XFX Radeon RX 6800 XT Speedster Merc 319 Black Review 42

XFX Radeon RX 6800 XT Speedster Merc 319 Black Review

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The XFX Radeon RX 6800 XT Speedster Merc 319 Black is the company's fastest custom-design RX 6800 XT "Big Navi" graphics card, designed to offer maximum performance out of the box for the RX 6800 XT, the highest overclocking headroom, and the quietest cooler when gaming. The Speedster Merc 319 (where "Merc" is a contraction of the word "mercury," not "mercenary") is the company's successor to its popular THICC III line of graphics cards based on the original RX 5700 series "Navi." XFX has taken many lessons from the THICC, in giving the Merc 319 much better ventilation and heat dissipation, and paired it with a custom-design PCB with an incredibly powerful custom VRM solution.

AMD's new RDNA2 graphics architecture at the heart of "Big Navi" is built on the philosophy of using enormous amounts of compute power to accomplish real-time raytracing, and full DirectX 12 Ultimate logo compliance for the latest generation of AAA games. The most compute-intensive part of raytracing is performed by fixed-function hardware called Ray Accelerators. To accomplish its design goals, AMD doubled the SIMD muscle of "Big Navi" over the previous generation, which should also result in an enormous performance uplift with conventional raster 3D rendering, which still makes up the vast majority of 3D gaming. AMD is hence marketing the RX 6800 XT as a card for maxed-out 4K Ultra HD gaming, as well as extreme refresh-rate esports gaming.

The RX 6800 XT Speedster Merc 319 Black is based on the new 7 nm "Navi 21" silicon by AMD, which features 72 RDNA2 compute units, working out to 4,608 stream processors. Each of these CUs has one Ray Accelerator. AMD also bolstered the memory sub-system by giving the card 16 GB of GDDR6 memory running at 16 Gbps. The memory bus width is 256-bit wide, which works out to 512 GB/s of raw memory bandwidth, but AMD has deployed an interesting solution called Infinity Cache to improve memory sub-system performance. This is a 128 MB last-level cache on the "Navi 21" silicon with an enormous bandwidth the GPU can use as a fast scratchpad. Our RX 6800 XT reference-design review takes an in-depth look at the RDNA2 architecture.

As mentioned earlier, the XFX Radeon RX 6800 XT Merc 319 Black pairs AMD's swanky new GPU with a powerful triple-slot cooling solution that uses a large aluminium fin-stack heatsink ventilated by a trio of fans. The metal cooler shroud and backplate feature perforations to enable free flow of heat exhaust. The card is longer than the PCB underneath, so some of the airflow from the third fan flows through—the "hottest" design trend with graphics cards of this generation. XFX has also given the RX 6800 XT a factory overclock, with its engine boost frequency now dialed up to 2360 MHz (compared to 2250 MHz reference). XFX is pricing the card at $800, a $150 premium over the $650 baseline price for the RX 6800 XT. In this review, we take a close look at this dapper-looking card.

Radeon RX 6800 XT 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 2080 Ti$10004352881350 MHz1545 MHz1750 MHzTU10218600M11 GB, GDDR6, 352-bit
RTX 3070$5005888961500 MHz1725 MHz1750 MHzGA10417400M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RX 6800$5803840961815 MHz2105 MHz2000 MHzNavi 2126800M16 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RX 6800 XT$65046081282015 MHz2250 MHz2000 MHzNavi 2126800M16 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
XFX RX 6800 XT
Speedster Merc 319
$80046081282110 MHz2360 MHz2000 MHzNavi 2126800M16 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 3080$7008704961440 MHz1710 MHz1188 MHzGA10228000M10 GB, GDDR6X, 320-bit
RX 6900 XT$100051201282015 MHz2250 MHz2000 MHzNavi 2126800M16 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 3090$1500104961121395 MHz1695 MHz1219 MHzGA10228000M24 GB, GDDR6X, 384-bit
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