AMD announces Radeon RX 6000-series GPUs

Written by Jennifer Allen

November 2, 2020 | 11:00

Tags: #6000-series #radeon #rdna-2

Companies: #amd

AMD announced its Radeon RX 6000 Series last week, hoping to take on Nvidia at its own game and prove to be a stronger rival than it has in a number of years.

The announcement included the likes of the AMD Radeon RX 6800 and Radeon RX 6800 XT, as well as the Radeon RX 6900 XT which is AMD's fastest gaming graphics card yet. The series is built upon AMD's RDNA 2 gaming architecture which will also feature in the next-generation consoles set for release later this month. AMD RDNA 2 provides up to two times higher performance in select titles with the Radeon RX 6900 XT compared to the Radeon RX 5700 XT, with up to 54 percent more performance-per-watt when comparing the Radeon RX 6800 XT to the Radeon RX 5700 XT. 

RDNA 2 is, effectively, much higher performance while also offering advanced power-saving techniques. It also includes AMD's new Infinity Cache technology which offers up to 2.4 times greater bandwidth-per-watt compared to its GDDR6-only AMD RDNA-based architecture. Notably, the 6000-series will use less power than the competing 3000-series GeForce cards. 

Each Radeon RX 6000 card offers 16GB of GDDR6 which is quite the boast already. The Radeon RX 6800 offers 60 compute units and a 1,815MHz game clock compared to its direct rival, the GeForce RTX 3070's 90MHz slower boost clock. It also has twice the GDDR6. 

The Radeon RX 6800XT has 72 compute units and a 2,015MHz game clock which is 300Mhz superior to the GeForce RTX 3080's boost clock. Memory wise, the GeForce RTX 3080 only has 10GB of memory compared to the 6800XT's 16GB, although it does utilise the faster GDDR6X variety. 

The Radeon RX 6900XT has the same game clock as the Radeon RX 6800XT but it has 80 compute units which should make a significant difference. AMD reckons it'll outperform the GeForce RTX 3090 in multiple games as the chart below demonstrates. Notably, the Radeon RX 6900XT will retail for $500 less than the GeForce RTX 3090. 

These figures are, of course, impressive but there's sure to be a few caveats to consider. For one thing, there's the presence of AMD Smart Access Memory. This feature gives AMD Ryzen processors greater access to the GPU's memory which means increased performance if you combine a Ryzen processor with a Radeon RX 6800-series GPU. Basically, these benchmarks demonstrate what happens when you combine the two meaning they aren't really true stock results. 

In which case, keep your eye out for reviews. These will be a truer picture, but it's certainly so far very promising for AMD.

The Radeon RX 6800 and Radeon RX 6800 XT are expected to be available from November 18th, priced at $579 and $649 respectively, with the RX 6900 XT following on December 8th for $999. 

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