Introduction

The need for more performance, it’s always on the minds of PC hardware enthusiasts.  It’s also on the mind of AMD with the latest AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT video card launch.  AMD has provided gamers and hardware enthusiasts with a new feature that works only on Radeon RX 6800 XT video cards.  Inside the AMD Radeon Software App is a new Performance Tuning Preset called Rage Mode.  Rage Mode is a software-selectable preset that changes hardware functionality to provide extra headroom on the GPU to deliver “the ultimate gaming performance.” 

In our comparison review today, we are going to directly compare performance at default versus Rage Mode on the reference AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT video card sampled by AMD.  In this way, we can see what, if any, game performance advantages there really are.  We will test ten games at 1440p, 4K, with and without Ray Tracing and this should tell us what the real-world advantages of Rage Mode are.

Rage Mode is not manual overclocking, for that please check out our AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT Overclocking performance review to see how high we could manually overclock it.

AMD Rage Mode

Rage Mode is a Performance Tuning Preset in the Radeon Software on your PC.  The name is taken from the ATI Rage series of video cards back in the day.  The Rage 3D graphics chips ushered in a new era of gaming for ATI.  Therefore, to pay homage to this namesake AMD has named this feature Rage Mode.  We like that, it’s an awesome way to name something.

In the Radeon Software, there are three primary Tuning Controls.  You will find “Preset” and “Automatic” and “Manual.”  The default setting is “Automatic” and “Default.”  Otherwise, you can click “Preset” for the three Tuning Presets or select “Manual” to do manual overclocking.

Once you click on “Preset” you will find three performance tuning presets available in Radeon Software on the Radeon RX 6800 XT.  You will find a “Quiet” mode, a “Balanced” mode, and the new “Rage” mode.  These presets adjust power and fan levels.

The Quiet preset can save power and reduce noise without compromising performance.  The Balanced preset is the default preset if you enable presets, it is a mix of performance and power savings to suite your gaming needs.

Rage Mode Explained

The Rage preset raises power and fan-speed limits to take advantage of extra headroom available in the GPU to deliver the ultimate gaming experience.  The amount of performance headroom can vary from one GPU to the next, and will also depend on the cooler design and card in question.  Rage mode is only available on Radeon RX 6800 XT, not 6800.

From this, what we gather is that Rage Mode can potentially benefit video card designs with more robust power delivery and cooler designs.  That means the reference model we are looking at today, may not be representative of the whole.  It’s just but one design, and one example.  Custom cards may behave differently.

Here is a table that represents how the various presets modify the Game and Boost clocks on the Radeon RX 6800 XT.

Radeon RX 6800 XT PresetGame ClockBoost Clock
Quiet1950 MHzUp to 2185 MHz
Balanced2015 MHzUp to 2250 MHz
Rage2065 MHzUp to 2310 MHz

The neat thing about Rage Mode, and all the presets, is that these modes are fully supported by AMD and will not void the warranty.

Our Goals

The goal is simple, to see if and how Rage Mode affects performance on the reference AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT video card sampled by AMD.  We will test performance at default settings, nothing changed.  Then we will turn the Rage Tuning Preset on and test performance again.  We will compare results and see what advantages it provides on the reference video card.  This is a simple two graph comparison, with the feature enabled or not.  We will show 1440p, 4K, and Ray Tracing performance. If you want to see maximum overclock potential, check out our Radeon RX 6800 XT Overclocking review.

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Brent Justice

Brent Justice has been reviewing computer components for 20+ years, educated in the art and method of the computer hardware review he brings experience, knowledge, and hands-on testing with a gamer oriented...

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9 Comments

  1. This seems very similar at first glance to turning up the power limit in MSI Afterburner.

    With an AIO on my 1080Ti, this is all I have to do, and really all I can do; no further manual tuning delivers additional stable performance, and the card runs at max boost under load without throttling (or making any additional noise).

    I’d bet that an AIO version of the 6800XT would behave similarly, and given that the solution appears well thought-out, that it’d be both a ‘safe’ overclock and make ensuring that you’re getting the most out of the GPU within the margin for error.

  2. Rage Mode looks more like "Meow" mode… Not much "Rage" in a 1-2% increase. Although Brent didn’t test it, I bet this card can exhibit a "Rage" difference in power draw when "Rage" mode is on. That’s about it sadly :(
  3. Thanks for the review on this Brent. I agree these results seem like a let down. However, I think you hit the nail on the head about your test card being "just" an AMD reference card. I wonder if custom cards can take the Rage mode idea and run with it. It would be a shame to bring back the "Rage" name only to have it be a dud.
  4. Kind of disappointing having a Rage button that gives no rage out of your graphics card. Placebo button, great idea if it gave 5%+ boost, does AMD think their reference cards have virtually no headroom above specs? Seeing some of the AIBs easily going above 2500mhz makes me think AMD missed an opportunity here.

    How does this compared to the quiet button, how much if any, performance loss, power savings etc.?

    I like these exploratory type reads and look overs, good read.

  5. Well jeez, kind of a silly "app" since even some of the FPS’s were lower in "rage" mode than standard mode.
  6. "The need for more performance, it’s always on the minds of PC hardware enthusiasts. It’s also on the mind of AMD with the latest AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT video card launch. "

    I’d say the only thing on anyone’s mind at this point is when will a plain old guy with money to spend be able to buy a new GPU…..either AMD or Nvidia.
    The only "Rage Mode" I have is aimed directly at scalpers, their little bots, and the management at these two companies who decided to paper launch these products.

  7. I did some testing with a 6900XT last week; using Auto Undervolt actually got a higher increase in performance than Rage Mode setting. I’m guessing that a manual undervolt would yield a bit more as well.

    I’m using a 6800 now, while it doesn’t have Rage Mode setting, it still performs better than stock using Auto Undervolt.

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