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

Xfx Merc319 Hero Press
Xfx Merc319 Hero Press

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT vs. RX 6800

Some specs might differ (like clock speeds) depending on the GPU version you buy, but these specs will mostly hold true no matter the card you buy.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Radeon RX 6800 XTRadeon RX 6800
Stream processors4,6083,840
Compute units7260
Texture units288240
Ray accelerators7260
Game clock2,015MHz1,815MHz
Boost clock2,250MHz2,105MHz
Memory16GB GDDR616GB GDDR6
Infinity cache128MB128MB
Recommended PSU750W650W
Slot size2.52

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT vs. RX 6800 performance and features

Source: AMD (Image credit: Source: AMD)

These two graphics cards, which make the cut for our best graphics card roundup, are highly sought after by PC gamers who want to experience high-end performance. They're both from AMD's latest generation of RX 6000 cards, and they both will be relevant for years to come thanks to 16GB of GDDR6 VRAM inside.

The RX 6800 isn't quite as powerful as the RX 6800 XT, but it uses less power and takes up less room in a case.

If you want the best without stepping up to the mighty RX 6900 XT, the RX 6800 XT should be your first choice. It competes with NVIDIA's RTX 3080, allowing you to enjoy truly spectacular 1440p play or smooth 4K frame rates in most modern games. Both cards are capable of ray tracing, though the technology isn't as mature as you'll find with NVIDIA. Both cards are also lacking DLSS, an NVIDIA technology that boosts performance in compatible titles. Keep in mind the RX 6800 XT has more ray accelerators than the RX 6800, allowing it to perform better in that area.

The RX 6800 XT's superior stream processors, compute units, texture units, and clock speeds also help propel it ahead of the RX 6800. Whereas the 6800 XT can be expected to reach a boost clock of about 2,250MHz (more on third-party cards with OC), the RX 6800 reaches somewhere around about 150MHz less. This does allow the more affordable card to run at a lower 250W TDP compared to the 300W TDP in the 6800 XT. AMD also recommends just a 650W PSU for the RX 6800, and it takes up two slots. If you have a smaller build, it might be just what you need. Shopping for supporting hardware? Have a look at our best PSU for AMD Radeon RX 6800 and best PSU for AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT roundups.

Source: AMD (Image credit: Source: AMD)

AMD isn't without its own bundle of supporting features with these cards, available whether you buy the RX 6800 XT or the RX 6800. They both support DirectX 12 Ultimate, delivering mesh shaders, sampler feedback, variable-rate shading, and, as mentioned, ray tracing.

Rage Mode is a new feature that allows you to overclock your GPU with one click through Radeon software, making it easier than ever before to squeeze out a bit of extra performance. If you have an AMD Ryzen 5000 processor and a 500-series chipset motherboard, Smart Access Memory will further boost performance. For more information about the features found in these cards, check out our AMD Radeon RX 6000 GPU guide.

AMD's RX 6800 XT is the right choice for enthusiast gamers

With superior performance over the RX 6800, capable of 1440p or 4K gaming, the RX 6800 XT should appeal to enthusiasts who want the best. Unfortunately, these cards are difficult to find at the time of writing, but regular prices generally put the RX 6800 XT about $70 to $100 more than the RX 6800, depending on the manufacturer. That's not a huge gap, but it will still matter for anyone who's building on a budget. Be sure to have a look at our roundup of the best Radeon RX 6800 XT graphics cards as well as our guide on where to buy AMD Radeon RX 6000 graphics cards for more buying information.

AMD's RX 6800 is a high-end card for less money

The AMD RX 6800 might not be quite as powerful as the RX 6800 XT, but it will still handle high-end 1440p gaming in all major titles. It's just as hard to find as the RX 6800 XT, but it does cost less when it's in stock. Have a look at our best AMD Radeon RX 6800 graphics cards roundup for the top 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.