AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT Review

AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT Review


Any time a product starts to reach the end of its existence as the most current model in a manufacturers range, there is usually a “last hurrah” model that takes the best of the product and drips it with bells and whistles. We see this in all sorts of categories. There are GOTY edition versions of games that have all the DLC included. Some high performance cars have limited edition run-outs. It’s a popular concept. Most recently we’ve seen this from the manufacturer of today’s review, AMD, with their Ryzen 7 5800X3D, a processor that really upped the ante as far as gaming performance is concerned.

Today we have the first in a run of three new GPUs from AMD under their Radeon range, the Radeon RX 6950 XT. The new three are slightly beefed up versions of the 6×00 cars they replace, and the RX 6950 XT is the follow-on, but not a full sequel, to the Radeon RX 6900 XT. Instead of going down the same route as we see from the Nvidia Ti cards by giving it more cores and faster clock speeds, the RX 6950 XT just has more clock speed. Given how we’re all patiently waiting for the 7000 series of cards with hopefully more Ray-Tracing performance – the one weak spot in the current Radeon lineup – it perhaps makes sense for AMD to not go too big on this new card but keep their powder dry for the next installment.

It does, however, mean that if you had a golden cored version of the 6900 XT you might have already got close to the level of performance we expect today. After all, 60 MHz extra boost is hardly going to be a massive game changer, but might smooth out some of the rough edges of the Radeon performance, particularly in more intensive games.

If this introduction sounds a little cautious, it’s that we know from our time testing the Ryzen 7 5800X3D how much better it is for games over the standard Ryzen CPUs, and the slight gains shown in the official AMD literature was all tested on that CPU. Thus we’re not certain how many extra frames per second the card itself will provide when standing alone from that newest processor. There is only one way to find out.

Technical Specifications

As you can see below the 6950 has 2GB of GDDR5 and 22 Stream Processors running on… what? Oh this is the other AMD Radeon 6950. You’d think with all the numbers in the world they wouldn’t double up. Okay let’s try again.

AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT Review  

As you can see the RX 6950 XT has near identical specifications to the RX 6900 XT, just with higher clock speeds. Given that this is probably the last hurrah for the 6000 series of graphics cards, then we weren’t expecting a massive uptick in shaders or ray-tracing elements but a little more architectural horsepower would’ve been nice. Perhaps the oddest thing is AMD listing the RX 6950 XT as 1mm2 larger than the RX 6900 XT.

  Radeon RX 6950 XT Radeon RX 6900 XT
Architecture RNDA 2 RNDA 2
Manufacturing Process 7nm 7nm
Transistor Count 26.8 billion 26.8 billion
Die Size 520mm2 519mm2
Compute Units 80 80
Ray Accelerators 80 80
Stream Processors 5120 5120
GPU Clock 2100 MHz 2015 MHz
Boost Clock 2310 MHz 2250 MHz
Single Precision Performance 23.65 TFLOPS 23.04 TFLOPS
Half Precision Performance 47.31 TFLOPS 46.08 TFLOPS
Texture Fill-Rate 739.2 GT/s 720 GT/s
ROPs 128 128
Pixel Fill-Rate 295.7 GP/s 288 GP/s
AMD Infinity Cache 128 MB 128 MB
Memory 16GB GDDR6 16GB GDDR6
Effective bandwidth 1728.2 GB/s 512 GB/s
Memory Interface 256-bit 256-bit
Board Power 335W 300W