AMD Radeon RX 6800 Review: Excellent Performance, High-end Value

Irata

Posts: 966   +1,418
TechSpot Elite
Again a very interesting review, thanks.

What these benchmarks show - just like the 6800XT review did - is that AMD should invest more in cooperating with game publishers as this does pay.

I also feel that AMD should have priced the 6800 closer to the 3070, making the choice both easier for consumers and distancing it further from the XT price-wise. Maybe they‘ll do that once there is sufficient supply.

In the mean time I‘ll be waiting to see what the 3060Ti and 3070(XT) offer in my preferred price bracket.
 

darkzelda

Posts: 397   +204
I prefer to play at 1080p, I can't bear to have less than 100 fps on any game, and this gpu seems like a killer for this resolution. It seems I'll go full AMD on my next build.
 
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Nobina

Posts: 2,717   +2,352
RX6800 and RTX3070 will probably be the most popular cards since they're the cheapest of the bunch (but not cheap) and still capable of even 4K hence why they're the most interesting to me.

It would be interesting to wait and see what Nvidia will do with RTX3070(Ti) since it has "only" 8GB.
 
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Vulcanproject

Posts: 1,270   +2,114
Strong contender. Very viable 4K card, a step above the 2080Ti and the 3070. The extra VRAM is attractive and should give it a long life.

It'll come down to whether you want the extras from Nvidia, the ray tracing performance and DLSS. If you don't then this is a nice card with a big chunk of performance
 

DrSuess

Posts: 33   +11
I am very impressed with the 6800XT and 6800, looking forward to the 6900 XT review next month. But given all of the driver issues with the 5000 series cards I hope Techspot would provide some information on the condition/quality of the drivers and Radeon software. The lack of information about AMD's driver stability would likely cause me to choose the NVida option over AMD.
 
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emmzo

Posts: 256   +216
It feels too expansive to me for what it can do. I will rather go with 6800XT if I want to spend big. 3070 has less VRAM, but it`s more than enough. Maybe not enough in three years time, but maybe enough even then. Plus it has DLSS, much better RT, not only faster, but it looks much better (AMD`s RT looks like a washed version), lower power consumption and soon a version of SAM which will be rock solid for 2k and 80 bucks cheaper.
 
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Avro Arrow

Posts: 351   +371
Great review as always Steve, nobody benchmarks better than you do!

You know, the more I look at these cards, the more I dislike them. AMD really screwed up with the way that these cards are priced. They've proven time and again that video cards don't HAVE to be this expensive so it's clear that they're just letting nVidia be the bad guy while they're the "not so bad" guy.

I've come to the conclusion that none of the current-gen cards (be them red or green) are worth buying. The performance is so high that it's beyond what most people will use and the prices have been jacked through the roof.

Prices remained stable for well over a decade with halo cards costing no more than $700. This remained true as recently as 2017 with the GTX 1080 Ti. Then nVidia thought it would be cute to see just how gullible people were by increasing the price of the xx80 card to $700 and the xx80 Ti card to $1200. A gaming card that cost four figures was unthinkable just three years ago. That's an increase of 71% and the sheep just ate it up like grass in a pasture.

The problem with dumb people being willing to pay exorbitant amounts of money just so they can say "I got da bestest card, yo!" isn't just that it caused nVidia to jack prices without a second thought. It's also because AMD isn't blind and since these dumb consumers have shown themselves willing to be fleeced like the sheep that they are, AMD will only be too happy to follow suit.

Now all video cards have exorbitant pricing and better performance is no excuse because better performance has been a part of every video card launch in history. That's the reason that the new cards are launched in the first place.

Just look at every video card launch that happened in 2017 and before. The cost per frame is supposed to significantly go down, not remain stagnant or just a little better.

Steve, please make a video that explains what I'm talking about.
 
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amghwk

Posts: 857   +682
The ball is clearly in AMD's court this year.

Again, the 6800 is very close to 3080 and sometimes even near the 3090 itself.
Not only it's an icon for value, but also a beast of a performer. This matters a lot, since the 3090's price is totally at another level, but something at about half the price coming very near to it, is something to ponder about.

Again, rather than looking at the numbers alone, usually the two digit differences, the difference in perception will be negligible. Arguing in the numbers alone don't hold weight in real-world experiences. People who buy the most expensive cards are not buying the cards, but buying rhe benchmark graphs.

I guess only Nvidia fans, apologetics and egotists will argue otherwise, without substance.

I'm a fan of neither. I buy what I feel is the value for money, without compromising on the performance. My purchase history has been colorful which consists of both Geforces (from the days of Riva's) and Radeons (from the days of ATI). I used to buy the best cards churned out by both the green and the red. Those days, the prices were not exorbitantly expensive like now.

Recent Nvidia's overboard and overblown pricing put me off, especially the abomination called 2080Ti.

Fortunately both the 3070 and 3080 are priced more competitive, especially the 3070, which put the 2080Ti's absolute poor value to shame.

I took the jump from 980Ti to 5700XT, and am impressed with how far the Radeon made it's stride, silently seeping to the front line. And now the 6800XT and 6800 both have established and become the forces to be reckoned with.

As for Nvidia, there is a chance to become popular with value builders if the 3080 and 3070 drop in price. Then, it might pull back part of the prospective would-be Radeon buyers. Already, the 3070 also proves to be a good value.

For now though, for AMD, things can only go forward.

And the purported advantage of coupling these 6800 series Radeon with Zen 3 CPUs, things are getting more interesting ahead.
 

BoowieBear

Posts: 8   +4
Great work as always. The price point and performance is interesting. I mean, if I was going to spend $580 on a video card, what is a few bucks more for the XT. I understand people have budgets, but at this price point it would seem most would opt for the XT. Though actual prices may have a bigger delta. Either way I am pumped AMD is competitive.
 
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madboyv1

Posts: 1,624   +515
At first I was conflicted about the 6800, it's pricing, and how it was supposed to compete with the 3070. but now that the reviews are out, it kind of just does it's own thing without caring about the 3070, and does it convincingly well.

I will say when it comes to raytracing and DLSS, nvidia cards still come out quite ahead, but only if you can or want to take advantage of that. There is a very real possibility that I might go full red next build, and it will be interesting how drivers mature and new cards get released to fill performance/price gap in the coming months.
 

GNelson

Posts: 15   +16
I'll wait for the 6700 maybe or 6700XT I hope they release. I figure about $450-475 is the sweet spot for most as 68XX is already huge, but I only need a little better than a 5700XT and Navi 2 is where most would like to be in! Steve is there any info on that in the works?
 
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Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,555   +2,448
I particularly like the ghosting function of this card, as in it is nowhere to be found.

Special, "Catch me if you can!" Edition.
To be fair, it doesn't officially release until next week... but I'm going to assume that you won't be able to buy it then either...

The REAL comparison between all of these new cards won't be relevant until after January (or maybe later) when they can actually be purchased easily at MSRP.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,623   +1,684
TechSpot Elite
Great review as always Steve, nobody benchmarks better than you do!

You know, the more I look at these cards, the more I dislike them. AMD really screwed up with the way that these cards are priced. They've proven time and again that video cards don't HAVE to be this expensive so it's clear that they're just letting nVidia be the bad guy while they're the "not so bad" guy.

I've come to the conclusion that none of the current-gen cards (be them red or green) are worth buying. The performance is so high that it's beyond what most people will use and the prices have been jacked through the roof.

Prices remained stable for well over a decade with halo cards costing no more than $700. This remained true as recently as 2017 with the GTX 1080 Ti. Then nVidia thought it would be cute to see just how gullible people were by increasing the price of the xx80 card to $700 and the xx80 Ti card to $1200. A gaming card that cost four figures was unthinkable just three years ago. That's an increase of 71% and the sheep just ate it up like grass in a pasture.

The problem with dumb people being willing to pay exorbitant amounts of money just so they can say "I got da bestest card, yo!" isn't just that it caused nVidia to jack prices without a second thought. It's also because AMD isn't blind and since these dumb consumers have shown themselves willing to be fleeced like the sheep that they are, AMD will only be too happy to follow suit.

Now all video cards have exorbitant pricing and better performance is no excuse because better performance has been a part of every video card launch in history. That's the reason that the new cards are launched in the first place.

Just look at every video card launch that happened in 2017 and before. The cost per frame is supposed to significantly go down, not remain stagnant or just a little better.

Steve, please make a video that explains what I'm talking about.
All these new cards are *overkill* for the average gamer and are priced accordingly. If there are enough people who are convinced/hyped into buying, well then Nvidia and AMD have done their marketing job well.

And of course to cover development costs, you release the biggest margin and profit cards first. Again, that's AMD and Nvidia doing their business jobs well.

Last gen, rational people could buy the 1660 Super or 5600XT and get an actual decent deal for price/performance. Hell, even the 1650 Super was a good performing card for the money.

But you gotta wait for those actually good deal cards to trickle out 6-12 months later and consider that maybe you don't *need* 144 fps at 1440p to have a good gameplay experience.
 

Makste

Posts: 24   +6
At first I was conflicted about the 6800, it's pricing, and how it was supposed to compete with the 3070. but now that the reviews are out, it kind of just does it's own thing without caring about the 3070, and does it convincingly well.

I will say when it comes to raytracing and DLSS, nvidia cards still come out quite ahead, but only if you can or want to take advantage of that. There is a very real possibility that I might go full red next build, and it will be interesting how drivers mature and new cards get released to fill performance/price gap in the coming months.
Yeah, its not a laid back card in my view. It's as if its always aiming at the 3080 position and looking for any chance of surpassing it.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 351   +371
All these new cards are *overkill* for the average gamer and are priced accordingly. If there are enough people who are convinced/hyped into buying, well then Nvidia and AMD have done their marketing job well.

And of course to cover development costs, you release the biggest margin and profit cards first. Again, that's AMD and Nvidia doing their business jobs well.

Last gen, rational people could buy the 1660 Super or 5600XT and get an actual decent deal for price/performance. Hell, even the 1650 Super was a good performing card for the money.

But you gotta wait for those actually good deal cards to trickle out 6-12 months later and consider that maybe you don't *need* 144 fps at 1440p to have a good gameplay experience.
I agree with you but it doesn't change the fact that the pricing has shifted upwards since 2017 when it wasn't supposed to. There's no way that it cost ATi less to make a Radeon HD 5970 than it cost them to make an RX 6900 XT (the HD 5970 DEFINITELY cost more to make) but the HD 5970 was only $600, not $1000 and, in its day, it was the most powerful card on the planet by a huge margin. The GeForce GTX 295 was beaten so badly by the Radeon HD 5970 that Guru3D used the verb "Sodomizes" to describe how badly the HD 5970 beat the GTX 295. Still only $600 though.

ALL new top-end cards are *overkill* for the average gamer when they're released. That has been true since the dawn of the GPU. This year, the nVidia launch was objectively weak and the ATi launch was only great because of how bad they were previously doing.

There's nothing special about these cards that should command the prices that we're being charged. This also trickles down because when halo products go up in price, so too does everything else. Just look at how positively people reacted to the RTX 3080's pricing. The RTX 3080's pricing isn't objectively good, it's actually objectively bad. However, nVidia's pricing was so bad for the RTX 20 series that the RTX 30 series can't help but look good in comparison. Comparing the price to the RTX 2080 Ti is setting the bar stupidly low because the RTX 2080 Ti's price was horrible. It's kinda like how no matter what Biden does, he's going to be seen as a great president because of what came before.

What people don't seen to get is that this launch year isn't any better than 2017 was (when the GTX 10xx series was launched). EVERY generation is the newest and greatest with Earth-shattering performance and the marketing puts stars in people's eyes. They don't seem to understand that these cards will be "yesterday's news" when the next generation comes out. We need to remember how many people who were crazy enough to pay $1200 for an RTX 2080 Ti were whining like babies when the RTX 30 series came out. The reason that they bought the RTX 2080 Ti to begin with is because they thought they were worth it at the time, kinda like a lot of people seem to now.

History is constantly repeating itself my friend and people have to start paying attention or they'll be playing right into the arms of these rich corporations.
 
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emmzo

Posts: 256   +216
"Value" is a word thrown a lot here, even in the slightly flamboyant title "High-end value". I see little value for this card looking at more game benchmarks from other sites. On average it edges 3070 by 5 to 10 fps in all resolutions, because DLSS is disabled to play it even. I`m yet to see some benchmarks with DLSS on vs SAM, although there are reports SAM doesn`t kick in for all games and Nvidia will shortly bring that to the table as well. I`m not going to repeat myself about RT, but it`s understandable for AMD`s first gen. To be competitive, the price should be 50 bucks less and not 80 more than 3070 imho.
 
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meric

Posts: 285   +243
Like mentioned in many comments, 6800 is impressive at one side (raw processing performance) and disappointing on the other (features). RDNA 2 performs very well at full hd and 1400p, even better than amperes but at 4k falls behind. RT performance doesn't look very well. According to me RT tech in general still can't provide an impressive image quality when the performance hit is considered. But at least Nvidia has DLSS, which is a nice feature (where it is well implemented/optimised) that can boost performance alongside RTX. On the other side, Nvidia's RT and DLSS are proprietary tech that's not very good for gaming industry (and for the consumer).

All that said, zen 3 and RDN 2 are finely tuned chips with good perf/watt. Is it too early to dream about an APU armed with infinity cache on-board?
 
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neeyik

Posts: 1,443   +1,590
Staff member
There's no way that it cost ATi less to make a Radeon HD 5970 than it cost them to make an RX 6900 XT (the HD 5970 DEFINITELY cost more to make) but the HD 5970 was only $600, not $1000 and, in its day, it was the most powerful card on the planet by a huge margin.
It is interesting that 11 years ago, a graphics card, sporting two 330 mm2 GPUs, eight 256MB GDDR5 modules, and a PCI switch only cost $599, whereas a card sporting one 520 mm2 GPU, eight 2GB GDDR6 modules, and no PCIe switch costs $400 more.

But let's take inflation into account - one could pick any random inflation calculator, and you'd get something like $730 in 2020 dollars. If correct, that would make the RX 6900 XT $269 more expensive, an increase of 37%. Seems ridiculous, yes? Well, at the Tom's Hardware were reporting that some brands of HD 5970 were going for as high as $679 soon after launch, and the price of the RX 6900 XT now, was matched by the GTX 690 in 2012 (it was $999 too) and in the case of the RTX 3090, by the RX 390 X2 in 2015 (at a mere $1399). And let's not even think about the absurd Titan Z...

Modern high end graphics don't have an easy escape route, when it comes to keeping the price down. The processors themselves are enormous now, and even if the wafer yields were really good, there's no way a 520mm2 chip could be sold for the same price as a 250mm2 one (I.e. the very first Navi offering), when manufactured on the same process.

By contrast, a Zen 2 chiplet (also manufactured on N7) is just 74 mm2, with the I/O chip being something like 120 mm2. Even Intel's hulking i9-10900K is only around 205 mm2. And CPUs don't require a complex PCB nor onboard memory.

Only Samsung and Micron manufacture 2 GB, 16 Gbps GDDR6 modules - there's only 14 Gbps ones from both of them, as a slower alternative. So the need for ever more bandwidth and local memory means that only the very fastest and biggest graphics DRAM is going to be used, and naturally, that's not cheap.

Of course, there's always a hefty mark-up on the top end models, but this is true of any 'best of the best' product. But given the size of the processors and memory requirements, it would take some exceptional circumstances for a card like the 6900 XT to be sold at $730.

Edit: As the inflation thing was piquing my curiosity, I got to wonder what cards in 2009 cost the same as the RX 6800 does now (accounting for the dollar inflation) - $580 now is roughly $474 in 2009 dollars; let's make it a simple $470.

Well, Anandtech was stating $430 to $450 (bar a cent each) for the dual-GPU Radeon HD 4870 X2 in March 2009. Tom's Hardware gave prices of around $465 for the (also dual-GPU) GeForce GTX 295 in November 2009. So the RX 6800 in 2009 prices is 2% to 10% extra - closer than I'd thought it would be.
 
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