AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT Review
The new Radeon RX 6950 XT flagship is as soon as once more a minor refresh in AMD’s GPU lineup. Like the 6650 XT and 6750 XT refreshes, the 6950 XT relies on the identical die as the unique mannequin, the Navi 21-based 6900 XT. The core depend is similar as earlier than, with a tiny 3% core clock uplift and a lift to reminiscence bandwidth which has been elevated by 13% due to the usage of 18 Gbps GDDR6 reminiscence.
Based on these specs, we’re anticipating typical efficiency features over the 6900 XT to be within the neighborhood of 5-10%, which ought to assist AMD of their flagship halo product battle with Nvidia. In this case, AMD has elevated the MSRP from $1,000 to $1,100 which does not hassle me all that a lot since this was by no means a worth oriented product, therefore I used to be extra involved with the value enhance on the 6650 XT and 6750 XT fashions.
As of writing, the 6900 XT and 6800 XT are virtually inside the identical worth vary and though the brand new 6950 XT is probably going going to be costlier, when it comes to worth it is most likely going to be solely marginally worse with the potential to be worlds higher than Nvidia’s high-end choices since GeForce GPUs are nonetheless promoting significantly larger than MSRPs.
For testing all AMD and Nvidia GPUs we’ve clocked them on the official spec with no manufacturing facility overclocking. All the information on this evaluate is recent, collected on a machine powered by the Ryzen 7 5800X3D with 32GB of dual-rank, dual-channel DDR4-3200 CL14 reminiscence on the Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Extreme motherboard utilizing the most recent BIOS.
We’ve examined 11 video games at 1080p, 1440p and 4K, of which we’ll go into extra element for a number of of them earlier than our 11 sport common knowledge and price per body evaluation.
Starting with Rainbow Six Extraction, we discover the 6950 XT to be chart topping at 1080p with 309 fps, a ten% enhance over the 6900 XT. That allowed it to budge forward of the way more costly RTX 3090 Ti at this decrease decision and it is an 11% enhance over the RTX 3080 Ti, a GeForce GPU that is nonetheless costlier than the 6950 XT.
Jumping as much as 1440p shortly adjustments the standings and now the 6950 XT is seen matching the unique RTX 3090 with 206 fps on common, an 11% enhance over the unique 6900 XT. It was additionally simply 4% quicker than the RTX 3080 Ti, however 7% slower than the RTX 3090 Ti, although from a worth standpoint that is not a foul outcome for AMD given the 6950 XT is cheaper than each GeForce GPUs.
Then at 4K the Ampere RTX GPUs take over and even the unique 10GB model of the RTX 3080 is quicker than the brand new 6950 XT on this title.
This will not be a foul outcome for AMD when it comes to worth although. The RTX 3080 Ti, for instance, may be 11% quicker, nevertheless it additionally prices 16% extra, whereas the RTX 3090 Ti prices 82% extra for a 28% enhance at 4K on this title.
Next we’ve Watch Dogs: Legion and once more the 6950 XT tops the chart at 1080p, averaging 168 fps or 6% quicker than the 6900 XT, and a mere 6% quicker than what ought to be the less expensive 6800 XT, although in actuality it is not.
Even at 1440p, the Radeon GPUs keep an honest efficiency benefit over GeForce opponents and right here the 6950 XT was 12% quicker than the RTX 3090 Ti, 21% quicker than the RTX 3090 and 23% quicker than the RTX 3080 Ti. Those are spectacular margins, although it was simply 5% quicker than the unique 6900 XT.
Then at 4K, the RTX GPUs come again arduous, however nonetheless the 6950 XT was capable of keep high spot, edging out the RTX 3090 Ti by just some frames. Here we’re an 11% efficiency enhance over the 6900 XT, which isn’t a foul outcome and consistent with the value enhance.
Moving on to the Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the 6950 XT is ready to command high spot at 1080p, delivering 201 fps on common, which is an 8% enhance over the 6900 XT. It’s additionally a 5% enhance over the RTX 3090 Ti, 12% over the RTX 3090, and 13% over the RTX 3080 Ti.
The margins remained the identical at 1440p. The 6950 XT edged out the RTX 3090 Ti by a tiny margin and boosted efficiency over the 6900 XT by 11%.
As typical, it is 4K that proves to be a problem for RNDA2 in its battle with Ampere and now it is the RTX 3090 Ti that leads the 6950 XT by an 8% margin. We’re a 12% efficiency enhance for the 6950 XT over the 6900 XT, and that was sufficient to place it simply forward of the RTX 3090 and 3080 Ti.
The Radeon GPUs do not fare fairly as properly in The Outer Worlds as evidenced by these 1080p outcomes. The 6950 XT was solely barely slower than the RTX 3090 Ti, however that is the primary pattern we’ve the place it wasn’t quicker at 1080p. We’re comparable efficiency between the RTX 3080 Ti, 6900 XT, RTX 3090, 6950 XT and RTX 3090 Ti.
Increasing the decision to 1440p reduces how CPU sure The Outer Worlds testing is and now we’re seeing an 8% efficiency enhance from the 6900 XT to the 6950 XT. The RTX 3090 Ti is 10% quicker than the 6950 XT, although proper now that is a GPU over 80% costlier.
Finally at 4K, the 6950 XT is just capable of match the RTX 3080 10GB regardless of providing a 12% enhance over the 6900 XT. The RTX 3090 Ti is now 22% quicker than the 6950 XT as properly.
We’re going to wrap up the person sport knowledge with a have a look at F1 2021, and naturally, we’ll begin with 1080p. We discover one other instance the place the 6950 XT is unable to beat the RTX 3090 sequence at 1080p, this time trailing the RTX 3090 Ti by an 8% margin, although it was just a little quicker than the 3080 Ti which is technically a great outcome.
Increasing the decision to 1440p sees the RTX 3080 Ti shut in on the 6950 XT although the margin to the RTX 3090 stays a lot the identical whereas the 3090 Ti was 8% quicker. We’re additionally a 12% enhance for the 6950 XT over the 6900 XT, or about nearly as good as you can hope for.
Finally at 4K the 6950 XT falls additional behind the RTX 3080 Ti and trails the RTX 3090 Ti by a 16% margin, and that is regardless of boosting efficiency over the unique 6900 XT by 13%.
Looking at whole system energy, the 6950 XT pushed whole utilization to 528 watts, and that is an enormous 19% enhance in whole energy utilization when in comparison with the 6900 XT for what regarded like round 10% extra efficiency. Efficiency definitely has gone out the window with these overclocked fashions.
We thought the facility utilization of the 3090 Ti was fairly horrible, however the 6950 XT is just dropping system utilization by 8%. So if you happen to care about energy utilization and effectivity, it most likely goes with out saying, however these overclocked-to-the-max fashions will not be for you.
Starting with the 1080p fps common gaming knowledge we see that for low decision players focusing on most fps — we think about largely aggressive shooter sort players — the Radeon RX 6950 XT is about nearly as good because it will get for out of the field efficiency.
That stated, we’re solely speaking a few 3% enhance over the RTX 3090 Ti. The Radeon is round 45% cheaper proper now although, in order that’s a win for AMD. When in comparison with the 6900 XT although we’re solely a 6% enhance, so definitely not definitely worth the premium.
At 1440p, the 6950 XT and RTX 3090 Ti are neck and neck with 149 fps on common throughout the 11 video games examined. That means a 9% efficiency enhance for the 6950 XT over the 6900 XT and an 11% enhance over the costlier RTX 3080 Ti.
Then at 4K the RTX 3090 Ti takes over, beating the 6950 XT by a 7% margin. Still the 6950 XT was simply capable of edge out the RTX 3090 and 3080 Ti, with a 12% enhance over the 6900 XT.
Cost Per Frame
We’ll arrange our value per body evaluation with the legendary MSRP, simply to visualise what could be, even when it isn’t related to the present market.
Had these GPUs been obtainable at their MSRP, that is how the RDNA2 and Ampere generations would have stacked up on the high-end utilizing our 1440p knowledge…
In this wishful state of affairs, AMD and Nvidia would have been evenly matched when it comes to efficiency and worth. Looking on the Radeon RX 6800 XT and GeForce RTX 3080 10GB, a slight premium for the RTX 3080 might be seen, however that product most likely does command a slight premium.
Where the worth goes out the window is with the AMD and Nvidia refresh merchandise, and naturally, the “halo” merchandise. For rasterization efficiency, the 6900 XT is significantly better worth than the RTX 3090, saving you round 28% per body, however for top decision gaming the RTX 3090 is the quicker halo product with higher options.
Interestingly, the 6950 XT is barely higher worth than the unique mannequin on the MSRP, dropping the fee per body by about 2%, or primarily they’re about the identical. The RTX 3090 Ti prices 70% extra per body than the 6950 XT based mostly on the MSRP. Now let’s transfer on to real-world pricing…
Here’s a actuality examine on the high-end. The 6950 XT has been listed on the MSRP at retailers and that is sensible given the 6900 XT is promoting for just under the MSRP as we discovered a number of fashions obtainable for $950. Quite surprisingly, the 6800 XT remains to be up round $860 which is a 76% worth enhance from the 6700 XT, when in actuality it ought to be extra like 35%. Keep that in thoughts as we’ll talk about this additional in direction of the tip of the evaluate.
AMD’s high-end lineup is consistent with Nvidia’s wise high-end choices, particularly the RTX 3080 10GB. Pricing for GeForce GPUs will get ridiculous as soon as we attain the RTX 3080 Ti and past. From the 6950 XT, the fee per body jumps up by 24% for the 3080 Ti, then 70% for the RTX 3090 and 3090 Ti. So if you happen to had $1,000 or extra to spend on a high-end GPU, however you continue to needed to take advantage of out of your buck, then you definately’d go along with the 6900 XT or perhaps the 6950 XT because it’s solely 4% extra per body.
Taking a fast have a look at the thermal and clock traits of the MSI and Sapphire 6950 XT fashions that we’ve readily available. Starting with the 6950 XT Gaming X Trio we’ve a typical trying card from MSI, we would summarise it as a high quality however primary design, a triple slot triple fan card with the everyday Gaming X Trio appears.
Performance clever, it noticed a peak GPU temperature of 77C when put in inside our Corsair Obsidian 500D check case with a room temperature of 21C, a great outcome given the facility consumption of the 6950 XT GPU. The followers spinned at 2000 RPM to keep up that temperature and will simply be heard over our case followers. That’s a comparatively quiet high-end graphics card in our guide. The cores sometimes clocked at 2470 MHz with GPU energy round 332 watts.
The Sapphire 6950 XT Nitro+ Pure is an enormous triple fan four-slot monster and in our opinion this card appears wonderful. This mannequin options twin BIOS assist which is important for any graphics card priced over $300 in our opinion, not to mention these ones, so it was disappointing to see that MSI omitted the function.
Thankfully the Nitro+ Pure does not and out of the field utilizing the first mode that is how the cardboard behaves… the GPU peaked at 76C with a fan velocity of simply 1200 RPM making it noticeably quieter than the MSI mannequin. It did clock barely decrease at 2350 MHz, a 5% discount, when utilizing the usual working BIOS.
Switching to the “OC BIOS” noticed the height GPU temperature decline ever so barely because the fan velocity elevated to 1400 RPM, however even right here the Nitro+ Pure could not be heard over the case followers. The GPU clock velocity averaged 2430 MHz, much like the Gaming X Trio at a decrease working quantity and temperature.
The Sapphire 6950 XT Nitro+ Pure is a powerful trying graphics card, that is additionally beastly. It prices $200 extra at $1,300, however if you happen to’re keen on a 6950 XT then we really feel these higher-end fashions make extra sense because it’s extra of a “go large or go dwelling” sort mentality with halo merchandise.
What We Learned
The Radeon RX 6950 XT does properly in opposition to the RTX 3090 Ti at a dramatically lower cost level, so in that sense it does a terrific job and is a superb competitor. It’s additionally not unhealthy when it comes to worth subsequent to the unique 6900 XT.
It’s a bit tough to go arduous after AMD for elevating costs on this phase given how less expensive Radeon GPUs are than their GeForce opponents. Of course, AMD would love you to pay extra, however they merely haven’t got the mindshare to get away with it the identical approach Nvidia can. In different phrases, AMD will not be deliberately doing players a favor, nevertheless it works out form of good for customers that do not have eyes just for the inexperienced workforce.
We ought to word although, there’s nonetheless some market manipulation going with GPUs when a number of merchandise are sharing the identical silicon. As we famous in the fee per body evaluation, the extra inexpensive RX 6800 is supposed to value 21% greater than the 6700 XT, whereas the 6800 XT is supposed to value 35% extra. However, the RX 6800 at present prices 55% extra, whereas the 6800 XT prices 76% extra. The easy clarification is that the 6800 and 6900 sequence share the identical silicon.
So you see, reasonably than promote you their 520mm2 Navi 21 silicon for round $590, which is the place the RX 6800 ought to be, AMD is limiting provide of the 6800 sequence which will increase the value, pushing the 6800 as much as $760 and in flip making the RX 6900 sequence seem extra affordable.
But why cease there? They can and have gone a step additional with the Radeon 6950 XT to make a further $100 per unit offered. As lengthy because the demand is there, you’ll be able to count on 6800, 6800 XT and we suspect even 6900 XT provide to be very restricted. We’re not followers of this considerably synthetic inflation of GPU pricing, however whereas players proceed to buy merchandise just like the RTX 3090 and RX 6900 sequence, AMD and Nvidia will proceed to divert as a lot provide as attainable to their premium lineups.