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

AMD RX 6950 XT graphics card on a pink background.

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

MSRP $1,100.00

“The AMD RX 6950 XT is a brand new tackle the RX 6900 XT, however even calling it a refresh is simply too beneficiant.”

Benefits

  • Comparatively low energy consumption

  • Outperforms the RTX 3090

  • Low cost in comparison with Nvidia competitors

The inconvenients

  • Virtually equivalent efficiency to the RX 6900 XT

  • $100 dearer than the RX 6900 XT

  • Poor ray tracing efficiency

Final-gen refreshes are a possibility for GPU distributors to take one other twist on an structure they’re about to retire. Updates 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 because the preliminary launch.

AMD’s RX 6950 XT doesn’t make the most of this chance.

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

Specs and costs

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

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

RX 6950 XT RX 6900 XT RTX-3090
Cores 5,120 5,120 10,496
Recreation Increase/Clock 2100MHz 2015MHz 1695MHz
Reminiscence 16 GB of GDDR6 reminiscence 16 GB of GDDR6 reminiscence 24 GB of GDDR6X reminiscence
Reminiscence bus 256 bit 256 bit 384 bit
Bandwidth 576 GB/s 512 GB/s 936.2 GB/s
Interface PCIe 4.0 x16 PCIe 4.0 x16 PCIe 4.0 x16
PDT 335W 300W 350W
Beneficial energy provide 850W 700W 750W

The variations come from clock and reminiscence pace. The 16 GB of GDDR6 goes from 16 Gbps to 18 Gbps, growing reminiscence bandwidth by 12.5%. That is a good enhance, however reminiscence bandwidth is not a giant deal for gaming. And in content material creation workloads, the large bandwidth provided by GDDR6X on the RTX 3090 is a greater possibility.

In any other case, the RX 6950 XT brings a slight 4.2% enhance in sport clock pace. That is barely larger than the 4% enhance on the utmost enhance clock. You possibly can simply get this enhance in the event you overclock your graphics cardand lots of third-party RX 6900 XT fashions even match the clock pace of the unique RX 6950 XT.

The one motive to improve to an RX 6950 XT is solely since you wish to.

I want there was extra to say, however there is not. A slight enhance in clock pace ends in a $100 worth enhance, bringing the listing worth of the RX 6950 XT to $1,100. That is nonetheless considerably cheaper than the $1,500 charged by Nvidia for the RTX 3090, however in comparison with AMD’s RX 6900 XT, it is a stark worth enhance.

That is all the more serious contemplating GPU prices are largely back to normal — particularly for the RX 6900 XT. As of this writing, I’ve discovered a number of fashions obtainable on Newegg for listing costs of $1,000 or much less. From the datasheet and my benchmarks, the RX 6950 XT is principally the identical board because the RX 6900 XT. With elevated provide and falling costs, the one motive to improve to an RX 6950 XT is solely since you wish to.

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

That is for AMD’s GPU as an entire, however I do not wish to discredit the Gigabyte RX 6950 XT Gaming OC I reviewed. It is a superb card. The Windforce cooling system is in full swing, conserving temperatures low even with elevated energy consumption, and the branding is modern and minimal. You even have some RGB lighting for the Gigabyte brand, which you’ll configure by Gigabyte’s RGB Fusion software program.

Video games

Geomean for AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT.

It is arduous to discover a place for the RX 6950 XT in immediately’s graphics card market. AMD appears so centered on competing with the RTX 3090 that it forgot to think about the bottom RX 6900 XT. From my outcomes, the RX 6950 XT truly performs a bit worse than the RX 6900 XT, though it nonetheless manages to beat the RTX 3090.

You possibly can see how the playing cards stack up on common above. All my checks have been run with a Ryzen 7 5800X3D and 32 GB of DDR4-3200 reminiscence. I examined 1080p at 4K, however the ends in the desk above and the desk under are for 4K with the best graphics preset.

AMD RX 6950 XT installed on a PC.
Jacob Roach / Digital Developments

Simply half a body separates the RX 6900 XT from the RX 6950 XT, and that is in favor of the weaker card. This is not too shocking given you could simply enhance the RX 6950 XT as much as 2100 MHz (the the world record is somewhere around 3300 MHz). Clock pace variations imply this card performs principally in addition to the RX 6900 XT, only for $100 extra.

It is vital to bear in mind. The RX 6950 XT beats the RTX 3090 by round 4%, however so does the RX 6900 XT. In the meantime, Nvidia RTX-3090Ti pulls forward of the whole lot, main the RX 6950 XT by round 6% on common. From my outcomes, the RX 6950 XT would not must exist outdoors of supporting the RX 6000 collection for one more few months.

RX 6950 XT RX 6900 XT RTX-3090Ti RTX-3090
3DMark Time Spy 18,611 19,492 19,848 17,078
3DMark Fireplace Strike 42,692 39,307 N / A 37,380
Crimson Lifeless Redemption 2 73 fps 76 fps 84 fps 75 fps
fortnite 80 fps 80 fps 86 fps 69 fps
Murderer’s Creed Valhalla 68 fps 68 fps 72 fps 63 fps
Forza Horizon 4 165 fps 162 fps 147 fps 153 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 42 fps 43 fps 49 fps 46 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 with RT 12 fps 13 fps 24 fps 21 fps
far cry 6 89 fps N / A N / A 82 fps

You possibly can see my full ends in the desk above. There’s not a lot to spotlight aside from ray-tracing efficiency. In Cyberpunk 2077, the RX 6950 XT underperforms massively towards Nvidia’s playing cards, as does the RX 6900 XT. AMD’s current-gen playing cards aren’t nice at ray tracing – learn our RX 6500 XT Review for one more instance – and the RX 6950 XT would not change that.

Content material creation

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

Radeon GPUs nonetheless trump GeForces in content material creation duties, and the elevated clock pace and barely larger reminiscence bandwidth on the RX 6950 XT would not do sufficient to alter that. In comparison with Nvidia’s greatest, the RX 6950 XT clearly lags behind.

RX 6950 XT RTX-3090Ti RTX-3090
PugetBench for Premiere Professional 658 853 882
Blender classroom 589 1,691 1,394
blender monster 1,144 2,962 2,826
Junkshop mixer 557 1,467 1,615

It held up properly in Premiere Professional, however this utility strains your CPU and RAM as a lot as your GPU. In a graphics-focused benchmark like Blender, the RX 6950 XT is shot down. Nvidia has CUDA and Optix rendering, that are considerably quicker than the OpenGL rendering the RX 6950 XT has entry to.

To not point out the reminiscence of the RTX 3090 and RTX 3090 Ti. It makes use of GDDR6X reminiscence, which is way larger than the GDDR6 that the RX 6950 XT has. In the event you’re critical about GPU-related content material creation work, it is best to stay with Nvidia proper now.

Energy and thermal

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

Gigabyte’s RX 6950 XT Gaming OC is great at conserving issues cool. In a FurMark stress check, the board peaked at 67 levels Celsius on an outside check rig. It is nice, and even in one of many best pc cases, it affords loads of headroom. What was extra attention-grabbing was the ability draw.

AMD emphasizes the effectivity benefit of the RX 6950 XT, and it has an edge.

AMD charges the ability at 335 watts, however my card hit 290W. That was with the default profile set in Radeon Software program. Even with the auto overclock characteristic, the cardboard by no means consumed greater than 308W. I would reasonably an influence ranking be too excessive than too low, however my outcomes illustrate how related the RX 6950 XT is to the 300W RX 6900 XT.

Very like the bottom playing cards, AMD emphasizes its effectivity benefit. And he has a bonus. The RTX 3090 attracts 350W by itself – and in my expertise the cardboard can climb to just about 400W even with out overclocking. In the meantime, the RTX 3090 Ti clocks in at 450W, simply sucking up extra energy than every other part you’ll be able to squeeze right into a PC. AMD’s flagships look quaint as compared.

Our perspective

The RX 6950 XT is a graphics card that does not must exist. It is a bit like Nvidia 12GB RTX 3080 – a refresh supposed to drive up costs with out providing any clear efficiency enhancements. AMD has already made a graphics card that may beat the RTX 3090, and it is the RX 6900 XT, not this last-gen refresh.

Are there alternate options?

Sure. the RX 6900 XT delivers almost equivalent efficiency for $100 much less. In the event you’re excited by content material creation work, Nvidia’s RTX 3090 or RTX-3090Ti are the 2 greatest choices.

How lengthy will it final?

Though a disappointing launch, the RX 6950 XT remains to be an especially highly effective graphics card. It ought to final a number of years earlier than you want an improve, particularly given its modest energy necessities.

Ought to I purchase it?

No, purchase the RX 6900 XT as an alternative. It is an incredible gaming graphics card that’s now promoting at listing worth. If you’d like extra energy for ray tracing and content material creation, Nvidia’s GPUs are at all times a winner.

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