Today we have reviewed the fastest RX 6700 XT graphics card SAPPHIRE has to offer. The SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX 6700 XT GAMING OC video card puts the NITRO in the Radeon RX 6700 XT and provides a custom-designed video card with exceptional cooling and a factory overclock. Combined with the SAPPHIRE TriXX software, this is a powerful combination for gaming at 1440p.
The SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX 6700 XT GAMING OC comes with a factory game clock of 2548MHz and a boost clock of 2622MHz. This offers better performance than a reference video card out-of-the-box. The video card is physically larger in every dimension to accommodate the robust cooling and three fan design. The heatsink extends out past the PCB providing pass-through air cooling of the heatsink and heatpipes. The backplate provides cooling via thermal pads and is well ventilated.
SAPPHIRE has a unique cooling module specifically to keep the memory, VRMs, MOSFETs, and Chokes cool. Combined with IC-powered fan technologies to keep the fans spinning accurately, the GPU remains cool and quiet while gaming. In addition, this video card can overclock.
Utilizing AMD Radeon Software, we managed to increase the Power Target by +15% and we could fully control the fan speeds as needed. We managed to hit the highest memory overclock allowed, and our Max Frequency was set to 2850MHz. This allowed an overclock of up to 2740MHz, an 8% GPU frequency bump over the default frequency which was already higher than the reference video card, to begin with. In addition, the GPU temperatures were very cool with this overclock thanks to the cooler, it was quiet and cool.
We are impressed with the SAPPHIRE TriXX Software, it’s one of the more feature-rich applications for a video card. It has a fan check ability, and the ability to switch BIOS’s in software so you don’t have to physically use the BIOS switch. However, it does lack overclocking functionality, and that would just be the icing on the cake. We would suggest to SAPPHIRE to put this functionality into TriXX.
In terms of performance, it depends greatly on the game and what settings you are using. It is no surprise to anyone right now that Ray Tracing is not the Radeon RX 6700 XT’s strong point. It is usually outperformed by the NVIDIA RTX GPUs in this field. However, one game at least, in our suite did great with Ray Tracing and that was Dirt 5. That game was very playable at 1440p with Ray Tracing no problem at all on the SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX 6700 XT GAMING OC video card.
When it comes to regular rasterized performance, the SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX 6700 XT GAMING OC did perform well. In Cyberpunk it was just on the border of being playable until we overclocked it. The overclocked performance was very playable and matched the GeForce RTX 3070 FE. Dirt 5, as we mentioned, was very playable, and overclocking it allowed it to surpass the RTX 3060 Ti FE. In Watch Dogs Legion the game was playable at default and overclocked. When we overclocked it performance outpaced the RTX 3070 FE.
In Horizon Zero Dawn the NITRO+ was the slowest until we overclocked it which brought it above the RTX 3060 Ti. Flight Simulator 2020 was a sticking point until we overclocked it, and that brought it up to RTX 3060 Ti FE levels in that game. Red Dead Redemption 2 performed great, it was playable at default, and overclocking it brought it up to RTX 3070 FE levels. Finally, Wolfenstein Youngblood was playable, though it was the slowest on the RX 6700 XT.
When it comes to performance it seems that overclocking the video card makes a pretty big impact. It usually pushes it over RTX 3060 Ti performance, and can sometimes match the RTX 3070 FE. We did show DLSS performance on the GeForce RTX cards in this review because we cannot forget that it is an option right now in the game supported on the RTX cards. It does help those games to be playable on the RTX cards with Ray Tracing and without. When AMD supports its own upscaling method in games, then we will include that as well.
SAPPHIRE’s COOLTECH cooling solution on this video card does an amazing job and keeping the GPU cool and quiet. It walks with a bigger footprint than the reference video card, but that comes with better cooling and a quiet operation. In addition, it can overclock, and it does so staying very cool and quiet as well. Overclocking is really the way to make the Radeon RX 6700 XT break out of its shell, and doing so makes it compete closer to the GeForce RTX 3070 FE in rasterized performance.
The SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX 6700 XT GAMING OC video card is a great addition to Radeon RX 6700 XT GPU-based video cards. It improves upon the reference model design from AMD in several ways.