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In our graphics cards comparisons, we now take a look at the top end with the RX 6900 XT vs 3080 Ti. We take a look at which one is the best graphics card for you. As there are plenty of different factors affecting your decision, not just the raw performance there is also the price and features of the two.
The AMD RX 6900 XT came out alongside the initial lineup of the new Radeon cards. Whereas, the RTX 3080 Ti took some time to release, with it coming in half a year after the release of the new-gen GPUs. The two are also in the long-running AMD vs Nvidia battle over which GPUs are better so we take a look at this particular lineup to help you decide.
MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Gaming X Trio 12G
Very quiet thermal design
Great build quality
Respectable out-the-box boost clock
3x 8 pin power connectors mean more headroom for overclocking
Classic geometric MSI aesthetic
Generous RGB coverage
The RTX 3080 Ti is a prohibitively expensive GPU
Lies within the higher end of the 3080 Ti price spectrum
Firstly, we take a look at what the 6900 XT vs 3080 Ti are made up of, the hearts of the GPUs. Filled with transistors they make up how the graphics cards function and vary between the manufacturers significantly. AMD‘s card is based on the Navi architecture with Nvidia using an Ampere build. This fundamental difference causes great variety between how the two cards work and we’ll see how that affects the performance.
Taking a closer look at the specific dies, the 6900 XT comprises the Navi 21 XTX die with the 3080 Ti using the GA102 225 die. This generation is also built through different manufacturing methods and partners. In the chip world, it’s not uncommon for brands to use the same ones with such limited choice. But this generation Nvidia is using Samsungs 8nm process, not like the more popular TSMC 7nm that AMD has used.
The difference in the process also creates the opportunity for different die sizes. Team Red sports a die size of 520mm2 made up of 26.8 billion transistors. Compared to team Greens 628mm2 with 28.3 billion transistors.
RX 6900 XT
RTX 3080 Ti
Navi 21 XTX (215-121000167)
PCIe 4.0 x16
PCIe 4.0 x16
Comparing the specifications of the 6900 XT vs 3080 Ti, there are a few differences between the two but surprisingly also a few similarities. We take a closer look at what each means and how it affects the cards.
Shaders, RT, and TMU cores
The parts that make up the GPUs are the cores inside the chips. In particular, we look at the shaders, ray tracing, and texture mapping cores. These take care of the shadows looking correctly, working out real-time ray tracing on the fly, and turning bitmaps into 3d designs.
In the shaders department, AMD falls behind by half of what Nvidia’s card features. With a count of 5,120, it falls behind significantly, meaning nay work done on shadows and shading is much slower and delayed on a lower count. The other two are on the same count, with 80 RT cores, and 320 TMUs. However, unlikely to mean the performance is on par still with the difference in builds of the cards.
There is some difference in the video memory between the two cards. The 6900 XT has 4GB more capacity with 16 compared to the 12 on the 3080 Ti. However, the Ti has got a faster memory and bus for it, with GDDR6X it means that the throughput of the Ti is 912.4GB/s compared to just 512GB/s of the XT card.
Leading to a difference in performance at higher resolutions, with them requiring larger capacities to hold the much larger files. So there is a compromise for either capacity or throughput, but either option will have plenty of power to work at even 4k.
The clock rate of silicon signifies how fast the crystal cycles instructions and so how fast it can process the instructions passing through it. Processing graphics quicker at higher rates to get them to your monitor much quicker. Even if the base clock doesn’t appeal to you there are always options for overclocking, especially if the cooling design allows for it.
However, even at their factory rates the clock rates are well set for the AMD card, with a clock rate of 1825MHz base and 2250MHz boost. Whereas the Nvidia card lags behind with a 1365MHz base and 1665MHz boost clock, giving the advantage to the other side.
TDP (thermal design power)
This specification determines the maximum amount of heat the GPU will produce under maximum usage and power draw. Also, it gives an idea of what the power draw of your GPU may be and how much heat needs to be dissipated by the cooling solution. The AMD card has a 50W lower TDP meaning it will use up less energy during use as well as giving off less heat to the rest of the system.
6900 XT vs 3080 Ti performance
Using 3dmark benchmarking to compare the 6900 XT vs 3080 Ti we take a look at what graphics score they achieve. The 6900 XT manages 20353 and takes the top spot of all the graphics cards in the consumer market. Whereas the 3080 Ti takes the third spot with just 19615, likely from the lower clock rate of the card. However, the benchmark doesn’t always reflect direct performance in true scenarios.
But in actual performance benchmarks, the RTX 3080 Ti takes the lead. Likely from the memory and driver advantage that Nvidia has. It takes a 22% lead in effective speed, as well as a 15% lead in average score. Even with the advantage in multi rendering AMD can’t outperform the card and suffers from a lower market share. It does then rely on its price compared to the power of the Nvidia GPU.
On release, the launch price of the RX 6900 XT was $999, whereas the RTX 3080 Ti was released for $1,199. So the 20% increase in price does cover the performance difference between the two. However, it does bring the cost up above $1,000 and does bring that out of reach for some of the people.
Especially at the inflated prices, the lowest price of the RTX 3080 Ti is $1579.98, whereas the 6900 XT starts from $1349.99. It’s still $200 difference but also pushing both of the cards further out of range. Still showing that GPUs are more expensive than necessary, but the prices are coming down.
ASUS ROG Strix NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 OC Edition
Very good build quality
The building blocks for the world’s fastest, most efficient GPU
The competition is tight in the 6900 XT vs 3080 Ti battle, trading blows in pricing and performance there it is a hard choice and comes down to your needs. Both are excellent options able to perform under any circumstances so it comes down to your needs and budget.
After taking apart and tinkering with the home PC and other electronics, Seb went to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Manchester to try and explore everything in parts. After he graduated he realised how different the adult world was and decided to pursue work in the tech industry after spending too much time playing games (mostly CS:GO), keeping up with everything tech, and being everyone's go-to for PCs.