AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT Review

AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT Review


The Radeon RX 6950 XT is a bit of a strange proposition, depending up your viewpoint. If you come into it expecting to see similar performance increases as you’d get from a Ti Nvidia card then it definitely isn’t that. There are no increases in either Shader count or the number of Ray Accelerators. All the benefits are to be found from the effective memory bandwidth when utilising the AMD Infinity Cache, and the raw clock speed increases on the RDNA 2 GPU itself.

Certainly if you’ve no indulged yourself in the 6000 series AMD Radeon cards, then it is comfortably the best one they can currently offer. The performance is excellent across the board, with only a few of the most demanding titles having issues at 4K. The main weakness of the RX 6950 XT is the same weakness that we’ve seen with this whole range of AMD cards, namely Ray-Tracing. This isn’t a big shock as Ray-Tracing requires a huge number of dedicated processors and the early Nvidia options were limited in this department too. No amount of GPU clock speed increase will overcome that, so if you really want to make the most of the ray-tracing capable games on the market then you’ll have to wait for the 7000 series of AMD cards to appear.

Right now this is exactly what you would imagine it to be; i.e a faster Radeon RX 6900 XT. All of which means that the same joys – performance in Far Cry 6 or the Codemaster F1 series – are exactly as brilliant as they were before, and all the flaws – ray-tracing games and certain 4K scenarios – are just as weak as they were with the 6900. Clock speed can only do so much.

The biggest benefit to the card is also the same as the 6000 AMD Radeon range when compared to their Nvidia rival, and that is one of pricing. The MSRP for the RX 6950 XT is $1099, slotting it somewhere between the RTX 3080 and RTX 3080 Ti. Clearly the performance isn’t as consistent as the latter, but in the games that suit it the RX 6950 XT is better than the RTX 3080. How much you’re willing to put up with its foibles are very much related to the type of game that you’re playing and how invested you are in the AMD brand. Certainly if you paired this with the Ryzen 7 5800X3D then you’ll get even better results than we had here today, but with that processor the results would be better almost regardless of which GPU you use, as we showed you in our recent reviews.

If you think of the Radeon RX 6950 XT as the best possible 6000 series card then there is an awful lot to like about it. If you were hoping it would be a massively upgraded version of the RX 6900 XT, then perhaps temper your expectations.

AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT Review  

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