AMD has lagged Nvidia for several years in the graphics performance race, particularly in the high-end segment, where ray tracing has become the new must-see feature, and buyers always want the newest and best. The company’s problems are compounded in India, where unfavorable prices and limited distribution often tip the scales in favor of Nvidia even when performance is comparable. Just like it did with Ryzen desktop CPUs a few years ago, AMD has been changing its fortunes with the latest Radeon GPUs built around RDNA architecture and its successors.
With the new Radeon RX 6000 series based on RDNA 2 architecture, AMD believes it can take Nvidia even to the higher end. Three GPUs have been launched so far: the flagship Radeon RX 6900 XT that hopes to have a GeForce RTX 3090; The Radeon RX 6800 XT and Radeon RX 6800 are for gamers who want great 4K quality but don’t have infinitely flexible budgets. This is AMD’s highest level of confidence in a long time, and yes, there is even ray tracing, or at least early implementation of it.
Today, we are testing and reviewing the Radeon RX 6800 XT and Radeon RX 6800. These GPUs were released in late 2020, but as expected, availability in India has been very limited. Does their performance justify going against the tide and picking them over Nvidia’s competing shows? After all, can AMD score a decisive victory? Let’s find out.
AMD RDNA 2 architecture
Although it may be lagging behind in terms of PC market share, AMD’s graphics division has dominated the high-end gaming console space for years. Current and past generations of Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox consoles have used some form of Radeon GPUs, giving AMD some edge and insight into the capabilities that gamers and game developers will use for years to come.
Last year, the Radeon RX 5700 XT, based on RDNA architecture 1, was a major improvement over its predecessors, delivering 50 percent better performance per watt. AMD now says RDNA 2 can achieve 54 percent more performance per watt than that. The RDNA2 chip on which these two messages depend contains over 26 billion transistors, although each GPU model uses different amounts of these resources.
On an architectural level, the number of computational units (CU) has doubled, from 40 to 80, and new ray-tracing accelerator blocks have been added. Although RDNA 2 uses the same 7-nanometer manufacturing process as RDNA, improvements in power handling, the processing line itself, and increased clock speeds of up to 30 percent have led to this increase in performance from generation to generation.
Much of that comes from what AMD calls an “infinite cache”. This high density 128MB L3 cache is based on AMD’s Epyc Server CPU designs. It is said to be much faster than GDDR6 RAM and is built into the Infinity Fabric connection in the array for high bandwidth and low latency connections. The Infinity cache helps keep the GPU ready for data so it can run at high frequencies without getting stuck, which is a plus when it comes to 4K gaming assets.
Another new feature, which AMD calls “Smart Access Memory”, basically allows the computer’s CPU to directly access all the contents of the GPU’s memory. Until now, this has been restricted to 256MB due to the nature of the PCIe communication protocol, but PCIe 4.0 now allows for something called a Resizable Base Address Register (BAR). Smart access memory will require a Ryzen 5000 series desktop CPU, a Radeon 6000 GPU, plus a 500 series motherboard, and of course the latest BIOS and driver updates. This is said to provide up to 11 percent better performance in some games, and may be better improved by developers in the future.
In addition to ray tracing, DirectX 12 Ultimate features the DirectStorage API, which allows the GPU to load game assets directly from a high-speed SSD into the GPU memory, without going through system RAM or requiring computer resources. CPU. This applies to next-gen consoles and should improve level load times and transitions in games.
The updated HDMI 2.1 standard will allow 4K 144Hz or 8K 60Hz video output, and AMD says it is ready for Display Stream Compression (DSC), which should allow for higher resolutions. If you are streaming online games, you can benefit from 8K AV1 decoding and 8K HEVC codec in hardware.
The Radeon Software utility now supports fully automatic and manual overclocking. Additionally, performance tuning presets will allow users to apply optimized profiles for each game, which AMD says will not void the graphics card warranty. Radeon Anti-Lag and Radeon Boost are features that can make games more responsive by improving input latency and dynamically lowering resolution in small patches.