Conclusion

Today marks the launch of AMD’s next entrant into the Radeon RX 6000 family, the new Radeon RX 6700 XT.  AMD is setting a suggested retail price of $479 for this video card.  The Radeon RX 6800 sits above that at $579 and the Radeon RX 6800 XT sits above that at $649.  This makes the Radeon RX 6700 XT the most affordable Radeon RX 6000 series video card so far.  Though, it’s not exactly at mainstream pricing.  At $479 it’s still a pretty high-end priced video card that is not yet at the mainstream sweet spot of pricing.

Let’s do a refresh.  The Radeon RX 6700 XT has half the compute units of the Radeon RX 6900 XT.  It has 40 compute units and Ray Accelerators.  It has a rather high GPU Game Clock set at 2424MHz, and a Boost GPU Clock of 2581MHz.  It’s based on the same RDNA2 architecture at 7nm as the rest of the series. 

Uniquely, it has 96MB (32MB less than the other models) of AMD Infinity Cache.  This helps alleviate the bottleneck of a narrower memory bus width and bandwidth.  You see, the Radeon RX 6700 XT has only a 192-bit memory bus and 384GB/s of memory bandwidth.  This is actually less than the Radeon RX 5700 XT.  AMD can get away with this, by use of the AMD Infinity Cache.  With a 192-bit memory bus cost of production decreases for add-in-board partners.

Onboard you’ll find 12GB of GDDR6 to take on the demand of current and future games at 1440p.  This video card should have all the VRAM it needs and never bottleneck in terms of capacity.  AMD is squarely targeting 1440p at high game settings and 60FPS for the best gameplay experience.

Performance vs RX 5700 XT

In terms of performance, let’s first look at the Radeon RX 6700 XT as an upgrade path from the Radeon RX 5700 XT.  Granted, the Radeon RX 5700 XT was a cheaper video card at $399.  You will be paying more for the Radeon RX 6700 XT.

In all of our gaming evaluation the Radeon RX 6700 XT was much faster than the Radeon RX 5700 XT.  It allowed games to be playable at settings that the Radeon RX 5700 XT was not playable.  Overall, we experienced between 20-40% better performance with the Radeon RX 6700 XT over the Radeon RX 5700 XT.

It mainly depends on the game, and a game like Cyberpunk 2077 saw a 38% performance improvement.  That’s substantial, but then there are other games where the Radeon RX 5700 XT was already getting pretty good performance.  It seems the newer, more demanding games may have a better chance at getting a larger increase in performance with the Radeon RX 6700 XT over the Radeon RX 5700 XT.

Performance vs Competition

When it comes to comparing with the competition, our evaluation and data seems to indicate that the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is the main performance competition for the Radeon RX 6700 XT.  In every game we played the GeForce RTX 3070 was always the faster video card.  Granted, there were cases where they were close, within 4% of each other, but more often than not the GeForce RTX 3070 was much greater in performance than that. 

When you look at all the graphs out of these 8 games, it’s the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti that the Radeon RX 6700 XT is dancing around mostly.  There are instances where they are equal, and instances where the Radeon RX 6700 XT is faster.  It just depends on the game.  I would say, more often than not the Radeon RX 6700 XT is faster than the RTX 3060 Ti, but the two still remain pretty close.

Ray Tracing

Let’s just face the truth, NVIDIA has a huge advantage in Ray Tracing performance right now.  AMD does tell us that newer games that are optimized to run Ray Tracing on AMD’s RDNA2 architecture do run better than older games that haven’t been.  Therefore, there is hope that new game releases with new Ray Tracing support may actually run better than what we are seeing in these games we showed today. 

Time will tell, and more testing will tell how that turns out.  AMD does say that they are targeting 1080p as the resolution to run Ray Tracing on the Radeon RX 6700 XT, so perhaps at 1080p in those newer optimized games, Ray Tracing may be playable. We will continue to test new games and see how it turns out. 

The Final Points

AMD claims that the Radeon RX 6700 XT is targeted for the 1440p gameplay experience with high game settings.  Our opinion is that is right on the money.  The AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT does allow you to play games at 1440p with the highest in-game settings.  You won’t always get a solid 60FPS, it just depends on the game, some will, some won’t.  Newer, more demanding games will be more demanding.  With 12GB of VRAM, you shouldn’t have a problem running into capacity bottlenecks in newer games.

Overall, we do wish two things, either the Radeon RX 6700 XT was faster, or it was priced lower.  We think the $479 price tag is a bit steep for the performance experienced.  If you consider that the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti was similar in gameplay experience, albeit slower, but has a suggested retail price as low as $399, then it makes the Radeon RX 6700 XT seem overpriced.

We are actually going to pose this question to our readers (feel free to leave feedback in our forum) which video card do you think the Radeon RX 6700 XT competes with most on performance?  The GeForce RTX 3060 Ti or the GeForce RTX 3070? Let us know what you think.

The GeForce RTX 3070 is more expensive at $499, but it was also consistently faster and does provide much better Ray Tracing performance, and DLSS support.  For only a $20 difference to the Radeon RX 6700 XT, the GeForce RTX 3070 seems like a good deal. 

Now all this is dependent on actual pricing today.  Naturally, we are simply talking about suggested retail pricing, because that is really all we can go by.  It is highly unpredictable what the actual street pricing will turn out to be, and that is going to vary a lot.  Hopefully, as time goes on, pricing will return to normal, and when that happens at least you’ll have our review to determine if this is the card for you or not.

To sum it up, the Radeon RX 6700 XT is a welcomed video card in AMD’s Radeon RX 6000 series lineup. It needed to happen, and we are glad to see it. It does make us very interested in a non-XT variant, perhaps with a more appealing price tag to performance ratio. We look forward to custom video cards of the Radeon RX 6700 XT because we think this might have great GPU clock frequency potential. Factory overclocked video cards could make this a much more competitive video card if priced right, so we can’t wait to see if that’s true.

Discussion

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

    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.

  13. 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..

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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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