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amd launches new radeon 6000 refresh, raise the game bundle

This week, AMD is officially announcing its refreshed family of RDNA2 GPUs. The Radeon 6950 XT, Radeon 6750 XT, and Radeon 6650 XT are replacements and/or additions to the Radeon 6900 XT, 6700 XT, and 6600 XT. Minimum prices for each card are $1099, $549, and $399 each. The Radeon 6800 XT isn’t being refreshed, but it isn’t being replaced either and will remain in-market, as will the Radeon 6700 XT. The Radeon 6600 XT will be retired.

The 6950 XT is $100 more expensive than the Radeon 6900 XT, while the Radeon 6750 XT is 1.15x more expensive (up from $479). The Radeon 6650 XT is just $20 more. Clocks and memory bandwidth have been slightly improved, though TBP (Total Board Power) has risen accordingly, up 35W to 335W for the Radeon RX 6950 XT and 20W to 250W and 180W for the 6750 XT and 6650 XT.

GPU clocks are nearly identical between the 6×00 and 6×50 models. The Radeon RX 6950 XT has a base clock of 2.1GHz and a boost clock of 2.31GHz, up 4.2 percent and 2.6 percent respectively. The 6750 XT is 2.9 percent and 0.07 percent faster than the 6700 XT (don’t knock yourselves out), and the 6650 XT is 2.2 percent and 1.7 percent faster than its predecessor. VRAM capacities are identical between refreshed RDNA2 and the original flavor. While AMD’s partners have some leeway to sell their own custom overclocked cards, AMD vendors don’t typically push their GPUs very hard. AMD tends to clock its reference cards aggressively and doesn’t leave a lot of clock leeway.

VRAM speeds, in contrast, have come up a bit. All three cards now field 18Gbps VRAM instead of 16Gbps VRAM, a gain of 1.125x. It’s not clear how memory bandwidth-limited RDNA2 GPUs are, however. Our tests showed only limited evidence for memory bandwidth bottlenecks at the resolutions people are likely to target with these cards. A 12.5 percent VRAM clock can be expected to deliver between 1.05x – 1.1x additional performance depending on how bandwidth-limited the title is. Infinity Cache distribution is unchanged on these chips. The 6950 XT has a 128MB L3, the 6750 XT uses a 96MB L3, and the 6650 XT has a 32MB L3.

The 6600 XT was not our favorite GPU when it debuted and the 6650 XT doesn’t do anything to fix its problems. The 6750 XT and 6950 XT are better-positioned from the start. As far as the best balance between affordability and performance for AMD at the moment, it’s probably going to be either the 6700 XT or the 6750 XT.  While I’ve expressed unhappiness with AMD’s prices in the past, well over a year of sky-high pricing suggests anyone who can find one of these cards at or near MSRP ought to grab it. The good news is, that’s becoming less true by the day. Overall, markets appear to be normalizing.

AMD also briefly gave details on a new promotion its running, dubbed Raise the Game. Titles like Saints Row and Sniper Elite 5 (with more to be announced) will be bundled with qualifying cards from various OEMs. According to AMD, anyone who buys a GPU from a participating etailer will receive a code that can be redeemed once the full details of the promotion are available later this quarter.

If you’ve been eyeing an RDNA2-based GPU for a while now, these new refreshes might be worth checking out. While they aren’t dramatically faster than the first models AMD debuted, they offer the same benefits with a bit more clock on top. If you aren’t sold on RDNA2 as a solution for yourself at the moment, these cards are unlikely to change your mind. We’ll see a more exciting match-up later this year when RDNA3 and Nvidia’s Lovelace face off against each other.

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