AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT

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The AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT offers a competitory gaming acquisition to the Nvidia RTX 3090 connected galore levels, and connected terms unsocial it's hard to reason that this isn't the champion premium graphics paper for astir gamers close present – but with Nvidia Lovelace and AMD RDNA 3 conscionable astir the corner, determination mightiness beryllium adjacent amended cards astatine the aforesaid terms constituent by the extremity of 2022.

Pros

  • +

    RTX 3090 gaming show (sometimes)

  • +

    Much cheaper than champion RTX cards

  • +

    4K gaming connected AMD Radeon

Cons

  • -

    Next-gen cards are astir here

  • -

    Not large for originative workloads

  • -

    Ray tracing show lags RTX

AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT: Two infinitesimal review

AMD should person led with the AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT. 

After a twelvemonth and a fractional since AMD launched this generation's RDNA 2 graphics cards, and astir 2 years aft Nvidia launched its archetypal user Ampere cards, AMD has travel retired with a paper that epitomizes everything AMD is known and respected for. It's conscionable a shame that it's past telephone connected this procreation of graphics cards, and the RX 6950 XT apt won't get the emotion it truly deserved. 

The RX 6950 XT is the archetypal graphics paper from Team Red to airs an really superior situation to the Nvidia RTX 3090's gaming performance, and adjacent though immoderate inconsistencies inevitably clasp it backmost from going a afloat 12 rounds against Nvidia's best, it's the benignant of combatant that you find yourself cheering for anyway.

What is truthful appealing astir the AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT is that it is simply 1 of the best graphics cards – if not the champion – successful the premium tier erstwhile measuring its terms to its performance. AMD has ever been known for offering large cards astatine a large price, and what's astonishing astir the RX 6950 XT is that AMD manages to bring that aforesaid doctrine into the premium tier of the graphics paper market. 

Cards astatine this level are each astir show and they usually person prices to match, but the RX 6950 XT shows that adjacent the astir exclusive clubs tin person an point oregon 2 connected the worth menu.

As such, it is simply a large enactment for gamers retired determination who tin spend a premium card, but aren't really giant, human-shaped, walking piles of wealth – it slightest it would be, if RDNA 3 wasn't close astir the corner. AMD's next-gen graphics cards are apt to marque immoderate large advances successful presumption of ray tracing and hardware-assisted upscaling tech that should stroke the existent procreation of AMD cards retired of the water, truthful buying thing premium from this procreation close present is iffy astatine best. 

It's wholly imaginable that an AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT could person comparable show to the RX 6950 XT, and it volition apt beryllium cheaper, truthful the imaginable worth of this paper is somewhat wasted with truthful precocious an introduction into the market. Again, it's a shame, due to the fact that this paper has a batch going for it, astatine slightest connected the gaming front.

If you're not a gamer though, determination truly isn't a full batch for you here. While the RX 6950 XT is the best AMD graphics card to deed the market, its originative workload show inactive lags considerably down the best Nvidia GeForce graphics cards, and without Tensor cores, the RX 6950 XT simply isn't up for the task of aggravated instrumentality learning models and different akin probe enactment that makes Nvidia RTX cards truthful prized.

All that said, this was ever meant to beryllium a gamer's graphics card, and for the terms you're paying, the AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT mightiness beryllium that uncommon premium PC constituent that manages to present outstanding worth successful a marketplace wherever specified an thought is astir wholly alien. But if you tin hold until RDNA 3 launches, it mightiness beryllium worthy seeing what AMD's next-gen cards connection earlier plopping down a batch of wealth connected a paper that could beryllium rapidly overshadowed earlier the twelvemonth is out.

AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT: Price and availability

An AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT connected  a table  successful  beforehand   of a plant

(Image credit: Future)
  • How overmuch is it? MSRP listed astatine $1,099 (about £880, AU$1,580), $1,299 arsenic reviewed
  • When is it out? It is disposable now
  • Where tin you get it? You tin bargain successful the US, UK, and Australia 

The AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT we reviewed is the Gigabyte RX 6950 XT Gaming OC version, alternatively than an AMD notation card, truthful it's a spot much costly than AMD's $1,099 (about £880, AU$1,580) MSRP.

The Gigabyte RX 6950 XT Gaming OC paper retails for $1,299 (about £1,039 / AU$1,870), which is inactive $200 (about £160 / AU$290) cheaper than Nvidia's RTX 3090 Founders Edition card, and $300 (about £240 / AU$430) cheaper than the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming OC card.

AMD's MSRP for the RX 6950 XT is besides $100 (about £80 / AU$145) little than the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, adjacent though the 3080 Ti is simply a overmuch much comparable paper to the RX 6950 XT by the numbers successful astir cases.

It's besides worthy noting that AMD cards are mostly not arsenic heavy bought for mining oregon by profiteers connected resale sites, truthful they've mostly seen amended availability than RTX 30-series cards and truthful mightiness beryllium easier to find successful astir cases.

  • Value: 4/5

AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT: Design and chipset

An AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT connected  a table  successful  beforehand   of a plant

(Image credit: Future)
  • On-board Dual BIOS power for OC and Silent modes
  • 16.7 cardinal RGB colour options for Gigabyte logo connected card
  • Faster GPU and representation clocks

The Gigabyte RX 6950 XT Gaming OC paper we reviewed is simply a beauteous bully looking paper that you won't beryllium embarassed to amusement disconnected successful your build, and it definite arsenic hellhole looks much charismatic than the AMD notation paper plan for the RDNA 2 cards. 

Sporting a metallic and acheronian grey colorway, the Gigabyte paper features a three-alternating-fan cooling solution wherever the mediate instrumentality spins counterwise to the 2 fans connected either broadside of it. This is designed to marque for little turbulent aerial travel done the paper to assistance support things cool, and it does look to instrumentality 5°C to 10°C disconnected the max somesthesia successful our tests compared to the RTX 3090 Ti and RTX 3080. But that isn't truthful overmuch of a quality that different conditions mightiness person played a larger relation than a counterclockwise spinning instrumentality blade. If thing else, it looks chill if you halt to announcement it astatine immoderate point.

Gigabyte AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT Gaming OC cardinal specs

GPU: Navi21
Stream Processors: 5,120
Ray Accelerators:
80
Power Draw (TGP): 335W
Base Clock: 1,925 MHz
Boost Clock:
2,324 MHz
VRAM: 16GB GDDR6
Memory Speed: 1,800MHz
Memory Bus: 256-bit
Memory Bandwith: 576.0 GB/s
Card Interface: PCIe 4.0
Outputs:
2 x HDMI 2.1, 2 x DisplayPort 1.4a
Power Connector: 3 x 8-pin
Recommended PSU: 850W

Chances are you won't truly spot it though, but that's good due to the fact that Gigabyte's Aorus Fusion 2.0 volition fto you programme 16.7 cardinal antithetic colour options into the Gigabyte logo on the disposable edge, including respective antithetic patterns similar colour wave, colour pulse, and more, that adds immoderate further RGB flair to your build.

There is besides a charismatic looking backplate to the paper that doesn't conscionable support the delicate connections connected the PCB, but the brushed metallic plan has an astir space-station-y consciousness to it that is an fantabulous complement to a Gigabyte Aorus motherboard.

Along the borderline of that backplate, you'll besides find a dual BIOS power that tin flip the paper from OC to Silent mode, with the erstwhile pushing show portion the second is designed for quieter operation.

Finally, this paper needs a batch of power, but it blessedly doesn't travel with Nvidia's funky caller connectors that necessitate an adapter to person from your modular 8-pin to a 12-pin one. The RX 6950 XT volition inactive necessitate 3 disposable 8-pin connectors though.

An AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT connected  a table  successful  beforehand   of a plant

(Image credit: Future)

On the inside, the Gigabyte RX 6950 XT is powered by the aforesaid Navi21 GPU recovered successful the Radeon RX 6900 XT, though with immoderate faster timepiece speeds for some the GPU and the 16GB of GDDR6 memory.

The RX 6900 XT, for example, features a basal timepiece of 1,825 MHz and a boost of 2,250 MHz, compared to the RX 6950 XT's 1,925 MHz and 2,324 MHz, respectively, which is simply a spot implicit 3% to 5% faster. 

In presumption of memory, the VRAM connected the RX 6950 XT is besides a spot faster astatine 2,250MHz, compared to the RX 6900 XT's 2,000MHz. With the magnitude of VRAM and the aforesaid 256-bit representation bus, this other velocity mightiness not look similar a lot, but it does mean that the paper has astir 13% much representation bandwidth than the RX 6900 XT, 576GB/s to 512GB/s, respectively.

The RX 6950 XT has the aforesaid fig of watercourse processors arsenic the RX 6900 XT (5,120), arsenic good arsenic the aforesaid fig of Ray Accelerators (80). With its faster clocks and an further 35W of TGP arsenic the RX 6900 XT (325W to 300W, respectively), the RX 6950 XT is simply capable to bash much with the hardware it has.

  • Design: 3.5/5

AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT: Performance

An AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT inserted into a motherboard

(Image credit: Future)
  • Excellent RTX 3090-level show (most of the time)
  • Creative workloads falter

The AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT is unquestionably the champion video paper AMD has ever enactment out, and portion it's not precisely the adjacent of the RTX 3090 (or the RTX 3080 Ti, successful immoderate cases), it's inactive much than capable show to play the best PC games connected ultra settings with some ray tracing and get playable and adjacent enjoyable 4K gaming with the assistance of AMD FSR

Test strategy specs

This is the strategy we utilized to trial the AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D
CPU Cooler: Corsair iCue H150i Elite Capellix 360mm AIO
RAM: ffCorsair Vengeance LED DDR4-3200
Motherboard: Gigabyte Aorus Master X570 (BIOS F36c)
SSD: Samsung 980 Pro 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD
Power Supply: Corsair AX1000
Case: Praxis Wetbench

FSR enactment is inactive rolling out, truthful you whitethorn inactive request to marque adjustments to your settings to deed the apical of the parabolic curve wherever graphics prime and 60 fps enactment up. 

But that's the lawsuit adjacent with the RTX 3090 Ti with DLSS on, which lone conscionable hardly hits 60 fps (ocassionally) successful Cyberpunk 2077's benchmark astatine 4K with the Ultra Ray Tracing graphics preset. And, adjacent then, that's its max framework rate, its mean is successful the precocious 40s, portion without immoderate upscaling, the RTX 3090 Ti lone hits 24 fps connected those settings.

The RX 6950 XT, meanwhile, lone maxes retired successful the precocious 30s with FSR on, though it's mean is astir 29 fps. Without immoderate upscaling support, the RX 6950 XT creaks successful with 13 fps connected these settings.

(Image credit: Future / Infogram)

In astir each of our benchmarks, the RX 6950 XT falls abbreviated of the RTX 3090 and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, and adjacent the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080, depending connected the test. But wherever the RX 6950 XT falters, it's not wholly bowled over, and its top weakness is erstwhile ray tracing is being pushed to the max. 

Nvidia cards are simply amended astatine ray tracing since their ray tracing cores are conscionable a much mature graphics architecture astatine this signifier than AMD's archetypal procreation Ray Accelerators introduced with AMD RDNA 2. The RX 6950 XT's rasterization show is inactive conscionable arsenic bully oregon amended than the RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3090's, with the latest AMD paper beating adjacent the RTX 3090 Ti successful 3DMark's Fire Strike Ultra.

So portion the Nvidia RTX cards are decidedly the reigning champs astatine ray tracing, successful galore cases you simply won't beryllium using ray tracing, since adjacent connected the top-tier Nvidia GPUs, you're inactive looking astatine a 4K slideshow without upscaling tech similar DLSS and FSR, and not each crippled has implemented those technologies yet. In the lawsuit of astir games you volition beryllium playing for the adjacent mates of years, you're overmuch much apt to request to thin connected rasterization show arsenic you ever have. 

Ray tracing and upscaling tech conscionable isn't afloat present yet for it to beryllium a blowout, and erstwhile you've enjoyed the amusement with ray tracing for a spot and you really privation to bash immoderate 4K gaming astatine 60fps, the RX 6950 XT becomes a batch much competitive, particularly if you're consenting to tweak immoderate settings wherever appropriate, though not connected each crippled retired there.

The astir important happening to accidental astir the RX 6950 XT though is that for a batch of people, the thought of owning an RTX 3090 oregon RTX 3090 Ti is simply a tube imagination astatine their MSRP – adjacent if it weren't for the silicon shortage, dastardly eBay and StockX profiteers, and the crypto bubble of 2020 - 2022 mucking things up adjacent further.

At $1,099, the RX 6950 XT is astir 27% cheaper than the RTX 3090 Founders Edition, and it's astir fractional the terms of the RTX 3090 Ti. It's adjacent cheaper than the RTX 3080 Ti, and its gaming show is precise competitory against these apical 3 RTX cards erstwhile you see however overmuch show you get for each dollar spent connected the card.

And we bash privation to accent that this is simply a gamer's graphics card, without a doubt. It does amended than each different AMD paper connected our originative benchmarks, but it inactive mode down wherever adjacent the RTX 3060 Ti is crossed Blender's 3 benchmark tests. 

In fact, the RX 6950 XT lone starts to bushed retired Nvidia cards successful Blender starting astatine the RTX 3060, and adjacent past it's conscionable hardly successful lone 1 of the 3 tests. Similarly, it's Adobe Premiere show lags astir 50 points down the RTX 3060, and the RTX 3060 is astir a 3rd of the terms of the RX 6950 XT. If you're a creative, you person a batch amended options retired determination that volition connection you a overmuch amended worth for the workflows that you need.

All that said, portion we can't accidental it's the champion graphics paper retired there, the AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT is beauteous damned large if you're looking for a gaming graphics card, particularly since it tin springiness you a sensation of truly premium graphics if you're priced retired of the RTX 3090 and RTX 3090 Ti. As this procreation of graphics cards winds down up of Nvidia Lovelace and AMD RDNA 3, the AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT is simply a large paper to adjacent it retired with. And who knows? You mightiness adjacent beryllium capable to find this 1 successful banal someday.

  • Performance: 4/5

Should I bargain an AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT?

An AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT connected  a table  successful  beforehand   of a plant

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if…

Don’t bargain it if…

Also consider

Gigabyte AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT Gaming OC Report Card
ValueFor a premium graphics card, the gaming show you are getting for the terms is fantastic, but amended cards astatine the aforesaid terms oregon little mightiness beryllium conscionable a fewer months away.4/5
DesignThe Gigabyte Gaming OC plan is decidedly a measurement up from the AMD notation paper design, but it's besides not a stunning showpiece.3.5/5
PerformanceGaming show is fantastic, particularly for rasterized, non-ray-traced graphics, but it struggles with originative workloads.4/5

First reviewed successful June 2022

John Loeffler

John (He/Him) is the US Computing Editor present astatine TechRadar and helium is besides a programmer, gamer, activist, and Brooklyn College alum presently surviving successful Brooklyn, NY. 

Named by the CTA arsenic a CES 2020 Media Trailblazer for his subject and exertion reporting, John specializes successful each areas of machine science, including manufacture news, hardware reviews, PC gaming, arsenic good arsenic wide subject penning and the societal interaction of the tech industry.

You tin find him online connected Twitter astatine @thisdotjohn

Currently playing: EVE Online, Elden Ring.

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