Enlarge /. The RX 6700XT GPU will soon hit retailers. However, when will it reach average customers? To be honest, who should say at this point?
AMD's RDNA 2 push continues on March 18 with a newly announced RX 6700XT graphics card that starts at $ 479 and has exactly the options you can expect from a card that costs $ 100 less than that RX 6800 from the previous year.
Before we talk about specs, of course …
AMD selected YouTube for the announcement – and, perhaps foolishly, left the chat feature enabled. This allowed fans to scream "sold out" and "sold out" on the live stream chat for 15 minutes. Oddly enough, the video host admitted that "demand for GPUs is at an all-time high," only to make as worthless a promise as you'd expect of availability: that the GPU will sell on both AMD.com and " E-tailers and retailers around the world on day one. "
Hence, we have no idea how many RX 6700XT GPUs will be available this month, and whether AMD or retailers have any plans to get into scalpers and buying bots. (The same applies, of course, to Nvidia with GPUs like the new RTX 3060 from $ 329, which sold out immediately last week.)
A little less "infinity"
The gallery above starts with an important AMD spec table that downsizes the 6700XT from the 6800 in some major categories. The arithmetic units are down 44.5 percent while the texture units are down 33 percent. The L3 cache (which AMD calls "Infinity Cache") has dropped from 128 MB to 96 MB. and VRAM has dropped 25 percent to a reasonable 12GB GDDR6. AMD has also found it appropriate to crank up the GPU's core clocks a bit and list an "up to" number of 2424 MHz, which exceeds both the 6800 and 6800XT.
Last year's new RDNA 2 cards didn't exactly match AMD's claims they released a killer 4K line, and they don't mind having such a sales pitch with the scaled down 6700XT. Addressing the fact that most PC gamers are opting for 1080p and 1440p resolutions (not counting services like Steam for collecting these metrics), AMD assured fans that the 6700XT was designed for optimal 1440p gaming at high frame rates is.
But the announcement didn't otherwise have good counters for the nibs in Nvidia's cap – namely the competition's special cores for ray tracing and deep learning super sampling (DLSS). AMD's possible answer to the latter, FidelityFX Super Resolution, was slightly annoyed on Wednesday's presentation, but we're still waiting to hear exactly how it works, when it will launch, and how many games and software suites it will support. Until AMD implements its own clever upscaling system, it just won't be able to compete on the ray tracing side, as our tests last year showed.
In better news, AMD's sales pitch about unifying your entire rig behind its brand for access to its proprietary Smart Access Memory feature has been updated to include the older Ryzen 3000 CPU series in addition to the existing feature for Ryzen 5000 products support. The point here is to let the CPU and the GPU communicate with each other more efficiently and thus guarantee full access to the GPU memory pool if necessary. With AMD's significant CPU gains over the past few years, you are likely to be able to take advantage of it. Motherboard compatibility remains limited to 500 series boards, however, and Ryzen 5 3400G and Ryzen 3 3200G are not compatible with this feature.
It's worth noting that one of the AMD charts compares the 6700XT to Nvidia's RTX 2080 Super – a card whose performance has been summarized by newer Nvidia versions. We'll have to shake that off in future independent tests. So we'll do our best to pit the 6700XT against similarly priced GPUs in an upcoming article. And yes, "similarly expensive" in 2021 might require a careful scan of the auction and reseller lists, which we will do at this point.