ASUS Radeon RX 6800 STRIX OC Review 15

ASUS Radeon RX 6800 STRIX OC Review

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We have with us the ASUS ROG STRIX Radeon RX 6800 OC graphics card, our first custom-design Radeon RX 6800 graphics card after the pile of RX 6800 XT cards we've munched through. While its bigger siblings, the RX 6800 XT and RX 6900 XT, hog much of the limelight with the DIY enthusiast crowd for smooth 4K UHD gaming, the RX 6800 is a bit of an underdog. At a starting price of $580, AMD is confident of the RX 6800 outperforming the GeForce RTX 3070, which starts at $500. ASUS takes things up a notch by giving this GPU its most premium ROG STRIX treatment. The card is based on a similar-looking board design to the RX 6800 XT ROG STRIX (air-cooled), which means there's plenty of cooling muscle to tame the already cooler RX 6800.

The Radeon RX 6800 has an interesting mandate for its price: to offer maxed out gaming performance at 1440p while being perfectly capable of 4K UHD gaming with reasonably high settings. The RTX 3070 is advertised by NVIDIA to beat the RTX 2080 Ti, and AMD claims that the RX 6800 beats the RTX 3070. This means you're dealing with plenty of graphics horsepower right off the bat. The RX 6800 is based on AMD's new RDNA2 graphics architecture, which also powers the latest game consoles, such as the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X/S. The architecture meets all the requirements for DirectX 12 Ultimate, which includes real-time raytracing standardized under DirectX Raytracing. An extremely compute-intensive technology, raytracing requires enormous compute muscle and fixed-function hardware. A side effect of this is vast increases in compute power for the latest generation of GPUs, which significantly increases performance for conventional raster 3D graphics.

The Radeon RX 6800 is carved out of the 7 nm "Navi 21" silicon the RX 6800 XT and RX 6900 XT are based on and features 60 out of 80 RDNA2 compute units, translating to 3,840 stream processors, 60 Ray Accelerators, 240 TMUs, and 96 ROPs. The memory sub-system is the same as the RX 6900 XT, with 16 GB of the fastest JEDEC-standard 16 Gbps GDDR6 memory across a 256-bit wide memory interface. This is already a lot faster than the 14 Gbps memory the RTX 3070 is equipped with, not to mention double the memory size, but AMD has taken things in the memory bandwidth department a step further by deploying 128 MB of super-fast on-die L3 cache it calls Infinity Cache. Together, this memory solution offers a peak theoretical bandwidth of 2 TB/s.

ASUS adds value to the RX 6800 by giving it the latest generation of its ROG STRIX DirectCU III cooling solution, which it debuted with the GeForce RTX 30-series. It features a large aluminium fin-stack heatsink that's ventilated by a trio of Axial-Tech fans. Since the cooler is longer than the PCB, airflow from the third fan flows right through. The ASUS RX 6800 STRIX OC also comes with a handy factory overclock, with the GPU boosting up to 2190 MHz as opposed to the 2105 MHz reference. ASUS is pricing the card at $700, and you can currently find it on eBay for around $1000.

Radeon RX 6800 Review Market Segment Analysis
RX Vega 64$400 4096641247 MHz1546 MHz953 MHzVega 1012500M8 GB, HBM2, 2048-bit
GTX 1080 Ti$6503584881481 MHz1582 MHz1376 MHzGP10212000M11 GB, GDDR5X, 352-bit
RX 5700 XT$3702560641605 MHz1755 MHz1750 MHzNavi 1010300M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2070$3402304641410 MHz1620 MHz1750 MHzTU10610800M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2070 Super$4502560641605 MHz1770 MHz1750 MHzTU10413600M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
Radeon VII$6803840641802 MHzN/A1000 MHzVega 2013230M16 GB, HBM2, 4096-bit
RTX 2080$6002944641515 MHz1710 MHz1750 MHzTU10413600M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2080 Super$6903072641650 MHz1815 MHz1940 MHzTU10413600M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 3060 Ti$8004864801410 MHz1665 MHz1750 MHzGA10417400M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2080 Ti$10004352881350 MHz1545 MHz1750 MHzTU10218600M11 GB, GDDR6, 352-bit
RTX 3070$8505888961500 MHz1725 MHz1750 MHzGA10417400M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RX 6800$9503840961815 MHz2105 MHz2000 MHzNavi 2126800M16 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
ASUS RX 6800
MSRP: $700
3840961980 MHz2190 MHz2000 MHzNavi 2126800M16 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RX 6800 XT$120046081282015 MHz2250 MHz2000 MHzNavi 2126800M16 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 3080$10008704961440 MHz1710 MHz1188 MHzGA10228000M10 GB, GDDR6X, 320-bit
RX 6900 XT$155051201282015 MHz2250 MHz2000 MHzNavi 2126800M16 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 3090$2000104961121395 MHz1695 MHz1219 MHzGA10228000M24 GB, GDDR6X, 384-bit
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