Mobile Nvidia RTX 3080 Beats AMD RX 6850M XT in Tests

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Mobile Nvidia RTX 3080 Beats AMD RX 6850M XT in Tests


AMD’s fastest mobile graphics card looks surprisingly slow.

Western colleagues from Jarrod’s Tech conducted a review of the new flagship AMD RX 6850M XT mobile graphics card in comparison with Nvidia RTX 3080 mobile graphics using ASUS XG external mobile cases. Unfortunately for AMD, the RX 6850M XT’s performance was mediocre in most of the games we tested. The Nvidia RTX 3080 mobile graphics overall remained 10-20% faster with 37% lower power consumption. This is a very unexpected result for the AMD RDNA2 architecture, which we will return to shortly.

Testing was conducted on ASUS Flow Z13. 2 in 1 gaming laptop powered by the latest Intel Core i9-12900H processor and 16GB LPDDR5 RAM. The two graphics cards tested are connected using external ASUS cases known as ROG XG Mobiles. These cases house either an RTX 3080 or RX 6850M XT and are powered by dedicated power supplies. These devices connect to the Flow Z13 using a dedicated PCIe interface that runs at speeds up to Gen3 over eight pins.

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The version of the RTX 3080 inside XG Mobile is called ROG XG Mobile 2021, rated up to 150W. The RX 6850M XT is an updated 2022 model, rated up to 165W.

| INDICATORS

All in all, the performance was clearly in favor of the RTX 3080 XG Mobile. Dedicated graphics pulled ahead in all the games we tested. The full set of tested games is: Microsoft Flight Simulator, Fortnite, Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition, Forza Horizon 5, Control, Watch Dogs Legion, God of War, Dying Light 2, Cyberpunk 2077, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Far Cry 6, The Witcher 3, Call of Duty Warzone and Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

Nvidia graphics were faster in the first eleven games (although three of them were close), while the AMD RX 6850M XT only led in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, COD Warzone, and The Witcher 3. Games were played at 1080p, where Nvidia’s performance remained 9% higher on average. The graphics card is also 11% ahead at 1440p with the same set of games.

With the move to 4K resolution, the average frame rate difference between the RX 6850M XT and RTX 3080 rose to 18%, with only two games (The Witcher 3 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider) being faster on AMD graphics.

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These results are reminiscent of testing with equivalent AMD and Nvidia desktop graphics cards, where AMD performed faster at more traditional resolutions due to the high clocked RDNA2 cores and large Infinity cache. However, overall performance remained above 3080 at all three resolutions.

(Image credit: Jarrod’s Tech)

| STRANGE BEHAVIOR

JT note that the behavior of the RX 6850M XT is very strange. In previous tests of the RX 6800M and RTX 3080 – on separate laptops, not ASUS XG mobile drives – it became clear that the graphics cards are nearly equivalent under gaming load, with both discrete graphics options limited to 150W.

This situation is also exacerbated by the power consumption of the ASUS Flow X13 and XG Mobile system, which was significantly higher when using the RX 6850M XT. Total system power peaked at 171W with the RTX 3080 XG mobile drive connected, but jumped to 235W with the RX 6850M XT, which means a 37% increase in power consumption.

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We’ve seen the older AMD RX 6800M keep pace with the mobile RTX 3080 while consuming similar amounts of power. Now it becomes a mystery why the RX 6850M XT is so inefficient.

Specifications for the sake of specifications, the RX 6850M XT received minor upgrades from the 6800M (which is why it’s not called the 6900M). The memory size and number of cores remain the same, with the only difference being that the GPU frequency has increased by 163 MHz in the RX 6850M XT, while the memory speed has increased by 2 Gb/s for the GDDR6 memory, which now runs at 18 Gb/s. This may explain some of the increase in nutrition, but not all.

For now, we think it’s reasonable to take these results with a pinch of salt, as the poor performance of the RX 6850M XT could be the result of ASUS’ configuration inside its mobile cases. We hope to be able to test more laptops with RX 6850 XT integrated soon to see how the new graphics perform in a typical laptop form factor.

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