ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula Review

ASRock's flagship Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula packs the best-binned Navi 21 XTXH GPU, and its OC Formula 3X Cooling System.

@anthony256
Published Mon, Oct 4 2021 2:57 PM CDT   |   Updated Mon, Oct 4 2021 9:13 PM CDT
Rating: 100%Manufacturer: ASRock (RX6900XT OCF)

Introduction

ASRock has hooked me up with my very first Navi 21 XTXH-based Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics card, with their new top-of-the-like ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula graphics card. It rocks the Navi 21 XTXH GPU and is one of the best Radeon RX 6900 XT cards money can (sometimes) buy.

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VIEW GALLERY - 74 IMAGES

I've reviewed the SAPPHIRE TOXIC Radeon RX 6900 XT Limited Edition, but there's a new EXTREME model that has the Navi 21 XTXH GPU -- a higher-binned, the best-binned Navi 21 GPU that is made. ASRock sent over the Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula and I've given it a spin in between all of these Radeon RX 6600 XT reviews.

The ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula is a triple-slot beast without too much RGB lighting bling, the very fastest graphics card based on the RDNA 2 architecture, and new HDMI 2.1 connectivity. ASRock even gives you a physical switch on the back of the card to disable the RGB lighting, which is great -- you're buying this card purely for its raw horsepower, not style and looks.

Very different to the SAPPHIRE TOXIC Radeon RX 6900 XT, which looks so damn good compared to the ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula. If you want style, you'd go with SAPPHIRE -- but I've yet to test their Navi 21 XTXH-based EXTREME model -- but if you want raw performance, the ASRock RX 6900 XT OC Formula seems to have it by just a few FPS.

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You can buy the ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula graphics card for $1699 on Newegg right now, down from its regular price of $1899. You'll also get a free copy of Far Cry 6 and Resident Evil 8 with your purchase.

Buy at Amazon

ASRock RX6900XT OCF 16G AMD Radeon RX6900XT

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$1759.00$2200.00$1749.95
* Prices last scanned on 10/20/2021 at 3:12 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Everything You Need to Know About The RX 6900 XT

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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.

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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.

ASRock + AMD marketing

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Detailed Look

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ASRock hasn't used a color theme before like it has on the new Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula, with a black/green/grey theme that does the job. It doesn't massively stand out, and for some people, that's a good thing. There's not too much RGB bling here, it's all in that specially binned Navi 21 XTXH GPU.

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We have a metal backplate on the rear, but I did expect more here on the back of the ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula. SAPPHIRE did such an awesome job on its Radeon RX 6900 XT TOXIC Edition graphics cards, but ASRock is kinda lacking here on the design around back.

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You've got a chunky triple-slot cooler here, but it's what you want with a top-of-the-line Navi 21 XTXH GPU. You want to keep that highly-binned GPU as cool as possible, as well as that 16GB of GDDR6 memory while you're gaming -- or most probably -- benchmarking the night away.

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You're going to need triple 8-pin PCIe power connectors to run the card, which is a bit excessive but not strange when it comes to custom Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics cards.

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We've got normal display connectivity here: 3 x DP1.4 and 1 x HDMI 2.1 connector -- all capable of 4K 144Hz and 8K 60Hz.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Benchmarks - Synthetic

3DMark Fire Strike

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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.

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3DMark TimeSpy

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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.

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Benchmarks - 1080p

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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1080p Benchmark Performance Thoughts

Please don't buy the ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula for 1080p gaming... but if you do, it's going to destroy 1080p gaming.

Benchmarks - 1440p

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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.

ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula Review 110 | TweakTown.com
ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula Review 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.

ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula Review 119 | TweakTown.com
ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula Review 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.

ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula Review 113 | TweakTown.com
ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula Review 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.

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1440p Benchmark Performance Thoughts

Moving into the world of 2560 x 1440, we have commanding performance from the Navi 21 XTXH-based ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula graphics card, with 105FPS average in Assassin's Creed: Valhalla at 1440p. This beats absolutely everything on the charts.

156FPS average in Shadow of War, beating everything else, and then 100FPS for Metro Exodus which sees the card beating everything else and on par with the GeForce RTX 3090.

Benchmarks - 4K

ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula Review 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.

ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula Review 109 | TweakTown.com
ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula Review 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.

ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula Review 118 | TweakTown.com
ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula Review 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.

ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula Review 112 | TweakTown.com
ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula Review 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.

ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula Review 115 | TweakTown.com

4K Benchmark Performance Thoughts

Please don't buy the Radeon RX 6600 XT thinking you're going to be blazing through games at 120FPS at 4K... but you're still going to achieve 30FPS average for the most part -- in most AAA titles. Not bad for a mid-range GPU.

Power Consumption & Temps

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What's Hot, What's Not

What's Hot

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  • Lots of room for OC play, ready for breaking OC world records: If you want to push the Radeon RX 6900 XT to its utter silicon limits then the ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula is for you.
  • One of the best Radeon RX 6900 XT cards so far: Not that you're going to buy this over another Radeon RX 6900 XT because it offers 30% more performance, but it's one of the very best you can buy. The specially-binned Navi 21 XTXH GPU is inside, that's the (expensive) magic.
  • Air cooling, no AIO cooler here: ASRock has a great cooler on its Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula, but it's not the coolest RX 6900 XT either. Other RX 6900 XT cards are cooler, but they aren't using the Navi 21 XTXH GPU.
  • The new Ultimate Radeon gaming GPU: If you want one of the best gaming experiences on Radeon, look no further than the ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula.
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What's Not

  • 8 + 8 + 8-pin PCIe power connectors: Not really something that's a "what's not" but it's worth mentioning the beasty amount of power that the ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula requires. But is that up to 450W of power useful? Only if you're into extreme overclocking or want to break OC world records.

Final Thoughts

ASRock has crafted an awesome experience with the Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula graphics card, with top-notch performance and no over-the-top RGB lighting that distracts from what you're here for: brute GPU performance from Team Red.

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There's no AIO cooler like SAPPHIRE uses with its highly-tweaked TOXIC Radeon RX 6900 XT cards, with ASRock using a triple-slot cooler to keep things under wraps at less than 70C. SAPPHIRE blows that away, but you shouldn't be surprised as it uses a higher-end AIO cooler.

I used the ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula graphics card in a lot of 4K 120FPS gaming situations on my personal gaming PC, gaming on the Navi 21 XTXH-based GPU in games like Call of Duty: Warzone and the newly-released DEATHLOOP. Plenty of GPU horsepower here, and 16GB of GDDR6 is also a treat.

There's some manual OC headroom here, and if you wanted to push the card to its silicon limits -- and had the more exotic cooling to handle it -- the ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula is a champion.

Buy at Amazon

Performance

100%

Quality

100%

Features

100%

Value

100%

Overall

100%

The Bottom Line

ASRock's custom Radeon RX 6900 XT OC Formula is a Navi 21 XTXH-based beast, offering unrivaled performance powered by the RDNA 2 architecture. Awesome stuff.

TweakTown award
100%

ASRock RX6900XT OCF 16G AMD Radeon RX6900XT

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$1759.00$2200.00$1749.95
* Prices last scanned on 10/20/2021 at 3:12 pm 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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