NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Founders Edition video card next to SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX 6950 XT PURE video card with Overclocked text at top

Introduction

NVIDIA flagship versus AMD flagship, but overclocked!  That is what we are looking at today, we are taking a GeForce RTX 3090 Ti video card and overclocking it to the max, and then comparing performance to an AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT video card also overclocked to the max.  This is our Overclocked GeForce RTX 3090 Ti vs. Overclocked Radeon RX 6950 XT performance comparison.  Let’s put them head-to-head and see who comes out on top.

Right now, it gets no better than the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti from NVIDIA, and the AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT from AMD.  Both of these video cards are flagship video cards and offer the highest performance a consumer can get for PC gaming today.  We’ve recently fully reviewed the general performance of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Founders Edition and the SAPPHIRE NITRO+ AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT PURE graphics cards.  While we did overclock both video cards in their respective reviews, we haven’t yet put them both on a graph to compare overclock versus overclock performance.  That is what we are doing today.

Recap of Video Card Specs

Just a quick recap of both GPUs.  The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti has an MSRP of $1,999.99.  It is based on the full-spec GA102 GPU based on the Ampere architecture.  Manufactured on Samsung 8N it has 84 SMs, 10,752 CUDA Cores, 112 ROPs, 336 Texture Units, 84 RT Cores (2nd Gen), and 336 Tensor Cores (3rd Gen).  It has a Boost Clock of 1860MHz and 24GB of GDDR6X at 21GHz on a 384-bit bus providing 1008GB/s of bandwidth with a TDP of 450W.

The AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT has an MSRP of $1,099.99.  It is based on the NAVI 21 GPU with RDNA2 architecture at TSMC N7.  It has 5,120 Stream Processors, 80 Compute Units, 80 Ray Accelerators, 128 ROPs and 320 TMUs, and 128MB of Infinity Cache.  It has a Game Clock of 2100MHz and a Boost Clock of 2310MHz.  It has 16GB of GDDR6 at 18GHz on a 256-bit bus providing 576GB/s of memory bandwidth with a TDP of 335W.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti FE Overclock

In our Overclocking NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti FE review we overclocked the video card, we will be using that same overclock in this review today.  The default GPU frequency the video card operated at without overclock was 1995MHz average frequency.  When we overclocked it with EVGA Precision X1 we were able to increase the Power Target by 22%, which was quite a bit, plus raise the fan speeds. 

With the Voltage at default, we managed to push the video card to +140 GPU Clock and +1000 on the memory slider.  This resulted in an overclocked GPU Frequency of 2130-2160MHz, averaging around 2160MHz.  This is an 8% GPU Clock Speed improvement.  The memory resulted in a frequency of 23GHz versus the default 21GHz.  At 23GHz memory, bandwidth increased to 1.1TB/s. 

The final overclock shown in this review today is: 2160MHz/23GHz (GPU/Mem). 

SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX 6950 XT PURE Overclock

In our SAPPHIRE NITRO+ AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT PURE review we overclocked the video card, we will be using that same overclock in this review today.  The default GPU frequency the video card operated at without overclock was 2460MHz average frequency.  When we overclocked it with AMD Radeon Software Tuning, we were able to increase the Power Limit by 20%, which was quite a bit, plus raise the fan speeds. 

With the Voltage at default, we managed to push the Maximum Frequency slider to 2850MHz and the memory up to 18.8GHz.  This resulted in a frequency of around 2800MHz on average, while gaming.  This is a 13-14% GPU Clock increase.  With the memory at 18.8GHz, the memory bandwidth increased to 601GB/s. 

The final overclock shown in this review today is: 2800MHz/18.8GHz (GPU/Mem). 

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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...

5 comments

  1. Great article, but I'm picky. I'd like to see RT 4k benches with DLSS/FSR. I'm willing to bet the 3090Ti can get close to 60fps or even better.
    Probably, but with respect to the title of the article - you have two cards, one costs almost twice what the other does (at least at the time of printing, the price has since been adjusted, it's still 50% higher after the price cut). Thinking about it in those terms, and the numbers suddenly look a lot different.
  2. Probably, but with respect to the title of the article - you have two cards, one costs almost twice what the other does (at least at the time of printing, the price has since been adjusted, it's still 50% higher after the price cut). Thinking about it in those terms, and the numbers suddenly look a lot different.

    And that is why I ended my review with this final paragraph under Final Points.

    When it comes down to raw performance, with both video cards performing very well when overclocked the key factor will come down to what is available, and how much they will cost. Right now prices are falling, and you can actually buy these video cards at MSRP, or even below. Since that is the case, whichever one you can find for the cheaper price is probably your best bet and best value for right now, and with the raw MSRP difference between them, it could end up being the Radeon RX 6950 XT. It offers amazing raw performance for the price compared to the higher MSRP on the RTX 3090 Ti and has the most overclocking headroom.
  3. And that is why I ended my review with this final paragraph under Final Points.

    When it comes down to raw performance, with both video cards performing very well when overclocked the key factor will come down to what is available, and how much they will cost. Right now prices are falling, and you can actually buy these video cards at MSRP, or even below. Since that is the case, whichever one you can find for the cheaper price is probably your best bet and best value for right now, and with the raw MSRP difference between them, it could end up being the Radeon RX 6950 XT. It offers amazing raw performance for the price compared to the higher MSRP on the RTX 3090 Ti and has the most overclocking headroom.

    As of today the RX 6950 XT is about $1,100 and the RTX 3090 Ti around $1,500. It's up to you to justify the price for the extra RT performance. But then again $1500/$1100 seems like a steal when you consider these cards were going for almost twice the price just a few days ago.

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