AMD launches 'Big Navi' Radeon RX 6000 series GPUs, starting at $580 November 18

AMD Radeon RX 6800
AMD Radeon RX 6800 (Image credit: AMD)

What you need to know

  • AMD officially launched its new Radeon RX 6000 series GPUs today.
  • The new GPUs represent a significant jump over the previous generation, based on the RDNA 2 architecture.
  • This is the second big launch for AMD this month, following the debut of its Ryzen 5000 series.

AMD today took the wraps off of the Radeon RX 6000 series, the latest major update to its Radeon graphics card lineup. Based on the new RDNA2 architecture, the Radeon RX 6000 series offers a significant jump in performance over the previous generation of Radeon cards. That's in large part due to RDNA, which is now much more efficient and packed with a suite of new features to push higher framerates and graphics quality.

The RDNA2 architecture brings a 54 percent increase in performance per watt over RDNA. AMD also claims RDNA2 can deliver double the performance over RDNA at 4K resolutions.

Turning to hardware, AMD led with the new Radeon RX 6800 XT, which matches up with the performance of NVIDIA's latest GeForce RTX 3080 — even beating it in some cases — while using less power. The card is packed with 72 compute units and 16GB of memory. That's backed up by a 2015MHz base clock and 2250MHz boost clock.

Capping off the event, AMD unveiled the top-of-the-line Radeon RX 6900 XT. Going up against NVIDIA's monster GeForce RTX 3900, the RX 6900 XT delivers 65 percent more performance per watt compared to RDNA. It also beats out or matches the RTX 3090 in framerates across several games at a 300 watt power draw.

In terms of specs, the Radeon RX 6900 XT is a beast with 80 compute units, 16GB of memory and 128MB of "infinity cache." That's built on a base clock of 2015MHz and a boost clock of 2250MHz.

All three cards take advantage of RDNA2 features tuned to boost gaming performance. Those include everything from one-click overclocking built into AMD Radeon software, to allowing full access to GPU memory when paired with a Ryzen CPU. AMD also worked with Microsoft to take advantage of DirectX XII Ultimate, bringing AMD FidelityFX features like contrast adaptive sharpening, variable shading, and more.

The AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT is expected to launch on November 18 starting at $650. The AMD Radeon RX 6800 is expected to launch November 18, too, starting at $580. The Radeon RX 6900 Xt is expected to launch on December 8 for $1,000.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl