AMD Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT Review

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AMD Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT Preview

Up Close

Bigger is better, so the old saying goes. As we're about to see, and perhaps as the table on the previous page hinted, the physical size of the two GPUs is identical so we're not entirely sure why the XT has a bigger box, beyond being.. bigger and thus better. Still, we like the minimalist aesthetic.

AMD Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT Preview  

There is a tiny difference between the two cards, but 99% of them are identical so we'll run over the looks using the RX 6800 XT here, but you'll see the plain RX 6800 in a sec. With a triple fan design AMD have finally, FINALLY, got rid of the awful blower design which does nothing but make everyone deaf and your card get hot. We bet the partner manufacturers are sweating, given that adding a triple fan cooler is most of what they bring to the table. Yes we know that the Radeon VII had a triple cooler too, but this is another step forwards compared to that design.


AMD Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT Preview  

Around the back we have the somewhat scary sight of the innards of the card visible in the middle of the mounting bracket. Those with nylon carpets mind where you poke your fingers.


AMD Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT Preview  

Dude, I heard you like caps! AMD has put caps beside their caps so that you have more caps with your caps!

AMD Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT Preview 

The heatsink isn't the biggest density of fins we've ever seen, and it's not exactly bristling with heatpipes. Perhaps this is a sign of how efficient, thus cool, the RDNA 2 architecture is. Or maybe this is the AMD olive branch to the aforementioned manufacturers, leaving them a little room to improve on the stock design.


AMD Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT Preview  

From the side the card looks excellent and much more modern than the Radeon cards which have come before. We love the slightly rounded edges, although the blocked off backplate and bracket ensure that any hot air generated just spills into your chassis.


AMD Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT Preview  

Here are the two RX 6800s together, with the XT on top and the white logo plain 6800 below. At least there is a visual indicator which is which, for those of you who like to be proud of your new XT purchase.


AMD Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT Preview  

Power is provided by two 8pin PCIe connectors, found in a more normal position than the Ampere Nvidia cards we've recently seen.


AMD Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT Preview  

At the business end we have an HDMI 2.1 VRR which brings you all the way up to 8K60 or 4K144 for those of you with high refresh rate monitors, whilst next to them we have two DisplayPorts and the USB Type-C for your VR headset or USB equipped display.


AMD Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT Preview  

Whether you adhere to the idea that there even is a Team Red and Team Green, or if you feel all that loyalty to a product you've already purchased should have died with the SNES/Genesis war, AMD clearly feel strongly that those of you who have remained firmly in the Santa Clara camp should be rewarded.

AMD Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT Preview  

Let's run through some of the new features on the Radeon 6800.

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Most Recent Comments

18-11-2020, 14:15:01

g0ggles1994
I am wet.
Time to retire the VegaQuote

18-11-2020, 14:25:35

Warchild
Welcome back to the world of competition AMD. Seriously well done on this product. Feels good to see them fighting back hard.

Look foward to the 6900/XTQuote

18-11-2020, 16:43:22

jcchg
Good performance. Mediocre Raytracing for now. Great power consumption. Negligible overclocking gains.

600 € and 670 € here in Spain respectively (out of stock). Next year we'll have enough stock I guess.Quote

18-11-2020, 16:51:56

KingNosser
About what i expected tbh so not disapointed, but with regards to stock come next year it'll be what i can get my hands on cause atm it's a right mess.Quote

18-11-2020, 18:01:25

AngryGoldfish
Wowzers, that's very, very good. Both the 6800 and 6800XT are 1440p kings for sure. Congratulations, RTG! And the 4k performance is still highly competitive.

Thanks so much for the thorough review, as always.

I noticed TPU had much lower power consumption numbers. I know everyone tests differently with different systems, so I'm not comparing them. I just want to add to how competitive AMD is. Looking at TPU's numbers, the 6800 draws less power than the 5700XT in gaming... and obviously way less than the 3080 and even the 3070. That's an incredible feat for the same 7nm process!

And the temperatures are definitely there as well. The cooler seems to be performing admirably. It's the first time in donkey's years where you could buy the AMD reference design and not feel like you're compromising on anything.

Ray-tracing is certainly behind Nvidia; they have a strong lead on AMD it seems. I wouldn't consider that a deal-breaker, but the 3070 and 3080 offer better value for money if you care a lot about RT. Add DLSS to that and Nvidia aren't in trouble of losing too many sales I don't think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcchg View Post
Good performance. Mediocre Raytracing for now. Great power consumption. Negligible overclocking gains.

600 € and 670 € here in Spain respectively (out of stock). Next year we'll have enough stock I guess.
Seeing as I saw early UK listings at over £700, that's excellent pricing for Spain.Quote
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