Asus TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6800 XT OC (16 GB): Review | Benchmark | Specs

GDDR6X in GeForce RTX 3080 x
GDDR6X in GeForce RTX 3080

Review of the video card Asus TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6800 XT OC (16 GB) Object of research: a commercially available 3D graphics accelerator (video card) Asus TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6800 XT OC 16 GB 256-bit GDDR6.

Briefly about the main thing

At the beginning of all reviews of serial video cards, we update our knowledge about the performance of the family to which the accelerator belongs and its competitors. All this is subjectively assessed by us on a scale of five gradations.

Games without ray tracing (classic rasterization)

Ever since the announcement of the Radeon RX 6000 series, we know that the Radeon RX 6800 XT is positioned as a direct competitor to the GeForce RTX 3080, and this is really justified in most games with classic rasterization. Moreover, both the GeForce RTX 3080 and the Radeon RX 6800 XT can provide comfort in games with the maximum graphics settings in 4K resolution. Of course, this is not possible in all games, but in most games it is for sure. It is clear that the Radeon RX 6800 XT copes with the lower resolution playfully. In terms of performance, the Asus card is slightly faster than the reference analog.

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Ray tracing games

It is also well known that when ray tracing is turned on, the entire Radeon RX 6000 family exhibits very severe performance drops. Competitors from the Nvidia camp also have a drop in speed, but there it is not so strong. So, the performance of the Radeon RX 6800 XT is reduced to the level of the GeForce RTX 2080 Super / 3060 Ti, or even lower. It is clear that there is no longer any talk of competition with the GeForce RTX 3080. Like DLSS on Nvidia GeForce RTX cards, FSR technology on the Radeon RX 6000 increases FPS to compensate for the drop caused by ray tracing, but so far there are very few games with FSR support.

Card characteristics

Asustek Computer (Asus trademark) was founded in 1989 in the Republic of China (Taiwan). Headquartered in Taipei / Taiwan. On the Russian market since 1992. The oldest manufacturer of video cards and motherboards. Now it produces a very wide range of products in many areas of the IT industry (including the mobile segment). Manufactured in China and Taiwan. The total number of employees is about 2000 people.

Asus TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6800 XT OC 16GB 256-bit GDDR6
Parameter Meaning Nominal value (reference)
GPU Radeon RX 6800 XT (Navi 21)
Interface PCI Express x16 4.0
GPU frequency (ROPs), MHz OC Mode: 2340(Boost)—2495(Max)
Gaming Mode: 2310(Boost)—2455(Max)
2250(Boost)—2401(Max)
Memory frequency (physical (effective)), MHz 4000 (16000) 4000 (16000)
Memory bus width, bit 256
GPU Computing Units 72
Number of operations (ALU / CUDA) per block 64
Total number of ALU / CUDA units 4608
Texture units (BLF / TLF / ANIS) 288
ROP units 128
Number of Ray Tracing blocks 72
Number of tensor blocks
Dimensions, mm 320×140×58 270×110×55
The number of slots in the system unit occupied by the video card 3 3
PCB color black black
Peak power consumption in 3D, W 264 269
Power consumption in 2D mode, W 25 25
Power consumption in sleep mode, W 4 4
Noise level in 3D (maximum load), dBA (P Mode / Q Mode) 34,1/27,2 31,7
Noise level in 2D (video viewing), dBA 18,0 18,0
Noise level in 2D (idle), dBA 18,0 18,0
Video outputs 1 × HDMI 2.1, 3 × DisplayPort 1.4a 1×HDMI 2.1, 2×DisplayPort 1.4a,
1×USB Type-C (USB 3.2 Gen2)
Multiprocessor support there is no data
Maximum number of receivers / monitors for simultaneous image display 4 4 (including output via USB Type-C)
Power: 8-pin connectors 2 2
Power: 6-pin connectors
Max Resolution / Frequency, DisplayPort 3840 × 2160 @ 120Hz, 7680 × 4320 @ 60Hz
Max Resolution / Frequency, HDMI 3840 × 2160 @ 120Hz, 7680 × 4320 @ 60Hz
Average price of Asus card about 155 thousand rubles at the time of preparation of the review
Asus Card Retail Deals  

Memory

The card has 16 GB of GDDR6 SDRAM located in 8 16 Gbit chips on the front side of the PCB. Samsung memory chips (GDDR6, K4ZAF325BM-HC16) are designed for a nominal nominal operating frequency of 4000 (16000) MHz.

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Card features and comparison with AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT 16 GB

Asus TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6800 XT OC (16 ГБ) AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT (16 ГБ)
front view
   
back view
   

The total number of power phases for the reference card Radeon RX 6800 XT is 15, while that of the Asus card is 17. The PCB of Asus is somewhat similar to the reference card, but there are also many differences.

The power circuit for the kernel is shown in green, and the memory is in red. The 16-phase PWM controller XDPE132G5D (Infineon) controls 14 phases of the GPU power supply (the controller itself is located on the back of the PCB).

There is also a PWM controller IR35217 (IOR / Infineon), which controls three phases of power supply to memory chips; it is also located on the back of the printed circuit board.

The GPU power converter, built using Super Alloy Power II technology and modern solid-state capacitors (which is traditional for Asus), uses DrMOS transistor assemblies – in this case TDA21472 (IOR / Infineon), each of which is designed for a maximum current of 70 A ( a total of 980 A, this is more than enough for any overclocking :)).

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The board has the usual number of video outputs (4), and the set is no less familiar: 3 DP 1.4 and 1 HDMI 2.1.

You can also find a proprietary controller for controlling the backlight on the board.

But the monitoring is managed by the already built-in AMD tools, since the usual ITE IT8915 controller is not here (on the cards of the ROG Strix family, it controls two FanConnect II connectors for case fans, which can work depending on the heating of the video card, and this is the difference between ROG Strix and TUF Gaming : in the latter case, there are no FanConnect II connectors).

The nominal memory frequencies are equal to the reference values. But the boost value of the core frequency is higher than the reference analogue, which on average gives a performance increase of 4%.

Manual overclocking was tested using the standard AMD utility included with the driver control panel (although possible via Asus GPU Tweak and MSI Afterburner). The maximum possible frequencies for stable operation were found to be 2701/17088 MHz. At the same time, the performance gain relative to the reference card was just over 7%.

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The video card has two BIOS options and a switch on the top of the card.

The positions are indicated as P Mode (Performance) and Q Mode (Quiet). The difference lies in different curves of the fan operation settings (in terms of frequencies, everything is almost identical).

At low GPU load, the fans always stop. Power is supplied through two 8-pin connectors.

The operation of the card is controlled using the well-known proprietary utility Asus GPU Tweak II.

The most correct frequency mode
Default operating mode (not much different from OC)
Manual setting panel

Heating and cooling

The basis of the CO is a huge two-piece plate nickel-plated radiator with heat pipes soldered to the base of direct contact with the GPU and memory chips. The same heatsink serves as a cooler for VRM power converter components using small pads. In this case, there is no frame that serves as both a cooler and a stiffener for the entire structure, being screwed to the mounting plate of the video card (this is another difference between the TUF series and ROG, where such a frame is available). The back plate is made of aluminum with an electrically protective coating and has a dual purpose: it serves as a PCB protection element and through the thermal interface participates in cooling the back side of the card in the zones of memory chips and power converters.

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As you can see from the principle of operation of this CO, all hot air remains inside the case, it is blown out partially behind the video card, as well as directly onto the motherboard. This means that you need to have a well-ventilated housing.

Above the radiator, there is a casing with three ∅95 mm Axial-tech fans, in which the ends of the blades are connected by a ring for a clearer direction of air flow to the radiator. In addition, the middle fan has 2 blades more than the outer ones. At the same time, it rotates in the opposite direction relative to the extreme ones, which provides a “gear effect”, helping to combat turbulence in the air flow.

The fans stop at low load if the GPU temperature drops below 50 degrees. Of course, the CO becomes silent at the same time. When the PC starts up, the fans run, then they turn off before the OS boots. Then they turn on again for a few seconds before loading the video driver, and after polling the operating temperature, they turn off again. Below is a video on this topic. Fans are turned off at idle with any BIOS option.

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Thermal Monitoring with MSI Afterburner:

BIOS P Mode (Performance):

After a 2-hour run under load in OC Mode, the maximum core temperature did not exceed 65 degrees, which is an excellent result for video cards of this level. The maximum power was recorded at 264 W, and the maximum heating was observed in the center of the PCB.

Below is a 9-minute card heating accelerated 50 times.

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Radeon-based cards have the ability to get the heating temperature of GDDR6 memory chips through AMD software (we remember that GDDR6X chips have their own temperature sensors, and this data is already used by some HWinfo-type PC monitoring programs). And the heating in general was not critical.

With the described manual overclocking, the card’s operating parameters did not change much, and the maximum consumption rose to 288 W.

BIOS Q Mode (Quiet)

In this mode, the core temperature was slightly higher – 70 ° C, but the fans rotated more slowly. The maximum heating of the GDDR6 memory rose to 92 degrees, which is also not critical.

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Let’s note a very important point about the sensors that broadcast about the heating of the GPU at about 100 degrees and even higher. These sensors can be called both Hot Spot and Junction.

The temperature of these sensors can be very different from the generally accepted temperature for GPU heating. The fact is that AMD installs several sensors on its processors, and Hot Spot (Junction) means the maximum heating point of the graphics core. It can reach 110 ° C and it is safe! The fact is that the driver will continue to increase the frequencies of the GPU units until the Hot Spot sensor gets close to this value, having received the maximum that this GPU crystal can do. Of course, specific samples of chips, as well as types / types of COs, plus the load of the GPU in a particular game (driver operation) will affect the possibility of reaching maximum heating, and hence the maximum operating frequencies. Therefore, these values ​​may differ for different cards, but I repeat once again: there is no need to be afraid of such temperatures , GPUs tolerate such modes quite well (the silicon heating limit is even higher).

Noise

The noise measurement technique assumes that the room is noise-insulated and damped, and reverberations are reduced. The system unit, in which the noise of video cards is examined, does not have fans and is not a source of mechanical noise. The background level of 18 dBA is the noise level in the room and the noise level of the sound level meter itself. Measurements are taken from a distance of 50 cm from the video card at the level of the cooling system.

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Measurement modes:

  • Idle mode in 2D: loaded internet browser with iXBT.com website, Microsoft Word window, a number of internet communicators
  • 2D mode with movie viewing: SmoothVideo Project (SVP) is used – hardware decoding with insertion of intermediate frames
  • 3D mode with maximum load on the accelerator: using FurMark benchmark

The assessment of the noise level gradations is as follows:

  • less than 20 dBA: conditionally silent
  • 20 to 25 dBA: very quiet
  • from 25 to 30 dBA: quiet
  • 30 to 35 dBA: clearly audible
  • 35 to 40 dBA: loud but bearable
  • above 40 dBA: very loud

In idle, the Performance Mode and Quiet Mode did not differ at all: in 2D the temperature was no higher than 43 ° C, the fans did not work, the noise level was equal to the background one – 18 dBA.

When watching a movie with hardware decoding, nothing changed.

Under maximum load in 3D, the temperature in Performance Mode reached 65 ° C. At the same time, the fans spun up to 1690 rpm, the noise grew up to 34.1 dBA: it is relatively quiet, although it is already clearly audible. In the video below, noise was captured for a couple of seconds every 30 seconds.

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In Quiet Mode, the temperature reached 70 ° C. At the same time, the fans spun up to 1070 rpm, and the noise grew only up to 27.2 dBA: it’s quiet.

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Backlight

The backlighting of the card is implemented on the upper end in an insert with the TUF Gaming logo.

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Backlight control is traditionally performed using Asus’ proprietary program – Armory Crate.

The choice of modes is not very wide, but there is a program Aura Creator, which is also distributed free of charge, and with its help you can create your own lighting scenarios.

Scope of delivery and packaging

The package, in addition to the traditional user manual and the TUF Gaming card, includes a small bonus in the form of a branded line.

Test results, configuration

Test bench configuration

  • Компьютер на базе процессора AMD Ryzen 9 5950X (Socket AM4):
    • Платформа:
      • процессор AMD Ryzen 9 5950X (разгон до 4,6 ГГц по всем ядрам);
      • ЖСО Cougar Helor 240;
      • системная плата Asus ROG Crosshair Dark Hero на чипсете AMD X570;
      • оперативная память TeamGroup T-Force Xtreem ARGB (TF10D48G4000HC18JBK) 32 ГБ (4×8) DDR4 (4000 МГц);
      • SSD Intel 760p NVMe 1 ТБ PCI-E;
      • жесткий диск Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 3 ТБ SATA3;
      • блок питания Seasonic Prime 1300 W Platinum (1300 Вт);
      • корпус Thermaltake Level20 XT;
    • операционная система Windows 10 Pro 64-битная; DirectX 12 (v.21H1);
    • телевизор LG 55Nano956 (55″ 8K HDR, HDMI 2.1);
    • драйверы AMD версии 21.9.1;
    • драйверы Nvidia версии 471.96;
    • VSync отключен.
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Testing tool list

In all gaming tests, the maximum graphics quality was used in the settings.

  • Hitman III (IO Interactive/IO Interactive)
  • Cyberpunk 2077 (Softclub / CD Projekt RED), patch 1.2
  • Death Stranding (505 Games/Kojima Productions)
  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (Ubisoft/Ubisoft)
  • Watch Dogs: Legion (Ubisoft/Ubisoft)
  • Control (505 Games/Remedy Entertainment)
  • Godfall (Gearbox Publishing/Counterplay Games)
  • Resident Evil Village (Capcom/Capcom)
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider (Eidos Montreal/Square Enix), HDR включен
  • Metro Exodus (4A Games/Deep Silver/Epic Games)

To calculate the hashrate for mining “ether” (Ethereum / ETH / ETC) and “crows” (Ravencoin / RVN), the T-Rex miner (0.21.06) was used, the average indicator per hour was recorded in two modes:

  • by default (consumption limit reduced to 70%, GPU frequency reduced by 200 MHz, memory frequency by default, fans set in manual mode by 70%)
  • optimization (the consumption limit is reduced to 70%, the GPU frequency is reduced by 200 MHz, the memory frequency is increased by 500-1000 MHz (depending on the card), the fans are set in manual mode by 80%)

To test the GeForce RTX 3060 (without LHR), we used the same “leaked” driver version 470.05, in which the protection against mining is disabled, on other versions it is 24/26 MH / s.

Test results in 3D games

Standard benchmark results without hardware ray tracing at 1920 × 1200, 2560 × 1440, and 3840 × 2160

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

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Most games still do not support ray tracing technology, and there are still a lot of video cards on the market that do not support RT in hardware. The same is true for Nvidia’s DLSS smart anti-aliasing technology. Therefore, we still carry out the most massive tests in games without ray tracing. Nevertheless, today already half of the video cards we regularly test support RT technology, so we conduct tests not only using conventional rasterization methods, but also with the inclusion of RT and / or DLSS. Unfortunately, among the games currently presented in the tests, there are not yet those supporting AMD FSR, so AMD Radeon RX 6000 family video cards take part in the tests without DLSS analogue, but soon we will introduce The Medium and Far Cry 6 games using FSR technology.

Test results with hardware ray tracing and / or DLSS enabled at 1920 × 1200, 2560 × 1440, and 3840 × 2160

Cyberpunk 2077, RT+DLSS

Watch Dogs: Legion, RT

Watch Dogs: Legion, RT+DLSS

Resident Evil Village, RT

Shadow of the Tomb Raider, RT

IXBT.com Rating

The iXBT.com accelerator rating demonstrates to us the functionality of video cards relative to each other and is presented in two versions:

  1. IXBT.com rating option without RT included

The rating is compiled for all tests without the use of ray tracing technologies. This rating is normalized for the weakest accelerator from the group of cards – GeForce GTX 1660 (that is, the combination of speed and features of the GeForce GTX 1660 is taken as 100%). Ratings are carried out on 28 accelerators periodically studied by us within the framework of the Best Video Card of the Month project. In this case, a group of cards for analysis was selected from the general list, which includes Radeon RX 6800 XT and its competitors.

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The rating is given in total for all three resolutions.

Accelerator model IXBT.com Rating Utility rating price, rub.
02 RX 6900 XT 16 GB, 2015—2470 / 16000 420 26 160 000
03 Asus TUF Gaming RX 6800 XT, overclocking to 2701/17088 420 28 150 000
04 RTX 3080 Ti 12 GB, 1665—1965 / 19000 420 25 170 000
05 Asus TUF Gaming RX 6800 XT, 2340—2495/16000 410 27 150 000
06 RX 6800 XT 16 GB, 2015—2401 / 16000 390 26 150 000
07 RTX 3080 10GB 1710-1965 / 19000 380 23 165 000

Obviously, in classic games, the Radeon RX 6800 XT is an excellent competitor to such an accelerator as the GeForce RTX 3080, and the Asus card in terms of performance is generally matched to the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, even bypassing it during overclocking.

  1. IXBT.com rating option with RT included

The rating is based on 6 tests using ray tracing technology (no Nvidia DLSS!). This rating is normalized for the weakest accelerator in this group – GeForce RTX 2070 (that is, the combination of speed and features of the GeForce RTX 2070 is taken as 100%).

The rating is given in total for all three resolutions.

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Accelerator model IXBT.com Rating Utility rating price, rub.
02 RTX 3080 Ti 12 GB, 1665—1965 / 19000 250 15 170 000
03 RTX 3080 10GB 1710-1965 / 19000 230 14 165 000
04 RX 6900 XT 16 GB, 2015—2470 / 16000 180 11 160 000
06 Asus TUF Gaming RX 6800 XT, overclocking to 2701/17088 170 11 150 000
08 Asus TUF Gaming RX 6800 XT, 2340—2495/16000 160 11 150 000
09 RX 6800 XT 16 GB, 2015—2422 / 16000 160 11 150 000

A significant drop in speed when ray tracing was enabled played a fatal role in this case as well, sending the Radeon RX 6800 XT to the outside world. Obviously, if you play with ray tracing on the Radeon RX 6800 XT, you will definitely have to forget about 4K and go to 2.5K resolution.

Utility rating

The utility rating of the same cards is obtained if the indicator of the previous rating is divided by the prices of the corresponding accelerators. To calculate the utility rating, the retail prices were used conditionally for November 2021 . Given that the Radeon RX 6800 is aimed at 4K and 2.5K resolutions, we have shown the ratings calculated using only 3840×2160 resolution (which is why the iXBT.com rating is different from the one above).

  1. Utility rating option without including RT
Accelerator model Utility rating IXBT.com Rating price, rub.
04 Asus TUF Gaming RX 6800 XT, overclocking to 2701/17088 37 550 150 000
06 Asus TUF Gaming RX 6800 XT, 2340—2495/16000 36 541 150 000
07 RX 6900 XT 16 GB, 2015—2470 / 16000 35 564 160 000
08 RX 6800 XT 16 GB, 2015—2401 / 16000 35 518 150 000
12 RTX 3080 Ti 12 GB, 1665—1965 / 19000 34 570 170 000
14 RTX 3080 10GB 1710-1965 / 19000 31 519 165 000

Today, the realities of life are such that top-end video cards cost much more than 100 thousand rubles. Due to the strongest shortage of Radeon RX 6000 series cards, their cost has been at a very high level for a long time, but the cost of the GeForce RTX 3080/3080 Ti is even higher, therefore, for classic games, the Radeon RX 6800 XT / 6900 XT is preferable.

  1. Utility rating option with RT included
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Accelerator model Utility rating IXBT.com Rating price, rub.
03 RTX 3080 Ti 12 GB, 1665—1965 / 19000 16 266 170 000
08 RTX 3080 10GB 1710-1965 / 19000 14 235 165 000
12 RX 6900 XT 16 GB, 2015—2470 / 16000 12 188 160 000
13 Asus TUF Gaming RX 6800 XT, overclocking to 2701/17088 12 173 150 000
14 Asus TUF Gaming RX 6800 XT, 2340—2495/16000 11 168 150 000
15 RX 6800 XT 16 GB, 2015—2422 / 16000 11 161 150 000

Again, we see that due to a strong drop in performance in games with ray tracing, the entire Radeon RX 6000 family turned out to be outsiders, and the leaders in the group are GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and GeForce RTX 3080. Therefore, if you want to play with rays in 4K resolution (or even 2.5K), then it is better to take a closer look at the GeForce RTX family, although sometimes you can’t do without “crutches” in the form of DLSS to compensate for the drop in performance from turning on RT, and this already quite significantly limits the range of games (supporting RT, and DLSS at the same time). Games with FSR and RT support, which can increase the performance of the Radeon RX 6000, will soon be included in our test suite, but so far there are very few of them.

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Test results in mining (mining, hashrate)

Tests have shown that the Radeon RX 6800 has a hash rate of about the level of the GeForce RTX 3070 (without LHR), while there are almost no such GeForce RTX 3070 cards on sale. Approximately the same hash rate is given by the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti due to the built-in protection against ether mining, but taking into account the latest attempts to hack the protection, its hash rate rises to 75.

Note that Radeon cards do not have any protection against being used for mining, they work as they can physically.

If we start mining ETH with the default card settings, we get about 58 MH / s with a consumption of 212 watts. Heating is within normal limits, but the memory heats up to 96 degrees, so you need to think about cooling.

RVN, as you know, is more demanding, under it the card already “eats” 271 W, but the heating is generally at the same level. In this case, we have 31.9 MH / s. (Different cryptocurrencies have different hash rates, you cannot compare them with each other, you can compare cards only within the framework of the same algorithm.)

Optimizing the settings for mining in our case does not provide for a strong overclocking of the video memory, and external blowing of video cards is also required. With a strong underestimation of the core frequency and voltage, a slight increase in the memory frequency and increased cooling, we got 62.4 MH / s in ETH, while the GPU consumption dropped to 148 W. The heating decreased, the memory did not heat up above 88 ° C.

For the kawpow (RVN) algorithm, our optimization gives almost nothing, because a strong decrease in PL leads to a drop in the hash rate (in the case of ethash, it was the decrease in PL that saved a lot, because the hash rate remained the same with much less consumption). As a result, there is an increase in the hash rate, but insignificant.

conclusions

Asus TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6800 XT OC (16 GB) is a solid version of a modern top-end accelerator for 4K resolution (when using ray tracing in games – 2.5K), having an efficient and fairly quiet cooling system and minimal backlighting. Is the Radeon RX 6800 XT better than the GeForce RTX 3080? If you want to play games with ray tracing, then Nvidia cards look better, and if you plan to do with classic rasterization, then the Radeon RX 6800 XT is more attractive. In terms of usefulness for mining, the Radeon RX 6800 XT is far behind the classic GeForce RTX 3080 without LHR, but at the same time it outperforms the GeForce RTX 3080 with LHR. However, taking into account the terrible shortage of any kind of efficient video cards, the answer is obvious: take what you have and what is cheaper.

Let me remind you that the Radeon RX 6800 XT showed a speed slightly above the level of the GeForce RTX 3080 or almost caught up with the 3080 Ti, if we are talking about games without ray tracing. With ray tracing, the Radeon RX 6800 XT delivers performance on par with the GeForce RTX 2080 Super / 3060 Ti or slightly better. Let us summarize again that the Radeon RX 6800 XT will allow you to play comfortably in 4K resolution at maximum graphics settings, but only if we are not considering games with ray tracing (or rather, we are not considering using this technology in them). Many traced games can be played comfortably at 2.5K.

As for the trump card in the form of DLSS in the GeForce RTX 30, which significantly increases performance, compensating for the drop in speed from turning on RT, we know that AMD has released its counterpart – FidelityFX Super Resolution. In the near future, we will start adding games with FSR support to the list of tests.

Coming back to the Asus card, it should be noted that it has two BIOS versions, which make it possible to sacrifice a little performance in order to reduce noise (with increasing heating). In addition, this video card has factory-overclocked frequencies and decent overclocking potential.

The set of video outputs (3 DP + 1 HDMI) meets modern standards.

Radeon RX 6800 XT, like all accelerators of the Radeon RX 6000 series, supports the HDMI 2.1 standard, which allows you to display 4K images at 120 FPS or 8K using a single cable, hardware decoding of video data in AV1 format, Smart Access Memory technology (which, by the way, already have competitors – under the standard PCIe name ReSizable BAR)