AMD Radeon RX 6700 review: If another sold-out GPU falls in the forest… – Ars Technica7 min read

How many Radeon RX 6700XT graphics cards did AMD produce? Well, at least one.

AMD isnt stating, and on the eve of the Radeon RX 6700s launch, the very first in its “Little Navi” line, the businesss assurances arent completely comforting.
Minutes later, one of his partners admitted otherwise: a memo AMD had sent to online merchants had dripped on Reddit. None of this makes AMD particularly special as a GPU maker, mind you. AMD would most likely choose that we compare the 6700XT to Nvidias more recent $329 offering, the RTX 3060, and if those are the only 2 cards in stock, and were not determining store rates, the discussion tilts even more in AMDs favor. My charts likewise consist of 2016s GTX 1070 as a “standard” card and last years AMD RX 6800.

All of this short articles standards were conducted on my standard Ars screening rig, which sports an i7-8700K CPU (overclocked to 4.6 GHz), 32GB DDR4-3000 RAM, and a mix of a PCI-e 3.0 NVMe drive and basic SSDs.
Normally, tests of gaming software at 4K resolutions do the very best job of demonstrating a GPUs complete capacity for your system, even if youre not preparing to play video games at 4K resolutions. Setting a video games resolution to 4K does a much better task of taking a CPUs effect on a video game out of the formula for these measurements, at which point you ought to check portion distinctions in between my tests and guess accordingly. The same goes for the overkill I slap onto each criterias settings, which I normally set to either the highest possible or next-highest setting– and in your real gameplay, its normally much better to switching off particular costly impacts, which will lead to higher frame rates than seen here (frequently with minimal hits to how your preferred video games look in action).
Still, AMD has recently insisted that its GPUs are tuned to crank at 1440p resolution, so Ive taken the companys reps at their word and included 1440p tests for every single criteria above (albeit with overkill graphics settings). Sure enough, that sales pitch checks out to some degree, particularly when comparing the 6700XT straight to the 3060 Ti.

Hitman 3s Dartmoor test, meanwhile, is a beast of particle and material results, and every GPU battled with the workload in regards to holding a company frame rate.

Look, Ill level with you: evaluating a GPU amidst an international chip lack is ludicrous enough to count as dark comedy. Your capability to purchase new, higher-end GPUs from either Nvidia or AMD has actually been hamstrung for months– a fact borne out by their very low ranks on Steams video gaming PC statistics gathered worldwide.
Since press time, AMDs newest “Big Navi” GPUs hardly make a ripple in Steams list. Thats perhaps a matter of timing, with their November 2020 launch coming 2 months after Nvidia started delivering its own 3000-series GPUs. But just how much is that compounded by low supplies and shopping bots? AMD isnt stating, and on the eve of the Radeon RX 6700s launch, the very first in its “Little Navi” line, the businesss guarantees arent totally soothing.
In an online press conference ahead of the launch, AMD Product Manager Greg Boots used the typical platitudes: “a lot of demand out there,” “were doing whatever we can,” that sort of thing. He pointed out a couple of AMDs actions that may assist this time around.
Then he used an assurance that sent my eyebrow to the ceiling: “Were working with merchants to avoid bots, like we did with the 6800.”

Im sorry, what ?!
Enlarge/ RX 6700XT specifications, as compared to 2019s RX 5700XT. AMDI asked again, pointing to sufficient evidence that the 6800 and 6800XTs combined launch was an online-retail catastrophe, and Boots stated he “could not enter into a lot of details on what exactly were doing.” Minutes later, among his partners confessed otherwise: a memo AMD had actually sent out to online retailers had dripped on Reddit. I was unable to find the memo in question, but it appeared to consist of advisory statements about purchases per account and other standard anti-bot practices, rather than any high-end trade secrets.
Moments later, Boots appeared to confess defeat: “At the end of the day, [retail partners] are either going to utilize that or not. Thats up to them.” None of this makes AMD particularly special as a GPU maker, mind you. Nvidia hasnt been a glowing steward of bot prevention or GPU supply control, either, and rapid-fire sellouts of its latest GPU launch, Februarys RTX 3060, proved that out. In either manufacturers case, were going to have to play this damaged record of “can you in fact buy it?!” insanity prior to every evaluation till things change.
In particular, the common “bang for the buck” discussion is currently moot. MSRP, or “makers suggested retail rate,” does not indicate diddly in an eBay wasteland; your least preferred first-class merchant could not provide two hoots about what AMD or Nvidia suggest, so long as desperate gamers and ethereum miners put the supply-and-demand curve in scalpers favor.
Make sure to leave milk and CUDA cores
Regardless of these market realities, MSRP at least gives us a sense of each GPUs desired variety, and the $449 RX 6700XT lands closest to Nvidias RTX 3060 Ti, “priced” at $399. If you d like to read this evaluation in a traditional Sears brochure method, dreaming that St. GPU Nicholas might one day fill your stocking with teraflops, this head-to-head showdown makes the many sense as a story of Team Red vs. Team Green– both focusing on high-end 1440p efficiency with these products, not 4K.

Ready for unpacking and installation.

The “1% low” bar in most of these charts represents the worst FPS you can anticipate 1% of the time. Its probably the quickest method I can clarify whether a specific test or GPU/game combo features frame time spikes. The closer that 1% value comes to the average, the more stable the refresh rate.

One HDMI 2.1 connection, and 3 DisplayPort connections. Notification that this lacks the USB Type-C connection discovered in its “Big Navi” siblings.

Sam Machkovech

Power: one eight-pin, one six-pin.

This “opening battle” is an extremely variable test of me playing through an opening series. Its less trustworthy than a firmly repeatable benchmark, however its here for your factor to consider about how the GPUs deal with real-time gameplay.

As an extremely, extremely unoptimized game, Cyberpunk 2077 lands in here as a curio, and I decided not to flex its ray tracing or DLSS modes.

New to our benchmark suite: Hitman 3, which is a mildly upgraded variation of IO Interactives long-running Hitman engine. The brand-new “Dubai” test mainly pushes GPUs with reflection results.

Unscrew if you think you have a much better concept for a backplate, I suppose.

This is a stiff walk through the games Novigrad area. The 6700XT truly had a hard time to lock a constant frame rate here for some reason.


This gallery is primarily captionless to make it simpler to check out the charts; if a caption gets in the way, click the gallery to make it full-screen.

AMD would probably prefer that we compare the 6700XT to Nvidias more recent $329 offering, the RTX 3060, and if those are the only two cards in stock, and were not measuring shop prices, the conversation tilts further in AMDs favor. As I reported last month, the RTX 3060 and 2019s RTX 2060 Super are neck and neck performance-wise, and youre more most likely to have an RTX 2060 Super to compare this to, so Ive put it in my standards. My charts also include 2016s GTX 1070 as a “baseline” card and in 2015s AMD RX 6800. Im utilizing the latter to help you potentially determine the curve of what a hypothetical RX 6700 (non “XT”) could look like in regards to stepping down from one model to the next.

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