When AMD announced its first RDNA 2 video cards for PC at the end of 2020, it moved away from its usual strategy of trying to dominate the mid-range market. Instead, it announced three GPUs designed to compete directly with the best NVIDIA had to offer at the time. AMD’s newest video card is something of a return to form. At $479, the RX 6700 XT is $100 more affordable than the RX 3800 and slots in between NVIDIA’s two best value GPUs, the $399 RTX 3060 Ti and $499 RTX 3070. It’s also the successor to AMD’s most important video card in recent years, the RX 5700 XT.
The 6700 XT offers 40 compute units, a 2,424MHz game clock and 12GB of GDDR6 RAM while consuming 230 watts of power. How does that compare to the RX 6800? AMD’s latest features 20 fewer compute units and 4GB less RAM. A downgrade, to be sure, but in practical terms, those capabilities translate to a GPU that excels at 1440p, the current sweet spot for PC gaming.
According to AMD’s benchmarks, the RX 6700 XT can consistently deliver greater than 60 frames per second in graphically demanding games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla while rendering them at max settings. In some instances, it can even outperform both the RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070 — though there are almost as many games where the latter beats it handily. Moreover, in competitive shooters like Overwatch and Valorant, AMD claims the RX 6700 XT can deliver over 200 frames per second at 1440p, making it more than capable of driving the latest crop of QHD monitors that feature better than 144Hz refresh rates.
As with AMD’s other RDNA 2-based GPUs, hardware-accelerated ray tracing is on the table. The RX 6700 XT also supports AMD’s Smart Access Memory technology. That’s a feature that allows Ryzen 5000 series CPUs — and now most 3000 series processors as well — to get full direct access to the high-speed VRAM on the RX 6700 XT. Depending on the game, you can get expect to get up to 16 percent better performance.
The Radeon RX 6700 XT will be available from AMD board partners like Asus, Gigabyte, MSI and XFX on March 18th. Of course, announcing availability and actually delivering on that promise are two separate things — as AMD itself has consistently shown since the release of its Zen 3 processors. Like their NVIDIA counterparts, the RX 6900 XT, RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 have been nearly impossible to buy since they came out.
For what it’s worth, a spokesperson for AMD told Engadget it will have have “significantly more” RX 6700 XT stock at launch than it had of its first RDNA 2 cards last year. The company also said it’s taking additional steps — without detailing what those entail — to address stock shortages.