After the launch of Nvidia’s 3000 series last month, AMD has fired back with the launch of the RX 6000 series cards using the Big Navi architecture. This is the bombshell every one in the tech world has been waiting for.
AMD also promised a commitment to gaming, with CEO Lisa Su reminding us “AMD is where gaming begins.” She also mentioned that the new Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 contain AMD CPU’s and GPUs. She also stated that the upcoming Ryzen 5000 series CPUs will be the worlds best gaming processors at launch.
AMD will be launching three cards; the Radeon RX 6800, Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6900XT. They are priced at $579 USD, $649 USD, and $999 USD respectively. The 6900XT comes after the big boy RTX 3090, that is priced at $1,499 USD.
The cards feature 16GB of GDDR6 across the board, and AMDs new Infinity Cache that effectively doubles bandwidth. You can find the full press release (via email) below.
AMD has today unveiled the AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series graphics cards, delivering powerhouse performance, incredibly life-like visuals, and must-have features that set a new standard for enthusiast-class PC gaming experiences. Representing the forefront of extreme engineering and design, the highly anticipated AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series includes the AMD Radeon RX 6800 and Radeon RX 6800 XT graphics cards, as well as the new flagship Radeon RX 6900 XT – the fastest AMD gaming graphics card ever developed.
AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series graphics cards are built upon groundbreaking AMD RDNA 2 gaming architecture, a new foundation for next-generation consoles, PCs, laptops and mobile devices, designed to deliver the optimal combination of performance and power efficiency. AMD RDNA 2 gaming architecture provides up to 2X higher performance in select titles with the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics card compared to the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card built on AMD RDNA architecture, and up to 54 percent more performance-per-watt when comparing the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT graphics card to the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card using the same 7nm process technology.
AMD RDNA 2 offers a number of innovations, including applying advanced power saving techniques to high-performance compute units to improve energy efficiency by up to 30 percent per cycle per compute unit, and leveraging high-speed design methodologies to provide up to a 30 percent frequency boost at the same power level. It also includes new AMD Infinity Cache technology that offers up to 2.4X greater bandwidth-per-watt compared to GDDR6-only AMD RDNA-based architectural designs.
“Today’s announcement is the culmination of years of R&D focused on bringing the best of AMD Radeon graphics to the enthusiast and ultra-enthusiast gaming markets, and represents a major evolution in PC gaming,” said Scott Herkelman, corporate vice president and general manager, Graphics Business Unit at AMD. “The new AMD Radeon RX 6800, RX 6800 XT and RX 6900 XT graphics cards deliver world class 4K and 1440p performance in major AAA titles, new levels of immersion with breathtaking life-like visuals, and must-have features that provide the ultimate gaming experiences. I can’t wait for gamers to get these incredible new graphics cards in their hands.”
Powerhouse Performance, Vivid Visuals & Incredible Gaming Experiences
AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series graphics cards support high-bandwidth PCIe 4.0 technology and feature 16GB of GDDR6 memory to power the most demanding 4K workloads today and in the future. Key features and capabilities include:
- AMD Infinity Cache – A high-performance, last-level data cache suitable for 4K and 1440p gaming with the highest level of detail enabled. 128 MB of on-die cache dramatically reduces latency and power consumption, delivering higher overall gaming performance than traditional architectural designs.
- AMD Smart Access Memory – An exclusive feature of systems with AMD Ryzen 5000 Series processors, AMD B550 and X570 motherboards and Radeon RX 6000 Series graphics cards. It gives AMD Ryzen processors greater access to the high-speed GDDR6 graphics memory, accelerating CPU processing and providing up to a 13-percent performance increase on a AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT graphics card in Forza Horizon 4 at 4K when combined with the new Rage Mode one-click overclocking setting.
- Built for Standard Chassis – With a length of 267mm and 2×8 standard 8-pin power connectors, and designed to operate with existing enthusiast-class 650W-750W power supplies, gamers can easily upgrade their existing large to small form factor PCs without additional cost.
True to Life, High-Fidelity Visuals
- DirectX 12 Ultimate Support – Provides a powerful blend of raytracing, compute, and rasterized effects, such as DirectX Raytracing (DXR) and Variable Rate Shading, to elevate games to a new level of realism.
- DirectX Raytracing (DXR) – Adding a high performance, fixed-function Ray Accelerator engine to each compute unit, AMD RDNA 2-based graphics cards are optimized to deliver real-time lighting, shadow and reflection realism with DXR. When paired with AMD FidelityFX, which enables hybrid rendering, developers can combine rasterized and ray-traced effects to ensure an optimal combination of image quality and performance.
- AMD FidelityFX – An open-source toolkit for game developers available on AMD GPUOpen. It features a collection of lighting, shadow and reflection effects that make it easier for developers to add high-quality post-process effects that make games look beautiful while offering the optimal balance of visual fidelity and performance.
- Variable Rate Shading (VRS) – Dynamically reduces the shading rate for different areas of a frame that do not require a high level of visual detail, delivering higher levels of overall performance with little to no perceptible change in image quality.
Elevated Gaming Experience
- Microsoft DirectStorage Support – Future support for the DirectStorage API enables lightning-fast load times and high-quality textures by eliminating storage API-related bottlenecks and limiting CPU involvement.
- Radeon Software Performance Tuning Presets – Simple one-click presets in Radeon Software help gamers easily extract the most from their graphics card. The presets include the new Rage Mode stable over clocking setting that takes advantage of extra available headroom to deliver higher gaming performance.
- Radeon™ Anti-Lag – Significantly decreases input-to-display response times and offers a competitive edge in gameplay.
AMD Radeon™ RX 6000 Series Product Family
Model Compute Units GDDR6 Game Clock12 (MHz) Boost Clock13 (MHZ) Memory Interface Infinity Cache AMD Radeon™ RX 6900 XT 80 16GB 2015 Up to 2250 256 bit 128 MB AMD Radeon™ RX 6800 XT 72 16GB 2015 Up to 2250 256 bit 128 MB AMD Radeon™ RX 6800 60 16GB 1815 Up to
256 bit 128 MB
Robust Gaming Ecosystem and Partnerships
In the coming weeks, AMD will release a series of videos from its ISV partners showcasing the incredible gaming experiences enabled by AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series graphics cards in some of this year’s most anticipated games. These videos can be viewed on the AMD website.
- DIRT 5 – October 29
- Godfall – November 2
- World of Warcraft: Shadowlands – November 10
- RiftBreaker – November 12
- FarCry 6 – November 17
Pricing and Availability
AMD Radeon RX 6800 and Radeon RX 6800 XT graphics cards are expected to be available from global etailers/retailers and on AMD.com beginning November 18, 2020, for $579 USD SEP and $649 USD SEP, respectively. The AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT is expected to be available December 8, 2020, for $999 USD SEP.
AMD Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT graphics cards are also expected to be available from AMD board partners, including ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, PowerColor, SAPPHIRE and XFX, beginning in November 2020.
AMD has also announced that their new architecture RNDA 2 will support Microsoft DirectStore API. This is Microsoft’s answer to what Sony is currently doing with their SSDs for the Xbox Series X and Windows PC games.
In addition, AMD detailed its AMD Smart Access Memory. This allows the AMD RX 5000 Series CPUs (paired with a AMD 500 Series motherboard, and using a RX 6000 series GPU) to enable Smart Access Memory and “Rage Mode.” The latter is an auto overclocking mode through software for an 11% performance boost.
Finally, we also learned that AMD has extended their commitment to lowering latency with their AMD Radeon Anti-Lag; when paired with FreeSync Boost using Fortnite as an example with supported titles.
Niche Gamer’s Take: the fact that these GPUs are starting priced above the closest NVIDIA competitor indicates trust in the performance of the product and the brand awareness to try to remove the “budget brand stigma” they’ve had for a while.
In terms of overall performance the RX 6800XT seems to be the best bang for buck part in the list, though a RTX 3090 competitor for $500 less is a very compelling option while the cheapest option is still compelling but is more expensive than the 3070 and may lack Nvidia’s Ray Tracing ability which AMD seemed to sort of ignore here.
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