The top of the range AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT has been released today, meaning the red team is finally taking some shots at Nvidia’s flagship RTX 3090 – and at two thirds of the near $1,500 price tag you’d be shelling out on its rival, just how well does it stack up against the competition?
This could’ve been a contender for one of the best graphics cards to buy for 4K gaming, but critics haven’t been kind to the $350 difference in price between the $650 RX 6800 XT and the new flagship, with a seemingly small increase in performance.
Like the other RX 6000 series cards, the 6900 XT is running on AMD’s newest RDNA 2 7nm architecture – bringing DirectX Raytracing support, and a 50% improvement in power efficiency over RDNA. When put side by side with its little brother in AMD’s Big Navi lineup, it has an 11% increase in GPU cores, up from 4,608 in the RX 6800 XT to 5,120, and the same 16GB of GDDR6 VRAM – but a more than 50% increase in its retail price.
In traditional 2020 hardware fashion, however, the launch has been messy, with stock running out almost instantly – under 15 minutes in Scan UK’s case. A Swiss retailer, Digitec, was given just 35 of the cards, with buyers entering a raffle to determine who could buy one – hats off to it for a fair solution. You’re not going to find stock anywhere now, unless you resort to scalpers’ prices.
Here’s a roundup of some of the reviews of the RX 6900 XT we’ve seen today. It’s got some solid potential in it, but the price-to-performance is being heavily criticised:
- PCGamer – Struggles to match RTX 3090 in 4K performance / 53% price increase on RX 6800 XT, but just a 5.25% performance increase in tested games
- TechSpot – 40% increase in cost per frame in 4K over the RX 6800 XT / 30% decrease in cost per frame in 4K compared to the RTX 3090
- KitGuru – 5% faster than the RTX 3080 at 1440p / 7% faster than the RX 6800 XT at 1440p
- Tom’s Hardware – RTX 3090-beating performance in some games / RTX 3080 has an average 25% performance lead in RT games
It’s not the worst price-to-performance we’ve seen this year, but the general consensus is that the RX 6900 XT still doesn’t offer great value. After all, the lesser RX 6800 XT or RTX 3080 will probably be all most people will need for solid 4K and 1440p gaming at a fraction of the price. And when it comes to outright power regardless of value, the RTX 3090 still seems to reign supreme.
Still, when AMD releases FidelityFX Super Resolution, its alternative to DLSS, this card’s performance could significantly improve.