AMD Radeon RX 6800 Series Reference Board Production To Continue Following Public Outcry

radeon 6900 xt style
Yesterday, channel sources indicated that AMD was winding down production of its Radeon RX 6800, Radeon RX 6800 XT, and Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics cards. AMD sells these cards under its own brand name, and its AIB partners also sell the cards as a quick and easy way to deliver product to customers as they work on custom versions.

The rumors seemingly jived with comments made by AMD's Scott Herkelman back in November, when he said that reference boards would continue to be made through early 2021. This week’s rumor undercut that initial projection by a couple of weeks. However, Herkelman came out yesterday and said that AMD has done an about-face on its plans, and will continue to produce reference boards:

So, what was AMD's reasoning? Well, it appears that demand has been so great that AMD was left with no choice but to continue producing the cards as its AIB partners work to get their own custom designs out to the public. As we've seen with the GeForce RTX 30 Series, gamers are clamoring to get their hands on next-generation hardware to play demanding games like Cyberpunk 2077, but they are often coming up short in finding a retailer that actually has the cards in stock.

AMD faced this problem when the Radeon RX 6800 and Radeon RX 6800 XT launched last month, and the flagship Radeon RX 6900 XT sold out in record fashion when it launched Tuesday morning. While it's good to hear that AMD will continue production on reference boards, it would be good if that commitment actually translated into gamers actually being able to get their hands on the cards without having to fight with ruthless bots in the process.

With the being said, AMD's latest and greatest Radeon RX 6900 XT launched earlier this week as a direct competitor to the GeForce RTX 3090 with a $500 cheaper price. While the Radeon RX 6900 XT is by far the company's most powerful and fastest graphics card to date (as we discovered in our review), it is not a decisive knockout punch against its rival. And as we've seen with the two previously launched Big Navi graphics cards, ray tracing performance on the Radeon RX 6900 XT lags well behind the GeForce RTX 30 Series.