AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT Video Card

Introduction

Let’s travel not too far back to November of 2020.  It was mid-November 2020 AMD finally let the cloth fly and all the benchmarks on its new AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT and Radeon RX 6800 video cards were published.  This was the official launch and release of AMD’s next-generation Radeon RX 6000 series based on its new RDNA2 architecture.  A lot of people liked to call this “Big NAVI” so you may recognize it by that name. 

The Radeon RX 6000 series was always meant to be a complete lineup of video cards based on RDNA2.  This followed with the launch of the Radeon RX 6900 XT the next month in December 2020.  Until now, those are the three AMD Radeon RX 6000 series video cards that have existed, and they are all high-end cards. 

The AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT has a suggested price of $999, the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT has a suggested price of $649, and the Radeon RX 6800 has a suggested price of $579.  All of these video cards competed at the high-end spectrum of gaming and subsequently the high-end competition equivalents.  Given that the Radeon RX 6000 series was always a series of video cards, it makes sense that AMD would release a new model that is next down on the stack.  That video card is what is being launched today, but the actual availability for cards will be on Thursday, March 18th.  The new Radeon RX 6700 XT will have a suggested price of $479.

AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT Specifications

Let’s jump right to it, the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT is based on the RDNA2 architecture but is a new NAVI 22 XT GPU. Therefore all the features supported in the Radeon RX 6800/6900 are supported here.  The AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT is manufactured on 7nm like the rest of the series.  It will have 40 Compute Units and Ray Accelerators.  This is exactly half that of the Radeon RX 6900 XT.  The Radeon RX 6700 XT has 2560 Stream Processors, 64 ROPs, and 160 Texture Mapping Units.  The Game GPU Clock will run starting at 2424MHz.  It has a Boost GPU Clock of 2581MHz.  It has 96MB of AMD Infinity Cache, which is less than the 128MB found on the Radeon RX 6800/XT and 6900 XT. 

There is 12GB of GDDR6 memory onboard running at 16GHz.  AMD is using a 192-bit memory bus on the Radeon RX 6700 XT.  This puts it at 384GB/s of memory bandwidth, actually less than the Radeon RX 5700 XT which has 448GB/s of bandwidth due to its 256-bit bus width.  It can use this lower memory bus width and bandwidth because of the use of AMD Infinity Cache to offset the narrower memory bandwidth.  The Board Power is rated at 230W though, only 5W more than the 225W of the Radeon RX 5700 XT.  AMD Smart Access Memory is supported.

Gaming Target

AMD is targeting the Radeon RX 6700 XT at $479 to appeal to 1440p resolution gaming.  AMD states that display shipment growth year over year is showing larger growth in the 1440p monitor area.  In addition, higher refresh rate monitors upwards of 100Hz are becoming more desirable.

Having 12GB of VRAM for 1440p gaming is an important part of AMD’s strategy in providing a good 1440p experience.  AMD also looks at this as future-proofing.  AMD is aiming for 60+ FPS 1440p gaming for 2021.  This means the Radeon RX 6700 XT is an upgrade path from the Radeon RX 5700 XT and Radeon RX Vega 64. 

Along with this launch, there are also a couple of updates to support.  Radeon Anti-Lag now supports DX12 games along with DX9 and DX11.  This aids in latency reduction.  AMD Radeon Boost also now supports Motion Adaptive VRS in DX12.  These features are enabled via the AMD control panel. 

AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT Video Card Review Expanding the AMD RDNA Family

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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27 Comments

  1. Excellent review as always Brent!

    With regards to what this card competes against, I can’t make that distinction right now until I see AIB solutions out there for this model. MSRP is one thing, and if we are ONLY dealing with MSRP right now, then I would say it compares against the 3070 FE’s MSRP @ $499. This card’s MSRP is $479. I’d call that a close enough margin to place the 2 square against each other.

    Now let’s enter today’s current "Bizzaro" world we’re dealing with card prices (even without scalping) that are through the roof! Let’s see where this card truly lands with respects to price and then THAT’S the comparison we should be making with respects to a nVidia counterpart.

  2. I dont think you can justify $500 gpu’s that cant RT these days. I know I can’t.

    So meh, to say the least.

  3. Depending on when prices get back to normal, and stock, this doesn’t appear to be a bad card.
  4. MSRP is one thing, and if we are ONLY dealing with MSRP right now, then I would say it compares against the 3070 FE’s MSRP @ $499. This card’s MSRP is $479. I’d call that a close enough margin to place the 2 square against each other.

    I’d agree with this. Benchmarks and specs on paper, it’s a good matchup for the 3060 Ti and (outside of RT) tends to win bigger than it loses at that spot.

    But at MSRP, it’s $80 higher than the 60, and only $20 lower than the 70 — with performance that can sometimes get close but never quite match it, I’d take the 70 every time.

    Of course, nothing is in stock except ScalpBay, and whatever prices do there will be interesting to watch – but no way I’m shopping in that market. The prices at MSRP are already out of whack in my opinion, but that’s me shouting from my rocking chair and it’s clear the tech world has moved far away from what I had become accustomed to.

  5. For the price, I expected the RX6700 to trade blows with the RTX3070, not the 3060Ti. Specially given how the RX6800 stands.
  6. For the price, I expected the RX6700 to trade blows with the RTX3070, not the 3060Ti. Specially given how the RX6800 stands.

    I guess there is still room for a 6700XT, with a price break on the 6700 that would realign things… but until inventory stabilizes i don’t think we will see that

  7. Awesome review Brent!!!!!

    I’d agree with this. Benchmarks and specs on paper, it’s a good matchup for the 3060 Ti and (outside of RT) tends to win bigger than it loses at that spot.

    But at MSRP, it’s $80 higher than the 60, and only $20 lower than the 70 — with performance that can sometimes get close but never quite match it, I’d take the 70 every time.

    Of course, nothing is in stock except ScalpBay, and whatever prices do there will be interesting to watch – but no way I’m shopping in that market. The prices at MSRP are already out of whack in my opinion, but that’s me shouting from my rocking chair and it’s clear the tech world has moved far away from what I had become accustomed to.

    Yeppers, I agree with this Brian!

  8. My gut feel on pricing for this one is that it’d be closer to a ~$399 priced card if supply of all other cards in the red/green stacks was adequate and in the ballpark of their respective MSRPs. Given that anything faster than a GT710 is selling like hotcakes, I’m sure these will be just as sold out as everything else until this craze reaches its end… then you’ll see a price cut.
  9. My gut feel on pricing for this one is that it’d be closer to a ~$399 priced card if supply of all other cards in the red/green stacks was adequate and in the ballpark of their respective MSRPs. Given that anything faster than a GT710 is selling like hotcakes, I’m sure these will be just as sold out as everything else until this craze reaches its end… then you’ll see a price cut.

    It sucks being a consumer in this market… but we’ve seen how the market suffers when AMD is ‘poor’, and with a business background myself, it’s hard to fault them for raising prices and raking in what they can, when they can.

    The rest of us are just going to have to wait, unfortunately, and my main worry there isn’t the lack of hardware progress, but the lack of market penetration to justify the addition of advanced hardware support in games!

  10. Yeah, no way any of those $800 variants are worth that kind of price, but that still seems to be less than where 3070s are when you see one for sale, and there is no doubt all the 6700XTs will be entirely sold out today.

    So that’s really what this is all about competition wise. MSRP is meaningless, so if the actual price settles in about $100 less than the 3070, then it competes against the 3060ti. If actual price lands about the same as the 3070, then it competes against the 3070.

  11. I can see some cards in stock over here, 849€ for the cheapest one while AMD sells them for 479 € ( no wonder they are out of stock there)
  12. My local Microcenter (Dallas) has the Sapphire for $479

    I don’t think this would be an upgrade from my 1080ti (more like a side-grade) so I am going to pass.

  13. My local Microcenter (Dallas) has the Sapphire for $479

    http://[URL]https://www.microcenter…-xt-dual-fan-12gb-gddr6-pcie-40-graphics-card

    [/URL]

    I don’t think this would be an upgrade from my 1080ti (more like a side-grade) so I am going to pass.

    Yeah those 1080 Ti’s have aged pretty well. They were the first x80 Ti gen I ever dug deep in order to get after years of SLI and I’ll always aim for the same for upgrades. Just about anything else ends up being a near sideways step. I still remember reading how people loved their 780 and 980 Ti’s and now I know why. I’ve got my mining these days but occasionally I’ll stop it and bench things in 1440p and smile. Such a great card.

  14. Well I did see a few two-fan versions running for the $479. Triple fans seem to all be that price and oddly enough that Gaming X but the gaming X is a bit of MSI’s premium side of things.

    I can’t see how a third fan adds almost $300 to the cost of a card! Baked in goodness adding to approx $100 over standard card I can swallow, but $300 over?? Nope… I find it ridiculous..

  15. I can’t see how a third fan adds almost $300 to the cost of a card! Baked in goodness adding to approx $100 over standard card I can swallow, but $300 over?? Nope… I find it ridiculous..

    I agree. I was just stating that seems to be the main dividing line for the prices. Sometimes though that 3rd fan is because of a custom PCB with extra power but I can’t imagine this card should ever have enough needs for such a thing. A 6800 or 6900, sure to push the envelope but at this tier, no way.

  16. Yeah those 1080 Ti’s have aged pretty well. They were the first x80 Ti gen I ever dug deep in order to get after years of SLI and I’ll always aim for the same for upgrades. Just about anything else ends up being a near sideways step. I still remember reading how people loved their 780 and 980 Ti’s and now I know why. I’ve got my mining these days but occasionally I’ll stop it and bench things in 1440p and smile. Such a great card.

    I’d felt a little sorry that I grabbed a 970 before the 980Ti hit. I grabbed a second 970 instead, which at the time worked pretty well, but man… I was ready to just run one card again.

    When the 1080Ti hit, while I wasn’t fond of the price, I came upon a watercooled version selling for MSRP of the base card. Literally US$699 for a version with an AIO installed.

    With all of the coin mess going on at that time, I grabbed one and didn’t look back!

    Today I’d like to go above 2560×1440 and have tossed around various alternatives from the 21:9 megawides to the 48" LG OLED, but nothing seems to fit ‘quite right’, on top of no GPU worth replacing the 1080Ti with being actually available at a price that doesn’t also include an at-home vivisection :D

  17. I’d felt a little sorry that I grabbed a 970 before the 980Ti hit. I grabbed a second 970 instead, which at the time worked pretty well, but man… I was ready to just run one card again.

    I jumped on the 980 before the Ti hit. I don’t feel bad, I was coming up from a release HD 6970, so it was a needed upgrade and compared to everything that came before it Maxwell looked great. But yeah, Pascal made it look lackluster. I am an every-other (or every every other) generation upgrader, so I don’t exactly feel regret for skipping Pascal. Ampere was lackluster for the price to me, and AMD dropped off the radar entirely last generation.
    So yeah, now I’m stuck. I don’t exactly feel regret for not having upgraded before, but yeah… hind site and all I would definitely had jumped on a 1080 or a Turing card when they were available.

  18. I jumped on the 980 before the Ti hit. I don’t feel bad, I was coming up from a release HD 6970, so it was a needed upgrade and compared to everything that came before it Maxwell looked great. But yeah, Pascal made it look lackluster. I am an every-other (or every every other) generation upgrader, so I don’t exactly feel regret for skipping Pascal. Ampere was lackluster for the price to me, and AMD dropped off the radar entirely last generation.
    So yeah, now I’m stuck. I don’t exactly feel regret for not having upgraded before, but yeah… hind site and all I would definitely had jumped on a 1080 or a Turing card when they were available.

    If it makes you feel better, I managed to pick up a used 1660Ti through a deal and had intended to send it to my younger brother; but since I’ve been testing it in my desktop and just not had the time to yank it and send it, I’m actually thinking about sending him my 1080Ti instead.

    Main reason being that when I would get around to replacing the 1080Ti, it being a power-hungry unit with an AIO and outdated technology (video outputs and old NVENC transcoding block), I honestly can’t imagine what I’d put it in. The 1660Ti, however, I can, and for the one game that I have time to care to play right now (BF4), I don’t even have to dial the settings halfway back to potato to get >100FPS at 1440p.

    I’m literally flabbergasted that right now I feel I can even live with that. It should feel wrong, but given that there’s no ‘up’ to go to, I figure I can wait out this period of market silliness.

  19. Enjoyed the review. As for best card for the price, MSRP means nothing today so if one has some options it could be any of the cards tested. If a 3070 is available and cheaper than a 6700 XT which is also available then of course the 3070. If the 3060Ti is costing more than the 6700 XT . . .

    It is correct that AMD arch RT will probably have to be coded more for it, for example DXR 1.1 allows multiple shaders/compute in a mega shader -> for AMD Infinity Cache that would be very effective while for Nvidia it might not make much of a difference. Once RNDA2 coded optimize RT is done, comparing them should reflect better that feature performance.

    As for AMD FSR vs DLSS -> AMD has not delivered yet, not known of the quality/performance benefits between them. So one cannot decide well if AMD methods will be more or less useful, if they even become available and are used in games. With Nvidia, DLSS is here, can work good, while I’ve have had issues with it in every title except COD, some or most do not. Titles using DLSS is increasing more rapidly now.

    I think AMD did a good job on the card, as for pricing it will be the real street price that will make this card a good buy or not. Which also means availability and a earnest decent supply of GPUs to support the market.

  20. Gonna pick on you a bit, but not because you’re wrong :)

    It is correct that AMD arch RT will probably have to be coded more for it, for example DXR 1.1 allows multiple shaders/compute in a mega shader -> for AMD Infinity Cache that would be very effective while for Nvidia it might not make much of a difference. Once RNDA2 coded optimize RT is done, comparing them should reflect better that feature performance.

    This is true, but also painfully so: AMD puts out good GPU hardware, many times even beastly and sometimes clearly superior, but almost always before software can take advantage of it. That isn’t to say that they don’t put out GPUs that aren’t the best option in certain price brackets or for certain gaming and compute workloads, but rather, that there’s almost always a lag between the hardware release and the ability to fully utilize it.

    I should qualify the above a little bit too. First and most important, I don’t want to see AMD stop innovating, rather much the contrary. I believe that it’s important to highlight where they innovate, full stop. Not every innovation bears fruit and that’s only loosely related to the efficacy of the innovation itself; in technology there are so many related variables ranging from the basic engineering needed to exploit an innovation all the way up to marketing and beyond to politics! We can only fairly judge innovators like AMD and their innovations for the part that they’re actually responsible for.

    With that out of the way, the 6700 XT must be judged as it performs at release. Not just so that it is related to its peers but also as a benchmark for future performance gains! If we keep in mind that current markets are volatile, whether or not a buyer finds the 6700 XT to check the most boxes for their usecase is going to fluctuate day to day. We can’t expect reviewers to nail that down, but rather, to simply provide the most transparent rundown that they can.

    Now, with respect to RT specifically, while AMD does absolutely deserve praise for producing effective RT hardware, they’re simply not the best choice where RT performance is concerned. That can change as I noted above, but right now, AMD presents a better solution for non-RT usecases than for RT usecases.

    As for AMD FSR vs DLSS -> AMD has not delivered yet, not known of the quality/performance benefits between them. So one cannot decide well if AMD methods will be more or less useful, if they even become available and are used in games. With Nvidia, DLSS is here, can work good, while I’ve have had issues with it in every title except COD, some or most do not. Titles using DLSS is increasing more rapidly now.

    I’m critical of DLSS, not specifically for the technology that Nvidia has developed nor the functional equivalent that AMD claims to be developing in response, but of the basic premise of the technology itself, in that it purports to use ‘learned’ techniques in order to produce more detail from less detail. As you note that you’ve personally had issues, I’m personally surprised that there aren’t more examples of undesirable artifacts.

    On the one hand I can understand a bit of ‘honeymoon syndrome’ where users are elated to simply have games running better than they otherwise would have, and this is the feeling that I share; on the other hand, the photographer in me has seen this approach to producing detail before, and I’m waiting for complaints from professional gaming communities as an example, where DLSS and similar technologies are either producing detail that isn’t really present that is distracting, or worse, missing detail that should be there, and in both cases representing a competitive disadvantage one way or the other!

    Outside of the concerns, though, it is also fair to say that DLSS is established and broadly works to its marketed purpose, and that AMDs competing technology is not only not established, but in being so cannot be rated as working or not, and that while AMD does have Nvidia’s previous work on getting DLSS to an effective state to reference, having witnessed the evolution of DLSS ourselves, AMD is certainly going to have to put in a lot of effort to catch up!

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