AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT Graphics Card. Another minor update to AMD’s GPU lineup comes in the form of the new Radeon RX 6950 XT flagship. All three refreshes of this model are built around an original 6900XT Navi 21-based die, just like the original 6650 XT and 6750XT. 3 percent core clock boost and a 13 percent increase in memory bandwidth thanks to the use of 18 Gbps GDDR6 memory are all that’s changed. Our expectations for performance improvements over the 6900 XT are in the range of 5-10 percent, which should help AMD in their flagship halo product battle with Nvidia based on these specifications. It doesn’t bother me much that AMD has raised the MSRP from $1,000 to $1,100, since this was never a value-oriented product, and I was more concerned about the price increase on the 6650 XT and 6750 XT models, respectively.
AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT Graphics Card
At this point, the 6900 XT and 6800 XT are almost in the same price range, and while the new 6950 XT is expected to be more expensive, in terms of value and performance, it is only likely that it will be marginally worse than Nvidia’s high-end options, which are still selling significantly higher than MSRP. All AMD and Nvidia GPUs that we tested were run at their official spec, with no factory overclocking applied to any of them. All the information in this review is current and was gathered using the most recent BIOS on an Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Extreme motherboard with a Ryzen 7 5800X3D processor and 32GB of DDR4-3200 CL14 dual-rank, dual-channel memory. Before we look at our average data and cost per frame analysis for the 11 games we tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K, we’ll go into more detail for a few of them.
At 1080p, the 6950 XT outperforms the 6900 XT by 10% in Rainbow Six Extraction, with 309 fps on the horizon. Despite the 6950 XT’s lower resolution, it still managed to outperform the much more expensive RTX 3090 Ti, which is an 11% improvement over the cheaper RTX 3080 Ti.
Jumping to 1440p makes a significant difference, as the 6950 XT now matches the RTX 3090’s average frame rate of 206 fps, an increase of 11% over the 6900 XT’s. It was also only 4% faster than the RTX 3080 Ti, but 7% slower than the RTX 3090 Ti, although AMD’s 6950 XT is cheaper than both GeForce GPUs, so that’s not a bad result.
Amped RTX GPUs take over at 4K, and even the original 10GB RTX 3080 is faster here than the 6950 XT. Nonetheless, this isn’t a terrible outcome for AMD. For example, the RTX 3080 Ti may be 11% faster, but it also costs 16% more, while the RTX 3090 Ti costs 82% more and has a 28% performance boost in this game when playing at 4K resolution. After that, we have Watch Dogs: Legion, and the 6950 XT once again takes the top spot at 1080p, with an average frame rate of 168 frames per second (fps), which is 6% faster than the 6900 XT and 6% faster than what is supposed to be the much cheaper 6800 XT, but isn’t.
Consumption of Electricity
In terms of total system power, the 6950 XT used 19 percent more power than the 6900 XT, despite delivering an increase in performance that appeared to be around 10 percent. With these overclocked models, it’s safe to say that efficiency has been thrown out the window. We thought the power usage of the 3090 Ti was pretty horrible, but the 6950 XT is only dropping system usage by 8 percent . These overclocked-to-the-max models aren’t for you, obviously, if you’re concerned about power consumption and efficiency.
This is a breakdown of your performance
Starting with the 1080p fps average gaming data, we see that the Radeon RX 6950 XT is as good as it gets for out-of-the-box performance for low resolution gamers targeting maximum fps — we imagine mostly competitive shooter type gamers.
With that in mind, the RTX 3090 Ti is only 3 percent faster. This is good news for AMD because the Radeon is currently about 45 percent less expensive than the NVIDIA GeForce. There is a 6-percent increase in performance over the 6900 XT but that is not worth the extra cost. In 11 games at 1440p, the 6950 XT and the RTX 3090 Ti are tied at 149 frames per second on average. A 9 percent improvement over the previous generation’s GPU, and an 11% improvement over the more expensive RTX 3080 Ti, are the results. At 4K, the RTX 3090 Ti is the clear winner, outperforming the 6950 XT by 7%. Despite this, the 6950 XT only managed to edge out the RTX 3090 and 3080 Ti by 12%.
The Price Per Image
We’ll use the mythical MSRP for our cost per frame analysis, even if it’s not relevant to the current market, just to get a sense of what it would look like. This is how the RDNA2 and Ampere generations would have stacked up if they had been available at their MSRP using our 1440p data. When it comes to performance and value, AMD and Nvidia would have been on equal ground in this idealistic scenario. The GeForce RTX 3080 10GB is slightly more expensive than the Radeon RX 6800 XT, but that product is likely to command a premium. When it comes to refreshes and “halo” products, AMD and Nvidia’s value is shattered. While the RTX 3090 is faster and has better features for high-resolution gaming, the 6900 XT offers better value for money when it comes to rasterization performance, saving you around 28% per frame.
At MSRP, the 6950 XT offers slightly better value than the original model, reducing the cost per frame by about 2%, or roughly the same. According to MSRP, the RTX 3090 Ti costs 70% more per frame than the 6950 XT. Let us now turn our attention to actual pricing in the marketplace…
Here’s a look at the high end of things
The 6950 XT has been listed at the MSRP at retailers, which makes sense given that multiple models of the 6950 XT were found for $950. However, it’s quite surprising that the 6800 XT’s price is still around $860, which is a 76% increase over the 6700 XT’s. That’s something to keep in mind as we get closer to the end of this review.
The RTX 3080 10GB from Nvidia is AMD’s sensible high-end option, and AMD’s high-end lineup follows suit. For GeForce GPUs, the cost of RTX 3080 Ti and up is ridiculous. The cost per frame increases by 24% for the 3080 Ti and by 70% for the RTX 3090 and 3090 Ti from the 6950 XT. Consequently, the 6900 XT or 6950 XT would be the better choice if you could only afford a high-end GPU for $1,000 or more, but you still wanted to get the most bang for your buck.
Thermal and clock characteristics of MSI’s and Sapphire’s 6950 XT models are briefly examined. MSI’s 6950 XT Gaming X Trio is a typical-looking card with the typical Gaming X Trio looks, a triple-slot, triple-fan card with the usual Gaming X Trio design. Performance wise, it saw a peak GPU temperature of 77C when installed inside our Corsair Obsidian 500D test case with a room temperature of 21C, a good result given the power consumption of the 6950 XT GPU. Over our case fans, the fans spun at 2000 RPM to keep the temperature at that level. In our opinion, it’s a fairly quiet high-end graphics card. The GPU is rated at 332 watts and runs at a typical clock speed of 2470 MHz. We think the Sapphire 6950 XT Nitro+ Pure is a stunning addition to the Sapphire 6950 XT Nitro+ Pure lineup, with its triple fans and four slots. Having dual BIOS support is essential for any graphics card that costs more than $300, let alone these ones, so MSI’s omission of the feature was disappointing.
It’s a good thing the Nitro+ Pure doesn’t, because this is how it performs right out of the box in primary mode: the GPU reached a maximum temperature of 76C while running at only 1200 RPM, making it noticeably quieter than the MSI. When using the default BIOS, it ran at 2350 MHz, which is a 5% decrease in speed. It was only after switching to the “OC BIOS” that the GPU’s peak temperature dropped slightly, but even here the Nitro+ Pure couldn’t be heard over the case fan noise. Like the Gaming X Trio’s 2430 MHz GPU clock speed, but at lower volume and temperature. If you’re looking for a high-performance graphics card, look no further than the Sapphire 6950 XT Nitro+ Pure. For a 6950 XT it costs $200 more at $1,300, but we believe these higher-end models make more sense because halo products have a more “go big or go home” mentality than lower-end alternatives.
What We’ve Come to Understand
If you’re looking for a lower-cost alternative to the RTX 3090 Ti, you can’t go wrong with the Radeon RX 6950 XT. It’s also a good deal compared to the original 6900 XT in terms of price.
Given how much less expensive Radeon GPUs are than GeForce competitors, it’s difficult to go after AMD for raising prices in this segment. Naturally, AMD would prefer that you pay more, but they lack Nvidia’s market share to do so. However, AMD is not doing gamers any favours, but it is a nice perk for consumers who aren’t devoted to the green team.
When multiple products share the same silicon, there is still some market manipulation going on. If you’d like to see how much each frame costs, you can check out our breakdown of the cost per frame for each of these two models. It’s worth noting that the RX 6800 costs 55% more than the 6800 XT right now. The 6800 and 6900 series use the same silicon, which is the simplest explanation.
Instead of selling their 520mm2 Navi 21 silicon for $590, AMD is limiting supply of the 6800 series, which raises prices and pushes them up to $760, and in turn makes RX 6900 appear more reasonable. Nevertheless, why stop at that? With the Radeon 6950 XT, they’ve gone one step further and made an extra $100 on each unit sold. Supply of the 6800, 6800 XT, and we believe even the 6900 XT will be extremely limited as long as demand exists. However, AMD and Nvidia will continue to divert as much GPU supply as possible to their high-end lineups even if we aren’t big fans of this artificial inflation in GPU pricing.
Q1: Is the Rx 6950 XT worth it?
GPUs from Radeon still outperform their AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT Graphics Card counterparts at 1440p. With the 6950XT outperforming the RTX 3090Ti by 13%, the RTX 3090 by 20%. And the RTX 3080 Ti by 23% in this test. Even though it was only 5% faster than the original 6900 XT, these are impressive margins.
Q2: What about Ray Tracing on the 6950XT?
To put it another way, Nvidia RTX GPUs are ahead of the AMD 6950XT in terms of ray-tracing hardware in this case.
Q3: What about gaming on RX 6950 XT?
For 1080p and 1440p gaming, our GPU benchmarks place the RX 6950 XT at the top (but not with ray tracing). But the MSI version isn’t our top pick for the price point.
Q4: What is the suggested retail price (MSRP) of the 6900 XT?
Even though Nvidia has released more expensive AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT Graphics Card in the past, such as the 12GB RTX 3080 and RTX 3080 Ti, the RX 6900 XT has proven to be more durable than its competitors. Gigabyte’s triple-fan RX 6900 XT costs $950, which is less than the RTX 3080 12GB’s usual going rate and below the MSRP.
Q5: Where can I find out what kind of graphics card I have?
Dxdiag (without quotation marks) should be entered and then clicked on. The DirectX Diagnostic Tool is displayed. The Display tab is at the top. Information about your graphics card can be found in the Device section of the Display tab.