AMD's Smart Access Cache might not deliver massive performance gains, but Big Navi's raw raster performance could compensate
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Benchmarks compiled by tipster @_rogame indicate that, while AMD's Smart Access Cache technology might not be a major factor in Big Navi RX 6000 performance. According to the compiled benchmarks, the Radeon RX 6900 XT was just 1.8 percent faster on average at 4K with both Smart Access Cache and Rage Mode auto overclocking enabled. The Radeon RX 6800 XT saw a more pronounced improvement, with 3.9 percent better performance with Smart Access Cache enabled.
These numbers are a lot lower than the best-case scenario of double-digit improvement. Interestingly, there's also substantial variation between the top-tier Radeon RX 6900 XT and the enthusiast-class Radeon RX 6800 XT, indicating that lower-tier cards could benefit more from Smart Access Cache.
While Smart Access Cache might not be quite as compelling as initially thought, the benchmarks highlight something else that's altogether more interesting: Big Navi's raw raster performance takes a commanding lead over the NVIDIA competition. Even without Smart Access Cache, the Radeon RX 6900 XT appears to beat the US$1400 NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 by nearly 4 percent across the benchmarks showcased so far. The gap widens when the tech is enabled.
It's worth pointing out that we've only seen benchmarks AMD themselves have shared. When the Radeon RX 6900 XT arrives in early December, we should get a better picture of its performance relative to the GeForce RTX 3090. If it actually does pull ahead, it could be the first time AMD secures GPU performance leadership since 2013's R9 290X.