AMD Launches the Radeon RX 6700 XT
Today, AMD is launching the RX 6700 XT, a new high-end GPU that at least dips below a theoretical $500 price point. Just as the 6800 XT and 6800 filled in the top ranks of RDNA2, the 6700 XT fills in the next-lowest slot on the price bracket, with a smaller die, fewer cores, and much faster clocks. Please keep in mind that all discussion of GPU pricing below is, by necessity, theoretical. The impact of tariffs between the US and China plus the cryptocurrency boom have rendered GPUs priced at MSRP a rarity.
ET will have a review of this GPU up in the immediate future, but we’re currently porting data to a new graphing engine and the process took me a bit longer than anticipated.
At $479, the RX 6700 XT cuts the difference between the RTX 3070 and the RTX 3060 Ti, but it’s closer to the former ($500) than the latter ($400). It’s also the replacement for the RDNA-based 5700 XT, which debuted in mid-2019 for $400 as well.
The 5700 XT versus 6700 XT comparison is going to be particularly interesting, as those GPUs share a common core configuration (2560:160:64). The 6700 XT has less raw memory bandwidth than the 5700 XT, but it offers something that card doesn’t have: A 96MB Infinity Cache.
If you’re familiar with the 128MB L3 Infinity Cache on the 6800 and 6800 XT, this is its younger, smaller brother. According to AMD, the smaller cache provides the same approximate hit rate at 1440p that its 128MB big brother provides at 4K. AMD is similarly recommending you use ray tracing at 1080p if you intend to use it, due to the performance hit.
I’m in the odd position of having run a fair number of tests on the card already, so I’ll just add this: You can see some evidence in benchmark data for why the 6700 XT is positioned as a 1440p card. It dips a bit in 4K compared with the 6800 XT, though in all honesty, you could call it a 4K card, too — just not with the same leeway for future titles or the same guarantee of high performance with settings cranked up to max.
The 6700 XT’s high clock speeds definitely help it compared with cards like the 6800 XT. On paper, the 6800 XT packs 1.8x more cores and texture units, with 2x the ROPs. The 6700 XT compensates partly by cranking up the clock. The GPU’s base clock is 2.32GHz, compared with 1.825GHz on the 6800 XT. The extra 1.27x clock offsets a solid chunk of the resource gap, though the 6800 XT remains meaningfully faster than its smaller rival at 1440p.
We’ll have our full coverage for you in the not-so-distant future. AMD has not clarified if it intends to launch a full suite of RDNA2 GPUs to replace its RDNA stack or not. Nvidia has replaced its cards down to the nominal $329 price point. AMD is currently stuck at $479. Presumably, that means we’ll see an RX 6700 at some time in the future.