Hands On With ‘Big Navi’ – AMD Radeon RX 6800 Series First Look

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"Wait for Big Navi". That's what they said, for quite some time. We thought it was coming sooner but here it is. What was referred to for so long as 'Big Navi' is now known as the Radeon RX 6800 Series, plus the RX 6900XT but that's in a whole different category and now known as 'Biggest Navi'. We've got our hands on the upcoming Radeon RX 6800 Series in order to see what AMD was bringing to the table this generation. And while we can't discuss performance numbers or anything juicy like that today we can get a quick look at the cards themselves.

RX 6800 Series In The Flesh

If there is anything I can commend AMD on this go it has to be the presentation. This is something that a lot of people don't consider but when you're shelling out well past $500 for a graphics card you want the red carpet treatment. While the RX 6800 presents itself in a bit less premium light the RX 6800XT lays it all out and lets you know you've made an investment.

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The cards themselves are quite well built. Up until now I have been overtly partial to the build of the Radeon R9 295x2 and felt all the cards since then have had a uniquely 'less than premium' look and feel to them. That changes with the RX 6800 Series. These cards are hefty, solid, and very clean looking. If I had to gripe about anything it would be the big red ring around the outside. The cards have such a nice muted matte finish with just the right amount of flash on the chrome bits and then go put a big ol red ring wrapping the entire portion you'll see through the side window. Maybe clean that up and powder coat the rear I/O and you'll have the most stunning-looking reference design that AMD has ever laid out.

Comparing to the corduroy design of the RX 5700 XT They've clearly come a long way in making an attractive design that should appeal to more people than just the die-hard fans.  If you look closely you'll find a hint of a dent, although it looks much more natural this time.

Oh, and for those who want a close up on the back of the chip.

 

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RX 6800 Series Hands-On Video

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT "Big Navi 21 XT" GPU Powered 16 GB Graphics Card

The AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT will come packed with the Navi 21 XT GPU which is a cut-down SKU featuring 72 Compute Units or 4608 SPs. The card will also feature 16 GB of GDDR6 memory across a 256-bit bus interface, a 512 GB/s total bandwidth, and clock speeds of 2015 MHz base and 2250 MHz boost at reference specs. The AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT also packs 72 Ray Accelerators which are dedicated to real-time raytracing workloads. The card will feature a based TBP of 300W with factory-overclocked models pushing it above 350W and will arrive at a later date.

In addition to the standard memory, the Radeon RX 6800 series graphics cards will also feature 128 MB of Infinity Cache on the GPU die. The cache will help boost bandwidth for higher performance at resolutions beyond 1080p HD. The 128 MB Infinity Cache boosts the standard 512 GB/s bandwidth by 3.25x, delivering an effective bandwidth of up to 1.664 TB/s across all Big Navi GPU based graphics cards.

In terms of performance, the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT is shown to compete against the GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card. The card features a 20W lower total board power & delivers better GPU performance in several AAA titles using the best API (Vulkan / DirectX 12). AMD is also bringing its Rage-mode back which is an automatic overclocking tool within its Radeon Software suite which delivers even higher performance along with a nifty new feature known as Smart Access. Gains of up to 13% were showcased with the said features as can be seen below.

AMD Radeon RX 6800 "Big Navi 21 XL" GPU Powered 16 GB Graphics Card

The AMD Radeon RX 6800 graphics card will feature an even more cut down Navi 21 "Big Navi" GPU with 60 Compute Units of 3840 stream processors. The AMD Navi 21 XL GPU is going to feature clock speeds of 1815 MHz game and 2105 MHz boost clocks at reference specs.

It was also stated that the AMD Radeon RX 6800 with Navi 21 XL GPU could feature a TBP of 250W at stock clocks. The card will feature the same VRAM config of 16 GB GDDR6 memory, a 256-bit bus interface with the memory clocking in at 16 Gbps which will deliver a net bandwidth of 512GB/s.

The AMD Radeon RX 6800 will be featuring performance faster than the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti with smart access memory feature enabled. The graphics card will be ideally positioned against the RTX 3070 for just a $79 US higher price, yet offering much better performance and twice the memory of its main competition.

AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series "RDNA 2" Graphics Card Lineup:

Graphics CardAMD Radeon RX 6700AMD Radeon RX 6700 XTAMD Radeon RX 6800AMD Radeon RX 6800 XTAMD Radeon RX 6900 XT
GPUNavi 22 (XL?)Navi 22 (XT?)Navi 21 XLNavi 21 XTNavi 21 XTX
Process Node7nm7nm7nm7nm7nm
TransistorsTBATBA26.8 Billion26.8 Billion26.8 Billion
Compute UnitsTBA40607280
Stream ProcessorsTBA2560384046085120
TMUs/ROPsTBATBA240 / 96288 / 128320 / 128
Game ClockTBATBA1815 MHz2015 MHz2015 MHz
Boost ClockTBATBA2105 MHz2250 MHz2250 MHz
FP32 TFLOPsTBATBA16.17 TFLOPs20.74 TFLOPs23.04 TFLOPs
Memory Size12 GB GDDR612 GB GDDR616 GB GDDR6 +128 MB Infinity Cache16 GB GDDR6 +128 MB Infinity Cache16 GB GDDR6 +128 MB Infinity Cache
Memory Bus192-bit192-bit256-bit256-bit256-bit
Memory Clock14 Gbps?16 Gbps?16 Gbps16 Gbps16 Gbps
Bandwidth320 GB/s384 GB/s512 GB/s512 GB/s512 GB/s
TDPTBATBA250W300W300W
PriceTBATBA$579 US$649 US$999 US

AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series Graphics Cards Pricing & Availability

The AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics cards will be available starting the 8th of December. The AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT is said to carry a price tag of $999 US and is expected to be a reference only model for this year unless AMD gives its AIB partners a greenlight for custom variants which may be in the plans. The RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 will be launching in the retail market on 18th November for $649 US and $579 US, respectively.

Which AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series Graphics Card are you looking forward to the most?

Products mentioned in this post

RTX 2080
RTX 2080
USD 999.94
RTX 2080 Ti
RTX 2080 Ti
USD 1199.95

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