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AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT review

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AMD Radeon RX6700 XT makes AMD’s RDNA2 architecture a little more accessible to more people. This new graphics card, which is expected to bring RDNA 2 down into the mid-range market and sit somewhere between Nvidia GeForce RTX3060 Ti or RTX3070 in performance, should be available to consumers.

However, this is not how the reality looks. The AMD Radeon RX6700 XT’s $479/PS420 price tag means it is more expensive than the RTX3070, but its performance in sufficient games falls below the RTX3060 Ti. Nvidia’s grip on the graphics card market is being broken by anyone who expected this card to be a game changer.

The AMD Radeon RX6700 XT would be $30 cheaper, which would have made it the ideal price for the performance it offers. It’s difficult to recommend it to everyone as it is.

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We recommend that you determine the games you will be playing most often and then choose the graphics card that is the most affordable for those games. This card is a great choice for Assassin’s creed fans who have about 500 dollars to spend on a new GPU. The Resident Evil Village runs admirably. It hits 58 frames per second at 4K using ray tracing, which is very close to the sweet spot.

This is why the AMD Radeon RX6700 XT perfectly exemplifies this approach in many ways.

  • AMD Radeon 6700 XT on Amazon for US$1,399.99

Prices and availability

The AMD Radeon RX6700 XT will be available March 18, 2021 at 479 / PS419.99 (about AU$620). The price is not as high as other consumer graphics cards. Third-party versions will be much more expensive.

It’s extremely difficult to find a manufacturer-branded graphics card that is available at retail prices at the moment of writing. Graphic cards have become a hot commodity due to cryptocurrency mining and resellers. It doesn’t appear like this will change anytime soon.

AMD hopes to address this shortage by making available both Radeon RX6700 XT cards that it makes and after-market boards. This should theoretically mean more graphics cards available at launch. But we’ll have to wait and watch how it turns out.

If you are able to find the Radeon RX6700 XT at the suggested retail price, it is a little odd that it is in the current graphics cards lineup. The AMD Radeon 6800 is Team Red’s closest competitor, and it will cost you $579 (around P579, AU$800). The RX 6700 XT sounds like a great deal if you don’t include the Nvidia RTX3070. The Radeon RX6700 XT is only $20 cheaper than the RTX 3070 at $499 (PS469 AU$809).

AMD’s graphics cards are a little more expensive than the others, but if you like to play Red Dead Redemption 2 and Final Fantasy XIV, it will be well worth the extra $20 for the better performance.

Chipset and other features

AMD Radeon RX6700 XT is based on AMD’s new RDNA 2 architecture. Sometimes affectionately called ‘Big Navi,’ the AMD Radeon RX6700 XT is similar to 2020’s RX6800 and RX6900 series cards. This means that all the features found in other graphics cards, such as the higher power efficiency and ray tracing, are also available here.

Ray tracing on RDNA 2 is accelerated using Ray Accelerators. One Ray Accelerator per Compute Unit. The AMD Radeon RX6700 XT has 40 Compute Units. This naturally means that there are 40 Ray Accelerators. But, this card has a significantly slower ray tracing performance than the RX 6800 which has 60 Compute Units.

This is AMD’s first generation hardware-accelerated ray tracing, unlike Nvidia’s second generation RT cores found on the RTX 3070. While you can turn on the ultimate visual eye-candy it will also significantly impact performance just as it did with Nvidia’s 20 series cards.

AMD has its FidelityFX super resolution in development, which would greatly help with this. However, we don’t know when it will be made available. Although it’s not available here, AMD has a few tricks to improve performance in certain games.

SAM, also known as Smart Access Memory, is one of the most important technologies that it’s pushing. SAM, or Smart Access Memory, allows your CPU direct access the graphics memory. This significantly reduces the time it takes to render scenes in games. This feature is not available by default and is not something you can use in Radeon Software. To enable this feature, go to your BIOS and activate Resizable Bar support. It is easy to locate on some boards and harder on others. However, if your BIOS is not intuitively familiar, you don’t need to play around with it.

AMD Radeon RX6700 XT supports AMD’s FidelityFX suite visual effects and performance enhancements. For most people, particularly those who want a faster frame rate, Radeon Boost, Contrast Adaptive sharpening (or CAS) are the most important.

Radeon Boost can lower the visual quality of scenes that have a lot of speed. This allows you to get a higher framerate but with visual effects you won’t notice in other parts of the scene. When you are running at a lower resolution than native, contrast adaptive sharpening can be used to sharpen the images and preserve the color and contrast.

There are many other effects within the FidelityFX suite. But these are the ones we recommend.

AMD hopes to futureproof people against future games with the Radeon RX6700 XT. This card has 12GB of GDDR6 RAM. While there are games that can use that much memory at 1440p, even these games don’t notice a significant performance increase when using a card with 12GB GDDR6 memory over an 8GB model.

It seems that AMD could have reduced the VRAM to 6GB or 8GB and made the card more affordable to secure its place in the market, especially since the AMD Radeon RX6700 XT is so costly.

If you take a look at the specifications beyond the VRAM, you will see that the RX6700 XT has 40 CUs, 2,560 Stream Processors, a 186W power limit, and a 2,424MHz game clock. The actual GPU is going to be the limiting factor more often then the VRAM.

Design

The reference version AMD Radeon RX6700 XT is based on the same philosophy and features as the RDNA 2 cards. This card features a lot of sharp angles, red lettering, and a silver band running down the middle. There are also two fans with the Letter A in the middle.

Although it doesn’t feature the same triple-fan design of the Radeon RX6000 series cards, the new Radeon graphics card measures 267mm (10.51 inch) and is the same length as RX 6800 XT. This means that mini-ITX users might need to measure the space in their cases before purchasing this card. The Radeon RX6700 XT is lighter than higher-end cards so you don’t need to worry about GPU sag.

The red Radeon branding light up when the graphics card turns on. However, it is only in red. The red accents on the sides of the graphics card still make it look good.

You get 8+6-pin power configuration with a maximum TBP (totalboard power) of 230W. We only measured the card’s power at 186W in our tests, even though we didn’t run FurMark or any other power virus on it. AMD has allowed for some overclocking potential in the future.

The AMD Radeon RX6700 XT comes with three DisplayPort and one HDMI outputs, which should be sufficient for most gamers. Although it is less important for this level of graphics cards, we would have loved to see a USB C port.

The cooler is less durable than the other cards in this lineup, but it doesn’t need to be. GPU temperature reached a maximum of 81C in normal gaming workloads. The hot spot temperature was higher at 99C.

This is how Radeon cards operate. RDNA cards can report a variety of temperatures if you pay attention to your graphics card temperatures. It is possible for the Hot Spot temperature to reach around 100c. This is normal and does not mean that your board will melt.

Performance

AMD has the Radeon RX6700 XT marketed as a 1440p card. We’ll be testing it at both 1080p, and 1440p. However, it has enough headroom in older titles such as Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers to be able handle 4K. We’d recommend that you stick with 1440p for this graphic card. If you wish to use ray tracing, you can even lower it to 1080p.

This is because the Radeon RX 6700XT, like the RX 6800 series of Radeon RX 6800XT, starts to struggle when you enable Ray Tracing at the card’s target resolution. Metro Exodus shows that ray tracing is turned to “high” and the frame rate drops from 74 to 47 frames per second at 1440p. This is still playable framerate, but we prefer the 74 FPS from the non-ray traced.

Watch Dogs Legion shows a similar drop in frame rates. The Ultra preset at 1440p drops to 64 frames per second, while Watch Dogs Legion drops to 28 frames per second. This is lower than the minimum of 30 frames per second for acceptable gameplay. AMD made the major move to support hardware-accelerated ray traceing with RDNA 2. However, the performance is not yet there if you are looking to invest in the technology.

Ray tracing performance is not important for most games. Pure rasterization performance will be the best. The Radeon RX6700 XT is the best choice if you want 1440p gaming.

The graphics card could achieve an average of 60 frames per second in all but two games in our test suite, Red Dead Redemption 2 (and Total War: Three Kingdoms). Red Dead Redemption 2 allows you to crank up all settings except MSAA so that you can tweak it to achieve the 60 fps sweetspot.

The RX 6700XT’s value proposition begins to decline when compared with its closest competitors. AMD’s latest technology can match the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 for some titles, almost tying it in games such as Hitman III or Dirt 5. The RX 6700 XT is even better than the RTX3070 when you play Assassins Creed Valhalla.

The RTX 3070 can go up to 15% faster in some games like Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers. It’s easy to justify the slightly more expensive price when $20 is all it takes to make a difference in your ability to use a 144Hz 1440p display.

The AMD Radeon RX6700 XT is more powerful than other graphics cards. It’s important to know which games you will be playing before you buy this graphics card. This might be the right graphics card for you if you enjoy Assassin’s Creed. However, your mileage may vary depending on what games you like to play.

If you are anything like us, and just want to play everything, then we recommend that you buy the first GPU you can find at retail. Although there are some minor issues, this generation of graphics card is among the most advanced in years. We wish they were easier to find.

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