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AMD Radeon RX 6900XT
It has been an epic end to the year as far as PC gaming is concerned. New graphics hardware has been unleashed en masse, giving enthusiasts plenty to get excited about. GeForce RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 got the party started in September, RTX 3070 arrived in October, Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT followed in November, and RTX 3060 Ti looked to have completed the circle in December.
Half-a-dozen cutting edge releases in a matter of months, yet the show's not over. AMD is returning to the fore one more time in 2020 and it has saved the best 'til last with Radeon RX 6900 XT.
Arriving today with a $999 MSRP, the latest RDNA 2 release is the first full implementation of the Big Navi die and attempts to challenge Nvidia's ultra-fast GeForce RTX 3090 at the top of the performance ladder. Let's see what's what.
King Of The Hill
|Radeon RX 6900 XT||Radeon RX 6800 XT||Radeon RX 6800||Radeon RX 5700 XT||Radeon RX 5700|
|Launch date||December 2020||November 2020||November 2020||July 2019||July 2019|
|Architecture||RDNA 2||RDNA 2||RDNA 2||RDNA||RDNA|
|Die Size (mm²)||519||519||519||251||251|
|Full Implementation of Die||Yes||No||No||Yes||No|
|Boost Clock (MHz)||2,250||2,250||2,105||1,905||1,725|
|Memory Size (GB)||16||16||16||8||8|
|Memory Clock (MHz)||16,000||16,000||16,000||14,000||14,000|
|Memory Bus (bits)||256||256||256||256||256|
|Max Bandwidth (GB/s)||512||512||512||448||448|
|PCIe Support||Gen 4||Gen 4||Gen 4||Gen 4||Gen 4|
|GFLOPS per watt||76.8||69.1||64.66||43.3||44.2|
Knowledgeable readers will appreciate that RX 6900 XT is no secret. The card's full specification was detailed in an earlier TekSpek that's worth revisiting for a fuller overview of AMD's new RDNA 2 architecture. With all three RX 6000 Series solutions being derived from the same 519mm² die, there is plenty of similarity across the range.
RX 6900 XT ups the ante with a full complement of 80 compute units, translating to an 11 per cent increase in processors and texture units. There's definitely more muscle on offer and AMD's ability to maintain a 300W TDP is testament to the mature 7nm manufacturing process. Power requirements are kept to two eight-pin connectors, taking away the need for any proprietary adaptors, and as expected, there's full support for the modern PCIe 4.0 interface.
Though the daddy Radeon represents AMD's finest gaming silicon to date, it is worth noting that the chip giant has played it relatively safe in other departments. Boost block remains identical to RX 6800 XT at 2,250MHz, while the card's backend goes unaltered with 16GB of GDDR6 memory attached via a 256-bit bus that may be deemed a tad narrow for a GPU of this ilk if it wasn't for cutting-edge Infinity Cache.
As is often the case, diminishing returns are such that while RX 6900 XT ought to deliver a performance boost of between 5 and 15 per cent, it will do so at a 50 per cent increase in cost. Still, that is to be expected if you're in the market for the fastest Radeon that money can buy, and as with all RDNA 2 solutions, there's baked-in goodness in the form of that Infinity Cache, dedicated Ray Accelerators and full support for DirectX 12 Ultimate features such as mesh shading, sampler feedback and variable-rate shading.
Benchmarks from leading hardware sites reveal that RX 6900 XT and RTX 3090 stand at the top of the pile in terms of true 4K-capable gaming solutions. The GeForce claims the crown, yet the $999 Radeon costs $500 less and neatly intersects the RTX 3090 and RTX 3080 in the performance stakes.
In some games the gap at the top narrows further, and in a best-case scenario, Radeon RX 6900 XT's extra under-the-hood firepower can translate to an in-game framerate boost of around 15 per cent compared to the second-rung RX 6800 XT.
RX 6900 XT is a hit in terms of pure rasterisation, but there's more to the modern GPU than just that. Hardware-accelerated ray tracing is a hot topic in the world of gaming, and Nvidia's second-generation implementation clearly has the upper hand over AMD's first attempt with dedicated Ray Accelerators. Something to ponder, and note also that RDNA 2 doesn't yet offer an alternative to Nvidia's framerate-boosting DLSS technology. The performance gap is constantly evolving, and newer, forward-looking games will help reveal each card's full capabilities.
SummaryAMD has let loose the fastest Radeon graphics card of all time. Dubbed the Radeon RX 6900 XT, the firm's latest GPU realises the full potential of the RDNA 2 architecture and serves as a capable challenger to Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3090. We're living in a world brimming with amazing gaming hardware and there has never been a better time to be a PC gaming enthusiast.
The full range of AMD Radeon RX6900 XT graphics cards are available to purchase right here at Scan Computers.