Now, what is important for the gaming graphics card? It should be sold independently, but at the same time, it should not be attractive to miners. AMD has introduced a fresh model, promising a fair price, but what about the new product with performance? Let’s understand all these details in this AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT review below.
According to the manufacturer, the AMD RX 6700 XT is the best choice for WQHD (1440p) resolution. This graphics card is positioned as a competitor to the RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070, occupying an intermediate position between them in terms of price. Technical features are appropriate: 40 execution units (eg 5700 XT last year), 12 GB video memory, a complete set of modern technologies. What did it come from, and how did innovation in sports work? We’ll figure it out a little later, but for now, let’s take a look at the modern GPU architecture in AMD solutions.
How does RDNA 2 work
The Radeon 6000 Series is based on the 2nd generation AMD RDNA architecture. A similar development, with some nuances, is used in the Xbox Series X and PS5 GPUs. The key difference from the RX 5000 is hardware accelerated beam tracing. Its implementation differs from the RT core in NVIDIA, so this does not mean simply comparing the number of computational units. But implicit ray tracing is not the most important acquisition of RDNA 2.
AMD engineers had an ambitious task: to capture or overtake NVIDIA products over two generations of graphics cards, which are now market leaders. Against the backdrop of the RTX 2000, the performance of the RX 5000 has raised suspicion among PC gamers. Of course, the new Radeon was a lot more powerful and cheaper than the previous one. But they could not compete with the top card of “Green”, as “Red” simply did not have their own Superman. And with the appearance of the 30th series, hopes of revenge seemed misleading.
RDNA 2 engineers are actively sharing experiences with AMD Ryzen processor developers and optimizing the power consumption of computing units using their solutions. The introduction of multi-point voltage and temperature control in the chip has improved power management. Current GPUs run at low voltages and high frequencies. It means that they heat less and get better speeds, and they do it automatically. This change alone allowed us to retract around 17% of performance per watt.
There has also been a lot of change in the graphics pipeline’s internals. To do this, we analyzed the load generated by modern game engines, identified bottlenecks, and expanded them. We have improved graphing blocks, optimized geometric component speed, and improved interaction with HDR textures that take up more memory than Classic. All this gives a 21% increase in power compared to the previous architecture.
The third component of such a noticeable leap in performance is an upgraded design core elements of the GPU, transistors, and their connections. Here too, the Ryzen CPU developed. In addition, production was transferred to the most modern technological process available at the TSMC factory: the second-generation 7 nm. As a result, performance per watt plus 16% due to internal optimization of the GPU structure.
Overall, there has been an impressive increase – the new AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT graphics cards work 54% faster, but the heat dissipation remains the same.
We’ve only touched on improvements in the computing part of the GPU, but there’s another important point: working with video memory.
Here the engineers at “Red” created a real miracle – the AMD Infinity cache system. We took cache memory from the AMP EPYC server processor, optimized it for storing graphical information, and injected up to 128 MB of this cache into our GPU. The interaction speed with such a “layer” is four times faster than connecting to a regular GDDR6 over a 256-bit bus.
This made it possible to simplify the layout of the board and reduce the cost of manufacturing video cards. For games, this castling works perfectly: It’s nothing that Microsoft used a similar trick with the GPU cache in the Xbox 360 and Xbox One and S. But with beam tracing blocks, everything is unclear.
Good news: They have appeared on Radeon. Bad news: NVIDIA has launched the second version of RT Core during this time, which is more powerful than the first. So AMD still has to make up for a lost time. The implementation of tracing for “red” is somewhat different from “green” – a beam accelerator is used per beam unit, which determines 4 intersections per clock. But AMD does not have an AI block that is responsible for intelligent anti-aliasing and noise processing from an insufficient number of rays. This is done by simple shader processors.
Radeon RX 6700 XT – King of a mid-range segment?
AMD’s new product is aimed at gamers with the WQHD monitor. Engineers did not reinstall the wheel and only cut about a quarter or a third from the RX 6800. There were 60 computational units and tracers – now 40. The 256-bit bus had 16 GB of video memory – now 12 GB a 192-bit bus. And so in everything. On paper, there has been a 30% drop in productivity. But we do not take into account an important point: if the so-called dark silicon’s inert fields appear on the GPU crystals, they do not generate heat during operation. As a result, the graphics core is capable of conquering higher frequencies without the risk of overheating.
AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT Specifications
- GPU: AMD Navi 22
- MICROARCHITECTURE: RDNA 2
- TECHNICAL PROCESS: TSMC 7nm second generation
- CRYSTAL DIMENSIONS: 336 mm2 / 17.2 billion transistors
- KERNEL CONFIGURATION: 40 compute units with 64 shader processors (2560 total) / 40 ray tracing units / 160 texture sampling units / 64 rasterization units
- MEMORY CONFIGURATION: 12 GB GDDR6 @ 192-bit / 96 MB Infinity Cache / up to 348 GB / s total bandwidth
- PERFORMANCE AND HEAT DISSIPATION: 13.3 TFLOPS FP32 / 26.6 TFLOS FP16 / TDP 230W
- CONNECTION AND POWER: PCI-E 4.0 x 16 / 8 + 6 PIN ATX12v
We will test the AMD Radeon 6700 XT video card in a target resolution of 2560×1440 pixels. The hardware for the demo, which affects performance, we chose to match the level of the RX 6700XT video card – is how you can evaluate performance in conditions close to real.
Demo stand configuration
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600XT, 6 cores, 12 threads @ 3.7 – 4.6 GHz
- RAM: 2 x 8 GB DDR4 @ 3600 MHz
- MOTHERBOARD: Gigabyte X570 AORUS Xtreme
- STORAGE DEVICE: 2TB PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD Samsung 970 Evo
- POWER SUPPLY: AeroCool 750W Bronze
Of course, hardly a gamer would put a processor into a motherboard for $350, which is twice as expensive – but there was no motherboard on the B550 at hand. And such substitution should not affect the results of the test. The rest of the configuration is balanced. Hardware supporting PCIe 4.0 and AMD Smart Access Memory (allows the processor to access all GPU memory, and does not transfer data in the amount of 64 MB) will not create bottlenecks for the AMD 6700 video card. He took the RTX 3060 Ti as a direct competitor and also added last year’s RX 5700 XT and RTX 2080 Super – to use as an example of how the performance of new products increased relative to the paste gene.
AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT Review: WQHD Test Result
All games selected for the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT review were run at 1440p – this is the best scenario for using a video card of this class. The frame rate corresponds to the RTX 3060 Ti in most hits. Where NVIDIA cards lacked bandwidth or memory, the AMD model took the lead. In other cases, parity was maintained. For performance with ray-tracing … In the RTX 20 series, Beam also dropped the frame rate to console at 30 fps – but at least the neural networks were working there for the most loaded scenes. We could compensate for a significant framerate drop. And updates to DLSS drivers and algorithms have improved the situation over time.
Don’t forget about the overclocking capability, and AMD includes this feature in the driver.
We open the graphics card control panel and choose to increase the performance of the kernel or memory or reduce power consumption. Automatic detection of the highest possible frequency works great. Often, even attempting to take out a couple of extra megahertz results in unstable GPU operation. That is, the Radeon Adrenalin software fully knows how to squeeze all the juices from an AMD Radeon 6700 GPU.
In fact, a mode requires a manual mode – not overclocking only one element of the system, but all at once. This allows you to set the automatically determined values of maximum frequencies for the GPU and memory with under-volting simultaneously. Chances are good that the AMD RX 6700 XT card will master this overclocking and not only work faster but also slightly cooler.
RX 6700 XT and Mining
We explored the games, now we need to understand whether the unfortunate miners, who have transformed the gaming hardware market into apocalyptic septic wastelands, will not destroy the novelty. AMD did not integrate a special jammer into the Radeon RX 6700 XT, as in the latest RTX 3060. Instead, the company closed with a vague statement: They say, the RX6700XT is well suited to games and not very suitable for mining. Well, let’s put this bold statement to the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT review test.
RX 6700 XT is capable of mining cryptocurrency for hours and is not subject to artificial slowdown.
Ethereum is the most popular crypto that is mined by graphics cards. This is protected by the emergence of specialized ASIC miners by “optimization” and space consumption of memory. Hence the high requirements for its volume and throughput. If the RX 6700 XT with the first one has a full order (12GB onboard), the 192-bit bus is clearly becoming a bottleneck in the ether output.
The AMD RX 6700 XT produces about 43.5 mega hashes per second. For comparison, last year’s RX 5700 XT offers around 50-55 Megahash, with the same 40 processing units and 2560 cores but 8 GB of memory. That is, mine is possible on the new product, but the payment of the event is in question. Given the ratio of power consumption to performance at a fairly recommended price for the RX 6700 XT, it can be assumed that it will not be in high demand among miners.
Are you thinking of buying it?
AMD did manage to make a good graphics card for the mid-range segment. The RX 6700 XT does an excellent job with any current game in full HD or 1440p, if you don’t give all settings the maximum bend and forget about the existence of ray tracing. And this is taking into account the humidity of the drivers! But later, the “red” analog of DLSS will appear – a technique that reduces the load on computing units and the rendering resolution in image fragments that are poorly visible to the gamer.
Looking at the current results, AMD turns out to be a worthy competitor for the NVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti.
So the question is, how much will our new product cost? And AMD has also prepared enough to start the sale with partners, which you can see on the Bhphotovideo.com, BestBuy.com, Newegg.com, and Amazon.com online stores. If the RX 6700 XT becomes the only upgrade option of a reasonable price and is not required by the miners, then there will be an interesting time for “Green”.
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