Without the latest technological developments, most of us would not have been inspired by the COVID 19 pandemic in 2020. Fortunately, technological innovation has accelerated, but in a very important way. We see new technologies emerging in the PC arena that are really changing the landscape for gamers.
Earlier this year we had the opportunity to look at AMD’s challenger in the market, the Radeon RX 5700XT, but it lacked the strength and ability to overturn NVIDIA’s dominance in the GPU industry. However, it was a good alternative and offered an excellent performance for those who want to get into 1080p or 1440p games without breaking the bank.
With this in mind, AMD’s latest version, the Radeon Navi RX 6000 series, will bring gaming performance to UHD 4k resolution. It also supports DXR ray tracing, which NVIDIA has relied heavily on for its RTX GPUs. It’s interesting to see how AMD enters the Beam of the Future Memorandum, making this modern feature much more accessible to thousands of players worldwide.
RX 6800 in two words (and AMD marketing)
The Radeon RX 6800 delivers a pretty good punch, with music boxes up to 1815mhz and a 2105mhz strengthened clock. It has 60 processing units, 3,840 flow processors and a total power of 250W. To top it all off, the RX 6000 Series offers 16GB of GDDR6 memory in one stack.
In addition to the many improvements to the graphics architecture, AMD has also implemented ray tracing technology by adding one ray tracing accelerator per DC, enabling real-time ray tracing performance in games that support this technology.
One of the interesting features AMD has implemented on the RX 6000 series graphics cards is Smart Access Memory, which allows the GPU to use PCIe 4.0 bandwidth to access the graphics card’s memory as often as it wants without delay or loss of performance (hence their blocking on GDDR6 instead of GDDR6X).
However, the problem is that you need a supported platform, which requires a Ryzen 5000 series processor and AMD motherboards with X570 or B550 chipsets.
Due to time constraints and limited access to the hardware for the comparison, we will postpone testing for Ray Tracing and Smart Access Memory until a later date. In the meantime, let’s take a look at the graphics card itself and its raw performance to see how it mixes with other GPUs on the market today.
AMD opted for a triple fan with a box card instead of the usual cooling fan we saw with the RX 5700XT, 5700 and Vega 64/56 models. The design of the card is excellent, it completely covers the card with a metal plate and gives it a first-class look.
Two standard 8-pin PCIe power connectors power the card itself. I’m glad AMD chose this path and not a strange proprietary connector that increases the incompatibility with standard power cables and enclosure form factors. So yes, you can still use your elegant custom PCIe power cable if you decide to upgrade.
The card itself also has red accents on the side, giving it a very RED TEAM DNA, and the Radeon logo also lights up red.
Graphics card test
We tested this graphics card with our Ryzen system and compared our results with different graphics cards. Our system configuration is as follows:
- Processor – AMD Ryzen 9 3900x
- Memory – DDR4 2×8 3400mhz set
- Motherboard – MSI X570 Divine
- Video cards :
- Sapphire Pulse Radio RX 5600XT
- Galax GTX 1660 Super
- MSI GTX 1660 Super Gaming X
- Palit GTX 1660 Ti Dual OC
- Galax RTX 2070 Superwerk The Frames
- MSI Ventus RTX 2080 Super
- MSI RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio
- Radio RX 6800
For this revision we have decided to switch to 1080p reference sets only. We had a good mix of AAA and export stocks in the mix. For consistency we also used the DirectX 12 API in all games (if available).
Game test results
The first game we released was Ashes of Singularity, which used a GPU-centric benchmark. We see here that the RX 6800 is only a few frames per second behind the RTX 3080, with a performance difference of about 11%.
In CS:GO we see that the RX 6800 offers an amazing frame rate of 450 frames per second on average, but is only 5% lower than the RTX 3080.
The monster hunter: Worldwide, however, the Radeon GPU is slightly better than the RTX 3080 with 5%. This shows that depending on how the game handles the GPU, it may or may not work, and here we see that the RX 6800 has an advantage in this particular game title.
Performance is also very close to that of Resident Evil 2, with the RX 6800 reducing the distance to the RTX 3080 by 2%.
But here again the RTX 3080 is ahead of the Radeon GPU in Sniper Elite 4 with a very small difference of 2% in raw FPS performance.
The Odd Brigade is another title in which AMD wins in most cases, because here we see that the RX 6800 does better than the RTX 3080, but with only 2% difference.
With phantom intelligence: Wildlands, on the other hand, loses the Radeon RX 6800 with a huge margin of 22% to the RTX 3080. This is one of the names we have often seen at the GPU of Radeon.
And finally, in Rainbow 6: Sitting down, the Radeon RX 6800 again outperforms the RTX 3080 with a small difference of 6% in FPS gross performance.
It was very interesting to see that the Radeon RX 6800 works really well, almost frontal in games with RTX 3080 at 1080p resolution. It’s not exactly an unlucky bird for NVIDIA GPUs, but AMD brings here a very fierce competition with only the rough FPS. We expect a significant improvement in the performance of AMD’s Smart Access memory when we test it later. For now, I hope these excellent performances will give you an idea of how the Radeon RX 6800 performs in clean games.
Hourly speed, temperature and energy consumption
Thanks to Unigine’s Heaven cyclic load test, we were able to collect data on the behaviour of the RX 6800 under load.
Basic GPU clock x GPU usage
As can be seen in the graphics, the GPU clock speed reaches more than 2 GHz in some scenes, especially when the card uses more than 70% of the GPU.
The GPU temperature, on the other hand, is quite good. Controls the configuration of the fan trio. The GPU core temperature and the connection temperature have never reached 80 degrees Celsius.
At the same load, the GPU core power is also within acceptable limits, and the TDP 205W would not have required too much power to power this card.
AMD is booming here, and the rough FPS performance of the RX 6800 is surprisingly good. This may be the time when competition in the GPU game market will emerge if the new Red Team offering delivers the performance promised.
Ray Tracing, AMD Smart Access Memory – these two things will be discussed in a later article to see where AMD dominates the gaming hardware space.
Finally, I want AMD’s new GPUs to have better VEC support and optimization so that AMD gamers have an alternative to NVIDIA NVENC when it comes to streaming games with OBS or Xsplit. I would also like to see more creative features implemented in simple things like NVIDIA’s broadcast application that allows streamers to use virtual backgrounds, microphone noise reduction and so on.
The AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series promises something great for AMD fans around the world, and they’ve delivered it. With this first impression of the RX 6800, I can honestly say that AMD is on its way to becoming a real competitor in the GPU game market.
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