AMD Reveals Radeon RX 6700 XT, A 1440p Gaming Powerhouse
AMD's Radeon RX 6700 XT PC Gaming GPU Hits On March 18th
The Episode 3 livestream of AMD’s “Where Gaming Begins” series just ended, during which the company revealed some feature updates coming to its Ryzen CPUs and Radeon GPUs and officially announced the latest member of its RDNA2-based Radeon RX 6000 family, the forthcoming Radeon RX 6700 XT.
But before we dive into the Radeon RX 6700 XT, AMD also announced updates coming to previous-gen Ryzen 3000 series processors and its Radeon Software suite, that should make more than a few gamers and performance enthusiasts happy...
Smart Access Memory Comes To Ryzen 3000
Smart Access Memory – AMD’s branding for supper of the PCIe spec’s Resizable BAR feature – launched with the first “Big Navi” based Radeon RX 6800 and 6900 series cards and was initially enable only of Ryzen 5000 series processors. Resizable BAR allows a system’s host processor to peer into all of the memory attached to a compatible GPU. Previously, only a small portion of the GPU’s memory was available to the CPU, which resulted in multiple transaction and overhead, as the CPU snatched data when necessary. Smart Access Memory / Resizable BAR reduces overhead and maximizes bandwidth utilization between the CPU and GPU, which can increase performance in some scenarios.
AMD announced today that Smart Access Memory support was coming to Ryzen 3000 series processor platforms as well. With this update by AMD, support from NVIDIA, and recent updates to many Intel-based motherboards, support for Smart Access Memory / Resizable BAR is much more pervasive across both desktop and mobile PC hardware platforms.
Boost And Anti-Lag Direct X12 SupportIn addition to bringing Smart Access Memory to its previous-gen processors, AMD updating its Radeon Software Suite to bring support for its Radeon Anti-Lag and Radeon Boost technologies to DirectX 12 titles.
In you recall, AMD Radeon Anti-Lag is designed to improve motion-to-photon response times, commonly referred to as input latency or input lag. Anti-Lag essentially decouples keyboard and mouse input from the framerate, to achieve effective lower response times, similar to what would be realized with a higher frame rate. And with Radeon Boost, the graphics driver has the ability to dynamically alter the display resolution when a scene is in motion, to effectively increase performance. These features weren’t available in DX12 titles previously until today.
Introducing The AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT
The main attraction of AMD’s livestream event, however, was the Radeon RX 6700 XT. As its name suggests, the Radeon RX 6700 XT is a more-mainstream addition to the Radeon RX 6000 family, that sits just below the Radeon RX 6800 in AMD’s product stack.
AMD is targeting high-framerate 1440p gaming with the Radeon RX 6700 XT. Although deep technical details of the new Navi 22 RDNA2-based GPU powering the cards weren’t discussed, AMD did disclose that the GPU has 40 Compute Units (CUs) with 40 Ray Tracing Accelerators, with 96MB of Infinity Cache, and 12Gb of GDDR6 memory. Game Clocks of up to 2424MHz will be possible and board power is rated for 230 watts.
The board design features 11 power phases, and a new dual-axial fan cooler, that interfaces with the GPU using a phase-change TIM. Outputs on the card are similar to the Radeon RX 6800 / 6900.
In terms of feature support, the Radeon RX 6700 XT will be identical to the high-end Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6900 XT series cards, but the 6700 XT’s GPU has been scaled down to reduce the die size (and ultimately cost), and bring the company’s latest GPU architecture down into more affordable price points for the masses.
In terms of expected performance, AMD revealed a handful of benchmark numbers. Versus competing offerings from NVIDIA over the last few generations, AMD claims the Radeon RX 6700 XT offers a significant performance boost over NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1070 Ti and GeForce RTX 2080 Super.
Versus NVIDIA’s current competitive offerings, AMD is claiming wins across many titles at 1440p / max settings versus the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070, but with the added benefits of a larger 12GB frame buffer on the Radeon RX 6700 XT, which should add a measure of future-proofing as games get more graphically complex.
AMD also showed some ultra-high FPS scores with max settings at 1080p in a handful of eSports titles, to show the Radeon RX 6700 XT offers performance high enough to maximize the benefits of today’s high-refresh rate displays.
Where To Buy A Radeon RX 6700 XT
Finally, AMD also revealed that it will be doing something a bit different with the launch of the Radeon RX 6700 XT. AMD-built refence cards will be available directly from AMD.com and numerous partner boards will be available from etailers and system builders, all on March 18, at MSRPs starting at $479.
With the current material shortages and pent up demand for GPUs by gamers and crypto-miners, availability has been scarce to say the least. AMD hopes that going all out and offering cards through multiple channels from the get go will allow gamers to score these new graphics cards sooner rather than later, at or close to MSRP. We shall see in the coming weeks but stay tuned to HotHardware, as always, for the full review and share your thoughts in the comments below here as well.