We have with us the ASUS ROG STRIX Radeon RX 6700 XT O12G, the company's top custom-design RX 6700 XT graphics card. AMD today launched the RX 6700 XT along with the new Navi 22 silicon to take the fight to NVIDIA's sub-$500 performance segment, including popular SKUs such as the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and the RTX 3070. It establishes 12 GB as the new memory-size standard and promises full DirectX 12 Ultimate capability, including real-time raytracing. The target buyer is a serious gamer looking to play both AAA and e-sports at 1440p with maxed out settings.
The Radeon RX 6700 XT is based on the latest RDNA2 graphics architecture that brings a compelling feature set to the PC market, nearly leveling up to NVIDIA. AMD's approach to real-time raytracing is to use special purpose components called Ray Accelerators, which calculate ray-intersection, while compute shaders handle everything else, including de-noising. To achieve this, AMD significantly bolstered the programmable shaders of this architecture, improving their IPC and running them at extremely high engine clocks. A side-effect of this is the card's high performance outlook with games that don't have raytracing.
The Navi 22 silicon at the heart of the RX 6700 XT physically features 40 RDNA2 compute units, which works out to 2,560 stream processors, 40 Ray Accelerators, 160 TMUs, and 64 ROPs. The increased 12 GB memory size over the past generation comes with a catch—the memory bus width is narrowed to 192-bit. AMD attempted to overcome this by using the fastest standard GDDR6 memory chips that run at 16 Gbps and Infinity Cache, a fast on-die 96 MB cache memory that cushions data transfers between the GPU and memory.
The ROG STRIX RX 6700 XT OC comes with the latest generation DirectCU III cooler that's used across RTX 30-series and RX 6000 series ROG cards from ASUS. It features a meaty aluminium fin-stack heatsink that's ventilated by a trio of Axial-Tech fans. You also get goodies such as dual-BIOS, a blinding amount of RGB LED illumination, additional fan headers to let you synchronize your ventilation to the card, and an additional RGB out. According to ASUS, the MSRP of the RX 6700 STRIX OC is $830. I would have estimated it to end up at $800 after scalping, looks like I might be wrong.