AMD Big Navi

While NVIDIA was conquering the market with the 2000 series, AMD was hard at work to create a new series in the form of Big Navi, or the RX 6000 series. What makes this unique is the fact that it has RAY tracing, and it’s a series of AMD RDNA 2 graphics cards that were fully tested with the DXR procedural geometry sample application.

The new series is getting a 13.8x speedup (471 FPS) if you compare it with the Software DXR fallback layer (34 FPS). The great addition here is definitely the Ray Accelerator which is specialized hardware whose main focus is to increase the magnitude of ray intersections, while boosting the overall performance and pushing it to the next level. The level of performance received when compared to the software implementation is second to none.

By comparison, the NVIDIA 2080 series scores 308 FPS in the same test, so it’s a much better solution with a lower price. Even the TI version has 390 FPS, so the RX 6000 series is delivering a much better value for money. 

Thanks to the added Direct X 12 support, the new cards can easily use the ray tracing system and remove one of the advantages that the competitors had at this time. Ray tracing was something AMD missed for quite some time, and gamers appreciate those shadow and lighting effects.

What specs can you expect from the new RX 6000 series?

If you go for the RX 6800, you can expect 16 GB of GDDR 6, 60 compute units, a game clock of 1815 MHz and a boost clock of up to 2105 MHz. The XT version of this unit will have 72 compute units and 2015 MHz, and up to 2250 MHz with the boost clock. If you choose to buy the 6900 XT, then you can expect 80 compute units, the same 16 GB of RAM as the other units and the same game and boost clock as the 6800 XT. 

So the only difference between the 6800 XT and the 6900 XT is the fact that the former has 72 compute units, whereas the latter comes with 80 compute units. Of course, some of the third party manufacturers might enhance that, but the base models are very similar. That makes the 6800 XT ideal for anyone that wants really good performance in 4K games as well as comprehensive ray tracing. 

According to AMD, the 6800 XT can go toe to toe with the RTX 3080 when it comes to 1440p and even 4K resolutions. While the RTX 3080 is $700, the RTX 3080 is $699. Considering the performance is pretty much identical, AMD managed to bring in a very good deal, and one that will certainly stand out especially during the holiday.

Things are a bit different for the regular RX 6800. It’s $80 more expensive when compared to its competition, which in this case is the RTX 3070. However, the 3070 has half the RAM, not to mention its performance is worse in both 1440p and 4K gaming. That makes the RX 6800 a very good purchase even if it’s $579. This clearly goes to show that AMD’s strategy is to deliver much better performance than the competitors while still bringing in front affordable prices. 

What about the higher end of the market?

The NVIDIA RTX 3090 is announced to be the ultimate graphics card available on the market, and it comes with a hefty price point of $1499. The equivalent is AMD’s RTX 6900 XT which will arrive in December on the market and it will cost $999. This is where AMD is set to shine, because it delivers an extraordinary experience at this price point. In fact, tests are saying that the 6900 XT is on par with the RTX 3090. Since it costs $500 less, AMD is definitely banking on this unit to become the best possible one on the market. 

Conclusion

Even if NVIDIA isn’t marketing its new graphics card solely towards gamers, it’s safe to say they are the ones that will use ray tracing and the new shadow systems. So it’s very clever for AMD to offer a much better value for money for all its customers. It’s amazing to see just how much AMD has come in the past decade, and now it’s impressing everyone on the market with its unique offerings. The Rx 6800 and RX6800 XT will arrive starting November 18, while the RX 6900 XT will come December 8th 2020.

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