AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT evaluate: Purchase the 6900 XT as an alternative

AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT evaluate: Purchase the 6900 XT as an alternative

MSRP $1,100.00

“The AMD RX 6950 XT is a new edition of the RX 6900 XT, however even calling it a refresh is just too beneficiant.”

Execs

  • Comparatively low energy draw
  • Outperforms the RTX 3090
  • Cheap in comparison with Nvidia competitors

Cons

  • Nearly equivalent efficiency to RX 6900 XT
  • $100 dearer than RX 6900 XT
  • Poor ray tracing efficiency

Late-gen refreshes are a chance for GPU distributors to take one other swing at an structure they’re about to retire. Refreshes like this profit from time, permitting firms like AMD and Nvidia to pack in additional energy, additional cores, and extra options based mostly on what they’ve discovered for the reason that preliminary launch.

AMD’s RX 6950 XT doesn’t benefit from that chance.

Calling it an overclocked RX 6900 XT can be too flattering, and my benchmarks present that clearly. It’s a graphics card that solely is smart in a gross sales assembly room, providing little to no benefit over the bottom RX 6900 XT whereas nonetheless carrying a $100 improve in worth.

Specs and pricing

Fans on the AMD RX 6950 XT.Jacob Roach / Digital Tendencies

For a late-gen refresh just like the RX 6950 XT, all of it comes right down to specs. And AMD’s providing isn’t too attractive. Total, the RX 6950 XT is basically the identical graphics card because the RX 6900 XT. It has the identical variety of cores, the identical 16GB of GDDR6 reminiscence, and the identical 256-bit reminiscence bus.

RX 6950 XTRX 6900 XTRTX 3090 
Cores5,1205,12010,496
Enhance/Sport clock2,100MHz2,015MHz1,695MHz
Reminiscence16GB GDDR616GB GDDR624GB GDDR6X
Reminiscence bus256-bit256-bit384-bit
Bandwidth576GB/s512GB/s 936.2GB/s
InterfacePCIe 4.0 x16PCIe 4.0 x16PCIe 4.0 x16
TDP335W300W350W
Advisable PSU850W700W750W

The variations are available in clock and reminiscence pace. The 16GB of GDDR6 jumps from 16Gbps to 18Gbps, rising the reminiscence bandwidth by a stable 12.5%. That’s a good improve, however reminiscence bandwidth isn’t a giant subject for video games. And in content material creation workloads, the large bandwidth afforded by GDDR6X on the RTX 3090 is a greater choice.

In any other case, the RX 6950 XT brings a minor 4.2% enhance in the sport clock pace. That’s barely larger than the 4% enhance on the utmost enhance clock. You may simply obtain that enhance for those who overclock your graphics card, and lots of third-party RX 6900 XT fashions even match the clock pace of the inventory RX 6950 XT.

The one cause to improve to an RX 6950 XT is just because you must.

I want there was extra to discuss, however there isn’t. A slight enhance in clock pace carries a $100 improve in worth, bringing the listing worth of the RX 6950 XT to $1,100. That’s nonetheless less expensive than the $1,500 Nvidia costs for the RTX 3090, however in comparison with AMD’s personal RX 6900 XT, it’s a strict worth improve.

That’s all the more serious contemplating GPU costs have largely returned to regular — particularly for the RX 6900 XT. On the time of writing, I discovered a number of fashions obtainable on Newegg at or beneath the $1,000 listing worth. Based mostly on the spec sheet and my benchmarks, the RX 6950 XT is largely the identical card because the RX 6900 XT. With elevated provide and falling costs, the one cause to improve to an RX 6950 XT is just because you must.

Backplate on the AMD RX 6950 XT.Jacob Roach / Digital Tendencies

That’s for AMD’s GPU general, however I don’t need to discredit the Gigabyte RX 6950 XT Gaming OC I reviewed. It’s a wonderful card. The Windforce cooling system is in full swing, preserving temperatures low even with elevated energy draw, and the branding is glossy and minimal. You also have a little bit of RGB lighting for the Gigabyte emblem, which you’ll be able to configure by Gigabyte’s RGB Fusion software program.

Gaming

Geomean for AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT.

It’s onerous to search out a spot for the RX 6950 XT in the present graphics card market. AMD appears so centered on competing with the RTX 3090 that it forgot to consider the bottom RX 6900 XT. Based mostly on my outcomes, the RX 6950 XT is definitely a bit worse than the RX 6900 XT, although it nonetheless manages to beat the RTX 3090.

You may see how the playing cards stack up on common above. All of my exams have been run with a Ryzen 7 5800X3D and 32GB of DDR4-3200 reminiscence. I ran exams from 1080p to 4K, however the leads to the chart above and desk beneath are for 4K with the very best graphics preset.

AMD RX 6950 XT installed in a PC.Jacob Roach / Digital Tendencies

Simply half of a body separates the RX 6900 XT from the RX 6950 XT, and that’s in favor of the weaker card. It’s not too stunning contemplating you’ll be able to simply enhance the RX 6950 XT as much as 2,100MHz (the world report is someplace round 3,300MHz). Clock pace variations imply that this card principally performs about in addition to the RX 6900 XT, only for $100 extra.

That’s essential to take into accout. The RX 6950 XT beats the RTX 3090 by about 4%, however so does the RX 6900 XT. In the meantime, Nvidia’s RTX 3090 Ti shoots forward of all the things, main the RX 6950 XT by about 6% on common. Based mostly on my outcomes, the RX 6950 XT doesn’t have to exist outdoors of propping up the RX 6000 vary for one more few months.

RX 6950 XTRX 6900 XTRTX 3090 TiRTX 3090
3DMark Time Spy 18,61119,49219,84817,078
3DMark Hearth Strike42,69239,307N/A37,380
Pink Useless Redemption 273 fps76 fps84 fps75 fps
Fortnite80 fps80 fps86 fps69 fps
Murderer’s Creed Valhalla68 fps68 fps72 fps63 fps
Forza Horizon 4165 fps162 fps147 fps153 fps
Cyberpunk 207742 fps43 fps49 fps46 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 w/ RT12 fps13 fps24 fps21 fps
Far Cry 689 fpsN/AN/A82 fps

You may see my full leads to the desk above. There isn’t a lot to focus on outdoors of ray tracing efficiency. In Cyberpunk 2077, the RX 6950 XT massively underperforms in comparison with Nvidia’s playing cards, identical to the RX 6900 XT. AMD’s current-gen playing cards aren’t nice with regards to ray tracing — learn our RX 6500 XT evaluate for one more instance — and the RX 6950 XT doesn’t change that.

Content material creation

Gigabyte logo on the AMD RX 6950 XT.Jacob Roach / Digital Tendencies

Radeon GPUs at all times take a again seat to GeForce ones in content material creation duties, and the boosted clock pace and barely larger reminiscence bandwidth on the RX 6950 XT doesn’t do sufficient to alter that. In comparison with Nvidia’s greatest, the RX 6950 XT is clearly behind.

RX 6950 XTRTX 3090 TiRTX 3090
PugetBench for Premiere Professional658853882
Blender Classroom5891,6911,394
Blender Monster1,1442,9622,826
Blender Junkshop5571,4671,615

It held up OK in Premiere Professional, however that app stresses your CPU and RAM simply as a lot because it does your GPU. In a graphics-focused benchmark like Blender, the RX 6950 XT will get slaughtered. Nvidia has CUDA and Optix rendering, that are considerably sooner than the OpenGL rendering the RX 6950 XT has entry to.

That’s not to say the reminiscence on the RTX 3090 and RTX 3090 Ti. It makes use of GDDR6X reminiscence, which tops out a lot larger than the GDDR6 the RX 6950 XT has obtainable. In the event you’re severe about GPU-bound content material creation work, it’s greatest to keep on with Nvidia right away.

Energy and thermals

Power connections on the AMD RX 6950 XT.Jacob Roach / Digital Tendencies

Gigabyte’s RX 6950 XT Gaming OC is nice at preserving issues cool. In a FurMark stress check, the cardboard peaked at 67 levels Celsius on an open-air check bench. That’s nice, and even in probably the greatest PC instances, it affords loads of headroom. What was extra fascinating was the ability draw.

AMD is stressing the RX 6950 XT’s effectivity benefit, and it has a bonus.

AMD charges the wattage at 335 watts, however my card topped out at 290W. That was with the default profile set in Radeon Software program. Even with the automated overclocking characteristic, the cardboard by no means drew greater than 308W. I’d somewhat an influence ranking be too excessive than too low, however my outcomes illustrate simply how related the RX 6950 XT is to the 300W RX 6900 XT.

Similar to the bottom playing cards, AMD is stressing its effectivity benefit. And it has a bonus. The RTX 3090 attracts 350W by itself — and based mostly on my expertise, the cardboard can climb to close 400W even with out overclocking. In the meantime, the RTX 3090 Ti goes as much as a large 450W, simply sucking down extra energy than every other part you’ll be able to put in a PC. AMD’s flagships look quaint by comparability.

Our take

The RX 6950 XT is a graphics card that doesn’t have to exist. It’s loads like Nvidia’s 12GB RTX 3080 — a refresh meant to push costs up with out providing any clear efficiency enhancements. AMD already achieved a graphics card that may beat the RTX 3090, and it’s the RX 6900 XT, not this late-gen refresh.

Are there any options?

Sure. The RX 6900 XT affords virtually equivalent efficiency for $100 much less. In the event you’re keen on content material creation work, Nvidia’s RTX 3090 or RTX 3090 Ti are each higher choices.

How lengthy will it final?

Even though it’s a disappointing launch, the RX 6950 XT remains to be a supremely highly effective graphics card. It ought to final a number of years earlier than you would like an improve, particularly contemplating its modest energy necessities.

Do you have to purchase it?

No, purchase the RX 6900 XT as an alternative. It’s an excellent gaming graphics card that’s now promoting for listing worth. In the event you need extra energy for ray tracing and content material creation, nevertheless, Nvidia’s GPUs are nonetheless winners.

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