AMD may allow AIB partners to release custom RX 6900 XT cards soon
It was not immediately clear why AMD decided to postpone the official release of the RX 6900 XT cards, when the RX 6800 XT and non-XT versions are scheduled to go on sale almost three weeks prior, on November 18. We knew that the RX 6900 XT was supposed to be an AMD-exclusive model, so we were guessing that maybe Team Red needed a few more weeks to get everything in order since AIBs would not be able to help with the supply. However, word on the street now is that AMD did not want most of its AIB partners to learn about the RX 6900 XT cards for fear that they would leak the specs and performance way too early, which would have given Nvidia more time to rethink their marketing strategy. That seems quite reasonable seeing that the RX 6800 XT leaks started going around a few months before the official launch. Still, there is no reason to restrict AIBs now that the cat is out of the bag, so there is a chance we could see some custom designs for the RX 6900 XT soon.
AIBs do not really need to dedicate too many resources to come up with custom designs for the RX 6900 XT SKU, as it is very similar to the 6800 XT one. They both have the same reference core clock speeds, same memory layout, and even the same power requirements of 300 W. Sure enough, HardwareLuxx’s Andreas Schilling recently reported that AMD is already in talks with AIB partners regarding possible custom designs for the RX 6900 XT.
AMD announced that 6800(XT) will get plentiful supplies, while the RX 6900 XT would only get limited supply, so, hopefully AIB partners can contribute to expand availability in early 2021 and also provide overclocked versions with air, AIO and water block cooling solutions that allow for significantly higher core clocks. We know that certain AIBs were able to push the RX 6800 XT clocks to 2.5 GHz, so we can already imagine how much better the RX 6900 XT cards can perform with such higher speeds.