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Review Round-up Radeon RX 6800 (XT): AMD is catching up
Zurich, on November 18, 2020
Starting today, the Radeon RX 6800 and 6800 XT are available for purchase if you can snag one. The availability is extremely scarce. So that you can sweeten the waiting time by reading how fast the card will be, I have summarized some reviews for you here.
2020 is the year of AMD. With the Ryzen 5000 and now the Radeon 6000, Team Red is catching up with Intel and Nvidia. Unfortunately, 2020 is also the year of poor PC hardware availability. I haven't been able to get hold of a Radeon RX 6800 or 6800 XT to test yet. That's why I have to deliver the data from other reviewers to you here for the time being.
The Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 are based on the 7 nm Navi 21 RDNA2 silicon. It offers 80 percent more computing units than the RX 5700 XT. Each of these RDNA2 computing units also features ray tracing hardware, and AMD doubles the amount of memory to 16GB, although the memory bus is still 256-bit.
RDNA2 graphics architecture powers not only Radeon RX 6000 series graphics cards, but also the GPUs in next-gen gaming consoles. Big Navi consists of a massive 519.8mm2 die with 26.8 billion transistors, putting it roughly in the same league as NVIDIA's 8nm GA102 with 28.3 billion transistors on a 628.4mm2 die. The numbers suggest a lot of power.
That's what the trade press says
According to Techpowerup, AMD has made the unthinkable possible: With Big Navi, Team Red is catching up with Nvidia with the RTX 30 series. The Radeon RX 6800 XT is almost twice as fast as the Radeon RX 5700 XT. This is an enormous increase in performance compared to the previous generation. The card is also very good compared to Nvidia: The RX 6800 XT is only 6 percent behind the RTX 3080 and thus 16 percent behind the RTX 3090.
With ray tracing enabled, however, AMD lags behind. Nevertheless, the result is respectable. The 6800 XT is about at the level of the RTX 2080 Ti when it comes to ray tracing. However, AMD has an ace up its sleeve for future titles: Since the new consoles also support ray tracing, developers would align the titles with the corresponding hardware from AMD.
Computerbase, in turn, writes that the Radeon RX 6800 delivers 7 to 9 percent more FPS in Ultra HD compared to the GeForce RTX 3070. In WQHD it is 3 to 6 percent. The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti would also be behind. Compared to its bigger sister, the 6800 is 17 percent slower. The card beats its predecessor, the 5700 XT, by almost 90 percent.
Golem writes that the app performance is poor. This is primarily due to the lack of software support, where Nvidia dominates with the CUDA interface. In classic rasterization games, however, AMD is again a competitor for Nvidia.
Last but not least, Igor'sLab writes that the technical implementation of the Radeon cards in the reference design is very good. The power consumption of the Radeon cards is more convincing than that of Nvidia. The cooling performance and noise development are also very good, with the RX 6800 XT being even better. Igor describes the RX 6800 as a buy tip because the card currently has no opponent.
As soon as I get my hands on one, I'll do my own benchmarks. In order not to miss it, the easiest way is to follow my author profile and you will receive an email as soon as the test is online.