AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT vs. RX 6900 XT: Which GPU should you buy?

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT (Image credit: AMD)

These two "Big Navi" AMD Radeon RX 6000 GPUs are among the best graphics cards on the market today. Both use AMD's RDNA 2 architecture, and both are near the top of the pile of all graphics cards (GPU) in terms of raw performance. If you're looking at an upgrade for 4K gaming either GPU will do, but you will pay far more for the RX 6900 XT.

AMD RX 6800 XT vs. RX 6900 XT: Tech specs

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Header Cell - Column 0 AMD RX 6800 XTAMD RX 6900 XT
ArchitectureRDNA 2RDNA 2
Stream processors4,6085,120
Compute units7280
Texture units288320
Ray accelerators7280
Game clock2,015MHz2,015MHz
Boost clock2,250MHz2,250MHz
Memory16GB GDDR616GB GDDR6
Memory speed16Gbps16Gbps
Memory interface256-bit256-bit
Infinity cache128MB128MB
Recommended PSU750W850W
Power connectors2x82x8
Slot size2.52.5

Performance and features

These two AMD GPUs sit at the top of the RDNA 2 collection, with the RX 6900 XT coming in above all others. It's a monster card, with a 2.5-slot size, 300W TDP, and recommended 850W PSU. It uses the same 7nm process as the RX 6800 XT, and it also has a similar frequency, memory speed, memory bus, and 16GB of GDDR6 VRAM.

The RX 6900 XT costs significantly more than the performance boost is likely worth to most people.

Looking at the spec table above, you will see a difference in compute units, stream processors, texture units, and ray accelerators. How that translates in real-world performance will no doubt differ slightly based on the type of GPU you buy, but in most cases you'll be able to expect about a 10% performance increase when going with the RX 6900 XT.

Looking at that performance boost you might think, "OK, enough said. I'll get the RX 6900 XT." However, there is a rather massive price difference between the RX 6800 XT and RX 6900 XT. You can expect the former card to have a list price around $650, while the latter card has a list price closer to $1,000. And that's before the stock shortages, bot buying, and scalping. You'll now often find both cards above $2,000, though the RX 6900 XT is still most commonly more expensive than the 6800 XT.

Is that extra performance boost worth the price difference? For most people, probably not. The promise of 8K gaming is still more of a novelty than a reality, and with these cards you should be shooting for a high-quality 4K gaming experience. And in that case, the RX 6800 XT is going to be more than enough. Even the AMD Radeon RX 6800 puts up good numbers at 4K, and it has significantly lower specs than the XT version.

Both the RX 6800 XT and RX 6900 XT offer AMD Smart Access Memory for a boost to performance in some games, and both have Rage Mode for easy overclocking. They're both also capable of ray tracing. You're going to get nearly the same experience from either card, but with the RX 6800 XT you should still have some money left for games.

Stick with the RX 6800 XT for best price-to-performance ratio

The AMD RX 6800 XT is a killer GPU for anyone who wants to enjoy 4K PC gaming. It costs significantly less than the RX 6900 XT, but it lags behind by only about 10% in terms of raw performance. If you don't have an unlimited budget, this is the way to go. Be sure to have a look at our collection of the best AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT graphics cards as well as our guide on where to buy AMD Radeon RX 6000 graphics cards.

The RX 6900 XT is for ultimate performance

Have money to burn? Want the absolute best performance from an AMD RDNA 2 GPU? The RX 6900 XT is standing by. It gets about 10% better performance compared to the RX 6800 XT, but be prepared to pay dearly. Have a look at our roundup of the best AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics cards for extra buying options.

Cale Hunt

Cale Hunt brings to Windows Central more than eight years of experience writing about laptops, PCs, accessories, games, and beyond. If it runs Windows or in some way complements the hardware, there’s a good chance he knows about it, has written about it, or is already busy testing it.