AMD’s long-awaited answer to Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060 and RTX 3060 Ti has finally been announced, and it comes in the form of the Radeon RX 6700 XT. Together with this new GPU, AMD also announced Smart Access Memory compatibility for Zen 2 Ryzen 3000 Series CPUs; which is excellent for those that already have a powerful enough processor and don’t need to upgrade to Zen 3.
Smart Access Memory creates an expanded data channel which widens the GPU memory bottleneck, in-turn allowing for framerate increases of up to 16%. This technology is new to the Radeon RX 6000 Series graphics cards, as is the first generation of ray tracing that AMD has implemented and the Infinity Cache – which is similar to the level 3 cache found in Zen 3 Ryzen CPUs for quick access memory. The Radeon RX 6700 XT has 40 new Ray Accelerators, as well as 96 MBs of this Infinity Cache.
But other than these new technological enhancements, how does it compare to its previous generation counterpart: the Radeon RX 5700 XT? We do know that it is quite a bit more expensive, so it must provide an equivalent performance boost. During AMD’s presentation, no benchmarks were provided to show a comparison between the two GPUs and give us an idea of the generational leap in performance. To answer these questions, we will analyze both options in terms of specifications, as well as some equivalent benchmarks, and find out whether or not the Radeon RX 6700 XT provides enough of an upgrade to warrant its price.
|Model||AMD RX 6700 XT||AMD RX 5700 XT|
|Processing Node||7 nm TSMC||7 nm TSMC|
|Transistor Count||Unknown||10.3 Billion|
|Die Size||335 mm²||251 mm²|
|VRAM Storage||12 GB GDDR6||8 GB GDDR6|
|Memory Bandwidth||384 GB/s||448 GB/s|
|Base Clock||2,321 MHz||1,605 MHz|
|Game Clock||2,424 MHz||1,755 MHZ|
|Boost Clock||2,581 MHz||1,905 MHz|
|Memory Clock||2,000 MHz 16 GB/s||1,750 MHz 14 GB/s|
|Pixel Rate||165.2 GP/s||121.9 GP/s|
|Texture Rate||413 GT/s||304.8 GT/s|
|FP16 Performance||26.43 TFLOPS||19.51 TFLOPS|
|FP32 Performance||13.21 TFLOPS||9.754 TFLOPS|
|FP64 Performance||0.8259 TFLOPS||0.6096 TFLOPS|
|TDP||230 W||225 W|
Right off the bat, we see that the Radeon RX 6700 XT has a 33% larger die, and 33% more GDDR6 VRAM storage, when compared to the Radeon RX 5700 XT. The shading units, TMUs, and ROPs are identical in number – as are the Compute Units; though these have seen significant upgrades in the new Radeon RX 6000 Series. They have redesigned data paths, pervasive fin-grain clock gating, as well as new pipeline rebalancing, making them deliver up to twice the bandwidth while being 30% more energy efficient. We also see much higher clock speeds for the Radeon RX 6700 XT, outperforming its predecessor by 45% in base clock speeds, 38% in game clock speeds, and 35% faster boost clock speeds. The memory clock has also been significantly increased, now capable of 16 GB/s transfer rates.
Even more impressive is the theoretical performance boost found between these two GPUs, as the Radeon RX 6700 XT can processes pixels and textures 35% faster, and has better FP16, FP32, and FP64 performance by 35%, when compared to the Radeon RX 5700 XT. Despite this boost in performance, it only demands five additional watts of power (225 W vs 230 W, an increase of just 2%), so it is also a far more power efficient GPU, all things considered.
This increase in performance does come at a price, as the Radeon RX 6700 XT will cost 20% more than the Radeon RX 5700 XT with its $479 MSRP: a price that is quite steep for its level of performance. Given, especially, that its chief competition is the Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti, which costs $399, while the Nvidia RTX 3070 costs only $20 more, at $499, the Radeon RX 6700 XT does have its work cut out for it to justify its price tag.
Only benchmarks will tell how well this new GPU offer by AMD compares to Nvidia’s lineup. Do note, that Nvidia GPUs do outperform AMD’s counterparts when it comes to content creation applications, which is important for those looking for more than just a gaming build.
|Model||AMD RX 5700 XT||AMD RX 6700 XT|
|Assassin’s Creed Valhalla||59 FPS 1||82 FPS 3|
|Borderlands 3||72 FPS 2||87 FPS 3|
|Dirt 5||68 FPS 1||71 FPS 3|
|Gears 5||74 FPS 1||88 FPS 3|
2 Based on benchmarks by Tom’s Hardware.
3 Based on benchmarks by AMD.
AMD’s short announcement video for the upcoming release of the Radeon RX 6700 XT gave very little information on the benchmarked capabilities of this new GPU. AMD only showed how it performs in 1440p, which is odd, given that its framerate performance does not reach the desired metrics for this resolution – which should be over 100 FPS. As stated previously, the benchmarks they released only compared the Radeon RX 6700 XT to other Nvidia graphics cards.
That being said, we can compare AMD’s advertised metrics to some previously recorded benchmarks by other sources, though do keep in mind that there are many variables that must be ignored in order to entertain this comparison, so do take it with a grain of salt.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, at 1440p, sees the most significant framerate increase, going from 59 FPS to 82 FPS: a 39% performance boost. Accordingly, Borderlands 3 sees a 21% boost, Gears 5 sees a 19% performance boost, and Dirt 5 has a 4% improvement in FPS.
Though the benchmarks may not be indicative of how much better the Radeon RX 6700 XT is when compared to the Radeon RX 5700 XT, its theoretical performance shows a graphical processing increase of up to 35% – which would then justify its difference in MSRP.
This new GPU does show promise, and depending on the degree of availability it will have on launch, it could prove to be a strong competitor to Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 30 Series lineup – especially given its Smart Access Memory compatibility with both Zen 2 and Zen 3 Ryzen processors. Indeed, the Radeon RX 6700 XT could become a very popular mid-range gaming GPU, and even outsell its Radeon RX 5700 XT predecessor.