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The best graphics cards 2021: all the top GPUs for gaming

Having one of the best graphics cards of 2021 at your disposal is crucial, regardless of whether you’re using your computer for graphic design work, video editing, or gaming. Only these heavy hitters can handle tasks that are graphically intensive.

For day-to-day computing, you can easily get away with integrating graphics. But, if you want your PC to keep up with gaming and creative tasks, you have to have a fantastic discrete graphics card at your disposal. The reason for this is because that’s what they’re specifically made for, particularly if you’re working (or playing) at higher resolutions or faster refresh rates.

Whether you’re putting together a new PC or upgrading your old one, you need a powerful GPU installed to get the most performance out of your rig. And, to help you find the one right for you, we’ve gathered our top picks here.

How to choose the best graphics card for you?

It can be difficult choosing the best graphics card for you. While there are just two companies, AMD and Nvidia, responsible for all the GPUs out there, each company has a number of entries for each price point and graphical need. And, while it may seem like the first logical step is to choose a company, it’s more important to consider what you can afford and what resolution you plan on gaming at. 

After all, a high-end GPU like the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 may set you back quite a bit but, with that hefty price tag, the ability to keep up at 4K resolution. In general, AMD’s newest lineup of cards is going to run a little cheaper than Nvidia’s offerings – although that might not be for long with rumors about graphics cards possibly geting  more expensive next year swirling around. But, when Nvidia released their newest GPUs, they dropped the price to be more competitive. So, the difference in price is not so stark, though it should still be a consideration. In fact, each company has a GPU that’s competitive for each level of gaming, whether it’s 1080p, 1440p, or 4K, at similar price points. 

One important metric for finding out how powerful a GPU is how much memory it comes with. For example, a strong GPU for 1080p might have 8GB of GDDR6 RAM but one meant for higher resolutions, like the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT, comes with 12GB.

Where the performance between the companies differ is in ray tracing - new rendering technology that improves reflections, shadows, and more realistically mimics light. With AMD RDNA 2, the company is just getting started on implementing this new tech. Whereas Nvidia Ampere GPUs are not Nvidia’s first entries, although developers have recently found a way to enable it in Quake 2 on older GPUs. In fact, the company has been at it longer so it’s better implemented.

Other considerations, particularly if you’re about to build your own PC or upgrade one of the best gaming PCs, is to make sure whatever GPU you end up with is compatible with that PC’s motherboard. After all, you won’t be able to play the best PC games if your desktop is having trouble recognizing the GPU you installed.

And, while you won’t be able to swap the graphics card out on a gaming laptop, these same considerations apply. You might be able to get a cheaper one with a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 or splurge on one with an RTX 3080.

Where to buy the best graphics cards right now: 

1. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti

Best graphics card


Stream Processors: 4,864

Core Clock: 1.41 GHz (1.67 GHz boost)

Memory: 8 GB GDDR6

Memory Clock: 14Gbps

Outputs: HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a

Power Connectors: 1x PCIe 8-pin (adapter to 1x 12-pin included)

Reasons to buy

+Excellent 1080p performance+Ray tracing performance is solid

Reasons to avoid

-Only entry-level 4K performance

Is AMD no longer the king of great value GPUs? The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti certainly threatens that claim with its price to performance ratio. The newest arrival in the RTX 3000 line, this graphics card punches way above its weight class, delivering a performance that could rival that of the RTX 2080 Super while keeping its price tag incredibly affordable for most people. And, that’s with impressive ray tracing included. 1080p gaming has never been this good and this affordable.

Read the full review: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti

2. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080

The best graphics card, hands-down


Stream Processors: 8,704

Core Clock: 1.44 GHz (1,71 GHz boost)

Memory: 10 GB GDDR6X

Memory Clock: 19Gbps

Power Connectors: 2x PCIe 8-pin

Outputs: HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a

Reasons to buy

+Excellent 4K gaming performance+Low temperatures

Reasons to avoid

-Still kind of expensive

With the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080, 4K gaming just became a lot more accessible. Before, you had to shell out more than $1,000/£1,000 to get playable framerates with the RTX 2080 Ti. However, with the next generation of Nvidia graphics cards, the price of 4K gaming has been cut nearly in half, thanks to the RTX 3080. It boasts one of the largest generational leaps in GPU history, delivering a 50-80% performance boost over the RTX 2080 and a 20-30% boost over the RTX 2080 Ti, all while keeping the same price point as the RTX 2080. This is both an absolute powerhouse of a graphics card and a great value, if you have a bit of extra cash lying around. 

Read the full review: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080

3. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti

Nvidia’s new Ampere leader


Stream Processors: 10,240

Core Clock: 1.37 GHz (1.67 GHz boost)

Memory: 12 GB GDDR6X

Memory Clock: 14Gbps

Outputs: HDMI, 3x DisplayPort

Power Connectors: 2x PCIe 8-pin

Reasons to buy

+Excellent performance+Beautiful graphics card+Same size as RTX 3080

Reasons to avoid

-Very expensive-Power-hungry

 There’s a new Nvidia champion in town, and it takes power and performance to an even more accessible price point. Delivering RTX 3090-level performance, an impressive feat in its own right, the long-awaited RTX 3080 Ti comes with an even better price tag, making all that sheer power more accessible than ever. It continues what the RTX 3080 has started – to take 4K gaming into the mainstream arena – with its breathtaking 4K at 60fps performance while slashing a few hundred dollars off the steep 3090 price. This is the best graphics card on the market right now, especially if you care about ray tracing. 

Read the full review: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 

4. Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090

Best graphics card for creatives


Stream Processors: 10,496

Core Clock: 1.40 GHz (1,70 GHz boost)

Memory: 24 GB GDDR6X

Memory Clock: 19.5Gbps

Power Connectors: 2x PCIe 8-pin

Outputs: HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a

Reasons to buy

+GPU performance to beat+Up to 8k performance

Reasons to avoid

-Extremely expensive-Very large

You can’t beat the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 when it comes to performance. With a whopping 24GB of RAM, no game or, more importantly, heavy graphics project will suffer performance issues. In fact, you can even get some 8K performance at 60 fps out of the 3090. It is an incredibly expensive unit, and quite large too, so it will probably be too much GPU for most users. The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 is, in essence, a replacement for the Titan so it’s meant more for the creative user tackling intensive 3D and video rendering than for the avid gamer. Even so, it comes with a massive reduction in price compared to the Titan, even if it’s still out of most people’s budget.

Read the full review: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090

5. AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT

A 1080p powerhouse


Stream processors: 2,048

Core clock: 1,968

Memory: 8GB GDDR6

Memory clock: 16Gbps

Power connectors: 1 x 8-pin

Outputs: 1.4 with DSC DisplayPort, HDMI 2.1 VRR and FRL

Reasons to buy

+Strong 1080p performance+Great thermal efficiency+Low power consumption

Reasons to avoid

-Should be cheaper-Only slightly better than the RTX 3060

For rock solid 1080p gaming, you can’t go wrong with the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT. Not only is the card a great performer, but it doesn’t use a lot of power so you can install it in a system with a smaller PSU. Because of its great thermal efficiency, you also don’t need a super expensive water cooling system built into your PC. Unfortunately, it is a bit pricier than the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, its direct competition, and doesn’t come with ray tracing.

Read the full review:AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT


AMD Big Navi and RDNA 2 GPUs: Everything We Know

AMD Big Navi, RX 6000, Navi 2x, RDNA 2. Whatever the name, AMD's latest GPUs promise big performance and efficiency gains, along with feature parity with Nvidia in terms of ray tracing support. Team Red finally puts up some serious competition in our GPU benchmarks hierarchy and provides several of the best graphics cards, going head to head with the Nvidia Ampere architecture.

AMD officially unveiled Big Navi on October 28, 2020, including specs for the RX 6900 XT, RTX 6800 XT, and RTX 6800. The Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 launched first, followed by the Radeon RX 6900 XT. In March 2021, AMD released the Radeon RX 6700 XT, and more recently the Radeon RX 6600 XT. So far, we haven't seen a trimmed down Navi 22 variant (except in mobile), and AMD instead opted to create Navi 23, the smallest 'Big Navi' GPU to date at less than half the size of Navi 21. We've updated this article with revised details, though there are still future RDNA2 products yet to be revealed.

Based on what we've seen, Big Navi has finally put AMD's high graphics card power consumption behind it. Or at least, Big Navi is no worse than Nvidia's RTX 30-series cards, considering the 3080 and 3090 have the highest Nvidia TDPs for single GPUs ever. Let's start at the top, with the new RDNA2 architecture that powers RX 6000 / Big Navi / Navi 2x. Here's everything we know about AMD Big Navi, including the RDNA 2 architecture, specifications, performance, pricing, and availability.

Big Navi / RDNA2 at a Glance

  • Up to 80 CUs / 5120 shaders
  • 50% better performance per watt
  • Launched November 18 (RX 6800 series) and December 8 (RX 6900 XT)
  • Pricing of $379 to $999 for RX 6600 XT to RX 6900 XT
  • Full DirectX 12 Ultimate support

The RDNA2 Architecture in Big Navi 

Every generation of GPUs is built from a core architecture, and each architecture offers improvements over the previous generation. It's an iterative and additive process that never really ends. AMD's GCN architecture went from first generation for its HD 7000 cards in 2012 up through fifth gen in the Vega and Radeon VII cards in 2017-2019. The RDNA architecture that powers the RX 5000 series of AMD GPUs arrived in mid 2019, bringing major improvements to efficiency and overall performance. RDNA2 doubled down on those improvements in late 2020.

First, a quick recap of RDNA 1 is in order. The biggest changes with RDNA 1 over GCN involve a redistribution of resources and a change in how instructions are handled. In some ways, RDNA doesn't appear to be all that different from GCN. The instruction set is the same, but how those instructions are dispatched and executed has been improved. RDNA also added working support for primitive shaders, something present in the Vega GCN architecture that never got turned on due to complications.

Perhaps the most noteworthy update is that the wavefronts—the core unit of work that gets executed—have been changed from being 64 threads wide with four SIMD16 execution units, to being 32 threads wide with a single SIMD32 execution unit. SIMD stands for Single Instruction, Multiple Data; it's a vector processing element that optimizes workloads where the same instruction needs to be run on large chunks of data, which is common in graphics workloads.

This matching of the wavefront size to the SIMD size helps improve efficiency. GCN issued one instruction per wave every four cycles; RDNA issues an instruction every cycle. GCN used a wavefront of 64 threads (work items); RDNA supports 32- and 64-thread wavefronts. GCN has a Compute Unit (CU) with 64 GPU cores, 4 TMUs (Texture Mapping Units) and memory access logic. RDNA implements a new Workgroup Processor (WGP) that consists of two CUs, with each CU still providing the same 64 GPU cores and 4 TMUs plus memory access logic.

How much do these changes matter when it comes to actual performance and efficiency? It's perhaps best illustrated by looking at the Radeon VII, AMD's last GCN GPU, and comparing it with the RX 5700 XT. Radeon VII has 60 CUs, 3840 GPU cores, 16GB of HBM2 memory with 1 TBps of bandwidth, a GPU clock speed of up to 1750 MHz, and a theoretical peak performance rating of 13.8 TFLOPS. The RX 5700 XT has 40 CUs, 2560 GPU cores, 8GB of GDDR6 memory with 448 GBps of bandwidth, and clocks at up to 1905 MHz with peak performance of 9.75 TFLOPS.

On paper, Radeon VII looks like it should come out with an easy victory. In practice, across a dozen games that we've tested, the RX 5700 XT is slightly faster at 1080p gaming and slightly slower at 1440p. Only at 4K is the Radeon VII able to manage a 7% lead, helped no doubt by its memory bandwidth. Overall, the Radeon VII only has a 1-2% performance advantage, but it uses 300W compared to the RX 5700 XT's 225W.

In short, AMD was able to deliver roughly the same performance as the previous generation, with a third fewer cores, less than half the memory bandwidth and using 25% less power. That's a very impressive showing, and while TSMC's 7nm FinFET manufacturing process certainly warrants some of the credit (especially in regards to power), the performance uplift is mostly thanks to the RDNA architecture.

That's a lot of RDNA discussion, but it's important because RDNA2 carries all of that forward, with several major new additions. First is support for ray tracing, Variable Rate Shading (VRS), and everything else that's part of the DirectX 12 Ultimate spec. The other big addition is, literally, big: a 128MB Infinity Cache that help optimize memory bandwidth and latency. (Navi 22 has a 96MB Infinity Cache and Navi 23 gets by with a 32MB Infinity Cache.)

There are other tweaks to the architecture, but AMD made some big claims about Big Navi / RDNA2 / Navi 2x when it comes to performance per watt. Specifically, AMD said RDNA2 would offer 50% more performance per watt than RDNA 1, which is frankly a huge jump—the same large jump RDNA 1 saw relative to GCN. Even more importantly, AMD mostly succeeded. The RX 6600 XT ended up delivering slightly higher overall performance than the RX 5700 XT, while using 30% less power. Alternatively, the RX 6700 XT has the same 40 CUs as the RX 5700 XT, and it's about 30% faster than the older card while using a similar amount of power.

The other major change with RDNA2 involves tuning the entire GPU pipeline to hit substantially higher clockspeeds. Previous generation AMD GPUs tended to run at substantially lower clocks than their Nvidia counterparts, and while RDNA started to close the gap, RDNA2 flips the tables and blows past Nvidia with the fastest clocks we've ever seen on a GPU. Game Clocks across the entire RX 6000 range are above 2.1GHz, and cards like the RX 6700 XT and RX 6600 XT can average speeds of around 2.5GHz while gaming. Clock speeds aren't everything, but all else being equal, higher clocks are better, and the >20% boost in typical clocks accounts for a large chunk of the performance improvements we see with RDNA2 vs. RDNA GPUs.

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RDNA2 / Big Navi / RX 6000 GPUs support ray tracing, via DirectX 12 Ultimate or VulkanRT. That brings AMD up to feature parity with Nvidia. AMD uses the same BVH approach to ray tracing calculations as Nvidia (it sort of has to since it's part of the API). If you're not familiar with the term BVH, it stands for Bounding Volume Hierarchy and is used to efficiently find ray and triangle intersections; you can read more about it in our discussion of Nvidia's Turing architecture and its ray tracing algorithm.

AMD's RDNA2 chips contain one Ray Accelerator per CU, which is similar to what Nvidia has done with it's RT cores. Even though AMD sort of takes the same approach as Nvidia, the comparison between AMD and Nvidia isn't clear cut. The BVH algorithm depends on both ray/box intersection calculations and ray/triangle intersection calculations. AMD's RDNA2 architecture can do four ray/box intersections per CU per clock, or one ray/triangle intersection per CU per clock.

From our understanding, Nvidia's Ampere architecture can do up to two ray/triangle intersections per RT core per clock, plus some additional extras, but it's not clear what the ray/box rate is. In testing, Big Navi RT performance generally doesn't come anywhere close to matching Ampere, though it can usually keep up with Turing RT performance. That's likely due to Ampere's RT cores doing more ray/box and ray/triangle intersections per clock.

The Infinity Cache is perhaps the most interesting change. By including a whopping 128MB cache (L3, but with AMD branding), AMD should be able to keep basically all of the framebuffer cached, along with the z-buffer and the some recent textures. That will dramatically reduce memory bandwidth use and latency, and AMD claims the Infinity Cache allows the relatively tame GDDR6 16 Gbps memory to deliver an effective bandwidth that's 2.17 times higher than the raw numbers would suggest.

The Infinity Cache also helps with ray tracing calculations. We've seen on Nvidia's GPUs that memory bandwidth can impact RT performance on the lower tier cards like the RTX 2060, but it might also be memory latency that's to blame. We can't test AMD Big Navi performance in RT without the Infinity Cache, however, and all we know is that RT performance tends to lag behind Nvidia.

The Infinity Cache propagates down to the lower tier RDNA2 chips, but in different capacities. 128MB is very large, and based on AMD's image of the die, it's about 17 percent of the total die area on Navi 21. The CUs by comparison are only about 31 percent of the die area, with memory controllers, texture units, video controllers, video encoder/decoder hardware, and other elements taking up the rest of the chip. Navi 22 and Navi 23 have far lower CU counts, and less Infinity cache as well. Navi 22 has a 96MB L3 cache, while Navi 23 trims that all the way down to just 32MB. Interestingly, even with only one fourth the Infinity Cache, the RX 6600 XT still managed to outperform the RX 5700 XT at 1080p and 1440p — despite having 43% less raw bandwidth.

One big difference between AMD and Nvidia is that Nvidia also has Tensor cores in its Ampere and Turing architectures, which are used for deep learning and AI computations, as well as DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling). AMD doesn't have a Tensor core equivalent, though its FidelityFX Super Resolution does offer somewhat analogous features and works on just about any GPU. Meanwhile, Intel's future Arc Alchemist architecture will also have tensor processing elements, and XeSS will have a fall-back mode that runs using DP4a code on other GPUs.

AMD already has multiple Navi 2x products, though more variants may still be forthcoming. The RDNA2 architecture is also being used in some upcoming smartphone chips like the Samsung Exynos 2100, likely without any Infinity Cache and with far different capabilities in terms of performance. At present, AMD's RX 6000 cards span the midrange to extreme performance categories, but even the lowest tier RX 6600 XT still carries a high-end price.

RX 6000 / Big Navi / Navi 2x Specifications 

That takes care of all the core architectural changes. Now let's put it all together and look at the currently announced RDNA2 / RX 6000 / Big Navi GPUs. AMD basically doubled down on Navi 10 when it comes to CUs and shaders, shoving twice the number of both into the largest Navi 21 GPU. At the same time, Navi 10 is relatively small at just 251mm square, and Big Navi is more than double that in its largest configuration. We'll include the RX 5700 XT and Navi 10 in the following specs table as a point of reference.

Graphics CardRX 6900 XTRX 6800 XTRX 6800RX 6700 XTRX 6600 XTRX 5700 XT
ArchitectureNavi 21Navi 21Navi 21Navi 22Navi 23Navi 10
Transistors (Billion)26.826.826.817.211.110.3
Die size (mm^2)519519519336237251
GPU Cores512046083840256020482560
Ray Accelerators8072604032N/A
Base Clock (MHz)182518251700232119681605
Boost Clock (MHz)225022502105258125891755
VRAM Speed (Gbps)161616161614
VRAM (GB)1616161288
VRAM Bus Width256256256192128256
TFLOPS FP32 (Boost)2320.716.213.210.69
Bandwidth (GBps)512512512384256448
TDP (watts)300300250230230225
Launch DateDec 2020Nov 2020Nov 2020Mar 2021Aug 2021Jul 2019
Launch Price$999$649$579$479$379$399

The highest spec parts all use the same Navi 21 GPU, just with differing numbers of enabled functional units. Navi 21 has 80 CUs and 5120 GPU cores, and is more than double the size (519mm square) of the previous generation Navi 10 used in the RX 5700 XT. But a big chip means lower yields, so AMD has parts with 72 and 60 CUs as well.

The Radeon RX 6900 XT seems to be shipping in more limited quantities, but then all of the RDNA2 GPUs with the possible exceptions of the RX 6700 XT and RX 6600 XT have been hard to come by. Look at our GPU price index and you can see how many of each card has been sold (resold) on eBay during the past several months. The short summary is that Nvidia RTX 30-series GPUs are selling in far higher quantities.

What's interesting is how the die sizes and other features line up. Big Navi / RDNA2 adds support for ray tracing and other DX12 Ultimate features, which requires quite a few transistors. The very large Infinity Cache is also going to use up a huge chunk of die area, but it also helps overcome potential bandwidth limitations caused by the somewhat narrow 256-bit bus width on Navi 21. Ultimately, Navi 23 ends up with a slightly smaller die than Navi 10, but with similar performance and the additional new features.

Besides the already released cards, it's interesting to note the gaps that still exist. RX 6700 XT remains the only card that uses Navi 22 (other than some mobile variants), and RX 6600 XT is the only card using Navi 23 so far. We will likely see additional card models in the future, like a non-XT RX 6600 and maybe even RX 6700, but AMD will probably wait until its supply of GPUs and other components improves before trying to launch more cards.

One thing that has truly impressed with RDNA2 is the Infinity Cache. Not only does AMD give lots of VRAM for the various models (well, except maybe the RX 6600 XT, which feels a bit thin at 8GB for a $380 card), but the Infinity Cache truly does help with real-world performance. The RX 6700 XT as an example has less bandwidth than the RTX 3060 Ti and yet still keeps up with it in gaming performance, and the same goes for the RX 6800 XT vs. the RTX 3080.

At some point, we may also see an RX 6500 XT, though it may not be worth pursuing a lower tier GPU at this point. It would be interesting to see something like a 6GB card with a 96-bit interface and a 32MB Infinity Cache, but unless AMD can produce and sell such a card for under $200, we're not particularly interested.

As far as a true budget Navi 2x card is concerned, no one is posting any real information on that yet. There might be a Navi 24 or something in the coming year, with only 20–24 CUs max. That would put it at the level of the Xbox Series S, at which point we're not sure if it's really worth including ray tracing support. We'll have to see how things develop in the coming months, though, as 1080p with FSR might run fine on such a GPU.

Big Navi / Navi 2x Performance

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With the official launches now complete, we have created the above charts using our own suite of 13 games run at three resolutions. All of the testing was done on a Core i9-9900K setup, with resizable BAR support enabled on the BIOS. The performance of RDNA2 and RX 6000 cards are good to great in rasterization games, but AMD generally comes up short of the competition in ray tracing workloads.

At the top, the RX 6900 XT goes up against the RTX 3090 and RTX 3080 Ti. AMD leads at 1080p, where the Infinity Cache benefits it the most, while the 3090 leads at 1440p and the 3080 Ti also comes out ahead of AMD's best at 4K. The RX 6800 XT meanwhile takes down the RTX 3080, and the RX 6800 beats the RTX 3070 Ti. Further down the charts, the RX 6700 lands between the RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070, and the RX 6600 XT generally beats the RTX 3060 (except at 4K).

Of course, that's only in traditional rasterization games. We've used a different suite of games with ray tracing enabled, and we've run benchmarks for each of the major GPU launches of the past year. The 10 games are the same as from the RX 6600 XT launch review (Bright Memory Infinite, Control, Cyberpunk 2077, Dirt 5, Fortnite, Godfall, Metro Exodus, Minecraft, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Watch Dogs Legion). Here's the overall summary charts for 1440p and 1080p, running natively (without DLSS).

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That... doesn't look good for AMD. Granted, there are a couple of games (Godfall and Dirt 5) where AMD performance is far closer to what we saw in the earlier rasterization performance charts. However, those games only use one RT effect, ray traced shadows, and frankly the difference in image quality is pretty minor at best — just like in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Also, those are two AMD promotional games, and Godfall at least has some questionable design decisions (it really runs poorly with less than 12GB VRAM, for example).

As more RT effects get used, Nvidia's Ampere GPUs tend to widen their performance advantage. In our RT test suite, the RX 6900 XT is the fastest RDNA2 card and it ends up just slightly ahead of the RTX 3070 Ti, with the RX 6800 XT falling a hair behind the RTX 3070 Ti. The RX 6800 now lands between the RTX 3070 and RTX 3060 Ti, and the RX 6700 XT trails the RTX 3060 Ti and comes in about 10% ahead of the RTX 3060. Meanwhile, the RX 6600 XT clearly has problems, either from a lack of VRAM, the smaller Infinity Cache size, or maybe drivers — or likely from all of the above. We'll have to revisit that in the future, like maybe once Windows 11 gets released.

Big Navi and RX 6000 Closing Thoughts

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AMD provided a deeper dive into the RDNA2 architecture at Hot Chips 2021. We've used several of the slides in our latest updates, but the full suite is in the above gallery for reference.

AMD has a lot riding on Big Navi, RDNA2, and the Radeon RX 6000 series. After playing second fiddle to Nvidia for the past several generations, AMD is taking its shot at the top. AMD has to worry about more than just PC graphics cards, though. RDNA2 is the GPU architecture that powers the next generation of consoles, which tend to have much longer shelf lives than PC graphics cards. Look at the PS4 and Xbox One: both launched in late 2013 and are still in use today.

If you were hoping for a clear win from AMD, across all games and rendering APIs, that didn't happen. Big Navi performs great in many cases, but with ray tracing it looks decidedly mediocre. Higher performance in games that don't use ray tracing might be more important today, but a year or two down to road, that could change. Then again, the consoles have AMD GPUs and are more likely to see AMD-specific optimizations, so AMD isn't out of the running yet.

Just as important as performance and price, though, we need actual cards for sale. There's clearly demand for new levels of performance, and every Ampere GPU and Big Navi GPU so far has sold out as quickly as the products are available for purchase. There's only so much silicon to go around, sadly. Samsung apparently can't keep up with demand for Ampere GPUs, and TSMC has a lot more going on — it can only produce so many N7 wafers per month! Based on what we've seen in our GPU price index and the latest Steam Hardware Survey, Nvidia has sold probably ten times as many Ampere GPUs as AMD has sold RDNA2 cards.

The bottom line is that if you're looking for a new high-end graphics card, Big Navi is a good competitor. But if you want something that can run every game at maxed out settings, even with ray tracing, at 4K and 60 fps? Not even the RTX 3090 can manage that, which means even while we're plagued with shortages on all the current GPUs, we're already looking toward the future next-gen GPUs.

Save us, Lovelace and RDNA3. You're our only hope! And thankfully, Ethereum mining will no longer be a thing come next year (though a different coin might take its place).

Jarred Walton's (Senior Editor) love of computers dates back to the dark ages, when his dad brought home a DOS 2.3 PC and he left his C-64 behind. He eventually built his first custom PC in 1990 with a 286 12MHz, only to discover it was already woefully outdated when Wing Commander released a few months later. He holds a BS in Computer Science from Brigham Young University and has been working as a tech journalist since 2004, writing for AnandTech, Maximum PC, and PC Gamer. From the first S3 Virge '3D decelerators' to today's GPUs, Jarred keeps up with all the latest graphics trends and is the one to ask about game performance.

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AMD today launched the Radeon RX 6600, the new entry-level model in the company's RDNA2 based desktop graphics cards. The RX 6600 is priced at $329 and will compete against the Nvidia RTX 3060 that has the same MSRP.

AMD releases Radeon RX 6600 graphics card for $329

The RX 6600 features the same GPU die as the more expensive 6600 XT but with 28 compute units enabled instead of the 32 on the XT model. The 6600 is also clocked lower at 2491MHz for the boost clock and 2044MHz 'game clock'. This has resulted in 8.93 TFLOPs peak single precision performance compared to the 10.6 TFLOPs of the 6600 XT.

Both graphics cards use 8GB of GDDR6 memory, however, the 6600 is slightly slower as it's rated at 14Gbps as opposed to 16Gbps on the 6600 XT with a memory bandwidth of 224GB/s compared to 256GB/s. Both have the same 32MB of high speed Infinity Cache.

Unfortunately, like the 6600 XT, the 6600 also uses the slower bus speed of PCIe 4.0 x8 unlike the PCIe 4.0 x16 used on the higher-end Radeon cards. This could cause performance bottlenecks in some applications.

The 6600 has a lower power rating compared to the 6600 XT at just 132W versus 160W.

The RX 6600 will not have a reference card from AMD. Instead, it will be available only through board partners, including ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, PowerColor, SAPPHIRE, XFX and Yeston. The card is available for purchase starting today.



Radeon RX 6000 series

Series of video cards by AMD

Not to be confused with the Radeon HD 6000 series, an earlier series of GPUs developed by AMD.

AMD Radeon RX 6000 series wordmark.png
Release dateRadeon RX 6600 and 6600 XT August 11, 2021; 2 months ago (2021-08-11)
Radeon RX 6700 XT March 18, 2021; 6 months ago (2021-03-18)
Radeon RX 6800 and Radeon RX 6800 XT November 18, 2020; 10 months ago (2020-11-18)
Radeon RX 6900 XT December 8, 2020; 10 months ago (2020-12-08)
Radeon RX 6600M, 6700M, and 6800M June 1, 2021; 4 months ago (2021-06-01)
CodenameNavi 2X (nicknamed "Big Navi")
ArchitectureRDNA 2
  • 11.06B (Navi 23)[1]
  • 17.2B (Navi 22)
  • 26.8B (Navi 21)
Fabrication processTSMC7 nm
Mid-rangeRadeon RX 6600M
Radeon RX 6600
Radeon RX 6600 XT
High-endRadeon RX 6700M
Radeon RX 6700 XT
Radeon RX 6800M
Radeon RX 6800
Radeon RX 6800 XT
EnthusiastRadeon RX 6900 XT
PredecessorRadeon RX 5000 series

The Radeon RX 6000 series is a series of graphics processing units developed by AMD, based on their RDNA 2 architecture.[2] It was announced on October 28, 2020[3] and is the successor to the Radeon RX 5000 series. The lineup consists of the RX 6600, RX 6600 XT, RX 6700 XT, RX 6800, RX 6800 XT and RX 6900 XT for desktop computers, and the RX 6600M, RX 6700M, and RX 6800M for laptops.[4][5]

The lineup is designed to compete with Nvidia's GeForce 30 series of cards. These GPUs are also the first generation of AMD GPUs that support hardware accelerated real-time ray tracing.[6]


On September 14, 2020, AMD first teased the physical design of its RX 6000 series through a tweet shared on social messaging service Twitter. At the same time, the company launched a virtual island inside the video game Fortnite that contained a large-scale rendition of the RX 6000 hardware design, which players could freely explore using the game's "Creative" mode.[7]

AMD officially unveiled the first three cards of the lineup, the RX 6800, RX 6800 XT, and RX 6900 XT, in an event titled "Where Gaming Begins: Ep. 2" on October 28.[8] In the event, AMD announced the RX 6800 XT as its flagship graphics processor, comparing its performance to that of Nvidia's RTX 3080 graphics card in 1440p and 4K resolution gaming. The 6800 XT was announced with a price tag of $649 USD, which is $50 lower than the RTX 3080's starting price of $699.[8] AMD then introduced the RX 6800 as a competitor to Nvidia's previous-generation RTX 2080 Ti, but with a significantly lower price tag of $579, compared to $999 for the 2080 Ti.[8] Lastly, AMD introduced the RX 6900 XT as its top card of the lineup, claiming it produces similar performance to Nvidia's RTX 3090 but with lower power consumption, and announced a launch price of $999, $500 cheaper than the RTX 3090.[8]

The Radeon RX 6800 and 6800 XT were released on November 18, 2020, and the RX 6900 XT was released on December 8, 2020.[9][10]

On February 3, 2021, Gigabyte registered a range of RX 6700 XT graphics cards with the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), with the filing indicating that all seven registered models will ship with 12 GB of memory.[11] On March 3, 2021, AMD officially announced the RX 6700 XT graphics card, set to compete with Nvidia's RTX 3060 Ti and 3070 cards.[12] The card launched on March 18, 2021.[4]

On May 31, 2021, AMD announced the RX 6000M series of GPUs designed for laptops.[13][14] These include the RX 6600M, RX 6700M, and RX 6800M. These were made available beginning on June 1.[13]

On June 23, Gigabyte registered six RX 6600 XT graphics cards with the EEC, indicating that they would all have 8 GB of memory.[15][16][17] This was just over a month after ASRock had made similar filings for both the RX 6600 and 6600 XT, which listed 8 GB of memory for both models.[18][19][20] On July 5, VideoCardz discovered that Taiwanese graphics card retailer PowerColor had already created product pages for the unannounced Radeon 6600 and 6600 XT GPUs.[21][22]

On July 30, AMD announced the RX 6600 and 6600 XT GPUs, which were later released on August 11, 2021. The RX 6600 XT is available for $379 USD MSRP.[23]

Availability issues[edit]

See also: 2020–21 global chip shortage

Much like Nvidia's competing GeForce 30 series, releases sold out almost immediately, due to a combination of low stock and scalping bots.[24]

RX 6800 and 6800 XT[edit]

The RX 6800 and 6800 XT were launched on November 18, 2020, but due to low stock availability, they sold out at most retailers on the same day.[9][25][26] American retailer Micro Center restricted all sales to in-store only, claiming that stock "will be extremely limited at launch".[27]PCMag reported that stock for both cards on Newegg had sold out as early as 6:05 a.m. PST, and that stock was unavailable on AMD's own store website by 6:11 a.m.[25] Retailer B&H Photo Video outright refused to accept orders for the graphics cards, stating in part, "we do not know and are therefore unable to provide a date or time for when these items will become available to purchase."[25]

Scalpers were reportedly re-selling the GPUs on eBay for around US$1000 - $1500, roughly double the initial launch price.[9] Some frustrated social media users attempted to derail the listings by using bots to make fake bids on the scalped GPUs at absurd prices; in one instance, an auction for an RX 6800 XT saw bids go as high as $70,000.[28]

RX 6900 XT[edit]

The RX 6900 XT was launched on December 8, 2020, and similarly to the RX 6800 and 6800 XT, it sold out on the same day it was released.[29][10] According to PCMag, it was listed as out of stock on Newegg by 6:02 a.m. PST, just two minutes after it went on sale. AMD's store website, struggling to keep up with the high number of visitors, kept displaying 503 Service Temporarily Unavailable errors to customers attempting to buy the graphics card; by 6:35 a.m., it was sold out.[10]



Release Date
& Price
& Fab
& Die Size
Core Fillrate[a][b][c]Processing power[a][d]
Memory TBPBus
Config[e]Clock[a] (MHz) Texture
Bus type
& width
Infinity Cache Size
Infinity Cache Bandwidth
Radeon RX 6600
(Navi 23)[30]
October 13, 2021

$329 USD

237 mm2

28 CU













8 224 GDDR6
14000 32 832 132 W PCIe 4.0


Radeon RX 6600 XT
(Navi 23)[32][31][33][34]
August 11, 2021
$379 USD
32 CU
256 16000 160 W
Radeon RX 6700 XT
(Navi 22)[35][36][37]
March 18, 2021
$479 USD
335 mm2
40 CU
12 384 GDDR6
96 1248 230 W PCIe 4.0


Radeon RX 6800
(Navi 21) [38][39][40][41]
November 18, 2020
$579 USD
519.8 mm2
60 CU
16 512 GDDR6
128 1664 250 W
Radeon RX 6800 XT
(Navi 21) [38][39][42][41]
November 18, 2020
$649 USD
72 CU
300 W
Radeon RX 6900 XT
(Navi 21) [38][39][43][41]
December 8, 2020
$999 USD
80 CU
  1. ^ abcBoost values (if available) are stated below the base value in italic.
  2. ^Texture fillrate is calculated as the number of Texture Mapping Units multiplied by the base (or boost) core clock speed.
  3. ^Pixel fillrate is calculated as the number of Render Output Units multiplied by the base (or boost) core clock speed.
  4. ^Precision performance is calculated from the base (or boost) core clock speed based on a FMA operation.
  5. ^Unified Shaders : Texture Mapping Units : Render Output Units and Compute Units (CU)


Model Release
GPU Memory Performance TBP
Type Config Clock Size Clock Bus type
& width
Processing power
Fillrate Bandwidth
ROPs CUs ALUs Texture Base Boost 32 bit 64 bit Pixel
Radeon RX 6600M[44]June 1, 2021 Navi 23 64 28 1792 128 n.n.2177 MHz 8 GB 7000 MHz 128-bit
7.80 n.n.147.2 278.7 224 100 W
Radeon RX 6700M[45]Navi 22 64 36 2304 144 n.n.2300 MHz 10 GB 8000 MHz 160-bit
10.60 n.n.147.2 331.2 320 135 W
Radeon RX 6800M[46]64 40 2560 160 2300 MHz n.n.12 GB 8000 MHz 192-bit
11.78 n.n.147.2 368.0 384 145+ W

See also[edit]


  1. ^Mujtaba, Hassan (August 31, 2021). "AMD Radeon RX 6900 XTX Graphics Card Rumored To Feature 18 Gbps GDDR6 Memory, Increased Clock Speeds With Navi 21 XTXH GPU, Faster Than RTX 3090". Wccftech. Retrieved October 2, 2021.
  2. ^"AMD Teases Radeon RX 6000 Card Performance Numbers: Aiming For 3080?". AnandTech. October 8, 2020. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  3. ^"AMD Announces Ryzen "Zen 3" and Radeon "RDNA2" Presentations for October: A New Journey Begins". AnandTech. September 9, 2020. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  4. ^ abRidley, Jacob (March 3, 2021). "AMD RX 6700 XT graphics card release date, specs, performance, and price". PC Gamer. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  5. ^Cutress, Ian (January 12, 2021). "AMD to Launch Mid-Range RDNA 2 Desktop Graphics in First Half 2021". AnandTech. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  6. ^Judd, Will (October 28, 2020). "AMD unveils three Radeon 6000 graphics cards with ray tracing and RTX-beating performance". Eurogamer. Retrieved August 1, 2021.
  7. ^Goslin, Austen (September 15, 2020). "AMD gives fans first look at new RX 6000 graphics cards ... in Fortnite". Polygon. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  8. ^ abcdGoslin, Austen; Sarkar, Samit (October 28, 2020). "AMD announces Radeon RX 6000 series GPUs". Polygon. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  9. ^ abcKlotz, Aaron (November 18, 2020). "Paper Launch? Radeon RX 6800, 6800 XT Out of Stock". Tom's Hardware. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  10. ^ abcKan, Michael (December 9, 2020). "AMD's Radeon RX 6900 XT Graphics Cards Immediately Sell Out". PCMag. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  11. ^Tyson, Mark (February 4, 2021). "Gigabyte Radeon RX 6700 XT range registered with the EEC". Hexus. Retrieved February 10, 2021.
  12. ^Judd, Will (March 3, 2021). "AMD announces $479 RX 6700 XT graphics card for 1440p gaming". Eurogamer. Retrieved March 3, 2021.
  13. ^ abChin, Monica (May 31, 2021). "AMD announces the Radeon RX 6000M series with RDNA 2 architecture". The Verge. Retrieved June 1, 2021.
  14. ^Takahashi, Dean (May 31, 2021). "AMD launches Radeon RX 6000M GPUs for gaming laptops". VentureBeat. Retrieved June 1, 2021.
  15. ^"Gigabyte expects Radeon RX 6600 XT to feature 8GB of memory". VideoCardz. June 23, 2021. Retrieved July 15, 2021.
  16. ^Thubron, Rob (June 23, 2021). "Gigabyte lists six AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT cards on EEC website". TechSpot. Retrieved July 15, 2021.
  17. ^White, Monica (June 23, 2021). "New leak shows that Gigabyte is releasing six RX 6600 XT cards". Digital Trends. Retrieved July 15, 2021.
  18. ^Ridley, Jacob (May 11, 2021). "Manufacturer hints at 8GB VRAM for AMD's unreleased RX 6600-series". PC Gamer. Retrieved July 15, 2021.
  19. ^Allan, Darren (May 11, 2021). "AMD RX 6600 and 6600 XT GPUs could have less VRAM than expected". TechRadar. Retrieved July 15, 2021.
  20. ^"ASRock Radeon RX 6600 (XT) series spotted in EEC filing". VideoCardz. May 11, 2021. Retrieved July 15, 2021.
  21. ^"AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT and RX 6600 listed on PowerColor website". VideoCardz. July 5, 2021. Retrieved July 15, 2021.
  22. ^Alderson, Alex (July 5, 2021). "PowerColor confirms that AMD is on the verge of announcing the Radeon RX 6600 and RX 6600 XT". Notebookcheck. Retrieved July 15, 2021.
  23. ^Ridley, Jacob (July 30, 2021). "AMD announces '1080p beast' Radeon RX 6600 XT for $379". PC Gamer. Retrieved July 30, 2021.
  24. ^Deakin, Daniel (December 15, 2020). "Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 series scalping generates over US$22 million in sales via eBay as AMD's Big Navi GPUs and Zen 3 CPUs also fall victim to profiteering". Notebook Check. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  25. ^ abcKan, Michael (November 18, 2020). "AMD's Radeon RX 6800 Cards Sell Out Instantly, Sparking Cries of 'Paper Launch'". PCMag. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  26. ^Sandhu, Tarinder (November 18, 2020). "AMD Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT stock levels disarmingly low". Hexus. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  27. ^James, Dave (November 18, 2020). "AMD RX 6800-series stock 'extremely limited' at launch today". PC Gamer. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  28. ^Martin, Alexander (November 27, 2020). "Gamers derail eBay listings to stop hardware scalpers profiting on latest technology". Sky News UK. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  29. ^Endicott, Sean (December 8, 2020). "AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT is sold out, but you can still buy one in a prebuilt PC". Windows Central. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  30. ^"AMD Radeon RX 6600 Graphics Card".
  31. ^ ab"AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT Specs". TechPowerUp. Retrieved August 6, 2021.
  32. ^"AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT Graphics". Retrieved July 30, 2021.
  33. ^"AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT". Phoronix. Retrieved July 30, 2021.
  34. ^"AMD announces Radeon RX 6600 XT at 379USD". Retrieved July 30, 2021.
  35. ^"AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT Graphics".
  36. ^"AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT". TechPowerUp.
  37. ^"AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT 12 GB Reference Edition Review". Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  38. ^ abc"Compare Graphics Specifications". Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  39. ^ abcSmith, Ryan (October 28, 2020). "AMD Reveals The Radeon RX 6000 Series: RDNA2 Starts At The High-End, Coming November 18th". AnandTech. Retrieved October 28, 2020.
  40. ^"AMD Radeon RX 6800 Specs". TechPowerUp. Retrieved November 27, 2020.
  41. ^ abc"The new generation Radeon is based on "infinite cache"". Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  42. ^"AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT Specs". TechPowerUp. Retrieved November 27, 2020.
  43. ^"AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Specs". TechPowerUp. Retrieved November 27, 2020.
  44. ^"AMD Radeon™ RX 6600M Mobile Graphics". AMD. Retrieved October 11, 2021.
  45. ^"AMD Radeon™ RX 6700M Mobile Graphics". AMD. Retrieved October 11, 2021.
  46. ^"AMD Radeon™ RX 6800M Mobile Graphics". AMD. Retrieved October 11, 2021.

External links[edit]


Cards new amd

AMD graphics cards: the best AMD GPUs you can buy today

If you don’t want to break the bank, the best AMD graphics cards are the perfect upgrade for your PC. But, the company’s offerings aren’t just cheaper alternatives to Nvidia’s lineup of  GPUs. These cards manage to provide the kind of performance that can stand up to Nvidia’s RTX 3000 series graphics cards. Even Nvidia fans should take notice.

That combination of power and price make these AMD graphics cards an excellent value. If you take a look at our recent Resident Evil Village tests, you’ll see that they slightly outperform their Nvidia rivals, albeit without ray tracing. Though Nvidia has come out with their own budget offerings like the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, AMD is still the king of value.

It’s no wonder that creative professionals and gamers on a budget gravitate toward the best AMD graphics cards. Regardless of your needs, AMD has something that will fit the bill, whether that’s for creating 3D designs, doing some video editing, or booting up the latest PC games. From the affordable Radeon RX5700 XT to Radeon RX 6800 XT and the AMD Radeon RX 6800, here are our top picks.

The best AMD GPUs at a glance

  1. AMD Radeon RX 6800
  2. AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT
  3. AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT 
  4. AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT
  5. AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT
  6. AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT
  7. MSI Radeon RX 6700 XT Gaming X 
  8. AMD Radeon RX 570
  9. MSI Aero Radeon RX 560

1. AMD Radeon RX 6800

AMD's return to the high-end graphics card market


Stream Processors: 3,840

Core Clock: 1,815 MHz (2,105 MHz boost)

Memory: 16GB GDDR6

Memory Clock: 16Gbps

Power Connectors: 2 x 8 pin

Outputs: 1 x DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC, 1 x HDMI 2.1 VRR and FRL

Reasons to buy

+Excellent performance+Finally, AMD ray tracing+Low power consumption

Reasons to avoid

-Ray tracing performance behind the competition-More expensive than RTX 3070

Nvidia no longer sits uncontested in the high-end market, with AMD making a grand comeback with the AMD Radeon RX 6800. Going head to head with Nvidia’s RTX 3070 in 4K gaming, this GPU also brings AMD ray tracing to the table, although it isn’t quite as good as Nvidia’s at 4K. Still, the AMD Radeon RX 6800 is more than able to deliver a solid 4K 60 fps experience, and ray tracing at 1440p is impressive.

Read the full review: AMD Radeon RX 6800

2. AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT

Another high-end swing from AMD


Stream Processors: 2,560

Core Clock: 2.32 GHz (2.58 GHz boost)

Memory: 12GB GDDR6

Memory Clock: 16 Gbps

Power Connectors: 8 pin + 6 pin

Outputs: HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC

Reasons to buy

+Excellent 1440p performance+Ray tracing+Lightweight card with no sag

Reasons to avoid

-Ray tracing performance is weak-No FidelityFX Super Resolution

Those comfortable messing with your BIOS and looking for a 1440p graphics card that’s slightly more accessible, price-wise, will appreciate AMD’s latest high-end offering. This Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti rival delivers a solid 1440p performance with ray tracing to boot. It comes at the right time as well, with 1440p gaming monitors’ growing popularity. Its price is a bit closer to the more powerful RTX 3070, but if you’re an AMD fan, it’s still an excellent contender.

Read the full review: AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT

3. AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT

A 1080p powerhouse


Stream processors: 2,048

Core clock: 1,968

Memory: 8GB GDDR6

Memory clock: 16Gbps

Power connectors: 1 x 8-pin

Outputs: 1.4 with DSC DisplayPort, HDMI 2.1 VRR and FRL

Reasons to buy

+Strong 1080p performance+Great thermal efficiency+Low power consumption

Reasons to avoid

-Should be cheaper-Only slightly better than the RTX 3060

The AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT is the perfect solution to get top-notch 1080p performance. On top of that, it doesn’t use a lot of power so you can install it in a system with a smaller power supply. It also has great thermal efficiency so you don’t need a super expensive water cooling system built into your PC. Sadly,  it is a bit pricier than the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, its direct competition, and doesn’t come with ray tracing.

Read the full review:AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT

4. AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT

Best 1440p AMD graphics card


Stream Processors: 2,560

Core Clock: 1,605 MHz (1,905 MHz boost)

Memory: 8GB GDDR6

Memory Clock: 14Gbps

Power Connectors: 1 x 8-pin and 1 x 6-pin

Outputs: 1 x DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC, 1 x HDMI with 4K60 Support

Reasons to buy

+Excellent 1440p gaming performance+Affordable

Reasons to avoid

-No ray tracing

If you’ve got a lot of cash to spare, splurging a little on the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT might be a sound investment. This graphics card directly rivals the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 in terms of performance, and like the cheaper Radeon RX 5700, this one is a true powerhouse, giving you excellent 1440p gaming at the highest settings. The only reason that it’s not higher on our AMD graphics cards list is its price. It could be cheaper, especially since the Super RTX cards that Nvidia just rolled out.

Read the full review:AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT

5. Radeon RX 6800 XT

Best 4K graphics card


Stream Processors: 4,608

Core Clock: 2,015 MHz (2,250 MHz boost)

Memory: 16GB GDDR6

Memory Clock: 16Gbps

Power Connectors: 2 x 8-pin

Outputs: DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC, HDMI 2.1 VRR and FRL

Reasons to buy

+Ray tracing for AMD+Strong DX11 performance

Reasons to avoid

-Doesn't dethrone Nvidia

It’s been a while since Nvidia has been given a proper challenge in the high-end sphere. But with AMD rolling out its Radeon RX 6800 XT, Team Green is seeing a decent contender, one that delivers a solid performance in DirectX 11 games and may be unlocked for a 10% extra juice if you dig around in your BIOS. This doesn’t exactly knock Nvidia off its premium throne, but it’s a promising start to what could be AMD’s epic revival in the high-end GPU market.

Read the full review: Radeon RX 6800 XT

6. AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT

AMD Navi hits the budget segment


Stream Processors: 1,408

Core Clock: 1,717 MHz (1,845 MHz boost)

Memory: 8GB GDDR6

Memory Clock: 14Gbps

Power Connectors: 1 x 8-pincompu

Outputs: 1.4 with DSC, 4K60 HDMI Support

How to buy AMD Graphics Cards at MSRP (Guaranteed) - 2021 New Best method for Buying GPUs Guide

Leaks suggest AMD's new GPU has 3x the core count of an RX 6900 XT

AMD's RDNA 3-powered Navi 31 GPU is suggested to be some kind of 15,360 core beast. That's at least what the Twitter leakers are seemingly unified in pointing out for the next-gen Radeon gaming card.

Forget the fact the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT, and its little sibling are expected to launch soon, the rumour mill is grinding away on something a lot bigger, and potentially a lot more significant in the AMD vs Nvidia GPU war. 

The graphics card makers are going to struggle to get anything like that five-figure core count into a single chip, and make it workable long-term, and so a multi-chip module (MCM), or chiplet design is being suggested as the best way to push GPUs forward.

That is what's being proposed for the new Radeon architecture, featuring the third generation of Navi GPUs, and expected to land around the tail-end of next year.

We've already looked into the specifics about why AMD would want to create a chiplet GPU, and the feasibility of such an endeavour, but if the rumours really are coalescing into a coherent form then the designs for the new graphics chips have been finalised. 

In a nutshell, we're hitting the reticle limits of the size of single chips today's manufacturing equipment is able to create. At the moment that sits at 858mm2, with AMD's biggest, the compute-focused GPU at the heart of its Instinct MI100 card reportedly measuring in at around 709mm2.

So chiplets are the best way to increase core counts, without making them unwieldy and unbelievably expensive.

The latest rumours collated by 3DCenter (via Videocardz), featuring one of its own forum members admittedly, appear to tally with suggestions earlier this month from a Twitter leaker, Kopite7kimi, about a figure of 15,360 for the Navi 31 GPU's core count. We should probably immediately point out that in this context, we're referring to 'cores' as stream processors or 32-bit floating-point units, because that's the bulk of work that a GPU does in-game.

But that 15,360 figure is still rather astounding, because if you compare that with the biggest AMD RDNA chip, the Navi 21, you're talking about an MCM GPU with three times the core count of a Radeon RX 6900 XT. 

The total count comes from an apparent doubling of the number of stream processors inside an RDNA 3 workgroup. This 'workgroup' is the name for the dual-compute unit structure introduced with the first RDNA, and there is a suggestion that AMD will do away with all mentions of compute units (CUs) from this generation.

There will reportedly be 30 workgroups per GPU chiplet, with each of those containing 7,680 cores (30x256), and the Navi 31 die will contain two of those graphics chiplets for a combined total of 15,360 cores.

Therein lies the potential of a multi-chip graphics processor; like its Ryzen CPU cousins, it gives you the option to seamlessly connect discrete chiplets together to deliver more cores than you could conceivably fit into a monolithic die. And for a lot less cash too.

But it needs a lot more cache. 

The noise is that the Navi 31 GPU will still remain strapped to a 256-bit memory bus—like its Navi 21 forebears—but will feature a much bigger Infinity Cache (IC) component. There is some speculation that could be either 256MB or 512MB, which is either twice or four times the size of the Infinity Cache attached to the Navi 21 GPU.

Unlike with second-gen Navi, however, the rumours are that the IC won't be buried inside the actual GPU, with a per-chiplet allocation, but will come as separate 'blobs' of high-performance cache memory attached to the chiplets themselves. That's likely going to be enabled in a similar way to the 3D V-Cache AMD is using for upcoming Ryzen CPUs.

It's potentially this Infinity Cache silicon that could be the magic sauce for AMD's RDNA 3 chiplet GPUs, and that could be what enables the whole package to be seen simply as one single graphics chip by whatever software is making demands of it.

That's the holy grail for multi-GPU arrays, and would mean an end to any potential CrossFire (or in Nvidia's case, SLI) shenanigans.

With CrossFire and SLI, despite pairing GPUs together you never get a linear two-times performance boost as there are a lot of logistical overheads when splitting the creation of gaming frames across two discrete GPUs. But with an effectively invisible multi-chip design you are far more likely to see a 15,360 core Navi 31 card offering closer to three times the raw power of an RX 6900 XT.

How effective this ends up being we'll only know for sure once we get our hands on one in the labs ourselves. But there are a lot of parallels to be drawn between what AMD did with Ryzen against Intel, and what Navi 31 could do for the AMD vs. Nvidia battle, and that's potentially very exciting for the future of PC graphics cards.

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.


Similar news:

AMD’s newest graphics cards: RDNA2 power from $579 to $999

with 156 posters participating
Today, AMD launched the first of its "Big Navi" RDNA 2 architectureRadeon graphics cards, the RX 6800 XT and RX 6900 XT. These cards compete directly against Nvidia's RTX 3070, RTX 3080, and RTX 3090.

Like Nvidia's RTX 3000 line, the new cards offer 60+ fps 4K gaming, with full DirectX 12 Ultimate support, including hardware-accelerated real-time ray tracing.


RDNA2 brought enormous gen-on-gen fps gains from last generation's "little Navi" RX 5000 series—but what most people will care about is how the components compare to Nvidia's offerings, not to last generation's AMD. In terms of sheer GPU horsepower, Nvidia's RTX 3000 series and AMD's RX 6000 series appear to be in a dead heat. As always, it's worth taking a vendor's own private benchmarks with a grain of salt—but we don't expect to see materially different results in private testing later as these cards filter down to the market.

AMD did not compare the RX 6800 (non-XT) with Nvidia's RTX 3070; instead, the 6800 was compared with last generation's RTX 2080Ti. But for most intents—and as backed up by our own Sam Machkovech's recent testing—these cards perform quite similarly. So we can reasonably read the RX 6800 chart as comparing to the RTX 3070.


The biggest addition to the Radeon arsenal with RDNA 2 is real-time ray tracing and support for DirectX 12 Ultimate. The new cards feature one Ray Accelerator for each Compute Unit on the card, offering a roughly tenfold increase in ray-tracing performance compared to software-only implementations.

The addition of real-time hardware ray tracing brings Radeon to gaming-feature parity with Nvidia's lineup, at least on paper. It will take some time to decipher how well Radeon's ray-tracing support stacks up to Nvidia's in real life—and particularly in the context of real-world games, which up until now have been advertised loudly with "Nvidia RTX" logos, even though they largely rely on a more open DirectX Ray Tracing protocol.

On the console front, Microsoft was keen on immediately reminding gamers that its next-gen consoles would leverage the "full feature set of RDNA 2 in hardware."


The new RDNA2 architecture also brings greater power efficiency to the Radeon lineup, with the 300W 6800 XT and 6900 XT beating out their Nvidia competitors by 20W and 50W, respectively. On the lower end of the lineup, Nvidia takes the lead, with the 220W Nvidia RTX 3070 beating the 250W Radeon RX 6800.


AMD cardAMD priceMost comparable Nvidia cardNvidia price
Radeon RX 6800$580RTX 3070$500
Radeon RX 6800 XT$650RTX 3080$700
Radeon RX 6900 XT$1,000RTX 3090$1,500

In some ways, AMD looks like it might have gotten caught with its pants down on the RX 6800 pricing. Consumers will probably have a hard time justifying an extra $80 at that price bracket on a card with higher thermals and a more uncertain real-time ray-tracing pedigree. But in other ways, AMD might have the edge—if higher amounts of VRAM in each class are your selling point. The RX 6800's 16GB of GDDR6 VRAM doubles that of Nvidia's comparable RTX 3070.

The value proposition is closer to even when upgrading to the 6800XT and just about overwhelming at the top tier. That's where Nvidia's RTX 3090 costs a whopping 50 percent more than AMD's RX 6900 XT for roughly the same 4K frame rates delivered. Both of these AMD cards sport 16GB of GDDR6 VRAM, as well, but that's not clocked as highly as Nvidia's choice of GDDR6X VRAM (11GB of it in the RTX 3080, and 24GB in the RTX 3090).

If all you're looking for is the best raw 4K frame rates on current AAA games, ray tracing be damned, the top end of the RX 6000 series seem like clear winners. For anyone heavily invested in ray tracing, sticking with Nvidia—who brought it to market a generation sooner—might be the better bet if you can't wait a few months to see how those features and their performance shake out in the market.

This article has been updated with more information about VRAM capacity in AMD's newest GPUs.

Listing image by AMD


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