MSI Radeon RX 6700 XT GAMING X Video Card Review

MSI Radeon RX 6700 XT GAMING X video card front angle black background


We’ve got a full retail manufacturer custom-built AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT GPU-based video card to test for you today.  The MSI Radeon RX 6700 XT GAMING X 12G is a customized video card with a beefy heatsink and fan combo, robust hardware, and geared for overclocking.  As MSI puts it, Play Hard, Stay Silent, and that is what the GAMING X version offers.  The overall look has also been refreshed and MSI is using TWIN FROZR 8, which we will talk about below. MSRP is steep in the US, priced at $789.99 officially. MSI emphasizes that this price is for the US only because of the 25% tariffs taxed when entering through customs. MSRP, and more importantly, street prices, could change in the future.

Before we dive into the video card, let’s first take a quick look at the other MSI models of Radeon RX 6700 XT so we know where the GAMING X fits in.  If we look under MSI’s Radeon RX 6700 XT lineup we find five distinct video cards.  MSI offers a reference design model that is simply using the same cooler as the reference card, just with MSI branding.  Then we step up to the MECH series which includes dual-fans and a custom cooler.  The MECH series also offers a factory overclocked version.  However, sitting at the top-end is MSI’s GAMING series.  The GAMING series has the newest TWIN FROZR 8 cooling system and offers an overclocked version with the X model.  Therefore, the MSI Radeon RX 6700 XT GAMING X is the fastest and best Radeon RX 6700 XT-based video card MSI offers. 

AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT Specs

Before we dive into what makes the MSI Radeon RX 6700 XT tick, let’s do a quick refresher on the Radeon RX 6700 XT.  AMD launched the Radeon RX 6700 XT on March 17, 2021, with an MSRP of $479 to fill in the Radeon RX 6000 series.  This puts it (by price) closer to the GeForce RTX 3070 FE, though AMD is targeting the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti as competition.  AMD does clearly state however that the Radeon RX 6700 XT is geared for 1440p gaming.

The Radeon RX 6700 XT is based on RDNA2 at 7nm.  It has 40 Compute Units and Ray Accelerators.  It has 2560 Stream Processors, 64 ROPs, and 160 Texture Mapping Units.  The Game GPU Clock runs at 2424MHz and the Boost GPU Clock runs at 2581MHz.  It has 12GB of GDDR6 at 16GHz on a 192-bit bus giving it 384GB/s of bandwidth.  The Board Power is rated at 230W.

MSI Radeon RX 6700 XT GAMING X

First, to the specs, the MSI Radeon RX 6700 XT GAMING X has a factory overclock.  It has a Gaming GPU Clock set at 2514MHz and a Boost GPU Clock of 2622MHz.  The reference Radeon RX 6700 XT, for comparison, has a Gaming GPU Clock of 2424MHz and a GPU Boost Clock of 2581MHz.  So that is a 90MHz higher game clock and 41MHz maximum GPU boost clock.  This should allow the video card to run at a higher sustained in-game real-world frequency while gaming, compared to the reference RX 6700 XT.  We will find out in our testing what that is and how it compares to the reference card.

Otherwise, the memory specifications are the same, it has 12GB of GDDR6 memory at 16GHz.  The Power Consumption is still rated at 230W and the recommended PSU is 650W.  The MSI Radeon RX 6700 XT GAMING X has 3 DisplayPorts (v1.4) and 1 HDMI 2.1 port.  The video card requires two 8-pin power connectors.  It supports PCI Express Gen 4 and AMD Smart Access Memory.  The video card measures 10.9 inches in length, 5.1 inches in width, and 2.2 inches in height and weighs 2.5 pounds. That puts it just slightly longer than the reference card which is 10.5 inches. However, it is much wider than the reference card which is 4 inches, and also much thicker with the reference card being 1.5 inches. Overall, it’s a bigger card in every dimension.

Now let’s talk about TWIN FROZR 8 heatsink and fan cooling.  TORX FAN 4.0 technology is used in this combination.  There are two fans with pairs of fan blades bound together with an outer ring design link.  This helps focus airflow into the updated TWIN FRORZ 8 cooling system.  Using Zero Frozr technology the fans completely stop spinning at low temperatures. Continuing the design, the heat pipes are precision-machined to make contact over the entire GPU and spread heat along the full length of the heatsink.  The heatsink itself has deflectors and channels that improve airflow dynamics with Wave-curved 2.0 fin edges.  It provides additional surface area and guides air to where it is needed.  Ample thermal pads are also used to provide heat dissipation for board components.

Rounding out the build is a sturdy aluminum backplate that reinforces the video card in strength while providing passive cooling with thermal pads.  An anti-bending metal strap is also on board to keep the video card from bending.  To improve protection there are additional fuses built into the custom PCB to provide those extra layers of protection against electrical damage. The PCB material was designed with 2oz copper.  MSI’s high-end hardware components are also used to ensure stable behavior and overclocking potential.  MSI RGB Mystic Light is supported for complete control of RGB and syncing.  MSI Dragon Center software lets you monitor, tweak and optimize your video card, and MSI Afterburner allows overclocking. 

Continuing with the overall look, the design of the shroud is a bit different and the RGB lighting pattern as well.  There are parallel slit-type designs on the front of the shroud, and the MSI and Drago logo on the top edge. 

Brent Justice
Former managing editor of GPUs at HardOCP for 18 years, Brent Justice has been reviewing computer components since the late 90s, educated in the art and method of the computer hardware review, he brings experience, knowledge, and hands-on testing with a gamer-oriented and hardware enthusiast perspective. You can follow him on Twitter - @Brent_Justice You can sub to his YouTube channel - Justice Gaming You can check out his computer builds on KIT - @BrentJustice

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