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AMD introduces the Radeon RX 6000 series of GPUs

Following up on its launch of the Ryzen 5000 processors earlier this month, AMD has now introduced its lineup of graphics cards, the Radeon RX 6000 series. The new graphics cards are based on the company's RDNA 2 architecture, which is based on a 7nm process.

The new RDNA 2 architecture promises big improvements over its predecessor, improving performance per watt by 54%. The architecture also delivers 30% higher frequencies on the same 7nm node.

The headliner of the RX 6000 series is the Radeon RX 6800 XT. This card features 72 compute units with a game clock of 2015MHz. It has 128MB of AMD's infinity cache, and 16GB of GDDR6 memory. This all fits in a package with a 300W TDP, which is lower than Nvidia's RTX 3080. The new cards also support technology such as DirectX Raytracing, variable rate shading, and the DirectStorage API.

Despite the lower power draw, AMD's performance tests put it ahead of Nvidia's offerings in many games at 1440p resolution and at the highest graphics settings. On top of that, many games can also run at 4K and over 60 frames per second on the card.

The new cards also feature Rage Mode, an easy-to-use overclocking feature that's meant to increase performance. Additionally, AMD introduced AMD Smart Access Memory, which allows systems using Ryzen 5000 CPUs and Radeon RX 6000 GPUs to make full use of the GPU memory. Enabling Rage Mode alongside this feature results in some notable performance uplifts, and AMD says more should come as developers start making use of the capabilities.

AMD also introduced a more affordable version of the GPU, the Radeon RX 6800. This variant comes with fewer execution units, bringing it down to 60. It still has the 128MB of infinity cache and 16GB of GDDR6 memory, but with a lower 250W TDP. AMD compared it to the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, often beating out the green team in terms of performance.

Finally, for enthusiasts, AMD also announced the top-of-the-line Radeon RX 6900 XT. The range-topping GPU features 80 compute units, with all the same clock speeds, cache, and memory as the RX 6800 XT. Despite the increase in compute units, the board power is still 300W, meaning the performance per watt is actually 65% higher on this card compared to the first-generation RDNA.

Pitting it against Nvidia's RTX 3090, AMD showed the two sides trading blows in 4K gaming, with AMD pulling better results in many titles. It's worth keeping in mind that the AMD card uses less power and is physically smaller, though.

To round things out, here's a quick look at the general specs for each of the cards:

GPU Compute Units Game Clock Boost Clock Infinity Cache Memory (GDDR6) TDP Price
Radeon RX 6900 XT 80 2015MHz 2250MHz 128MB 16GB 300W $999
Radeon RX 6800 XT 72 2015MHz 2250MHz 128MB 16GB 300W $649
Radeon RX 6800 60 1815MHz 2105MHz 128MB 16GB 250W $579

The Radeon RX 6800 and 6800 XT will be available on November 18, while the 6900 XT will be coming a little later on December 8.

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