AMD’s RDNA 2 push continues on March 18 with a recently announced RX 6700XT graphics card, which starts at $ 479 and features the exact downscaling options you might expect from a card that costs $ 100 less than the RX 6800 from the last year.
Before talking about specs, of course …
AMD chose YouTube for the ad and, perhaps foolishly, left the chat feature on. This allowed fans to spam the livestream chat with shouts of “exhausted” and “exhausted” for a full 15 minutes. Interestingly, the presenter of the video acknowledged that “GPU demand is at an all-time high,” only to offer as useless a promise as the one you’ll get on availability: that the GPU will be sold both on AMD.com and at “e-retailers. and retailers around the world from day one. “
So we have no idea as many RX 6700XT GPUs will be available this month, nor if AMD or any retailer have plans to deal with resellers and buy bots. (The same goes for Nvidia, of course, with GPUs like their new RTX 3060, starting at $ 329, and they were instantly sold out last week.)
A little less “Infinite”
The gallery above begins with an important specification table from AMD, and sees the 6700XT downing from the 6800 in a few important categories. Computing units were down 44.5 percent, while texture units were down 33 percent; The L3 cache (which AMD calls “Infinity Cache”) has been reduced from 128MB to 96MB; and VRAM is down 25 percent to a reasonable 12GB GDDR6. AMD has also seen fit to speed up the GPU core clocks a bit, with a “top” count of 2424 MHz, which beats both the 6800 and 6800XT.
Last year’s new RDNA 2 cards didn’t necessarily live up to AMD’s claims that they had released a spectacular 4K lineup, and they’re not bothering with that sales pitch with the reduced 6700XT. AMD talked about the fact that most PC gamers opt for 1080p and 1440p resolutions (without crediting services like Steam for capturing those metrics), then reassuring fans that the 6700XT was designed for optimal 1440p gaming with high refresh rates.
But the announcement didn’t have good contrast on Nvidia’s cap, namely the competitor’s dedicated cores for ray tracing and deep learning supersampling (DLSS). AMD’s potential response to the latter, FidelityFX Super Resolution, was slightly teased in Wednesday’s presentation, but we’re still waiting to find out exactly how it works, when it will launch, and how many games and software packages it will support. Until AMD implements its own intelligent scaling system, it simply won’t be able to compete on the ray tracing side, as our tests last year showed.
In better news, AMD’s sales pitch on unifying its entire team behind its brand to access the company’s proprietary “Smart Access Memory” feature has been updated to support the older Ryzen 3000 series CPUs, in addition to the feature existing in Ryzen 5000 products. The idea here is to allow the CPU and GPU to communicate with each other more efficiently and therefore distribute full access to the GPU memory pool as needed, and with the AMD’s clear CPU gains in recent years, you are likely in a position to take advantage of. However, motherboard compatibility remains locked for 500 series boards, and Ryzen 5 3400G and Ryzen 3 3200G are do not compatible with the function.
It’s worth noting that one of AMD’s lists compares the 6700XT to Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Super, a card whose performance has been summarily outperformed by more recent versions of Nvidia. That’s up to us to shake off in future independent tests, so we’ll do our best to compare the 6700XT with similarly priced GPUs in a future article. And yes, “a similar price” in 2021 might require careful scrutiny of auction and reseller listings, which we are prepared to do right now.