AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT launched: A viable RTX 3090 alternative, now with increased Game Clock and 335 W TBP for $1,099
After a few initial leaks and delays, we are finally getting to see AMD unveil its refreshed RDNA 2 lineup for 2022. AMD has announced three GPUs today — the Radeon RX 6950 XT, Radeon RX 6750 XT, and the Radeon RX 6650 XT. All three cards are largely identical to their original cousins but now offer faster game clocks, faster GDDR6 memory, and support for new platform features such as FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) 2.0.
The Radeon RX 6900 XT came across as a worthy competitor to the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 for 4K Ultra gaming while also retailing for less dough. Today, AMD has refreshed the same 7 nm Navi 21 XTX GPU with a faster game clock, increased memory bandwidth, and higher total board power (TBP).
The render config of the GPU itself remains the same as before with 80 compute units (CUs), 5,120 shading units, 320 texture mapping units (TMUs), and 80 ray accelerators.
The RX 6900 XT offers a Game Clock of 2,015 MHz with a boost of 2.250 MHz. The new Radeon RX 6950 XT now offers a 2,100 MHz Game Clock and a 2,310 MHz boost. AMD did not specify any particular changes to the Infinity Cache and specific changes to the memory bandwidth but did indicate that the effective memory bandwidth including the Infinity Cache is now 1,793 GB/s (slides mistakenly indicate as 1,739 GB/s). Overall, we see a 35 W increase in the TBP to 335 W.
AMD's charts below show the RX 6950 XT to perform better than the RTX 3090 in most titles at 4K max settings, though the actual benefits will vary depending on the game. The RX 6950 XT is also shown to be within the RTX 3090 Ti's reach, which makes the numbers interesting given that the RX 6950 XT is a good 115 W more economical than the RTX 3090 Ti.
According to AMD, all game benchmarks were run on a system powered by the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D with Smart Access Memory (SAM) enabled. During the presentation, AMD repeatedly highlighted how SAM and Radeon Super Resolution (RSR) can be beneficial.
AMD did show a slide about the benefits of enabling SAM with a Ryzen 7 5800X3D and an RX 6950 XT system in certain titles at 4K Ultra settings versus a Core i9-12900K and an RTX 3090 combination, although in practice we have seen that SAM benefits only select titles and that too not by much.
Pricing and Availability
The Radeon RX 6950 XT will be available from May 10, 2022 at a US$1,099 MSRP, which is US$100 higher than the RX 6900 XT's US$999 MSPR. The RX 6950 XT will be available from AMD's add-in board (AiB) partners including ASRock, Asus, Biostar, MSI, Gigabyte, Sapphire, PowerColor, XFX, and Yeston apart from the Founders Edition.
Those purchasing a qualifying Radeon GPU are also eligible for a new version of AMD Radeon Raise the Game Bundle that launches later this quarter. Buyers will receive codes for Saints Row and Sniper Elite 5 with more games slated to be revealed in the run up to offer launch. A list of eligible countries and participating retailers can be found here.
AMD Press Brief