Gigabyte Radeon RX 6900 XT Gaming OC Review


Introduction

The Gigabyte Radeon RX 6900 XT Gaming OC is the company’s first custom-design RX 6900 XT “Big Navi” graphics card. It is positioned a notch below the company’s flagship RX 6900 XT AORUS Master and designed for those wanting a simple, air-cooled custom-design RX 6900 XT card to get gaming. The company paired the RX 6900 XT with its latest-generation WindForce 3X cooling solution that made its debut with the NVIDIA RTX 30-series custom cards, and a custom-design PCB by Gigabyte that pulls power from a trio of 8-pin PCIe power connectors. The card also features a moderate factory overclock to sweeten the deal.

The Radeon RX 6900 XT is AMD’s flagship graphics card for this generation and tops off a surprisingly fast graphics card series that restores competition to the high-end segment. Along with the RX 6800 series, it debuts the new RDNA2 graphics architecture, which also powers the latest generation of game consoles, meaning optimizing for the architecture is easy since most game studios have a console-first development approach. This is also AMD’s first graphics architecture with full DirectX 12 Ultimate readiness, combining real-time raytracing, variable-rate shading, mesh shaders, and sampler-feedback, uplifting the visual experience from standard DirectX 12.

Full real-time raytraced rendering is the holy-grail of 3D graphics, but beyond the capability of today’s hardware. It is, however, possible to combine conventional raster 3D graphics with certain real-time raytraced elements, such as lighting, shadows, reflections, global illumination, etc., to significantly improve realism. Even this much raytracing requires enormous amounts of compute power. The most compute-intensive part, ray intersection, is processed by fixed-function hardware AMD calls Ray Accelerators. A by-product of this approach is the vast raster 3D performance uplift over the previous generation, which enables AMD to compete with NVIDIA at the high-end segment.

The Radeon RX 6900 XT is based on the new 7 nm “Navi 21” silicon, the same chip also powering the RX 6800 series, but maxes it out. It gets all 5,120 stream processors, 80 Ray Accelerators, 320 TMUs, and 128 ROPs that are physically present on the silicon. AMD doubled the memory amount over the past generation, giving the card 16 GB of it; however, the memory bus width remains at 256-bit. The company used the fastest JEDEC-standard 16 Gbps GDDR6 memory chips for 512 GB/s memory bandwidth and a new technology it calls Infinity Cache, a 128 MB on-die Level 3 cache that operates at 2 TB/s in conjunction with the GDDR6 memory to improve memory sub-system performance.

The Gigabyte RX 6900 XT Gaming OC features a rather simple design. Its WindForce 3X cooling solution consists of a set of aluminium fin stacks skewered by six copper heat pipes which make indirect contact with the GPU through a copper base plate. Three fans ventilate the heatsink. The fans turn in physically opposite directions of each other, yet guide air onto the heatsink. This has been done to reduce turbulence between the fans and lowers noise output. You also get factory-overclocked speeds of 2285 MHz (maximum boost clock) against the 2250 MHz reference. In this review, we take the card for a spin across our test bed to tell you if it has everything you need if all you want is an RX 6900 XT.

Radeon RX 6900 XT Review Market Segment Analysis
  Price Shader
Units
ROPs Core
Clock
Boost
Clock
Memory
Clock
GPU Transistors Memory
RX Vega 64 $400 4096 64 1247 MHz 1546 MHz 953 MHz Vega 10 12500M 8 GB, HBM2, 2048-bit
GTX 1080 Ti $650 3584 88 1481 MHz 1582 MHz 1376 MHz GP102 12000M 11 GB, GDDR5X, 352-bit
RX 5700 XT $370 2560 64 1605 MHz 1755 MHz 1750 MHz Navi 10 10300M 8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2070 $340 2304 64 1410 MHz 1620 MHz 1750 MHz TU106 10800M 8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2070 Super $450 2560 64 1605 MHz 1770 MHz 1750 MHz TU104 13600M 8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
Radeon VII $680 3840 64 1802 MHz N/A 1000 MHz Vega 20 13230M 16 GB, HBM2, 4096-bit
RTX 2080 $600 2944 64 1515 MHz 1710 MHz 1750 MHz TU104 13600M 8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2080 Super $690 3072 64 1650 MHz 1815 MHz 1940 MHz TU104 13600M 8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 3060 Ti $800 4864 80 1410 MHz 1665 MHz 1750 MHz GA104 17400M 8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2080 Ti $1000 4352 88 1350 MHz 1545 MHz 1750 MHz TU102 18600M 11 GB, GDDR6, 352-bit
RTX 3070 $850 5888 96 1500 MHz 1725 MHz 1750 MHz GA104 17400M 8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RX 6800 $950 3840 96 1815 MHz 2105 MHz 2000 MHz Navi 21 26800M 16 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RX 6800 XT $1200 4608 128 2015 MHz 2250 MHz 2000 MHz Navi 21 26800M 16 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 3080 $1100 8704 96 1440 MHz 1710 MHz 1188 MHz GA102 28000M 10 GB, GDDR6X, 320-bit
RX 6900 XT $1550 5120 128 2015 MHz 2250 MHz 2000 MHz Navi 21 26800M 16 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
Gigabyte RX 6900 XT
Gaming OC
$1550 5120 128 2050 MHz 2285 MHz 2000 MHz Navi 21 26800M 16 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 3090 $2000 10496 112 1395 MHz 1695 MHz 1219 MHz GA102 28000M 24 GB, GDDR6X, 384-bit



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