ASRock Radeon RX 6950 XT OC Formula Review

ASRock's new custom Radeon RX 6950 XT OC Formula goes under the review microscope, and boy... what a custom RX 6950 XT it is!

@anthony256
Published Thu, Jun 23 2022 10:16 AM CDT
Rating: 93%Manufacturer: ASRock (RX6950XT OCF 16G)

Introduction

ASRock's custom Radeon RX 6950 XT OC Formula is here, built from the ground up to break records with its Navi 21 KXTX GPU and suped-up 16GB of GDDR6 memory now at 18Gbps.

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VIEW GALLERY - 64 IMAGES

The new ASRock Radeon RX 6950 XT OC Formula graphics card sees the company rolling out a huge 21-phase VRM, GPU overclocks of 179MHz (with room for manual OC), and 3 x 8-pin PCIe power connectors. ASRock, unfortunately, uses the same design as its previous RX 6900 XT OC Formula with the new RX 6950 XT OC Formula... it would've been nice to see some change here.

ASRock already commanded some of the best performance out of a Navi 21-based GPU with its custom Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula, and now the Taiwanese company is here to do it again. I've already taken a look at MSI's custom Radeon RX 6950 XT GAMING X TRIO, and SAPPHIRE's custom NITRO+ Radeon RX 6950 XT PURE: the latter -- my favorite RX 6950 XT in style -- by far.

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In terms of pricing, ASRock's new custom Radeon RX 6950 XT OC Formula graphics card is listed on Newegg.com for $1099 -- also remember that you get the AMD Radeon "Raise the Game" bundle, as well as the Xbox Game Pass for PC (worth $60, and $9, respectively) for free -- at least at the time of writing.

Buy at Amazon

ASRock AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$896.14$1025.00$1081.35
* Prices last scanned on 7/3/2022 at 4:57 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

AMD Software Updates

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AMD is pushing out a great set of performance improvements, new technologies, and more into its new Radeon GPU drivers. I was using the Adrenalin v22.10 beta drivers for the review, but there will be new drivers out that will include these updates shortly.

AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) 2.0

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AMD reiterates that there are 80+ games with FSR 1.0 support so far.

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Inside, you'll get support for FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) 2.0 technology, where the first game out of the gate to support FSR 2.0 being DEATHLOOP by Arkane Studios and Bethesda. The update for that will drop on May 12, while FSR 2.0 is coming to other games in the near future.

FSR 2.0 is coming soon to Asterigos, Delysium, EVE Online, Farming Simulator 22, Forspoken, Grounded, Microsoft Flight Simulator, NiShuiHan, Perfect World Remake, Swordsman Remake, and Unknown 9: Awakening.

AMD Radeon Super Resolution (RSR)

The introduction of AMD's new Radeon Super Resolution (RSR) technology is here with the latest drivers, coinciding with the launch of the new RDNA 2 refresh GPUs. RSR uses all of the abilities that AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) is capable of, and puts it into the driver to offer free performance uplifts across thousands and thousands of games.

RX 6950 XT Tech Specs

ASRock drives up the hype with its custom Radeon RX 6950 XT OC Formula 16GB graphics card with an official video released by the marketing team, check it out:

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Detailed Look

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If you even see the ASRock Radeon RX 6950 XT OC Formula on the shelves, it's a gigantic box. The retail package isn't too special, there's more to flash on the front of the box than there is on the back. You're not going to spend much time here, pull the card out already!

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ASRock has used the same cooling shroud and design on the new Radeon RX 6950 XT OC Formula as it did with last year's RX 6900 XT OC Formula. That's not a bad thing, so if you like it... you'll love this card as it's just faster, keeping those same OC Formula looks.

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I do love the back of the ASRock Radeon RX 6950 XT OC Formula, with the honeycomb-styled cutout on the back looking great wth some RGB lighting inside of your case lighting it all up. It reflects against the huge heat sink underneath the card, keeping all of the important components nice and cool.

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It's just as thick and chunky as the RX 6900 XT OC Formula, no changes here.

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The same can be said for the 3 x 8-pin PCIe power connectors, where you'll be driving upwards of 400W+ when it's under full load and a bit more with some manual overclocking.

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Display connectivity hasn't changed, with 3 x DisplayPort 1.4 connectors and a single HDMI 2.1 connector.

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Test System Specs

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Anthony's GPU Test System Specifications

The biggest upgrade to the GPU testbed is the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X processor, offering 12 cores and 24 threads of Zen 3-powered CPU grunt at up to 4.8GHz.

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That's plenty of CPU power and offers a great upgrade over the Ryzen 7 3800X that I was using previously.

I will be upgrading this system in a few months, and maybe running it side-by-side with the new Alder Lake-powered Intel Core i9-12900K processor. I'm using one inside of the Allied M.O.A.B.-I gaming PC that I reviewed a few months ago, and man the 12900K is like the Godzilla of CPUs.

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Sabrent is the most recent partner of mine to help build out my systems, sending me oodles of the fastest NVMe M.2 SSDs on the planet. I'm using Sabrent's flagship Rocket 4 Plus 4TB M.2 SSDs which offers 7GB/sec+ reads and writes with a huge 4TB of capacity.

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ASUS has been a tight partner of mine for a few years now, providing their huge 43-inch 4K 120Hz gaming monitors for my benchmarking and gaming needs. I'm using two of them at the moment, the ROG Strix XG438Q and the ROG Swift PG43UQ gaming monitors.

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Benchmarks - Synthetic

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Benchmarks - 1080p

Note: All games run on Ultra/Maxed Out visual settings, motion blur disabled, V-Sync disabled.

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Performance Thoughts

ASRock is kicking ass and taking names at 1080p with their custom Radeon RX 6950 OC Formula graphics card, but let's face it: we didn't expect anything less. Only buy the flagship Radeon RX 6950 XT graphics card for 1080p if you have a 120Hz monitor at a minimum.

Benchmarks - 1440p

Note: All games run on Ultra/Maxed Out visual settings, motion blur disabled, V-Sync disabled.

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Performance Thoughts

If you're gaming on a 2560 x 1440 (1440p) monitor, then you're going to be having some fun if you've got a 120Hz or higher refresh rate, since the ASRock Radeon RX 6950 XT OC Formula will handle it all. You can play AAA titles at 1440p 90-120FPS average, driving up a few FPS difference across the board over the ASRock RX 6900 XT OC Formula.

Benchmarks - 4K

Note: All games run on Ultra/Maxed Out visual settings, motion blur disabled, V-Sync disabled.

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Performance Thoughts

AMD loses the 4K gaming fight against NVIDIA's latest flagship GeForce RTX 3090 Ti, but it comes damn close across the board. Even in Cyberpunk 2077, at 4K we're looking 43FPS average with max graphics on the ASRock Radeon RX 6950 XT OC Formula, against NVIDIA's own GeForce RTX 3080.

Can't wait for RDNA 3, but the last RDNA 2 flagship GPU is a decent upgrade over the RX 6900 XT. I'm currently running through some OC results now, should be up in a couple days.

Power Consumption & Temps

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ASRock is re-using the same thermal solution it used on the Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula with its new, tweaked RX 6950 XT OC Formula. GPU temps are 1C cooler, the same as GPU hot spot temperatures (67C GPU temps on the RX 6950 XT OC Formula, 68C GPU temps on the RX 6900 XT OC Formula).

What's Hot, What's Not

What's Hot

ASRock Radeon RX 6950 XT OC Formula Review 511 | TweakTown.com
  • Best custom RX 6950 XT so far, without OC: ASRock commands the top of the benchmark charts for the most part when it's up against the SAPPHIRE NITRO+ RX 6950 XT PULSE and MSI RX 6950 XT GAMING X TRIO graphics cards. There's some wiggle room for overclocking (OC) that ASRock's flagship Radeon RX 6950 XT OC Formula is known for.
  • OC Formula style: If you're a fan of ASRock's family of OC Formula graphics cards, then you've got the best performance an RDNA 2 GPU will give you, with some of the best thermal performance and OC abilities. Style is a big part of the crown jewel of your gaming PC, right?
  • Better than the Radeon RX 6900 XT: The new Radeon RX 6950 XT beats the Radeon RX 6900 XT across the board, and while it's only by a few FPS... it matters. The Radeon RX 6950 XT is now the fastest Radeon GPU on the market, until RDNA 3 is unleashed.
ASRock Radeon RX 6950 XT OC Formula Review 517 | TweakTown.comASRock Radeon RX 6950 XT OC Formula Review 515 | TweakTown.com
  • Faster GDDR6 memory @ 18Gbps: AMD has faster GDDR6 memory on all of its Radeon RX 6000 series GPU refresh cards, with 18Gbps of bandwidth -- up from 16Gbps on the RX 6900 XT -- on the new Radeon RX 6950 XT. It helps in higher-res 4K gaming, and games that lean on high memory bandwidth, but you probably couldn't tell in a blind test between 16/18Gbps.
  • Higher TDP: AMD is kicking up the TDP on the Radeon RX 6950 XT, with ASRock allowing even more power... up to 410W to flow through the card... from 335W default TDP on the RX 6950 XT and 300W default TDP on the RX 6900 XT.
  • RDNA 3 is only 6 months away: This is actually good news... if you're skipping over the Radeon RX 6950 XT because you purchased -- let's say an RX 6800 XT or RX 6900 XT -- then you've got around 6 more months (or less) for the RDNA 3 launch. The new RX 6950 XT is a stop gap between now and then... no more flagship Radeon GPUs until Navi 31.
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What's Not

  • Still can't beat GeForce RTX 3090 Ti: Yeah, the Radeon RX 6950 XT isn't here to compete against, let alone beat the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti. It can come close and beat the RTX 3090, but NVIDIA pulled out all the stops with its RTX 3090 Ti and Big Navi can't topple it.
  • RDNA 3 is still 6 months away: Until RDNA 3 that is... unfortunately it's 6 more months or so away.

Final Thoughts

ASRock's new Radeon RX 6950 XT OC Formula is exactly what you expected it to be: a faster RX 6900 XT, which it is, but the same style is a big let down... especially up against SAPPHIRE's beautiful NITRO+ RX 6950 XT PURE.

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ASRock still provides all the Navi 21 + Infinity Cache + 16GB GDDR6 @ 18Gbps grunt, as well as 3 x 8-pin PCIe power connectors on the RX 6950 XT OC Formula. The company is re-using the thermal solution from its RX 6900 XT OC Formula, and that's not a bad thing... thermally it's great... but it would have been good to have seen some aesthetic tweaks.

I guess the company is holding back for the next-gen RDNA 3-based Radeon RX 7000 series GPUs that are a few months away.

ASRock, I really hope you take some lessons here: sure the card can break OC records... but it needs to look amazing, too. The ASRock Radeon RX 6950 XT OC Formula has its unique style, and it will have plenty of fans.

The next thing on my list is an overclocking article on the ASRock RX 6950 XT OC Formula, where I'll pit it against the SAPPHIRE NITRO+ RX 6950 XT PURE and MSI RX 6950 XT GAMING X TRIO. In that battle, which you can read about below.

410W+ of power makes the custom ASRock Radeon RX 6950 XT OC Formula more power efficient than NVIDIA's flagship GeForce RTX 3090 and the not-so-old GeForce RTX 3090 Ti.

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Wrapping up: ASRock you've done it again. A world-class custom RDNA 2 graphics card that will give you the very best of what Navi 21 has to offer. This is the best AMD has for the next few months, until RDNA 3 is out of the oven and ASRock has some next-gen custom Radeon RX 7000 series GPUs to unleash.

Performance

95%

Quality

90%

Features

90%

Value

95%

Overall

93%

The Bottom Line

ASRock finishes its custom Radeon RX 6000 series GPU family with the Radeon RX 6950 XT OC Formula. If you can find it, cherish it, this is as good as it gets for Radeon before RDNA 3 is unleashed.

TweakTown award
93%

ASRock AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$896.14$1025.00$1081.35
* Prices last scanned on 7/3/2022 at 4:57 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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