Recently, we had the pleasure to test AMD’s latest graphics card, namely the RX 6700 XT. It’s a video card that targets the “performance” segment of the market, promising excellent frame rates when gaming at 1440p or 1080p resolutions. The RX 6700 XT is built on the Big Navi (RDNA 2) architecture and, on top of using very high working frequencies, it also offers an impressive amount of GDDR 6 RAM (12GB) and support for ray tracing. Do you want to know what the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT can do in real life and whether it is a good choice for you? Read this review and find out:
AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT: Who is it good for?
The AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT is a good choice for:
- Gamers who want an excellent graphics card for playing in 1440p or 1080p resolutions
- Users who want to switch to the latest AMD RDNA 2 (Big Navi) graphics platform
- AMD fans for whom ray tracing performance is not essential
Pros and cons
There are more than a few good things to take into account for the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT:
- It offers excellent performance in gaming, both at 1080p and 1440p
- It’s built using the latest AMD RDNA 2 architecture
- It has a huge amount of GDDR6 RAM: 12 GB
- The card doesn’t heat a lot, as the cooler is excellent
- The power consumption is decent
As for its downsides, keep in mind that:
- It’s difficult to find it in shops at the recommended price
- The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 offers more performance at a similar price
- Ray tracing is available but underwhelming
The AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT is one excellent example of advancements in technology. The improvement in performance offered by the RDNA 2 (Big Navi) architecture compared to RDNA 1 (Navi) is undeniable. The RX 6700 XT offers high frame rates on both 1080p and 1440p resolutions and does it more efficiently than previous-generation Radeon graphic cards, with less heat and less power consumed. However, the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT falls a bit short when compared to the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070, which has a similar recommended price but is even more powerful and energy-efficient. If you’re a Team Red fan and are looking for a graphics card that delivers solid performance, the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT is an excellent choice.
Design and hardware specifications
The AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT keeps the same design line as its older and more powerful brother, the Radeon RX 6800 XT, although its cooler has only two axial fans instead of three. It’s all about gray shades, ranging from dark gray to light gray, with a red-lit Radeon branding and a thin red border going from one side to the other.
On its back, the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT protects the circuits with a metal backplate that looks robust and premium. Furthermore, this backplate also fulfills two other purposes: it helps dissipate heat from the card, and it keeps the card from bending.
The Radeon RX 6700 XT graphics card is built using AMD’s latest GPU architecture, namely RDNA 2 (Big Navi), on a 7-nanometer manufacturing process.
The RX 6700 XT graphics card has 40 compute units, it is capable of computing up to 13.21 teraflops, and it has 12GB of GDDR6 memory on a 192-bit bus width. The base clock is 2321MHz, and its boost frequency goes up to 2581MHz. These are very high clocks!
The card runs on PCI Express 4.0, which gives us double the bandwidth of PCIe 3, although its effect on gaming is negligible.
The AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT has three standard DisplayPort 1.4 ports and one HDMI 2.1 port that offers support for displaying video in 4K resolutions at 120Hz, and up to 8K at 60Hz.
AMD’s RX 6700 XT graphics card needs about 230 Watts of power, and AMD recommends a power supply unit of 650 Watts. The video card gets its additional electrical power via two power connectors: one with eight pins and one with six pins.
With a length of 27 cm (10.63 in) and a width of 11 cm (4.33 in), the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT graphics card occupies two PCI slots, which is standard for most video cards in the high-end and performance sectors.
If you want to see more details about this graphics card’s features and hardware specifications, visit AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT.
Performance in games and benchmarks
To see what the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card can do in real life, we benchmarked it using several games and apps, and we compared its results to those we got from an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 and an AMD Radeon RX 5700 from the previous generation (RDNA 1, or Navi). The computer we used for testing had the following configuration:
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi)
- Memory: HyperX Predator DDR4 RGB (2 x 8 GB, 3200 MHz)
- Storage: ADATA XPG Gammix S11 Pro 512GB SSD
- Monitor: ASUS ROG Strix XG32VQ
- Power Supply Unit: ASUS ROG Thor 850W Platinum
- CPU cooler: Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360R RGB
- Operating System: Windows 10 Pro x64 with October 2020 Update
We benchmarked all the games using the high or ultra graphics settings presets, depending on which preset was the most demanding one available.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a game with exquisite visuals, but the graphics quality has its price and requires a powerful graphics card to run well. We measured an average fps of 150 in 1080p and an average fps of 106 in 1440p. In 1080p, the Radeon RX 6700 XT is a bit faster than the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070, but in 1440p, things are the opposite. Compared to the previous generation Radeon RX 5700, the 6700 XT is 40 to 50% faster in this game.
Metro Exodus was released in 2019, but it’s still one of the most demanding games, especially if you want to play it on the best graphics quality. The Radeon RX 6700 XT managed to deliver excellent frame rates both in 1080p and 1440p. The average fps we measured was above 60 in both cases. However, Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3070 is faster on both resolutions, by at least 17%.
Unless you enable ray tracing, Fortnite is not an extremely demanding game in terms of graphics performance. However, it’s a very popular online game, so we always include it in our tests. As you’d expect, the Radeon RX 6700 XT has no problem rendering a lot of frames per second in Fortnite. We measured an average of 157 fps on 1080p and 108 fps on 1440p. Still, the GeForce RTX 3070 manages better results in this game too: 41% more fps in 1080p and 30% more fps in 1440p. The older Radeon RX 5700 is 24 to 28% slower than the RX 6700 XT.
Next on our list came CyberPunk 2077, which was one of the most anticipated titles of 2020. With all the ups and downs of its launch, this game is still one of the most beautiful we’ve seen. It’s also one of the most taxing when it comes to graphics power. Using the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT, we got some very good results: 87 average fps in 1080p and 56 fps in 1440p. However, the direct competitor - Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 - managed better frame rates, 11% more in 1080p, and close to 9% in 1440p. On the other hand, 2019’s Radeon RX 5700 gives you at least 30% fewer frames per second in either resolution.
Death Stranding, an action RPG that caught the attention of many, is what we’d call a “moderately demanding” game. In other words, it can run very well on mid-range gaming computers. As you can see in the chart below, we measured similarly high average frame rates using the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070. We also have to note the more than 39% increase in performance, compared to the 1st generation RDNA AMD Radeon RX 5700.
Once we finished testing games, we switched to using 3DMark to see how powerful the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT is. We got an impressive score of 11717 points with this GPU in the regular Time Spy tests, which is 43% better than what we got with the AMD Radeon RX 5700, yet 12% less than what the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 can do.
Then, because the Radeon RX 6700 XT has Ray Accelerators, we also ran 3DMark’s Port Royal benchmark, which evaluates the performance of graphics cards when using ray tracing. We got a good score of 5782 points, but it’s pretty far behind the 8166 points that the GeForce RTX 3070 managed, which is 41% better. The Radeon RX 5700 XT doesn’t have hardware ray-tracing processors, so it can’t run Port Royale - that’s why you see a zero score for it in the chart below.
During the benchmarks, we also monitored the temperature and power consumption of the graphics cards tested. The AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT reached a maximum temperature of 80 degrees Celsius (176 Fahrenheit) and a peak power consumption of 218 Watts. Both values are average, better (lower) than the previous generation AMD Radeon RX 5700, yet higher than (less efficient) than those of an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070.
The AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT is one of the best graphics cards in the “performance” segment of the market. It offers excellent performance and is more efficient than similar GPUs from the previous AMD RDNA generation (RX 5000 cards). However, its direct competitor - Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 - offers slightly better performance.
What is your opinion about the Radeon RX 6700 XT?
Now you know what the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT can do, what its strengths and weaknesses are, and what our opinions are about it. How about you? Do you like the RX 6700 XT? Would you buy it, or would you choose a similar card from the competition? Let us know in the comments section below.