Sapphire Quietly Launches AMD Radeon 6700 Cards: So What's RDNA 2 Without The RX?

hero sapphire radeon 6700 puilse
Around here, we're well-familiar with the Radeon RX 6000 Series graphics cards from AMD. We've reviewed most of them here at HotHardware, from the entry-level RX 6500 XT, the RX 6600 and 6600 XT, the RX 6700 XT, the recently introduced Radeon RX 6750 XT, and the big boys based on Navi 21: Radeon RX 6800, RX 6800 XT, and RX 6900 XT.

With RDNA 3 and the next generation of Radeon cards looming on the horizon, we thought that AMD was probably done with releasing new desktop graphics cards based on RDNA 2, but apparently we were wrong. Two unusual video card SKUs showed up on Sapphire's website this morning, and they both seem to be "Radeon 6700" cards. That's not a typo: "Radeon 6700", without the "RX". One is a PULSE model, while the other card has no particular branding beyond two Sapphire stickers.

It would be easy to chalk this up to a typo, but these cards are indeed different in terms of specifications from the regular Radeon RX 6700 XT. While they're based on the same Navi 22 GPU core, they come with a small snip to just about every specification: 18 Workgroup Processors (WGPs) instead of 20, 2495 MHz boost clock instead of 2581 MHz, and the memory bus takes a hit down from 192-bits width to 160-bit. Accordingly, the memory capacity drops to 10GB, although it's still clocked at 16 Gbps. Infinity cache drops from 96 MB to 80 MB.

sapphire 6700
Sapphire Radeon 6700 10GB

Notably, this GPU configuration completely matches that of the mobile Radeon RX 6700M. It's possible that Sapphire has started taking chips originally intended for laptops and slapping them down on desktop PCBs, but we think it's more likely that these are simply GPUs that couldn't cut the efficiency mustard in a laptop form factor. The latter conclusion is bolstered by the fact that these cards are listed with a board power of 220 watts, while the 6700M is spec'd for just 135 W, and only clocked slightly lower at 2300 MHz.

There's no pricing information for either of these products yet, but we're seeing street prices of $399 for the Radeon RX 6650 XT and then $499 for the Radeon RX 6700 XT. Based on the specifications, these cards slot in neatly between those two GPUs, but $100 isn't much wiggle room. We'd be surprised if these graphics cards hit the market priced any higher than $449, and they might end up cheaper than that.