RDNA 2 Launch: Has AMD just won?

Rdna 2 launch

The Main Point

AMD may have finally won the gpu market with RDNA 2. These cards have lower prices than most of Nvidia’s offers and, in some cases, more power. It is actually amazing how they managed to add so many new features, and still get the prices lower than Nvidia. Let’s just hope that they live up to AMD’s claims.

AMD’s RDNA 2 event was amazing. They announced 3 new cards, the 6800, 6800xt and the 6900xt. At the end of the event, everyone thought it was over (unless they knew about the leaks), but then AMD came out and announced one last card. The big boy, Radeon RX 6900xt. They also announced a bunch of new features to help performance. AMD may actually be able to seriously compete with Nvidia this year, if they don’t have any driver issues. Also, they showed some comparisons between some of their new cards and Nvidia’s cards, but we don’t know if the Nvidia cards had DLSS on. This means that these comparisons may not be 100% fair. Either way, this has been a really great year for gaming. Yes, AMD, you were definitely right about that.

RDNA cards image

What they announced

AMD announced quite a bit of new features at this event, but most of them were just new features. Like Nvidia, they only announced three cards, the 6800, 6800xt and 6900xt. But, the new features did add quite a bit. One of the biggest announcements for these cards was infinity cache. This will allow, according to AMD, up to 3.25x the effective bandwidth of the average GDDR6. Their next announcement was the performance per watt updates, which go up to 54% more than the previous generation.  AMD cards also now finally have ray tracing, so AMD can finally truly compete with Nvidia. This is a huge boost to AMD, because not having ray tracing last generation was a big hit to them. These new cards also have support for DirectX 12 ultimate and AMD FidelityFX, which will supposedly allow these new cards to get much better visuals. They are also competing with Nvidia in the game streaming category, as they now have their own encoder for 4k and 8k content. Finally, these new cards will also have pcie 4.0 support and usb c, so you should have all of the connectivity options you need.

RDNA 2 chip

Specs

These new cards may all have the new features announced, but that doesn’t mean that they are the same cards. The least powerful, obviously, is the RX 6800, with the most powerful being the RX 6900XT. All of these cards have some great power to them, and would all be worth purchasing, at least at this point in time.

 

RX 6800

The 6800 is AMD’s lowest spec option. It has 60 compute units, a base clock of 1815Mhz, a boost clock of 2105Mhz, 16.7 teraflops of performance and 16gb of GDDR6 ram. This is quite high for a graphics card of this price. It takes 250w of power, which isn’t too high for the performance you’re getting. This card should also be able to run 1440p and a bit of 4k. The price of this card is $579, which is kind of in a weird area, as it is between the prices of the 3080 and 3070. I am quite amazed at the performance of this card for the price.

RX 6800xt

The 6800xt, the 6800’s bigger brother, is quite a bit more powerful. This card is aimed at 4k and 1440p, which it should be able to run quite easily. It has a 2015Mhz base clock, a boost clock of 2250Mhz, 16gb of GDDR6 ram, 72 compute units and 20.74 teraflops of performance. It can draw up to 300 watts of power. The price of this card is only $649, which is $50 less than the rtx 3080, its main opponent.  This card seems quite amazing and I am quite excited to see how it stacks up.

RX 6900xt

Now for the big boy, RDNA 2’s pride and joy, the 6900xt. This card packs in a ton of power for its price. It should be able to run 4k and even 8k gaming. The specs of this card include 80 compute units, 16gb of GDDR6 ram, a base clock of 2015Mhz, a boost clock of 2250Mhz and 23.04 teraflops of performance. This card takes only 300 watts of power, which is very low for a card of this speed. The price of this card is set at only $999, which is $400 less than its main competitor, the rtx 3090. This card will probably be quite popular with people that were looking at the 3090.

Radeon RX 6900xt benchmarks

Benchmarks

AMD also showed its own benchmarks at it’s event. These benchmarks compare each of AMD’s new cards to some of Nvidia’s similar offerings. They claim that these results are from each sides best performance tests. First, the RX 6800. Nvidia pitted this card against the RTX 2080 Ti. This was a kind of interesting choice, as Nvidia’s generational equivalent is the 3070, and the 2080 Ti is no longer manufactured. But, with that said, the 6800 beat the 2080 Ti in basically every game tested. These are good results, but what I’m interested to see is a comparison between this card and the 3070, as the 3070 is $80 cheaper. Second is the RX 6800xt. This card was up against the RTX 3080, which is $50 more expensive. These cards traded quite a few blows, with AMD just barely coming up on top in the tested games. This is quite promising, and this card may end up being the most popular one of this generation. The final comparison was the one that everyone was waiting for. The 6900xt against the rtx 3090. These cards ended up being basically equal, which is really good. But, if you look down at the bottom, it says that rage mode is on for the 6900xt, which means that it is overclocked. This may not be an issue, but I just thought that I would mention it. Either way, the 6900xt is $400 less, so for its performance to be anywhere near the 3090 is amazing.

RDNA 2 release dates

Release date

Now for RDNA 2’s release dates. Sadly, we’re going to have to wait a bit longer for the 6900xt than the other cards. The 6800 and 6800xt both release on November 18th, with the 6900xt releasing on December 8th. We may have to wait a bit longer than we want to for these cards, but at least we get them this year. This also gives us more time to get more information about these cards before we buy them.  Also, if this extra time allows for a better release than Nvidia’s, it is completely worth it. Nobody wants to not be able to get one of the 3000 series cards or one of the RX 6000 series of cards. Still, I can’t wait until the release of these cards and I will try to provide as much information about them as I can.

The Main Point

AMD may have finally won the gpu market with RDNA 2. With lower prices than most of Nvidia’s offers and, in some cases, more power, these cards could be AMD’s way to win the gpu market. It is actually amazing how they managed to add so many new features, and still get the prices lower than Nvidia. Let’s just hope that they live up to AMD’s claims.

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