. 59,999 for a reference Sapphire RX 6800 (listed at just one on-line retailer however out of inventory, with no assure it’ll really be up for buy that worth) to an outrageous Rs. 1,10,000 for a Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 6800 XT with a {custom} cooler. In truth, some Radeon RX 6900 XT listings are literally cheaper.

This ought to have been a detailed name between Nvidia and AMD, however the results of this supply-side confusion is that it is almost all the time going to make sense for avid gamers in India to decide on the equal GeForce 30-series card. The Radeon RX 6800 is likely to be value it if you could find it at a superb worth, however there’s little hope for the Radeon RX 6800 XT right here proper now ­– possibly we’ll see vital reductions someplace down the road, at which level calculations may be reconsidered. AMD does critically must type this out, or it’ll lose regardless of no matter progress it has made by way of efficiency.

AMD Radeon RX 6800 (reference)
Price: 
Rs. 45,999 + taxes

Pros

  • Excellent inventory cooler
  • Very good efficiency at 4K and 1440p 

Cons

  • No decision upscaling at launch 
  • Expensive and laborious to seek out

Ratings (out of 5)

  • Performance: 4
  • Value for Money: 4
  • Overall: 4

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT (reference)
Price: 
Rs. 64,990 + taxes

Pros

  • Excellent inventory cooler
  • Very good efficiency at 4K and 1440p 

Cons

  • No decision upscaling at launch 
  • Expensive and laborious to seek out

Ratings (out of 5)

  • Performance: 4.5
  • Value for Money: 3.5
  • Overall: 3.5

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