Radeon RX 6950 XT, 6750 XT and 6650 XT: AMD’s expensive navigation refresh in the test

Page 1: Radeon RX 6950 XT, 6750 XT and 6650 XT: AMD’s expensive Navi refresh in the test

A possible navigation refresh has been talked about for months – today is the day. With the Radeon RX 6950 XT, Radeon RX 6750 XT and Radeon RX 6650 XT, AMD is introducing three new models that differ from their predecessors in terms of slight differences in GPU and memory clock rates and a higher power limit. Until the next Radeon generation, also known as the Navi 3x series, these models should refresh the market and get the competitor NVIDIA moving. On the following pages we will see whether this will succeed.

Five models from three manufacturers were available to us. From the Radeon RX 6950 XT, we tested the Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 6950 XT Pure Gaming OC. Also only included once is the Gigabyte Radeon RX 6750 XT Gaming OC. We looked at three models of what is probably the most attractively priced Radeon RX 6650 XT: The ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX 6650 XT OC Gaming, the Gigabyte Radeon RX 6650 XT Gaming OC and the Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 6650 XT Gaming OC.

The respective reference models from AMD, which will also be available, are completely black like the Radeon RX 6800 XT Midnight Black or do without the silver-colored elements on the cooler. These reference models also include the price information that will now follow. The partner cards are positioned differently – some in the high-end segment, some as an entry-level variant. But we will come to that within the consideration of the individual models.

Before we look at the maps in detail, let’s compare the Radeon RX 6×50 update with the maps available so far.

AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT in comparison:

Comparison of the cards
Radeon RX 6900 XT Radeon RX 6950 XT
GPU Navi 21 Navi 21
transistors 26.8 billion 26.8 billion
production 7 nm 7 nm
chip size 519,8 mm² 519,8 mm²
Compute Units 80 80
shader units 5.120 5.120
RT accelerator 80 80
Game-Takt 2.015 MHz 2.100 MHz
Boost Rate 2.250 MHz 2.310 MHz
Infinity Cache 128 MB 128 MB
IC bandwidth 1,986.56 GB / s 1,986.56 GB / s
storage capacity 16 GB 16 GB
storage type GDDR6 GDDR6
memory interface 256 Bit 256 Bit
memory clock 2.000 MHz 2.250 MHz
memory bandwidth 512 GB / s 576 GB / s
PCIe-Interface PCIe 4.0 x16 PCIe 4.0 x16
TBP 300 W 335 W
Preis 999 Euro 1.239 Euro

Just like the following cards, the Radeon RX 6950 XT uses the same GPU as the non-refresh model. So nothing is happening in the expansion of the compute units and the shader units and ray tracing accelerators that are linked to them. But there is a clock plus across the board. With the Radeon RX 6950 XT for the game clock from 2,015 to 2,100 MHz and for the boost clock, which may only be maintained for a short time, from 2,250 to 2,310 MHz.

The memory expansion and the memory interface remain untouched with 16 GB or 256 bits, but there is a higher memory clock. This increases from 2,000 to 2,250 MHz and this means a memory bandwidth that has been adjusted from 512 to 576 GB/s.

The clock of the Infinity Fabric is increased from a maximum of 1,940 MHz to 2,050 MHz on the Radeon RX 6950 XT. This also increases the bandwidth of the interconnect. With the Radeon RX 6750 XT and Radeon 6650 XT, this clock domain remains untouched.

Comparison of the Navi GPUs
IC capacity channels IF-Takt IF bandwidth
Navi 21 Refresh 128 MB 16 2.050 MHz 2,099.2 GB / s
Navi 21 128 MB 16 1.940 MHz 1,986.56 GB / s
Navi 22 96 MB 12 1.940 MHz 1,489.92 GB / s
Navi 23 32 MB 4 1.800 MHz 460.8 GB / s
Navi 24 16 MB 2 1.800 MHz 230.4 GB / s

However, the Total Board Power (TBP) also jumps due to the clock increases. Instead of 300 W as before, the new cards now consume 335 W – even more in the case of the custom models. There is also a plus in the price. AMD’s official price recommendation for the Radeon RX 6950 XT is 1,239 euros.

AMD Radeon RX 6750 XT in comparison:

Comparison of the cards
Radeon RX 6700 XT Radeon RX 6750 XT
GPU Navi 22 Navi 22
transistors 17.2 billion 17.2 billion
production 7 nm 7 nm
chip size 336 mm² 336 mm²
Compute Units 40 40
shader units 2.560 2.560
RT accelerator 40 40
Game-Takt 2.424 MHz 2.495 MHz
Boost Rate 2.581 MHz 2.600 MHz
Infinity Cache 96 MB 96 MB
IC bandwidth 1,489.92 GB / s 1,489.92 GB / s
storage capacity 12 GB 12 GB
storage type GDDR6 GDDR6
memory interface 192 Bit 192 Bit
memory clock 2.000 MHz 2.250 MHz
memory bandwidth 384 GB / s 432 GB / s
PCIe-Interface PCIe 4.0 x16 PCIe 4.0 x16
TBP 230 W 250 W
Preis 479 Euro 619 Euro

The GPU (Navi 22) is also identical to the previous model on the Radeon RX 6750 XT – the scheme is now obvious. So there are no differences in the number of functional units here either, but there are differences in the clock. The game clock is increased from 2,424 to 2,495 MHz, the boost clock goes from 2,581 to 2,600 MHz, so that at least the case of the boost clock can be said to be a moderate increase.

The main difference can also be found here in storage. The expansion is identical with 12 GB, as is the connection via a 192-bit wide interface. However, the clock is increased from 2,000 to 2,250 MHz and thus the memory bandwidth increases from 384 to 432 GB/s. Here, too, AMD has increased the total board power from 230 to 250 W.

However, there is also an “update” for the price – in percentage terms even a large one. If the Radeon RX 6700 XT cost 479 euros when it was introduced, the Radeon RX 6750 XT will cost 619 euros.

AMD Radeon RX 6650 XT in comparison:

Comparison of the cards
Radeon RX 6600 XT Radeon RX 6650 XT
GPU Navi 23 Navi 23
transistors 11.06 billion 11.06 billion
production 7 nm 7 nm
chip size 237 mm² 237 mm²
Compute Units 32 32
shader units 2.048 2.048
RT accelerator 32 32
Game-Takt 2.359 MHz 2.410 MHz
Boost Rate 2.538 MHz 2.635 MHz
Infinity Cache 32 MB 32 MB
IC bandwidth 921.6 GB / s 921.6 GB / s
storage capacity 8 GB 8 GB
storage type GDDR6 GDDR6
memory interface 128 Bit 128 Bit
memory clock 2.000 MHz 2.190 MHz
memory bandwidth 256 GB / s 280.3 GB / s
PCIe-Interface PCIe 4.0 x8 PCIe 4.0 x8
TBP 175 W 180 W
Preis 379 Euro 449 Euro

Actually, the Navi 23 GPU should have been the smallest desktop introduction of this generation. But then came the Radeon RX 6500 XT with the Navi 24 GPU. However, the Radeon RX 6650 XT uses the Navi 23 GPU, which remains untouched compared to its predecessor in terms of expansion. But there is also a clock plus here. The game clock increases from 2359 to 2410 MHz. The boost clock makes a small jump from 2,538 to 2,635 MHz.

So let’s focus on memory here as well. The 8 GB GDDR6 previously clocked at 2,000 MHz, now it is 2,190 MHz. On a 128-bit wide memory interface, the memory bandwidth increases from 256 to 280.3 GB/s. At this point it should be mentioned that the Radeon RX 6650 XT uses only eight PCI Express lanes, just like its predecessor.

The price of the Radeon RX 6650 XT is 449 euros – 70 euros more than the Radeon RX 6600 XT was asked for.

The custom models in comparison:

Before we look at the first models of the refresh series, we want to compare the three variants of the Radeon RX 6650 XT in terms of their clock rates. In addition, we compare the clock rates of the MBA models (Made by AMD), i.e. the reference versions, against the custom models.

Comparison of the beat
model Game- / Boost-Takt TGP
ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX 6600 XT OC Gaming 2.428 / 2.607 MHz 145 W
AMD Radeon RX 6650 XT (MBA) 2.410 / 2.635 MHz
ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX 6650 XT OC Gaming 2.523 / 2.694 MHz 164 W
Gigabyte Radeon RX 6650 XT Gaming OC 2.523 / 2.694 MHz 164 W
Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 6650 XT Gaming OC 2.523 / 2.694 MHz 164 W
AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT (MBA) 2.424 / 2.581 MHz 186 W
AMD Radeon RX 6750 XT (MBA) 2.495 / 2.600 MHz
Gigabyte Radeon RX 6750 XT Gaming OC 2.533 / 2.623 MHz 220 W
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT (MBA) 2.015 / 2.250 MHz 255 W
AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT (MBA) 2.100 / 2.310 MHz
Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 6950 XT Pure Gaming OC 2.162 / 2.368 MHz 303 W

The higher clock speeds of the refresh models as well as the custom versions are just a side note. What we really want to look at here is the increased power consumption of the cards. Here we mainly compare the TGP (Total Graphics Power) of the GPU, since we don’t always know the TDP of the entire cards.

The ROG Strix Radeon RX 6600 XT OC Gaming had a power limit of 145 W, making it one of the fastest Radeon RX 6600 XT models. All variants of the Radeon RX 6650 XT now come to 164 W and thus consume a good 20 W more via the GPU alone. A Radeon RX 6700 XT brought it to 186 W, the Gigabyte Radeon RX 6750 XT Gaming OC now to 220 W – at least 34 W of additional consumption. A similar picture with the Radeon RX 6900 XT, which has reached 255 W. In the form of the Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 6950 XT Pure Gaming OC, we read out 303 W. A clear plus of almost 50 W.

Of course, you always have to keep in mind whether you are comparing an MBA design to a custom model or not. The RDNA 2 refresh shows very clearly that AMD cannot do magic either. Of course, you don’t “overdo it” like NVIDIA with a power limit of 450+ W, but there is a certain tendency here too, which will probably continue in the next generation. The marketing department still has a little side swipe to distribute:

“Radeon Graphics and the AMD RDNA 2 architecture continue to deliver high performance and power efficiency. Meanwhile, competing products are pushing the limits of typical system power supplies, resulting in higher power costs for the end user, louder fan noise, higher heat output to the system, and the potential need to upgrading the PSU altogether.”

Well, if you don’t expect a tit-for-tat 😉

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