Review ASRock RX 6900 XT Formula Review: Pushing the Limit

husker

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For some the "sanity check" on this card might be the price. But for me, it's the power draw. Prices are set at the whim of market forces, but the huge power draw on this card is something built in by the engineers at ASRock. To me that was one advantage AMD had over Nvidia in this go-round: lower overall power draw which then leads to lower amounts of heat to dissipate, quieter cooling, etc.
 
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48dB at 52% fan speed and 60dB at 75%!

Any GPU which requires headphones because it's so loud at NORMAL fan speeds is not even a consideration in my book. Tack on a 400w power draw and an insane pricetag and that's an easy three strikes.
 

Makaveli

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48dB at 52% fan speed and 60dB at 75%!

Any GPU which requires headphones because it's so loud at NORMAL fan speeds is not even a consideration in my book. Tack on a 400w power draw and an insane pricetag and that's an easy three strikes.
Yep that is crazy.

If these cards ever come back into MSRP which may take a year or more I would only look at an AIO model. I'm liking the temps and noise level you would get with that Asus 3080ti.
 
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Yep that is crazy.

If these cards ever come back into MSRP which may take a year or more I would only look at an AIO model. I'm liking the temps and noise level you would get with that Asus 3080ti.
I never knew what I was missing until after I got my Fury Nano and now my 2070 Super, being able to game and still hear yourself whisper is amazing, especially with an AIO CPU cooler.
 
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Makaveli

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I never knew what I was missing until after I got my Fury Nano and now my 2070 Super, being able to game and still hear yourself whisper is amazing, especially with an AIO CPU cooler.
That is my plan already on AIO cpu cooler then want to go AIO gpu then nice quiet rig even at full load. I cannot stand fan noise and more specifically it ramping up.
 
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That is my plan already on AIO cpu cooler then want to go AIO gpu then nice quiet rig even at full load. I cannot stand fan noise and more specifically it ramping up.
The only thing which kept me from going AIO on my GPU was the finite lifespan of the AIO system between the pump failing and the very slow but steady loss of coolant though evaporation.
 

watzupken

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48dB at 52% fan speed and 60dB at 75%!

Any GPU which requires headphones because it's so loud at NORMAL fan speeds is not even a consideration in my book. Tack on a 400w power draw and an insane pricetag and that's an easy three strikes.
The noise level is insane. 60 decibels is not funny at all and definitely something to recommend against buying this card. Even RTX 3090 with 450W power limit don't get fans that sound this loud. I've used a Sapphire RX 6800 XT Nitro+ with a 350W power limit, and the fans are nowhere near this loud even with it running at 70%. It is only when it hits 100% fan speed when I thought some siren went off in my computer.

Price wise, I think AIB partners can price what they want, but chances of moving large number of units is slim to none, unless its a desperate miner. While GPU shortage is still a thing now and in the near future, I feel the RX 6900 XT's price have been pushed way off what its worth now. Which is why it is not uncommon to see RX 6900 XT and 6700 XT sitting on shelves with inflated prices.
 
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I have the 6900XT Nitro+ SE in my HTPC for VR and it's silent while operating and I've capped it to 280W. I torture tested it a while ago and never went over 85°C junction and 80°C GPU while using 300W. I was probably throttling regardless. I have it in a small-ish case, under the TV paired to a 5600X.

Anyway, point is these cards can do pretty well in "hot" environments, which is something I can't say about the Ampere generation as I've had friends told me their cards run too hot even with full fans pointing at them and open cases. That's bonkers. Some of then throttle hard or just shut down at times.

As for this card... I don't think it's worth it, just because the Sapphire 6900XT Nitro+ SE exists. And that card is close to vanilla 6900XT MSRP all the time. I bought it close to MSRP at least, so I'm quite happy with that. Could I have just gone for a 6800XT? Yes, but the Nitro+ was better to all alternatives, including 6800XTs, for a few extra shekels.

Regards.
 

watzupken

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I have the 6900XT Nitro+ SE in my HTPC for VR and it's silent while operating and I've capped it to 280W. I torture tested it a while ago and never went over 85°C junction and 80°C GPU while using 300W. I was probably throttling regardless. I have it in a small-ish case, under the TV paired to a 5600X.

Anyway, point is these cards can do pretty well in "hot" environments, which is something I can't say about the Ampere generation as I've had friends told me their cards run too hot even with full fans pointing at them and open cases. That's bonkers. Some of then throttle hard or just shut down at times.

As for this card... I don't think it's worth it, just because the Sapphire 6900XT Nitro+ SE exists. And that card is close to vanilla 6900XT MSRP all the time. I bought it close to MSRP at least, so I'm quite happy with that. Could I have just gone for a 6800XT? Yes, but the Nitro+ was better to all alternatives, including 6800XTs, for a few extra shekels.

Regards.
Having used the Sapphire RX 6800 XT Nitro+ before, I think the junction temp gap is too small. In my experience, the TJ temp and the skin/surface temp for Navi21 is usually around 15 degrees Celcius. Running a taxing game like Metro Exodus and subsequently the EE version, I've recorded temp of sub 70 degrees Celcius, while the TJ is in the mid 80s. That's with an under volt (can't recall the under volt value now), and an OC to 2.5 Ghz (but running consistent at 2.45 Ghz likely due to offset in the software).

I actually suspect this card don't need this much power, i.e. 380 to 400W, to get to the 2.5Ghz sustained clock speed. While an RX 6800 XT may require less power than a fully enabled RX 6900 XT, I don't think the delta is that significant considering the cut in CUs is very small. If I was able to get to 2.5Ghz with the UV which resulted in average power draw of around 310W to 320W, 400W is overkill. And to be honest, even if I managed to squeeze 100 to 200 Mhz out of the extra power available, the impact to real life performance is going to be miserably low.
 
Having used the Sapphire RX 6800 XT Nitro+ before, I think the junction temp gap is too small. In my experience, the TJ temp and the skin/surface temp for Navi21 is usually around 15 degrees Celcius. Running a taxing game like Metro Exodus and subsequently the EE version, I've recorded temp of sub 70 degrees Celcius, while the TJ is in the mid 80s. That's with an under volt (can't recall the under volt value now), and an OC to 2.5 Ghz (but running consistent at 2.45 Ghz likely due to offset in the software).

I actually suspect this card don't need this much power, i.e. 380 to 400W, to get to the 2.5Ghz sustained clock speed. While an RX 6800 XT may require less power than a fully enabled RX 6900 XT, I don't think the delta is that significant considering the cut in CUs is very small. If I was able to get to 2.5Ghz with the UV which resulted in average power draw of around 310W to 320W, 400W is overkill. And to be honest, even if I managed to squeeze 100 to 200 Mhz out of the extra power available, the impact to real life performance is going to be miserably low.
As I don't want to do an OC, I rather have the full die at a reasonable speed than getting more speed of a slightly crippled die. I'm sure the speed difference in this case wouldn't be too much anyway. I do get your point though. If you're able to cool and OC to oblivion, maybe the 6800XT would make a bit more sense, but given the price difference for the cooling and a full die on the 6900XT, I can't really say I'm tempted to get one. You're most likely right though.

Regards.
 

JarredWaltonGPU

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48dB at 52% fan speed and 60dB at 75%!

Any GPU which requires headphones because it's so loud at NORMAL fan speeds is not even a consideration in my book. Tack on a 400w power draw and an insane pricetag and that's an easy three strikes.
That's actually pretty quiet compared to some cards I test. Note again that it's at very close range (I say 15cm, but it's closer to 10cm) to the GPU fans. In a closed case sitting on the floor, the noise level would be only slightly above room ambient.
 
Thing is, the reference RX 6900 XT core already boosts to 2500MHz under good conditions (regardless of what AMD's whitepapers say). This is with NO voltage, core clock, memory clock, or fan curve adjustments and no MPT adjustments. Specs at release will sometimes change with new drivers. In addition, the reference cooler is much, MUCH quieter than this one.
 
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JarredWaltonGPU

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Thing is, the reference RX 6900 XT core already boosts to 2500MHz under good conditions (regardless of what AMD's whitepapers say). This is with NO voltage, core clock, memory clock, or fan curve adjustments and no MPT adjustments. Specs at release will sometimes change with new drivers. In addition, the reference cooler is much, MUCH quieter than this one.
I tested the reference card in the exact same manner as the ASRock card, and its values are highlighted in all the charts. There is a measurable difference at factory stock settings between the ASRock and AMD reference cards when it comes to power, clocks, and temperatures. I won't pretend the ASRock wins overall, but it does average about 200-250MHz higher clocks during testing. The reference cooler is also no quieter, in my testing. It's not loud, but it's not universally better than the ASRock card by any stretch. Honestly, ASRock should tweak its power delivery and it would still be faster than the reference, while using only a bit more power, and it could still run cooler as well. I mean, I guess the "quiet" mode in the ASRock Tweak software does some of this, but power is still higher than the reference card's 300-310W.
 

JarredWaltonGPU

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Interesting. Mine peaks at 2500MHz in HZD. (according to HWiFNO64)
I hope that just means I have a performer that will OC nicely when I finally get around to tweaking.

Did you do an acoustic test too or just fan RPM?
I did, but my testing environment changed in the past year: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-radeon-rx-6900-xt-review/4

The hardware is mostly the same but I use an open test bed now for the noise. Because it’s needed for the power testing equipment. Basically, the results aren’t comparable.
 

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