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AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review,Introduction,The last of the reviews I wrote which you should have read already but were lost when the server coughed it\’s guts up is the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT. Thank you for bearing with us during what has been a difficult week and hopefully all the issues have been solved and we can get back to reviewing things on time instead of stuff we\’d done a week ago. We love you all.,The Radeon RX 6800 absolutely blew our socks off, returning the Radeon brand name to the heights it has always deserved to be, but hasn\’t necessarily always been. One of our favourite cards ever was the HD 4850 because you could clock the hell out of it and get 4870 performance for a significantly lower investment. To see some of the GPUs they\’ve released in the intervening years has been depressing to say the least. I know many of you believe we have a preference for one brand or the other here at OC3D but we\’re totally brand loyalty free. We want the best possible product at the lowest price, and we want all the manufacturers to push each other to make things work faster and be priced cheaper, regardless of who it is. We\’re on the consumers side.,With the success of the RX 6800 and 6800 XT we were hugely excited to see what performance AMD have squeezed from their new flagship card, the RX 6900 XT. With a significant price hike over the RX 6800 we\’re hoping for big things.,Technical Specifications,Now we\’re the first to admit that performance on paper is nearly meaningless. History has taught us that how good something looks isn\’t always representative of how it performs in the real world®. Nonetheless seeing how little extra heft the RX 6900 XT has when compared to its RX 6800 XT – for what is a fifty percent price hike – doesn\’t exactly fill us with excitement. But that\’s what our tests are for.,Now to see them it the flesh..AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review,Up Close,If you read our review of the Radeon RX 6800 pairing you\’ll already be aware of what the RX 6900 XT looks like. The cooler that was very much around the 80° mark on that particular GPU, and as the RX 6900 XT has just 8 more Compute Units for 512 more Stream Processors we expect similar results here. We\’re still so pleased AMD have ditched the blower style that we\’ll let them off.,AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review  ,Within the box you also get a giant mouse mat that is wrapped around you new purchase to help protect it even further. It\’s a nice packaging setup.,
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review  ,It\’s small potatoes when you\’re spending a grand on a GPU but this mouse mat is a strange size. It\’s not big enough to be one of those “battlestation” covers you see all the time, but neither is it small enough to just be a mouse mat. A full size keyboard would fill it up. Odd.,
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review  ,The cooler is very much the same as before, as we said above. The one area we find odd is that the RX 6800 has a white Radeon logo, the RX 6800 XT has an AMD red one, and the RX 6900 XT – the beefiest card in their range – reverts to the white logo. We were expecting RGB or something, especially on a card costing a grand. Hmm.,
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review  ,We will still applaud AMD for the design of the cooler though. It\’s lovely to look at and we\’re big fans of the soft curves on the edges. Extra points go to AMD for leaving the PCI power inputs – two 8 pin here – where they are supposed to be rather than converting them to a 15 pin one in an L shape around the middle or something similar *coughNvidiacough*.,
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review  AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review,Test Setup,We\’re still using our revamped test rig for the Radeon testing. We know that some of the more nit-picky of you might wonder why we\’re not also using the 5000 series Ryzen CPUs to make the most of the Rage mode, but Rage mode works on the Ryzen 9 3950X just fine, and we want to be able to compare like for like as always, and the 3950X is what we\’ve tested everything else in our graphs on. Given that most people don\’t run CPUs as powerful as this, putting an even more powerful one in won\’t teach us anything nor help you in your decision making.,Clock Speeds
,Strangely the RX 6900 XT seems to prefer a little reduction in the voltage when you\’re overclocking it. Whether for yield reasons AMD have been a bit over-generous with the voltage, or we just got a golden GPU in the silicon lottery, but ours could be undervolted a fair way and still managed to push 2485 MHz peak boost and 2343 MHz average boost. Blimey Charlie.,AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review  ,AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review  AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review,Borderlands 3,Borderlands 3 saw Gearbox Software return to developing their most famous IP following the somewhat dubious reception The Pre Sequel received. Borderlands has plenty of settings to tweak and, despite looking superficially similar to Borderlands 2, it’s significantly more demanding upon your hardware. At higher resolutions only the most performance rich need apply. Naturally we run with everything at the maximum possible settings.,AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review  AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review,Control,Remedy Entertainment’s Control is one of those games that demonstrates everything available to you in modern engines and with modern hardware. Not only does it have destructible environments but it supports all the hardware tricks, including Ray Tracing and DLSS on hardware with either or both of those features. We’re testing in every possible combination to demonstrate how each can impact your frames per second. The first graph is all resolutions in \’plain\’ mode. The second graph with Ray Tracing on, something which isn\’t the strong suit of the first generation of AMD RT cards.,AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review  AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review,Crysis Remastered,Crysis used to be the definition of a system’s performance potential, being one of the first game engines that used all the tricks available to it to push image quality to ever higher places. Of course that was long in the past so Crytek have remastered it to the point that even Pixar would probably struggle to turn everything on to maximum. Is that a case of a stern test or poor optimisation? That’s a debate for another day.,AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review  AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review,Dirt 5,The latest version of Codemasters long running Rally game has plenty of visual splendour. Sure it’s never going to be mistaken for Richard Burns Rally or any of the genuine sims out there, but if you want to get muddy and know your “medium left over crest don’t cut”s from your “5 right tightens” then it’s a good place to start. A title that absolutely rocks on the Radeon RX 6900 XT.,AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review  AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review,F1 2020,Speaking of racing games that absolutely rock on the AMD hardware, despite being launched at a time when there wasn’t any motorsport – or any sport – in the world, F1 2020 is everything it could realistically be. No, the track list doesn’t match the real 2020 F1 season, but the cars are close to their real-life counterparts and the graphics engine brings all the glorious imagery we’ve come to expect from Codemasters F1 titles. We’re running with it all to the stops, because of course we are.,AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review  AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review,Gears 5,A game where we always mentally add “of War” to the title, the most recent addition to the Gears franchise saw The Coalition stick rigidly to the formula that has made this title a success on the Xbox. It’s more of a ‘best of’ than a new title, but still brings all the graphical glory to your screen as befits a game aimed at the console market. With everything turned up to ten the graphics can bring even beefy systems to their knees. The second graph is cranked up to 8K just to see how far we can push things.,AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review  AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review,Horizon Zero Dawn,Alongside God of War, Horizon is one of the best titles from this generation of games. A massive open world and story rich game with none of the ‘collect 500 tiny things’ that plagues many open world titles, the breath-taking vistas and gorgeous animation of Aloy’s adventures should be experienced by all gamers. The PC release required some fine tuning to be all it could be, but graphically it’s still jaw-dropping and with everything up to the hilt as we have here, few games look better.,AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review  AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review,Metro Exodus,Along with Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Control, Metro Exodus is one of a triumvirate of games in our test suite that takes full advantage of all your graphical hardware can offer. With Ray Tracing and DLSS support along with the gritty, post-apocalyptic aesthetic for which 4A Games are famed, it is a great title with which to flex the power of your new graphics card. The first graph is all resolutions in \’plain\’ mode. The second graph with Ray Tracing.,AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review  AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review,Microsoft Flight Simulator,A title that doesn’t just require you to have some beefy hardware to maximise the visuals, but also a fairly empty hard drive to squeeze on one of the largest install sizes on the market, the newest instalment in the famous Flight Simulator series is gorgeous. Without any combat you’ve plenty of time with which to appreciate the satellite based ground imagery as well as the hand-crafted airports. With all the detail settings maximised it’s a stern test of your system.,AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review  AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review,Monster Hunter World,Capcom’s Monster Hunter World might be, compared to other titles in our test suite, getting a little long in the tooth but it’s still a gorgeous title with beautiful scenery punctuated by boss fights that wouldn’t look out of place in a From Software title. The introduction of the Iceborne expansion pack boosted the graphics a little further, and as always we’re running everything as high as we can push.,AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review  AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review,Resident Evil 3,Another Capcom title, the newest instalment of the remade Resident Evil franchise continues to up the ante in graphical glory. As someone old enough to have played the originals, seeing Jill Valentine in all her high definition glory never stops being impressive, and whilst the gameplay doesn’t quite shine as brightly as the two games that bracket this in the Res line-up, it’s still fun to turn everything up to max and murder some zombies.,AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review  AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review,The Witcher 3,The original Witcher flew under the radar a little bit in the mainstream, whilst winning an army of fans amongst the RPG hardcore. The Witcher 2 brought everything to it’s knees and was the Crysis of it’s time. The Witcher 3, rightfully, is legendary amongst gamers as the perfect blend of open-world, choices matter, graphically gorgeous role playing. Comfortably one of the best games ever, the pressure CD Projekt must be under to see Cyberpunk 2077 and Witcher 4 hit the same heights is enormous. We know they say Geralt is retired, but money talks.,Although by now we know that Cyberpunk 2077 has some issues to say the least. Hopefully it\’ll be patched to the same quality that Geralt eventually ended at.,AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review  AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review,Total Warhammer 2,Creative Assembly rewrote the book for strategy games with their Total War series, and with Total Warhammer they brought fantasy into that sphere. Total Warhammer 2 took all that was great about the first entry and filled it so full of content that you can play the Mortal Empires campaign for literal years if you wish. The CPU does as much work as the GPU here, thanks to hundreds of units and vast draw distances.,AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review  AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review,Total War Saga: Troy,A game everyone probably owns thanks to the free 24 hours on the Epic Store, Troy might not have the breadth of some of the more fully-fledged entries in the long Total War series, but it’s still a good way of showing off the well-rounded nature of your system. You need every component to be finely tuned to really pump those frames out.,AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review  AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review,3DMARK: Port Royal,One of the first Ray Tracing benchmarks to appear, the value of Port Royal cannot be overstated. Games always take a while to adopt new technologies but benchmark/demos can get on board much faster and show off where your hard-earned is going. With the next generation of consoles supporting Ray Tracing too it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a bigger part of our lives.,AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review  AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review,3DMARK: Time Spy,If you’ve been using 3D Mark since the days when it was largely full of dragons and Matrix-esque FPS games, you’ll appreciate Time Spy taking you on a trip down memory lane whilst also showing the future too. It’s always a  lovely thing to watch which, as people who’ve seen the Fire Strike benchmark a thousand times or more, is a feature we appreciate.,AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review  AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review,Unigine Superposition,The Unigine range of benchmarks has been long standing parts of the OC3D test suite. From Heaven to Valley and now Superposition it’s one of the best ways of not only testing your new purchase but putting it through the mill too. In fact the Superposition test is the one we use to test our temperatures. If you haven’t seen it running you’re really missing out.,AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review  AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review,Temperatures and Power Draw,Modern graphics cards no longer rely upon the user to overclock them, as the drivers now make the most of any spare power or thermal headroom available to boost the clocks to give the smoothest performance. Thus the temperature graph is a little less important than it used to be unless the manufacturer has created a godly cooler, whilst Power Draw is fun on your energy bill, but most of us just care about performance rather than a handful of Watts here and there. With slight variance in ambient temperatures we\’re also including the delta temperature too, so you know exactly how well the card performs relative to the air temperature.,AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review  AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review,Pricing,Given the relatively small increase in hardware when compared to the RX 6800 XT, and the fact as we\’ve just seen that the increase there is doesn\’t significantly move the performance goalposts, the RX 6900 XT is, whisper it, too expensive.,AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review  AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review,Conclusion,Hmm. Well that was disappointing.,The RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT are spectacular cards, bringing huge performance at very affordable pricing and are a glorious return to form for the Radeon brand. The RX 6900 XT was, on paper, only a little bit more powerful and this was born out in our graphs, where it looked like a heavily overclocked RX 6800 XT rather than a card which costs 50% more than it\’s sibling. The one minor weakness of the first generation of Ray Tracing capable Radeon cards is that RT element, and the RX 6900 XT doesn\’t fix this by throwing more hardware at the problem, nor does the clock speed increase particularly help.,We know that it\’s almost churlish to talk about pricing when the RTX 3090 is pretty much twice the price of the RTX 3080, and we guess by that indicator the RX 6900 XT is a lot better. However, the RTX 3090 is very much a different card to the 3080, having more of everything. Plus Nvidia are on their second generation of RT capable cards and this is something that shows up starkly in our games that can support it, where the Ampere cards are miles ahead of the Turing cards, and the Radeon is around the Turing levels of performance. That\’s not to say that the RX 6900 XT is a poor performer, far from it, it\’s just nowhere near the gap in performance from it to the 6800 XT that there should be for the seriously big chunk of extra change AMD are asking you to invest.,When it\’s good it\’s very very good. Just take a look at the graph smashing performance in F1 2020 or Dirt 5 or even Borderlands 3. But the rest of the time it\’s only around the RTX 3080 levels of frames per second – see nearly all our other results. If you\’re looking at one graph to encapsulate the issues we have with this particular card, or perhaps to emphasise how much we love the 6800 XT, then look at Control. Even without Ray Tracing the gap in FPS between the 6900 XT and the XFX 6800 XT is 4 FPS @ 1080, 5 FPS @ 1440 and 1 FPS @ 4K. One. We don\’t know about you but we don\’t want to spend £300 to gain 1FPS in non-RT scenarios. With RT it\’s 4/1/1 FPS difference respectively. Of course there are times when the 6900 XT accelerates ahead by a big margin, but gaining 10 FPS when you\’re already seeing 150 is much less significant than gaining 5 when you\’re around 50 FPS.,If you\’re absolutely determined to have the best Radeon that AMD offer and money is no object at all, then the RX 6900 XT will delight you. If you can find a title where it really shines you\’ll be doubly pleased. If, however, you\’re just looking to get the best gaming value for money then the RX 6800 XT or even the plain RX 6800 is still the one to go for. It\’s much cheaper and not all that much slower. This is still powerful enough to win our Enthusiast Award. Just be aware of what you\’re spending your hard earned on.,NB – In the time since we first wrote this review – although of course due to the server issues you\’ve not read it yet – we postulated that this felt like a \’golden\’ RX 6800 XT rather than a game changer and maybe a super fast 6800 XT would be around the same performance level. At the time it was an idea, but since then we\’ve *spoilers* tested the ASUS Liquid Cooled RX 6800 XT and found it matching the RX 6900 XT. So yes, save your money and by the best of the 68s instead of this 69.,AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review   ,Discuss the Radeon RX 6900 XT in our OC3D Forums.

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