Friday, October 30th 2020

Sapphire Unveils Reference-design Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6800

Unlike NVIDIA, AMD still relies on its add-in board (AIB) partners to sell reference design (made by AMD) graphics cards, and Sapphire just announced its lineup. The company unveiled its reference-design Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 cards. The RX 6800 XT is characterized by its triple-slot cooling solution, while the RX 6800 makes do with a slimmer dual-slot one. Both cards are based on the 7 nm "Navi 21" silicon and feature 16 GB of 16 Gbps GDDR6 memory over a 256-bit wide memory interface, cushioned by 128 MB of on-die Infinity Cache.

The RX 6800 XT is configured with 72 out of 80 RDNA2 compute units on the "Navi 21" silicon, working out to 4,608 stream processors, 72 ray accelerators, 288 TMUs, and 128 ROPs. The engine clock of the RX 6800 XT boosts up to 2.25 GHz. The RX 6800, on the other hand, features 60 out of 80 RDNA2 compute units, which make up 3,840 stream processors, 60 ray accelerators, 240 TMUs, the same 128 ROPs, and the same memory subsystem as the RX 6800 XT. Given that these are reference cards, Sapphire could price them at AMD's baseline, with the RX 6800 XT going for $649, and the RX 6800 at $579.
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38 Comments on Sapphire Unveils Reference-design Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6800

#1
ratirt
I been thinking about reference designs. I think the reference design is better if you want to go liquid. I been planing to go liquid GPU for some time and if I will get one of these, I think I might be tempted to go with water.
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#3
ratirt
ViperXTR
triple slot?
It's not triple slot. is it?
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#4
Wolfkin
"Given that these are reference cards, Sapphire could price them at AMD's baseline".

I would say that these being reference cards, anything other than baseline price would be just wrong and deceiving.
ratirt
It's not triple slot. is it?
Well no, not triple slot but 2.5 slot for 6800XT but as motherboards don't do half slots it will take up 3 slots.
6800 though is a 2 slot card.
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#5
turbogear
ratirt
I been thinking about reference designs. I think the reference design is better if you want to go liquid. I been planing to go liquid GPU for some time and if I will get one of these, I think I might be tempted to go with water.
That is also my plan to get Sapphire 6800XT and add it to my water loop.
Hopefully the reviews of 6800XT reference card will not disappointment me. :p

I have already full water loop setup with Ryzen 3700X and Radeon VII and intend to replace Radeon VII with this.
EK already announced that they are preparing the blocks. :rockout:

Hopefully EK will include the single slot bracket as in the past.
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#6
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
ViperXTR
triple slot?
RX 6800 XT is triple slot, 6800 is double slot.
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#7
ratirt
btarunr
RX 6800 XT is triple slot, 6800 is double slot.
no shock here. I really hope that the water cooling for the 6800 XT will do more than just lower temps.
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#9
watzupken
Triple slot cooling for 300W or more is expected. The cooler is beefy, but I think its better than insufficient cooling.
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#10
spnidel
looks quite capable, wondering how well it's going to perform, really wish reference coolers would just be GOOD
just noticed the 6800 xt is triple slot
welp, just waiting for reviews now, if the cooler is good to not get an AIB, I'm going to go for a reference 6800 xt
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#11
BoboOOZ
Pending reviews, but this should look nice in my case. I should get some red-black cables :p
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#12
ZoneDymo
wait...why is the backplate solid? am I missing something? air cannot escape out the back?
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#13
Valantar
btarunr
RX 6800 XT is triple slot, 6800 is double slot.
For us SFF users, could you in the future at least specify whether it's full triple slot or some in-between size? There are quite a few SFF cases that will fit a "2.5" or "2.75"-slot but not a full 3-slot, even if the difference is entirely theoretical in an ATX or mATX case.

For those wondering: the XTs have "2.5" slot coolers, 50mm (49.75mm) thick. The 6800 non-XT has a 40mm, 2-slot cooler.
ZoneDymo
wait...why is the backplate solid? am I missing something? air cannot escape out the back?
Look at the cooler fin orientation - the fins are perpendicular to the motherboard, so no noticeable amount of air would be passing out there even if there was no I/O plate at all. Leaving it closed off is no problem at all. It would of course be entirely different if the fins were oriented parallel to the board.
dont whant to set it"'
And where is/are "my" blower style cooler/s?
Probably coming - both Asus and Gigabyte have blowers for the 3080 (and GB even for the 3090!), so they'll make it if there's a market.
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#14
turbogear
watzupken
Triple slot cooling for 300W or more is expected. The cooler is beefy, but I think its better than insufficient cooling.
Yes 300W needs a beefy cooler.
In the last few generations Radeon reference coolers were disappoint. :(
Hopefully this time it has better efficiency. :rolleyes:

The concern I have with this sideways air blowing design is that on PCIe connector side the most of air will hit mainboard PCB making it hot in the area. :oops:
This is close to NVMe SSD slot on many x570 boards and will make the SSD hotter like on my ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi).
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#15
Valantar
turbogear
Yes 300W needs a beefy cooler.
In the last few generations Radeon reference coolers were disappoint. :(
Hopefully this time it has better efficiency. :rolleyes:

The concern I have with this sideways air blowing design is that on PCIe connector side the most of air will hit mainboard PCB making it hot in the area. :oops:
This is close to NVMe SSD slot on many x570 boards and will make the SSD hotter.
Due to how restricted flow will be in that direction the majority of airflow will be out the top of the card. But yes, it'll heat up SSDs some if the slot is right there - though to be honest so will the 3080 and 3090 FE coolers, as they also have fin-stacks that point to that exact spot. Much smaller portions, of course, but nonetheless. Of course the argument for a design like what AMD is doing here is that compared to a "horizontal" fin orientation (parallel to the motherboard) the air needs to travel a much shorter distance before exiting the cooler, and the fans won't be fighting each other. Several axial fans blowing into a horizontal-fin heatsink means they are essentially just fighting each other and creating no useful airflow for a significant portion of the fin area. Nearly all open-air heatsinks orient their fins like this one does. Just look at the recently announced EVGA 3070s on the TPU front page.
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#16
Turmania
I love the looks of this card, naturally have to wait for reviews and how this holds up against other brands custom coolers.
But, can not help but wonder. Is Sapphire getting preferential treatment from AMD? there is as well, XFX, PowerColor exclusive radeon producers too.
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#17
Valantar
Turmania
I love the looks of this card, naturally have to wait for reviews and how this holds up against other brands custom coolers.
But, can not help but wonder. Is Sapphire getting preferential treatment from AMD? there is as well, XFX, PowerColor exclusive radeon producers too.
Sapphire has been AMD's closest partner for a decade or more (I don't quite remember, but they may have been the same for ATI), so they're likely to get some sort of early access or higher degree of engineering support, though I doubt it makes that much of a difference. It might just mean that they are able to deliver parts and designs slightly earlier than the would otherwise compared to the size and resources of the company - Sapphire is a fraction of the size of someone like Asus or MSI, after all.
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#18
AnarchoPrimitiv
I told myself I would keep my Sapphire 5700xt Nitro+ for one more generation, but I'm getting pretty excited for Big Navi, and I'm afraid once I see that 6800XT Nitro+ I'll just have to have it. I also need to upgrade my 2700x, and I'm really thinking about the 5900x. Should really help with 3d modeling and video editing/rendering, but I'm not so sure about dropping $1450 on a new CPU, motherboard, and gpu, when I spent around that a little over a year ago. I SHOULD probably hold out for Zen4 and the new socket and RDNA3 seeing as I I could only probably get $500 for my 2700x/Asus X470-F/5700xt at resale altogether... It's just going to be hard once that 6800XT Nitro+ is looking delicious
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#19
Dristun
So, probably no Nitro or Toxic until next year?
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#20
ebivan
I really like the reference designs, both the RTX3080 FE and AMDs 6800xt reference design have that clean "no bullshit" approach, while most custom designs mostly look like they were designed for 14 year olds.

I just hope AMDs cooling solution is quiet enough for my taste. Is there any new information when the NDA on reviews will be lifted?
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#21
mkppo
ViperXTR
triple slot?
It's 2.5 slot (looks closer to 2) and 10.5" as mentioned by AMD
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#22
Makaveli
If it is 2.5 for the 6800XT i'll be looking to replace the cooler with a Alphacool Eiswolf 2- AIO when I can get a hold of one.
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#23
milewski1015
AnarchoPrimitiv
I told myself I would keep my Sapphire 5700xt Nitro+ for one more generation, but I'm getting pretty excited for Big Navi, and I'm afraid once I see that 6800XT Nitro+ I'll just have to have it. I also need to upgrade my 2700x, and I'm really thinking about the 5900x. Should really help with 3d modeling and video editing/rendering, but I'm not so sure about dropping $1450 on a new CPU, motherboard, and gpu, when I spent around that a little over a year ago. I SHOULD probably hold out for Zen4 and the new socket and RDNA3 seeing as I I could only probably get $500 for my 2700x/Asus X470-F/5700xt at resale altogether... It's just going to be hard once that 6800XT Nitro+ is looking delicious
You and me both...2600 and Nitro+ 5700 XT here. The issue is I don't do any 3d modeling/rendering, and my video editing is just trimming down game highlight clips, which I do maybe once a month, if that. Also feel like I should wait for AM5 to come around and let DDR5 mature a little bit, especially as my 5700 XT is handling most everything I play just fine. But the allure of a 5600X + B550/X570 board + and a 6800 XT Nitro+ is super tempting. Definitely shouldn't be dropping hundreds of dollars on new hardware when everything I have works fine
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#24
Makaveli
Were at least 18 months out for AM5 and DDR5 will be expensive on launch like every new memory standard is.

So ya if you can wait that long I would just keep rocking what you got.
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#25
BoboOOZ
milewski1015
You and me both...2600 and Nitro+ 5700 XT here. The issue is I don't do any 3d modeling/rendering, and my video editing is just trimming down game highlight clips, which I do maybe once a month, if that. Also feel like I should wait for AM5 to come around and let DDR5 mature a little bit, especially as my 5700 XT is handling most everything I play just fine. But the allure of a 5600X + B550/X570 board + and a 6800 XT Nitro+ is super tempting. Definitely shouldn't be dropping hundreds of dollars on new hardware when everything I have works fine
Well, you can always buy a higher spec monitor, that will give you a very valid excuse to upgrade your gear :D . Buy a high refresh 4k or a 1600p ultrawide and, voilà, you need a new GPU...
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