The AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT is the latest entrant in the RX 6000 series of Radeon GPUs. It's not a bad GPU per se, bringing in a solid 30% performance increase over its predecessor, the RX 5700 XT. However, there are a couple of things holding it back: the base pricing itself is not the best value for money and the jump from RX 5700 XT is not easy to justify. You should hold on to that RX 5700 XT for now. Here's why.
AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT vs. Radeon RX 5700 XT specs
The AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT and RX 5700 XT aren't very different when it comes to specifications. The RX 6700 XT is based on the RDNA 2 architecture, coming from the RDNA architecture on the 5700 XT. The fabrication process stayed the same — TSMC's 7nm. The architecture upgrade means the RX 6700 XT gets a transistor count of 17.2 billion, up from the 10.3 billion of the RX 5700 XT. Let's take a better look at the specifications of the two cards.
|Category||AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT||AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT|
192-bit bus width
|8 GB GDDR6
256-bit bus width
|Transistors||17.2 billion||10.3 billion|
|Node||TSMC 7nm||TSMC 7nm|
|TDP||230 W||225 W|
DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC
|1 x HDMI 2.0
DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC
|Power Connector||1 x 8 pin, 1 x 6 pin||1 x 8 pin, 1 x 6 pin|
Note: Some specifications of the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT and the RX 5700 XT may vary as per AIB models.
The AMD RX 6700 XT carries some improvements over the RX 5700 XT. While the fabrication process remains the same, the 6700 XT has a larger die size, which means a higher transistor count and reflects in performance despite the core configurations remaining the same. However, the performance gap can't really justify going for this single-generation upgrade. Let's take a better look at real-world performance of the two cards.
AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT vs. Radeon RX 5700 XT real-world performance
The real-world performance of the RX 6700 XT is quite better than that of the RX 5700 XT. The 6700 XT is clocked higher, and is able to give better performance figures while consuming lower power thanks to the RDNA 2 improvements. Hardware Unboxed tested the two cards at the same clock speed of 1.8 GHz, and found that the framerates were near identical. However, the 6700 XT is better quipped to handle games at its default configuration, especially moving forward. Here is a different benchmark between the ASRock Radeon RX 6700 XT Challenger 12GB and the ASUS ROG Strix AMD Radeon RX 5700XT 8GB, courtesy of the YouTube channel Benchmark.
|Game||Radeon RX 6700 XT (avg. FPS, 1440p)||Radeon RX 5700 XT (avg. FPS, 1440p)|
|Assassin's Creed: Valhalla||81||58|
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider||113||76|
|Watch Dogs: Legion||68||54|
|Red Dead Redemption 2||96||61|
|Horizon Zero Dawn||89||75|
While the performance at identical clock speeds is quite close, these benchmarks show exactly how much better the RX 6700 XT does at 1440p. The performance gains are respectable for a generational upgrade, especially since this card will hold up better in the more intense titles in the coming future.
However, the price to performance ratio of the 6700 XT is not great, and when you consider it as an upgrade to the 5700 XT, there are even fewer reasons to upgrade. If you have an overclockable variant of the 5700 XT, you should be able to catch up to the performance of the 6700 XT, which means there is very little that should leave you wanting this single-generation upgrade.
AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT vs. Radeon RX 5700 XT: Should you upgrade?
No. The AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT is not a bad card to buy by itself, but when considered as an upgrade to the 5700 XT, it makes very little sense. The price-to-performance ratio when you consider the base price of the 6700 XT isn't great, but when you consider the insane prices the card is being sold at right now, just like any of the best graphics cards out there, the ratio gets diluted even further.
Basically, you will be paying a lot of dollars for not enough of a performance jump if you switch from the 5700 XT to the 6700 XT. Additionally, since overclocking the 5700 XT could get you enough of a performance boost to get by, there is really no reason you should consider this small of an upgrade. This is especially true considering that the higher-end cards in the RX 6000 series of GPUs, like the RX 6800 XT, offer better value for money if you're looking for an upgrade.
On the other hand, you might want to buy an RTX 30 series GPU instead, given that the ray tracing performance of AMD GPUs still lacks a bit in comparison to its Team Green counterparts. The RX 6700 XT is placed to compete with the 3060 Ti, which delivers similar performance for the most part while having a considerably lower base price. However, if you're coming from the 5700 XT, you might want to look a bit higher for your next GPU, or hold on to your card until the GPU market stabilizes a bit. In any case, make sure to not overpay for a new graphics card. Happy gaming!
Radeon midranger of the yesteryear
AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT
Good old RDNA
The AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT is the RDNA based midrange champion of the last generation. It holds up quite well, and if you can overclock it, it will keep you going for a little bit longer. It can do some solid 1080p gaming, and some 1440p, and unless you're looking at a major upgrade for your gaming system, you should stick to your 5700 XT a little longer.
RDNA2 midrange entrant
AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT
Good card but not the best upgrade
The AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT is a solid entrant into the RX 6000 series of GPUs, but it's not the best value you can get for a GPU. The value proposition is even weaker if you're upgrading from a last-gen graphics card like the 5700 XT. That being said, the 6700 XT is still a solid GPU for 1080p, and even 1440p, delivering decent framerates.
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