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AMD’s RX 6950 XT looks to tackle the mighty RTX 3090

AMD is refreshing its RX 6000 series lineup with three new graphics cards. Based on existing models, the new cards boost memory bandwidth and clock speed to deliver a 5% to 6% increase over the base models, according to AMD.

The new cards are the RX 6950 XT, RX 6750 XT, and RX 6650 XT. The RX 6950 XT and RX 6750 XT will live alongside the RX 6900 XT and RX 6700 XT, respectively, while the RX 6650 XT will replace AMD’s RX 6600 XT. AMD has the exclusive Midnight Black editions of the top two cards available. The RX 6650 XT, despite some great-looking renders, will not receive a reference design.

Prices for AMD RX 6000 refresh.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Although the new versions come with boosted clock speeds, the boost isn’t that significant. The RX 6950 XT leads with a 4.4% bump, while the RX 6600 XT trails with a measly 2.1% increase. Those gains aren’t what we hoped for, as Nvidia was able to boost the RTX 3090 Ti’s clock speed by nearly 10% over the base RTX 3090.

RX 6950 XT RX 6750 XT RX 6650 XT
GPU Navi 21 Navi 22
Compute units 80 40 32
Ray accelerators 80 40 32
Game clock 2,100MHz 2,495MHz 2,410MHz
Memory 16GB GDDR6 12GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR6
Memory speed 18Gbps 18Gbps 17.5Gbps
Memory bus width 256-bit 192-bit 128-bit
TDP 335W 250W 120W

Similar to Nvidia’s most recent release, though, the refresh RX 6000 graphics cards come with slightly faster memory, boosting their overall bandwidth. Short of the RX 6600 XT, AMD’s RDNA 2-based GPUs haven’t had an issue with bandwidth in the past. And according to AMD’s own numbers, the new cards perform similarly to the old.

For performance, AMD is positioning the RX 6950 XT against the RTX 3090, the RX 6750 XT against the RTX 3070, and the RX 6650 XT against the RTX 3060. Each pair trades blows at their respective resolutions, according to AMD’s benchmarks run with a Ryzen 7 5800X3D.

The RX 6950 XT lead in Borderlands 3 and F1 2021, for example, though it fell short of the RTX 3090 Ti. In Far Cry 6 and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, however, AMD’s new card even beat the RTX 3090 Ti. That was likely on the back of AMD’s Smart Access Memory, which was enabled during the tests.

Performance for AMD RX 6950 XT.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

That’s not the case for the RX 6750 XT, which only showed clear leads in Doom Eternal and F1 2021. This card, according to AMD’s benchmarks, underperforms compared to the RTX 3070 in a number of titles, including Forza Horizon 5 and Fortnite. 

Performance of the AMD RX 6750 XT.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The refresh doesn’t just come with a spec boost — it comes with a price increase, too. The RX 6950 XT clocks in at $1,100, the RX 6750 XT for $550, and the RX 6650 XT for $400. That compares to the list prices of $1,500, $500, and $330 for the RTX 3090, RTX 3070, and RTX 3060, respectively.

Although AMD’s newest cards are priced higher at list and don’t universally outperform their competitors, AMD is stressing its power advantage. The RX 6950 XT consumes 335W of power, for instance, while Nvidia’s flagship RTX 3090 Ti draws a massive 450W.

The cards are available to purchase now, either in the Midnight Black versions directly from AMD, or from several board partners. AMD says models are available from Gigabyte, ASRock, MSI, Asus, Sapphire, and XFX, among others.

Along with the new cards comes an update to Radeon Software. The big addition is Radeon Super Resolution, which allows you to use AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution upscaling technology with any game, as long as you have a supported GPU.

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Jacob Roach
Senior Staff Writer, Computing
Jacob Roach is a writer covering computing and gaming at Digital Trends. After realizing Crysis wouldn't run on a laptop, he…
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