If you are considering buying a GPU now, you know there are many options out there, but if you ask me which one should you go for, AMD or NVIDIA? I would have told NVIDIA if it was a year ago, but things had rapidly changed in 2020; AMD announced their Radeon RX 6000 series of graphics cards, and yes are damn powerful!
Well, the world never thought AMD could match NVIDIA’s insane performance jump with the RTX 30 series in October; they stunned everyone and shown us what RDNA 2 is capable of. Although NVIDIA still has the edge in terms of software features like DLSS, NVIDIA Reflex, NVIDIA Broadcast, and a wide ray tracing support on various games, AMD still has an advantage for creators.
This article will tell you which GPU is the best and why AMD Radeon RX 6800 series is a worthy competitor to NVIDIA in all respects. For this review, we have used AMD’s reference Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800XT GPUs while using NVIDIA’s latest RTX 3080 for reference as well.
AMD has done many good things in the graphics industry and even reigning over NVIDIA years ago, but their GPU performance never was jawdropping in the past few years. However, we had a lot of hopes with RDNA architecture, which was met to a certain extent by some good GPUs like the Radeon RX 5700XT.
In 2020, AMD had a lot of things at stake, from Ryzen 4000 APUs to new Xbox & Playstation consoles, everything went very well. Also their new GPUs have taken the world by storm as well as NVIDIA, who could have never thought that AMD would match RTX 3080’s performance and even the RTX 3090 to some extent.
The Red team also made the pricing very competitive to NVIDIA, but the problem lies is with the stock issues. Even though all these new GPUs are great in terms of performance but the availability is the worst and has further deteriorated in 2021. It will take some time to recover, so until then I hope this article will help you make the right GPU decision.
Test Config Specifications:
- Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 UD
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X or Ryzen 5 5600X
- RAM: 16GB 3200MHz
- SSD: 240GB WD Sn550, 480GB Crucial SATA SSD
- Power Supply: Cooler Master 750W
- GPU: ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 3080 AMP Holo/ AMD Radeon RX 6800XT / RX 6800
- CPU Cooler: Deepcool Gammaxx GTE V2
- Cabinet: MSI Mag Forge 100R
AMD Radeon™ RX 6000 Series Product Family
|Model||Compute Units||GDDR6||Game Clock(MHz)||Boost Clock(MHZ)||Memory Interface||Infinity Cache|
|AMD Radeon™ RX 6900 XT||80||16GB||2015||Up to 2250||256 bit||128 MB|
|AMD Radeon™ RX 6800 XT||72||16GB||2015||Up to 2250||256 bit||128 MB|
|AMD Radeon™ RX 6800||60||16GB||1815||Up to 2105||256 bit||128 MB|
AMD has always been the number one choice for creators and professionals; that’s why Apple still prefers it. So, with 16GB VRAM across all the new GPUs, we knew AMD would have a slight advantage over NVIDIA, and that’s the case in all of the productivity benchmarks:
You can clearly see in almost all the productivity benchmarks AMD has a lead over NVIDIA’s flagship RTX 3080, showing how these new RX 6000 series GPUs are good for content creation. However, in one area AMD still lacks by some margin is in ray tracing, as you see in the Port Royal test, which is a ray tracing test, NVIDIA is ahead of AMD.
Overall, if you are a creator and gamer, buying a RX 6800 series GPU would definitely make sense as extra amount of VRAM can be used by a lot of productivity applications.
In gaming, this is the first AMD has almost matched as well as beaten NVIDIA when it comes to raw gaming performance. However, NVIDIA enjoys its own creation i.e. DLSS, that gives them a slight advantage as well as a wide number of games with NVIDIA RTX support.
But considering AMD’s first huge effort to challenge NVIDIA, I am surprised how the Red team’s GPUs have performed toe-to-toe against team Green.
Here is a wide array of benchmarks of the RX 6800 paired with a Ryzen 5 5600X which gives you how AMD is making 4K gaming affordable:
You can see in all of these modern gaming titles you get a healthy 4K gaming experience with some good numbers, even a 4K Ultra settings. Obviously, you will have games like Cyberpunk 2077, Microsoft Flight Simulator, and Red Dead Redemption that can challenge your GPU always!
However, if you play at 4K Medium settings, you can play a lot of games with this CPU + GPU combo. It is also the GPU that matters, so the Radeon RX 6800 gives a decent entry-level 4K gaming experience. Do note until now; you couldn’t get even this much amount of performance if you had spent on a costlier last-gen RTX 2080 Ti.
Now here’s testing the RX 6800XT with the Ryzen 7 5800X and putting it against the RTX 3080:
As you see in the benchmarks, the Radeon RX 6800XT gives the RTX 3080 in a lot of games especially in 1440p, the performance of the AMD GPU is similar or even better in most titles. You see in titles like Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order, Cyberpunk 2077 and NFS Heat, in 1440p AMD gives better performance than NVIDIA.
Few years ago, this kind of performance from AMD was unimaginable, but this time AMD has nailed it with a flagship RX 6800XT and crushes or touch the RTX 3080 level performance coming in at lower price points. But, NVIDIA with its years of experience in gaming area has its own advantage and still ray tracing performance is better on NVIDIA GPUs.
However, one thing is to be noted that Radeon RX 6800 series has made 4K gaming affordable and even the entry-level RX 6800 gives a huge performance bump as well. Here are some more benchmarks comparing all the three GPUs paired with a Ryzen 7 5800X:
In these last few games, you will see AMD is leading ahead of NVIDIA and this is surprising that even the RX 6800 is challenging the RTX 3080. If it’s an AMD optimized title, AMD enjoys a huge lead over NVIDIA but strangely even though the 4K performance is quite similar to both of RTX 3080 and RX 6800XT, in 1440p, AMD leads in almost all games.
Note: This performance of the AMD GPUs are on the reference models, not even the better performing OEM customized GPUs. However, the RTX 3080 is a custom ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 3080 AMP Holo, so the reference NVIDIA GPU will have somewhat lower performance than this.
Also, a lot of people are curious about the thermals of these new AMD Radeon RX 6800 series GPUs. Well, spending almost two weeks with these GPUs, I can tell you that you genuinely need a minimum of 750W of GOLD power supply and that should suffice.
The only thing I did notice that the reference cards have a bit of noise while heavy gaming but can be eradicated if you are using a closed cabinet. Also, the Radeon RX 6800XT is a bit power hungry sometimes, as with heavy loads it can have power spikes, and my test bench did shut down two times due to this, so better of getting as much as 800W or 1000W PSU if you are planning to buy one.
Overall, the AMD Radeon RX 6800 series GPUs are great for gaming and productivity, and this is the first time AMD’s flagship GPUs can give you the best results similar or better to that of NVIDIA. Getting one for yourself is indeed a tough job, but as these GPUs’ availability gets better, you should genuinely go for it.
The AMD Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800XT GPUs are fantastic choices, and RDNA 2 is very impressive, but AMD should work on their software front and bring something similar to DLSS to boost gaming performance. If you want a GPU and a bit confused about opting for AMD or not, then definitely you can go with team Red this time!