AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less

AMD's answer to NVIDIA's flagship GeForce RTX 3090 is here, with the Radeon RX 6900 XT dropping for $999 -- but does it crush it?

@anthony256
Published Tue, Dec 8 2020 8:00 AM CST   |   Updated Tue, Dec 8 2020 5:42 PM CST
Rating: 100%Manufacturer: AMD (AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT)

Introduction + Radeon RX 6900 XT Details

AMD is finishing in one of the craziest years of the last 100 years, and one filled with more graphics card releases in a 3-month period than ever before. It all ends with a bang with Big Navi, which packs the biggest punch from the RDNA 2 architecture.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For 0 Less 507 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 74 IMAGES

The new Radeon RX 6900 XT is here with the same 26.8 billion transistors, but it packs 80 Compute Units (CUs) and 80 Ray Accelerators (versus the 72 and 60 for each inside of the Radeon RX 6800 XT, and Radeon RX 6800, respectively). This results in 5120 stream processors (up from the 4608 inside of the RX 6800 XT and 3840 inside of the RX 6800).

GPU clocks aren't any higher for the reference Radeon RX 6900 XT as they are to the Radeon RX 6800 XT reference, with Game GPU clocks of up to 2015MHz and boost GPU clocks of up to 2250MHz. The additional Compute Units provide more performance across the board, leading to 23.04 TFLOPs of single precision performance, versus 20.74 TFLOPs on the Radeon RX 6800 XT.

All of the RDNA 2-powered Radeon RX 6800 series graphics cards have 16GB of GDDR6 on a 256-bit memory bus with 512GB/sec of memory bandwidth and 128MB of AMD Infinity Cache. The Radeon RX 6900 XT also shares the same 300W board power that the Radeon RX 6800 XT has.

Radeon RX 6900 XT details

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 931 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 932 | TweakTown.com
Buy at Amazon

ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Formula

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$583.99$584.99$584.99
* Prices last scanned on 1/15/2021 at 6:58 pm CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Everything You Need to Know About RDNA 2

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 906 | TweakTown.com

AMD's new RDNA 2 architecture has more changes than any previous-gen GPU architecture I can remember from AMD (and even ATi) in the last 10+ years.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 908 | TweakTown.comAMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 910 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 913 | TweakTown.comAMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 912 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 911 | TweakTown.com

There's a lot to go over here, but we're looking at an enhanced compute unit, new visual pipeline featuring Ray Accelerators, and the all-new (and very exciting) Infinity Cache (which I'll go into on the next page. We're looking at a huge 1.54x higher performance-per-watt and 1.3x higher frequency at the same per-CU power -- impressive stuff, AMD.

Ray Accelerators

One of the largest new introductions in the new RDNA 2 architecture is the high-performance ray tracing acceleration architecture known as the Ray Accelerator. AMD doesn't have NVIDIA-beating ray tracing performance, but it's here in RDNA 2.

Each Ray Accelerator is capable of calculating up to 4 ray / box intersections, and 1 ray / triangle intersection every clock. This means the RDNA 2-based Ray Accelerators can efficiently calculate the intersections of the rays with the scene geometry as represented in a Bounding Volume Hierarchy, sorts them, and returns the information to the shaders for further scene traversal or result shading.

HDMI 2.1

This is another big deal -- HDMI 2.1 connectivity.

HDMI 2.1 ushers in the worlds of 4K 120Hz and 8K 60Hz through a single HDMI 2.1 cable to your flashy new TV or gaming monitor. Personally I own a new CX series LG OLED TV with HDMI 2.1 that drives its 4K 120Hz, so plugging my gaming PC into my TV can only be done a single way if I want 4K 120Hz -- which I kinda do.

The introduction of HDMI 2.1 on graphics cards began with NVIDIA's new GeForce RTX 30 series, and continues with AMD's new Radeon RX 6000 series graphics cards. All 3 of the new Radeon RX 6000 series cards -- the Radeon RX 6900 XT (coming soon), the Radeon RX 6800 XT (review here) and Radeon RX 6800 (this review) all have HDMI 2.1 output.

Board Design

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 923 | TweakTown.com

Another great thing AMD did with the Radeon RX 6800 XT and Radeon RX 6800 graphics cards is the board design, with the company making all 3 of the cards at a standard ~10.5 inches or so. The card is also max 2.5-slot for reference boards, which means it'll slot into virtually any PC that is capable of taking a regular-sized card.

What Is Infinity Cache?

Now this is where things get really interesting -- Infinity Cache, which provides some kick ass memory bandwidth even with it smaller 256-bit memory bus and slower GDDR6 memory.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 909 | TweakTown.com

NVIDIA might have a superior 320-bit memory bus, faster GDDR6X -- but it has less VRAM (10GB versus 16GB) and the Radeon RX 6800 XT still kicks ass against the GeForce RTX 3080 in all resolutions and situations. But in the right situation -- like when paired with a Zen 3 processor, like I've done preliminary with the Ryzen 9 5900X -- you can get in excess of 10% more performance when you add SAM (Smart Access Memory) into the equation.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 920 | TweakTown.com

If you've got the right hardware -- a new RDNA 2-based Radeon RX 6800 XT for example, with a Zen 3-based Ryzen 5000 series -- like the Ryzen 9 5900X that I got in the days leading into the review. I will have some numbers on those tomorrow, but I needed to get these reviews out first.

The SAM results are as good as you see in these charts, and in some cases better -- it's an impressive thing to see, and I truly can't wait to see more from Smart Access Memory technology.

Detailed Look

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 505 | TweakTown.com

From the outside it looks like the same retail packaging that AMD ships the Radeon RX 6800 and Radeon RX 6800 XT in... but once you open it up you quickly realize it isn't.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 501 | TweakTown.com

First off -- something is wrapped around the entire Radeon RX 6900 XT, and secondly there's a long slip of cardboard with 'AMD Radeon' on it that you have to pull out and take off.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 502 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 503 | TweakTown.com

That thing wrapped around the card itself is an awesome AMD mouse mat -- a nice touch for the $999 graphics card. It's no HoloCube, but this ain't no Vega, either.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 504 | TweakTown.com

The Radeon RX 6900 XT in all its glory -- doesn't look all that different to the RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 before it.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 506 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 511 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 509 | TweakTown.com

Test System Specs

Latest upgrade:

Sabrent sent over their huge Rocket Q 8TB NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 SSD, which will be my new Games install SSD inside of my main test bed.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 1166 | TweakTown.com

I've got a new upgrade inside of my GPU test bed before my change to a next-gen test bed, where I will be preparing for NVIDIA's next-gen Ampere graphics cards and AMD's next-gen RDNA 2 graphics cards.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 1162 | TweakTown.com

Sabrent helped out with some new storage for my GPU test beds, sending over a slew of crazy-fast Rocket NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 SSDs. I've got this installed into my GPU test bed as the new Games Storage drive, since games are so damn big now. Thanks to Sabrent, I've got 2TB of super-fast M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD storage now.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 1165 | TweakTown.com

Anthony's GPU Test System Specifications

I've recently upgraded my GPU test bed -- at least for now, until AMD's new Ryzen 9 5950X processor is unleashed then the final update for 2020 will happen and we'll be all good for RDNA 2 and future Ampere GPU releases. You can read my article here: TweakTown GPU Test Bed Upgrade for 2021, But Then Zen 3 Was Announced.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 201 | TweakTown.comAMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 222 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 211 | TweakTown.comAMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 224 | TweakTown.com

Benchmarks - Synthetic

3DMark Fire Strike

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 4000 | TweakTown.com

3DMark has been a staple benchmark for years now, all the way back to when The Matrix was released and Futuremark had bullet time inspired benchmarks. 3DMark is the perfect tool to see if your system - most important, your CPU and GPU - is performing as it should. You can search results for your GPU, to see if it falls in line with other systems based on similar hardware.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 101 | TweakTown.comAMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 102 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 103 | TweakTown.com

3DMark TimeSpy

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 104 | TweakTown.comAMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 105 | TweakTown.com

Heaven - 1080p

Heaven benchmark

Heaven is an intensive GPU benchmark that really pushes your silicon to its limits. It's another favorite of ours as it has some great scaling for multi-GPU testing, and it's great for getting your GPU to 100% for power and noise testing.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 108 | TweakTown.comAMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 107 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 106 | TweakTown.com

Benchmarks - 1080p

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 4014 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 309 | TweakTown.comAMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 310 | TweakTown.com

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla is the latest game to be inserted into our benchmark suite, with Ubisoft Montreal using its AnvilNext engine to power the game. It scales really well across the cards, and has some surprising performance benefits with AMD's new Big Navi GPUs.

You can buy Assassins Creed: Valhalla at Amazon.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 111 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 4006 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 304 | TweakTown.comAMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 305 | TweakTown.com

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is a sequel to the popular Shadow of Mordor, which was powered by the Lithtech engine. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of War at Amazon.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 120 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 4013 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 303 | TweakTown.com

Metro Exodus is one of the hardest tests that our graphics cards have to go through, with 4A Games' latest creation being one of the best looking games on the market. It is a serious test that pushes GPUs to their limits, and also features RTX technologies like DLSS.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 114 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 4002 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 302 | TweakTown.comAMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 301 | TweakTown.com

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is one of the latest games to join our graphics card benchmark lineup, with the game built using the Foundation engine as a base, the same engine in Rise of the Tomb Raider. Eidos Montreal R&D department made lots of changes to the engine during the development of Shadow of the Tomb Raider to make it one of the best-looking games out right now.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 117 | TweakTown.com

1080p Benchmark Performance Thoughts

AMD leads the benchmark charts right out of the box with the Radeon RX 6900 XT -- when overclocked, it reigns supreme in Assassin's Creed: Valhalla at 1080p -- ripping a huge 132FPS average. In comparison, the RTX 3090 has 89FPS here -- the RX 6800 XT with 112FPS.

The same goes for Shadow of War, which the RX 6900 XT is now the champion of -- edging out the RTX 3090. NVIDIA is on top with the RTX 3090 in Metro Exodus, but it's by 1FPS -- so it's virtually even here.

Benchmarks - 1440p

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 4014 | TweakTown.com

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla is the latest game to be inserted into our benchmark suite, with Ubisoft Montreal using its AnvilNext engine to power the game. It scales really well across the cards, and has some surprising performance benefits with AMD's new Big Navi GPUs.

You can buy Assassins Creed: Valhalla at Amazon.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 110 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 4006 | TweakTown.com

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is a sequel to the popular Shadow of Mordor, which was powered by the Lithtech engine. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of War at Amazon.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 119 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 4013 | TweakTown.com

Metro Exodus is one of the hardest tests that our graphics cards have to go through, with 4A Games' latest creation being one of the best looking games on the market. It is a serious test that pushes GPUs to their limits, and also features RTX technologies like DLSS.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 113 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 4002 | TweakTown.com

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is one of the latest games to join our graphics card benchmark lineup, with the game built using the Foundation engine as a base, the same engine in Rise of the Tomb Raider. Eidos Montreal R&D department made lots of changes to the engine during the development of Shadow of the Tomb Raider to make it one of the best-looking games out right now.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 116 | TweakTown.com

1440p Benchmark Performance Thoughts

Once again the Radeon RX 6900 XT leads in 1440p and Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, with the RTX 3090 hanging back with just 78FPS -- the RX 6800 XT with 92FPS. AMD rules Shadow of War now -- didn't think I'd be saying that, beating the RTX 3090 once again.

NVIDIA is ahead of AMD by just 3-8FPS depending on the overclock, with the RX 6900 XT with 80FPS, or 85FPS when overclocked, compared to the 88FPS for the RTX 3090.

But man, AMD runs ahead in Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 1440p -- 210FPS when overclocked!

Benchmarks - 4K

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 4014 | TweakTown.com

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla is the latest game to be inserted into our benchmark suite, with Ubisoft Montreal using its AnvilNext engine to power the game. It scales really well across the cards, and has some surprising performance benefits with AMD's new Big Navi GPUs.

You can buy Assassins Creed: Valhalla at Amazon.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 109 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 4006 | TweakTown.com

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is a sequel to the popular Shadow of Mordor, which was powered by the Lithtech engine. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of War at Amazon.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 118 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 4013 | TweakTown.com

Metro Exodus is one of the hardest tests that our graphics cards have to go through, with 4A Games' latest creation being one of the best looking games on the market. It is a serious test that pushes GPUs to their limits, and also features RTX technologies like DLSS.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 112 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 4002 | TweakTown.com

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is one of the latest games to join our graphics card benchmark lineup, with the game built using the Foundation engine as a base, the same engine in Rise of the Tomb Raider. Eidos Montreal R&D department made lots of changes to the engine during the development of Shadow of the Tomb Raider to make it one of the best-looking games out right now.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 115 | TweakTown.com

4K Benchmark Performance Thoughts

This is where it counts for $999 -- 4K.

AMD really dominates in Assassin's Creed: Valhalla once again at 4K with 70FPS average when overclocked, just under 10% more performance than the 64FPS stock settings. NVIDIA's $1499 card gives you 59FPS average here at 4K, while the RX 6800 XT also hits 59FPS.

NVIDIA is just ahead with the RTX 3090 at 117FPS at 4K in Metro Exodus, but the overclocked RX 6900 XT is getting close with 113FPS. NVIDIA stays ahead in Metro Exodus by 4FPS against the overclocked RX 6900 XT with its RTX 3090, while they're neck and neck in Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

AMD is back -- all the way back to parity with NVIDIA at all resolutions, including 4K -- impressive stuff.

Overclocking & Average GPU Clocks

Out of the box I had my sample of the Radeon RX 6900 XT sitting comfortably at 2280MHz or so -- but in different games it would scale much higher. In Assassin's Creed: Valhalla for example, I was seeing the Radeon RX 6900 XT having its GPU hitting 2500MHz.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 804 | TweakTown.com

This is all at around 74C (with 88C hot spot) with the fans at 36% (1220RPM or so), meaning the Radeon RX 6900 XT reference card is super quiet -- yet super powerful. You can of course crank the GPU speed up with some overclocking, the GDDR6 memory, and the power limit -- and fans, for some OC fun.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 803 | TweakTown.com
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 802 | TweakTown.comAMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 801 | TweakTown.com

Once I had the Radeon RX 6900 XT overclocked, I was seeing 2450-2500MHz stable for many hours of overclocking -- with GPU temps of 61-62C and the GPU hot spot sitting at up to 80C. This is with the fans maxed out.

Average GPU Clocks

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 123 | TweakTown.com

Alright, let's talk average GPU clock speeds -- against other cards. So we're looking at 2460MHz or so out of my sample in most games -- while it was spiking up at around 2660MHz in Assassin's Creed: Valhalla. I can't wait to get my hands-on some of the custom models and see if can breach 3000MHz which would be incredible to see.

Power Consumption & Temps

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 121 | TweakTown.com

400W out of the box for the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics card, with some heavy overclocking seeing the power consumption rocket up to 470W -- but I'm seeing overclocked RX 6800 XT cards using more power so far. It'll be interesting to re-visit this with custom Radeon RX 6900 XT cards.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 122 | TweakTown.com

As for GPU temps, we have the Radeon RX 6900 XT running at 75C out of the box -- 3C hotter than the RX 6800 XT but with the fans at 100% and manual OC pushing the Navi 21 GPU uphill we have just 61C -- 3C cooler than the RX 6800 XT when also overclocked to the max and fans at 100%.

What's Hot, What's Not

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 502 | TweakTown.com
  • Biggest Navi has kick ass RTX 3090 level performance: AMD had impressive performance out of the Radeon RX 6800 XT -- but the flagship Radeon RX 6900 XT has another notch of performance on top. It's the full Big Navi card with 80 compute units (over 72 CUs in the RX 6800 XT).
  • Great OC headroom: There is some nice headroom of around 10% or more in the Radeon RX 6900 XT reference card, enough to offer performance that competes with a heavily overclocked custom Radeon RX 6800 XT -- and the $500 more expensive RTX 3090.
  • Competes with RTX 3090 for $500 less: NVIDIA demands $1500+ for its GeForce RTX 3090, with some custom models at $2000 or more -- the Radeon RX 6900 XT on the other hand is just $999 for the reference model and trades blows and in some cases hands NVIDIA's ass to them for $500 less. Impressive, very impressive stuff.
  • Best Radeon GPU, period: This is the very fastest Radeon card on the planet, and it was a pleasure to test it -- Team Red is back in a big way, what a way to end 2020!
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 504 | TweakTown.com
  • Great reference design: I've been a big fan of some of the reference design Radeon cards over the years, in particular the Radeon VII and Radeon RX Vega Frontier Edition AMD has really delivered on the style and design of the Radeon RX 6000 series cards -- they look mean, and are mean graphics cards.
  • Feels like ATi Radeon 9700 days: I am a very old school PC enthusiast, and the only time I've felt like this about a Radeon was back in the Radeon 9700 days -- back when they were ATi. AMD has had some interesting GPU architectures and cards over the post-ATi years, but nothing like RDNA 2.
  • HDMI 2.1: HDMI 2.1 on a new card is a necessity in 2020 and more so going into 2021 onward, with all new high-end TVs rocking HDMI 2.1 and then we'll see more and more gaming monitors released in 2021 with HDMI 2.1 connectivity.

What's Not

There's not much to not like here with the Radeon RX 6800, unless you are buying purely for ray tracing -- then the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series cards will kick its ass. But, if you just want pure gaming performance (my focus on the card) then AMD has an actual GeForce RTX 3090 competitor for $500 less with its new Radeon RX 6900 XT.

AMD Ultimate Gaming Desktop

AMD for the first time in forever -- has simultaneously got a kick ass CPU, beating Intel very easily at this point -- and now a tremendous entry with the flagship Radeon RX 6900 XT. If you were building a new gaming PC right now, you would not be buying an Intel-based system.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 905 | TweakTown.com

There's the new Ryzen 9 5950X processor that packs a whopping 16 cores and 32 threads at up to 4.9GHz for just $799, mixed with a new flagship Radeon RX 6900 XT for $999 -- not a bad deal considering an Intel + NVIDIA similar purchase would cost more and get you much less CPU grunt, and equal GPU grunt but for $500 more (RTX 3090 starts at $1499).

You want that amazing PCIe 4.0-based NVMe M.2 SSD throwing 5GB/sec+ or 7GB/sec+ if you go for Sabrent's new Rocket 4 Plus. You want that new X570 motherboard for its PCIe 4.0 lanes, as the new Radeon RX 6800 series (and NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 30 series cards) are PCIe 4.0 compatible.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 934 | TweakTown.com

AMD is the only place for that right now -- and that is an increwdible position to be in as we step into the next d ecade. AMD has effectively kicked off 2021 with a gigantic bang. Intel cannot match this for many years, and NVIDIA cannot be anywhere near this position for many years either.

AMD is going to enjoy this time in the sun -- and if you want to build the Ultimate Gaming Desktop, team

Final Thoughts

AMD impresses yet again with the Radeon RX 6900 XT -- where AMD topples its Radeon RX 6800 XT but I don't know if I can justify the $350 increase in cost over the Radeon RX 6800 XT which is a fantastic Radeon card for the money.

But this is aimed at the gamers who want the best from Team Red like others want the best from Team Green and will plonk down the $2499 for the TITAN RTX or now $1499 for the GeForce RTX 3090 -- they will not be phased by the $999 price tag on the Radeon RX 6900 XT.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 508 | TweakTown.com

AMD gives gamers 16GB of RAM as it does across all Radeon RX 6800 series cards so far, with the best performance out of the box from a Big Navi card yet. This is just in reference form, so I'm hoping to see 2700-3000MHz out of a custom Radeon RX 6900 XT which are now reportedly on the way.

AMD rings out the last significant graphics card release of the year with its Radeon RX 6900 XT -- ending the most explosive year for graphics card in history (IMO) as it all happened in just a few months starting in September 2020 and ending in the beginning of December 2020. I think 2020 beat out the mining craze of 2016-2017 in pure GPU craziness, because there's been so many damn releases in such a short period of time.

We've had the Ampere GPU architecture fill out into the GeForce RTX 3090, GeForce RTX 3080, GeForce RTX 3070, and GeForce RTX 3060 Ti. Meanwhile, AMD has pumped out its new RDNA 2 architecture with the Radeon RX 6900 XT, Radeon RX 6800 XT, and Radeon RX 6800.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: Big Navi Battles RTX 3090 For $500 Less 914 | TweakTown.com

Wrapping up, we have a tease of what to expect from 2021 -- I think this is just the start and RDNA 3 is where the real fun will begin. AMD will start shifting over to chiplet/MCM-like design for future-gen RDNA 3 and beyond Radeon graphics cards and then AMD can really start sitting up really high on top of those benchmark charts with even bigger gains over NVIDIA, and Intel -- a new competitor for 2021 and beyond for both teams.

For now, the Radeon RX 6900 XT is impressive -- but those custom Radeon RX 6900 XTs if they're made available, will be just another step up and something to wait for. AMD -- it is nice to see you in this position, please press the pedal to the metal (harder) in 2021.

AMD ends 2020 with its most powerful Radeon graphics card of all time, what a way to ring out the year, AMD.

Performance

100%

Quality

100%

Features

100%

Value

100%

Overall

100%

The Bottom Line

AMD has yet another kick ass RDNA 2 powered graphics card with the Radeon RX 6900 XT -- an RTX 3090 competitor that costs $500 less. Brutal performance across the board, great to see from Team Red -- a great way to ring out 2020.

TweakTown award
100%

ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Formula

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$583.99$584.99$584.99
* Prices last scanned on 1/15/2021 at 6:58 pm CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

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.

Newsletter Subscription
We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

Related Tags

Newsletter Subscription
Latest News
View More News
Latest Reviews
View More Reviews
Latest Articles
View More Articles