SAPPHIRE Nitro+ Radeon RX 6700 XT 12GB Review
SAPPHIRE Nitro+ RX 6700 XT03/18/2021
Conclusion - SAPPHIRE Nitro+ Radeon RX 6700 XT An Expensive But Solid Option
If aftermarket Radeon RX 6700 XT cards are more in line with what your heart desires over the excellent reference design this go around then the SAPPHIRE NITRO+ RX 6700 XT will not, on any level, disappoint. SAPPHIRE has done as they always do on each iteration of their Nitro+ lineup and improved on the critiques of the past and kept the elements that made them a staple name.
The SAPPHIRE NITRO+ RX 6700 XT is an exceptional reimagining of an already exceptional gaming card. Big, bold, and bright are just some of the easiest words that come to mind when thinking about how I would describe this model of the RDNA2 based card, but it's still contemporary enough to fit in with almost any modern build.
The effectiveness of the cooler can't really be stated in numbers alone as on paper it looks just as effective as the reference cooler, but the fact that it stays even more quiet, even when overclocked can't be understated. Just by the numbers, this time around it spanks the reference cooler, and it allows for a much easier and much more user-friendly experience when it comes to keeping it clean in the long run.
The performance of the card sits just ahead of that reference experience but with RDNA2's excellent overclock capabilities you'll run out of silicon luck before you run out of power delivery and cooling capabilities, so kudos to SAPPHIRE on their design from that standpoint as well. The performance of this one is a bit weird, and it proves why they priced it the way they did. There are times that the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT does exceed the performance of the RTX 3070 but there are times that it falls behind the RTX 3060 Ti, so it's a fair place to put it somewhere in the middle. This card overclocked with ease despite it falling right in the median overclocking range for these GPU cores.
When the AMD Radeon team gets around to explaining to all of us and showing the world what FidelityFX Super Resolution can do then we're still left with middling DXR performance. Perhaps when that is delivered we'll see the RDNA2 architecture compete better on that front, but that's on AMD not SAPPHIRE, and when they do this card will potentially shine even brighter.
But as it stands, the SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX 6700 XT delivers an excellent gaming experience for those who care more about that traditional raster performance for now but still want to dabble in the next-generation features. It's big, it's bold, it's beautiful, it's fast, it's certainly an enthusiast product and it's great to see that SAPPHIRE has delivered on their long-standing tradition of quality built components. The only catch is it demands quite the premium, but if you're looking for something closer to MSRP then the SAPPHIRE PULSE RX 6700 XT might be what you're in the market for but it's going to leave a lot of the bells and whistles on the table.
- Excellent Cooling Solution
- 30%+ performance increase gen over gen
- Great performance at 1440p Resolution
- Massive 12 GB GDDR6 Memory With Infinity Cache
- RGB Lighting support on the shroud and sides are a plus
- AMD SAM (Smart Access Memory) Resizable BAR support
- Supports HDMI 2.1, AV1 Decoding
- Based on enhanced TSMC 7nm process node
- Large premium over the reference model
- Poor raytracing performance
- The availability of next-generation graphics card still a major issue