Today, we have with us the ASRock Radeon RX 6800 XT Taichi X, the company's most premium custom-design version of the RX 6800 XT "Big Navi." Although a giant with motherboards, ASRock is one of the youngest in the graphics card business, making its debut exclusively with the AMD Radeon brand. Given "Big Navi" is the first enthusiast segment GPU by AMD since ASRock's foray, the RX 6800 XT Taichi ends up being the most top-shelf graphics card by the company. The Taichi X combines a custom-design PCB with ASRock's 3X cooling solution. The "gearwheel" design language of ASRock has been well received by enthusiasts and is used across the company's motherboard and graphics card families.
AMD launched the Radeon RX 6800 XT this November, introducing the RDNA2 graphics architecture that meets all the feature requirements for DirectX 12 Ultimate, including real-time raytracing. This is particularly important as RDNA2 is deployed across the latest PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S next-gen consoles, which is where the money is for game developers, and optimizing for these consoles makes it easier to optimize for AMD Radeon.
Real-time raytracing is the final frontier with 3D graphics, and while fully raytraced interactive 3D remains only theoretical, the latest graphics architectures, starting with NVIDIA "Turing," are able to combine conventional raster 3D graphics with certain raytraced elements, such as lighting, shadows, reflections, and illumination, to vastly improve realism. Even these tiny bits of raytracing call for enormous amounts of compute power and dictate the use of fixed-function hardware. AMD RDNA2 architecture relies on an enormous uplift in the GPU's compute capabilities, by a doubling SIMD resources over the previous generation "Navi" RDNA architecture. The most compute-intensive task of intersections is handled by fixed-function hardware called Ray Accelerators. Each of the 72 RDNA2 compute units on the RX 6800 XT has one.
An off-shoot of the enormous SIMD uplift is that conventional raster 3D performance is significantly increased over the past generation, with AMD claiming that the RX 6800 XT performs in the same league as NVIDIA's flagship GeForce RTX 3080. Based on the 7 nm "Navi 21" silicon, the Radeon RX 6800 XT features 72 out of 80 RDNA2 compute units physically present on the silicon, amounting to 4,608 stream processors, 72 Ray Accelerators, 288 TMUs, and 128 ROPs. The company has also doubled the memory amount to 16 GB and is using the fastest JEDEC-standard 16 Gbps GDDR6 memory. The memory bus width, however, has remained 256-bit wide, which works out to 512 GB/s of memory bandwidth. AMD claims to have overcome the bandwidth shortfall through an innovative feature it calls Infinity Cache, a 128 MB on-die cache that operates at an enormous data-rate, assisting the memory.
Running at up to 2360 MHz compared to the 2250 MHz reference, the ASRock Radeon RX 6800 XT Taichi X in this review features the company's highest factory overclock for this GPU. Powering the card is a powerful 16-phase VRM solution that pulls power from three 8-pin PCIe power connectors, and power limits are increased as well. Keeping it all cool is the Taichi 3X cooling solution, which uses a thick aluminium fin-stack heatsink ventilated by three fans. The card is well into the triple-slot category and features plenty of RGB LED embellishments, and certain handy features, like an ARGB control that lets you synchronize your rig's lighting to that of the graphics card, and dual-BIOS. In this review, we tested the card with its default "P" (performance) BIOS and the quieter "Q" BIOS. ASRock is pricing the RX 6800 XT Taichi X at $830—the card goes against established rivals from the AMD ecosystem, such as the Red Devil, Sapphire NITRO+, and ASUS ROG STRIX.
|RX Vega 64||$400||4096||64||1247 MHz||1546 MHz||953 MHz||Vega 10||12500M||8 GB, HBM2, 2048-bit|
|GTX 1080 Ti||$650||3584||88||1481 MHz||1582 MHz||1376 MHz||GP102||12000M||11 GB, GDDR5X, 352-bit|
|RX 5700 XT||$370||2560||64||1605 MHz||1755 MHz||1750 MHz||Navi 10||10300M||8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|RTX 2070||$340||2304||64||1410 MHz||1620 MHz||1750 MHz||TU106||10800M||8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|RTX 2070 Super||$450||2560||64||1605 MHz||1770 MHz||1750 MHz||TU104||13600M||8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|Radeon VII||$680||3840||64||1802 MHz||N/A||1000 MHz||Vega 20||13230M||16 GB, HBM2, 4096-bit|
|RTX 2080||$600||2944||64||1515 MHz||1710 MHz||1750 MHz||TU104||13600M||8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|RTX 2080 Super||$690||3072||64||1650 MHz||1815 MHz||1940 MHz||TU104||13600M||8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|RTX 2080 Ti||$1000||4352||88||1350 MHz||1545 MHz||1750 MHz||TU102||18600M||11 GB, GDDR6, 352-bit|
|RTX 3070||$500||5888||96||1500 MHz||1725 MHz||1750 MHz||GA104||17400M||8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|RX 6800||$580||3840||96||1815 MHz||2105 MHz||2000 MHz||Navi 21||26800M||16 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|RX 6800 XT||$650||4608||128||2015 MHz||2250 MHz||2000 MHz||Navi 21||26800M||16 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|ASRock RX 6800|
|$830||4608||128||2110 MHz||2360 MHz||2000 MHz||Navi 21||26800M||16 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|RTX 3080||$700||8704||96||1440 MHz||1710 MHz||1188 MHz||GA102||28000M||10 GB, GDDR6X, 320-bit|
|RX 6900 XT||$1000||5120||128||2015 MHz||2250 MHz||2000 MHz||Navi 21||26800M||16 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit|
|RTX 3090||$1500||10496||112||1395 MHz||1695 MHz||1219 MHz||GA102||28000M||24 GB, GDDR6X, 384-bit|