AMD has heard you loud and clear: you can’t buy its excellent RX 6800 and 6800 XT graphics cards at anything close to their retail prices. Today, the company’s announcing a new GPU that might (but probably won’t?) change that: the Radeon RX 6700 XT.
“With the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT launch, we are on track to have significantly more GPUs available for sale at launch,” AMD tells The Verge. Even better: AMD claims it’ll begin refreshing stock of RX 6000 GPUs and Ryzen 5000 CPUs every week on its own website, where it’ll sell them at their retail prices. We’ve been waiting for that for nearly two months.
The new RX 6700 XT will arrive on March 18th for a suggested retail price of $479. In a normal, sane year, that would slot it between Nvidia’s $500 RTX 3070, which we called “the 1440p sweet spot,” and Nvidia’s bang-for-the-buck $400 RTX 3060 Ti, where you might have to dial down the settings here and there. It’s also a full $100 less than AMD’s $579 RX 6800, which we found had enough oomph for entry-level 4K gaming.
This isn’t a sane period for GPU buyers, though. In December, the actual street prices of the $400 3060 Ti, the $500 3070, and the $579 RX 6800 were $675, $819, and $841, respectively — and that was before Trump’s tariffs pushed Nvidia and AMD’s board partners to raise their retail prices. “We know it’s crazy out there, we’re doing everything we can,” says AMD’s Nish Neelalojanan, a director of product management. That not only includes more stock at AMD.com but also additional supply for board partners and manufacturers that’ll sell gaming PCs later on. AMD wouldn’t say how much of that stock is being allocated toward GPUs that’ll be sold at AMD.com, though. It says it doesn’t set its partners’ retail prices either.
Assuming for a moment that AMD pulls it off, managing substantially greater availability than Nvidia’s recent debut, the RX 6700 XT sounds like it could be a compelling pick. With 230 watts of power, 12GB of video memory, and 40 compute units (compared to 60 for the RX 6800 and 80 for the RX 6800 XT), AMD’s promising you’ll be able to play all of the latest games at maximum settings at 1440p resolution. With a fast enough CPU, AMD suggests you should be able to hit 212 fps in Overwatch, 272 fps in League of Legends, and 360 fps in Rainbow Six Siege, enough for esports gamers to justify some of the fastest monitors on the market. AMD says it should be fast enough for ray tracing as well.
The company’s early benchmarks (see above) show it pulling ahead of Nvidia’s 3070 and 3060 Ti, though not in all games. It’s worth noting these numbers were generated using the frame rate boost of AMD’s Smart Access Memory (generically known as Resizable BAR), something that’s only just starting to roll out to Nvidia’s graphics cards and generally requires newer CPUs to work. That said, AMD also just announced that it will begin rolling out Resizable BAR to its Ryzen 3000-series processors, not just the newer Ryzen 5000 ones.
The new card will require two power connectors, an 8-pin and a 6-pin, and the GPU should be clocked somewhat faster than in earlier RX 6000-series cards at up to 2424MHz. It’s got a 192-bit memory bus, down from 256-bit for the company’s other 6000-series cards.
Clearly, we’ll have to test the RX 6700 XT’s performance ourselves, but nothing matters more than availability — and where that availability will leave the card’s actual price by the time you can buy one. AMD claims cards will be available on March 18th from all of the usual board partners, 40 different system builders, and AMD.com, with prebuilt systems including the HP Omen 25L and 30L desktops coming later this spring and beyond.
While AMD’s own version is a dual-fan card with the same basic reference design as the RX 6800 and 6800 XT, it appears many of AMD’s partners are opting for three-fan designs. Those generally carry a premium price as well.
And in case you’re wondering, AMD has no plans to nerf the crypto mining performance of the RX 6700 XT the way Nvidia did for Ethereum with the RTX 3060. “We have no plans to limit the product in that way,” AMD told journalists this week.