Sapphire Radeon RX 6700 XT NITRO+ review

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Sapphire Radeon RX 6700 XT NITRO+ review

Sapphire is back in the house with the grand design NITRO+ Radeon RX 6700 XT. For something in the WQHD monitor range, this card has been build to impress with that massive beefy triple-fan cooler and a factory tweak. Next to that, the dual BIOS mode will guarantee silent operation (if you want it). Things once again look good for this product series. Armed with a triple-fan cooler and a fully customized design XFX manages to deliver. Armed with 12GB of graphics memory, will it be enough? In this review we start off with of overview and analysis, we'll be discussing the Radeon Series 6700 XT from AMD that stems from the RDNA2 architecture. It certainly took a while for AMD to release it, back in July 2019 AMD announced the NAVI-based Radeon RX 5700 and 5700 XT. a product series that ever since has been well respected. The 5700 series does offer some good performance. However from there onwards, things were pushed back for various reasons like all COVID-19 related, in the world of graphics technology, also a new dynamic was added, Raytracing. Or, I should say DirectX Raytracing (DX-R). NVIDIA was pioneering two years ago with their RTX 2000 series already, and AMD made the call to delay that for the original Navi GPU. As the graphics landscape changed somewhere done the line, so this the roadmap for AMD change. Microsoft and Sony consoles embedded with AMD technology revealed that Ray tracing was going to be supported. And that did set the trend for the desktop graphics card we see announced today as well. 

Radeon RX 6700 XT

AMD announced the card at their 'Where Gaming Begins epi3' presentation (March 3, 2021). As earlier indicated, only one NAVI22 SKU is released at this time. The Radeon RX 6700 XT. A Non-XT version may follow at a later date. The RX 6700 XT will be commercially available starting on the 18th of March 2021. Reference cards and customs cards launch on the same date. Navi22 XL, the GPU that resides on the 6700 XT graphics card series has been paired with 12 GB of GDDR6 graphics memory Armed with RDNA2 architecture and 40 CUs this offers 2560 shading processors, the same amount as the Radeon RX 5700 XT, the architecture, however, is much faster. The memory makes use of a 192-bit wide memory bus. The reference boards use 11 phases of power. It will have a base clock of 2321 MHz, a game clock of 2424 MHz, and a boost clock of 2581 MHz. The graphics card features 160 TMUs, 64 ROPs, and 40 Raytracing cores for raytracing hardware acceleration. The graphics card is equipped with a high-quality PCB with an 8-pin and 6-pin power connector. The official TDP is listed at 230W.  



GPU Stream Processors RT Cores Max Boost GPU clock (MHz) RAM type RAM volume (GB) RAM bandwidth (GB/s) RAM width TDP (watts)
Radeon RX 6900 XT 5120 80 2250 GDDR6 16 512 256-bit 300
Radeon RX 6800 XT 4608 72 2250 GDDR6 16 512 256-bit 300
Radeon RX 6800  3840 60 2105 GDDR6 16 512 256-bit 250
6700 XT Sapphire Nitro+ 2560 40 2622 GDDR6 12 384 192-bit 230
Radeon RX 6700 XT 2560 40 2581 GDDR6 12 384 192-bit 230
Radeon RX 5700 XT 2560 1605 GDDR6 8 448 256-bit 225
Radeon RX 5700 2304 1465 GDDR6 8 448 256-bit 180
Radeon VII 3840 1400 HBM2 16 1024 4096-bit 300
Radeon RX Vega 64 4096 1247 HBM2 8 484 2048-bit 295
Radeon RX Vega 56 3584 1156 HBM2 8 410 2048-bit 210
Radeon RX 590 2304 1469 GDDR5 8GB 256 256-bit 185

All 6000 cards released by AMD and their board partners will be fitted with GDDR6 memory, the 6700 XT however sees 12 GB of it. And that means a more bandwidth-limited 192-bit wide memory bus. However, AMD has got that trick up their sleeves architecture-wise, as they added an L3 cache into the GPU. All RDNA2 based graphics processors are DirectX Ultimate compatible, a naming placeholder for extra feature levels such as DirectX Raytracing (DXR), Variable Rate Shading (VRS), Mesh Shaders, and Sampler Feedback. 


The Radeon RX 6700 XT reference is to cost a rather excessive 479 USD. You can thus expect board partner cards with custom designs and cooling to sit above the 500 USD marker. At the time of writing, we just cannot make any sense of price levels as where NVIDIA increases pricing, AMD now follows suit. Unfortunately, prices are now at such ludicrous levels that people will flee to consoles far more easily. Traditionally the Radeon RX x700 Series should have been mainstream to high-end product. Coming from the last-gen 5700 XT, AMD increased pricing by 80 USD.  The NITRO+ is carrying an MSRP of 579 USD

Sapphire Radeon RX 6700 XT NITRO+ Series

Sapphire really designed a nice premium product, and while in the more mainstream/high-end segment, this product looks like is the beefiest you'll ever have seen. It is based on a triple-fan cooler and a 2.7-slot design with a duo of six and 8-pin PCIe power connectors, the card is bound to please and tease many. The card has 11 power phased, nine for GPU and two for the memory subsystem. The modified RX 6700 XT graphics card has an outspoken black and silver design with a backplate. In the I/O area, the card includes three DisplayPort 1.4 ports, one HDMI 2.1. Clock frequencies are listed as being a 2622MHz Boost. The Boost frequency however isn't a fixed setting anymore these days and can even vary per card a little. TGP allowance at performance mode is 211W. But as stated depending on the power allowance and even ASIC quality it can have different values. The 12GB GDDR6 memory clocks in at 2000 MHz (16 Gbps effective). The most bitter pill to swallow is the price, $579 USD. The card has a length of close to 31cm, weighs in at just over 1 KG, and has been fitted with dual-BIOS. We have a lot to talk about, have a peek at what is reviewed today. On the next two pages some in-house photos, after which we then head onwards into the review.

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