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AMD Radeon RX 6800 (XT) Review Roundup

Written on December 3, 2020 by Matt Bach


Recently, AMD launched their new Radeon RX 6800 and 6800 XT GPUs and while supply has been extremely tight, we have finally managed to get our hands on a pair of cards courtesy of our friend Brian Stroh at BPS Customs. AMD has advertised very large performance gains with these cards, although gaming has been AMD's focus for the Radeon series of cards for the last few generations so we don't quite know what to expect in professional applications.

To see how the new AMD Radeon RX 6800 cards perform in real-world scenarios, we have reviews looking at a number of content creation applications. While this post includes a summary for each entry, we highly recommend reading the full article for programs you are interested in as we go into much greater detail in the individual reviews.

One thing we will note is that we tested far fewer applications with these cards compared to what was in our NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 8GB, RTX 3080 10GB & RTX 3090 24GB Review Roundup post. This is because many of the applications we normally test (including OctaneRender, V-Ray, RedShift, RealityCapture, and Pix4D) currently require CUDA, which makes NVIDIA the only option. In addition, there are other applications where we ran into issues due to other features that don't work with AMD cards. We have more information on this in our Unreal Engine and 3ds Max articles.

AMD Radeon 6800 XT 16GB benchmark review summary

If you want to see the full specs for the new Radeon 6800 cards, we recommend checking out AMD's product page for the Radeon RX 6800 and the Radeon RX 6800 XT. But at a glance, here are what we consider to be the most important specs:

VRAM Cores Boost Clock Power MSRP
Radeon 5700X 8GB 2,560 1.9 GHz 225W $399
Radeon Vega 64 8GB 4,096 1.55 GHz 295W $499
RTX 3070 8GB 5,888 1.70 GHz 220W $499
Radeon 6800 16GB 3,840 2.1 GHz 250W $579
Radeon 6800 XT 16GB 4,608 2.25 GHz 300W $649
RTX 3080 10GB 8,704 1.71 GHz 320W $699
RTX 3090 24GB 10,496 1.73 GHz 350W $1,499

While specs rarely line up with real-world performance, it is nice to see AMD including 16GB of VRAM on the new 6800 cards. This may not be necessary for many workflows, but it can make a difference if you also use your system to edit 6K timelines in programs like DaVinci Resolve Studio or other situations where higher VRAM capacity is important.

From a pricing standpoint, these cards are right in between the NVIDIA RTX 3070 and 3080 - although currently, supply is so poor that you will be lucky to find a card for anywhere near the MSRP. However, we typically use the MSRP as a baseline for price in order to rule out fluctuations due to different brands, sales, and scarcity. This means that from a performance perspective, we primarily want to see if these cards are able to out-perform the RTX 3070 and whether or not they can beat the more expensive RTX 3080.

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DaVinci Resolve Studio

Read the full article: DaVinci Resolve Studio - AMD Radeon RX 6800 (XT) Performance

Summary: Outside of a few cases like Fusion, the new AMD Radeon 6800 and 6800 XT are a good amount faster than the older Radeon 5700 XT and Vega 64. In GPU bound tasks like noise reduction and OpenFX, these new cards as much as 83%(!) faster than the 5700 XT. Unfortunately, that isn't enough for them to catch up to the NVIDIA 3000 series cards. The RTX 3070 is less expensive than the 6800 and 6800 XT, yet outperforms them in our GPU Effects tests by a solid 14%. And if you can find an extra $50 to upgrade from the Radeon 6800 XT to the NVIDIA RTX 3080, you will see up to a 70% performance gain by going with NVIDIA.

DaVinci Resolve Studio AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT Performance

Adobe Premiere Pro

Read the full article: Adobe Premiere Pro - AMD Radeon RX 6800 (XT) Performance

Summary: The new Radeon 6800 and 6800 XT show a major advancement from AMD, with performance gains of over 40% compared to the older Radeon Vega 64 and 5700 XT in certain workflows. Unfortunately, while this is a very impressive performance boost, it isn't quite enough to catch up to NVIDIA. Overall, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 is 8% faster than even the Radeon RX 6800 XT, while the RTX 3080 expands that lead to 12%. This means that for most users, NVIDIA continues to be the best option for a Premiere Pro workstation.

Adobe Premiere Pro AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT Performance

Adobe After Effects

Read the full article: Adobe After Effects - AMD Radeon RX 6800 (XT) Performance

Summary: For most users, After Effects is going to be CPU bottlenecked long before the performance of your GPU comes into play. But in certain situations, the new AMD Radeon 6800 and 6800 XT can be around 30% faster than the Radeon 5700 XT or Vega 64. However, this isn't enough to quite catch up to the NVIDIA RTX 3000 series cards, so unless you need the 16GB of VRAM, NVIDIA continues to hold the lead in terms of After Effects performance.

Adobe After Effects AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT Performance

Adobe Photoshop

Read the full article: Adobe Photoshop - AMD Radeon RX 6800 (XT) Performance

Summary: Although Photoshop has a number of GPU-accelerated effects that make it important to have a supported GPU, there is effectively no difference in performance between the various AMD and NVIDIA GPUs we tested. Having a GPU can give you up to a 50% boost in performance, but the new Radeon 6800 and 6800 XT are at most a few percent faster than the previous generation cards, and within the margin of error compared to the NVIDIA RTX 3000 series.

Photoshop AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT Performance


Read the full article: Agisoft Metashape 1.6.5 - AMD Radeon RX 6800 (XT) Performance

Summary: Unfortunately, these new AMD Radeon cards are not able to keep up with NVIDIA's comparably priced GeForce RTX 30 Series video cards in Metashape. Better optimization of Metashape for AMD cards, especially in the Build Depth Maps step, might be able to improve their performance in the future - but for now, we would recommend sticking with NVIDIA for this application.

Metashape 1.6.5 Radeon RX 6800 & 6800XT vs GeForce RTX 3070 & 3080 in Park Map Project

How well does the AMD Radeon RX 6800 and 6800 XT perform overall?

In most of our testing, the new Radeon 6800 and 6800 XT are significantly faster than the previous generation AMD GPUs. In fact, in a few cases they are as much as 83% faster than the 5700 XT! Unfortunately, NVIDIA also saw some terrific performance gains with their RTX 3000 series cards, so while the 6800 cards would have put AMD in a terrific position a few months ago, NVIDIA maintains their (albeit slimmer) lead in content creation applications.

The larger 16GB of VRAM on the 6800 and 6800 XT can be useful in some workloads, but it is worth noting that in many of the applications where it might matter (such as DaVinci Resolve), NVIDIA holds a sizable performance lead. So, you will need to decide if the relatively low cost to get 16GB of VRAM is worth the large performance loss versus paying more for a card like the RTX 3090 24GB.

AMD is scheduled to release the Radeon RX 6900 XT later this month, so there is still the possibility of them taking the lead at the high end in at least some of these applications. However, supply on the new Radeon cards has been especially tight (we still don't have any 6800 cards ourselves, and had to borrow cards from a friend for this testing), so we do not know when we will be able to test the 6900 cards.

Due to the performance we saw with these cards, we currently have no plans to offer them in our workstations. But if you are in the market for a system, be sure to visit our solutions page to view our recommended workstations for various software packages, our custom configuration page, or contact one of our technology consultants.

Content Creation Workstations

Puget Systems offers a range of powerful and reliable systems that are tailor-made for your unique workflow.

Configure a System!

Labs Consultation Service

Our Labs team is available to provide in-depth hardware recommendations based on your workflow.

Find Out More!
Tags: Premiere Pro, Hardware Acceleration, hardware encoding, NVIDIA, NVIDIA vs AMD, AMD, Vega 64, Radeon RX 5700 XT, RTX 2060 SUPER, RTX 2070 SUPER, RTX 2080 SUPER, RTX 2080 Ti, Titan RTX, RTX 3080, After Effects, Photoshop, Lightroom CLassic, DaVinci Resolve, Unreal Engine, V-Ray, RTX 3090, RTX 3070, Radeon RX 6800, Radeon RX 6800 XT
Tobias Karlein

quick question: do you think, amd will get an improvemnt through an update of Premiere? It´s strange that NVDIA is still better in Premiere...i know...cuda..but still suprising to me..

Posted on 2020-12-05 22:46:23
Rex Lajos

I think RDNA2 is a much more gaming focused architecture. CDNA is the Compute power house that AMD has so I'm guessing there will be a Pro card in the future thats based on that with HBM2 or whatever is next vram wise.

Posted on 2020-12-06 01:08:35

I agree that it is unlikely performance will get significantly better with future app/driver updates. It would require AMD to completely shift their focus from gaming to content creation apps. NVIDIA has the resources to focus on multiple industries, but AMD's GPU arm is nowhere near the size of NVIDIA so they can't spread themselves as wide. And don't underestimate how important CUDA is - any time I talk to a developer that has to work with OpenCL and CUDA, the consensus is overwhelming that CUDA is significantly easier to work with.

Posted on 2020-12-07 17:57:16
Rex Lajos

AMD is investing in a totally separate architecture, unlike Nvidia with Ampere. https://www.anandtech.com/s...

Posted on 2020-12-09 17:10:12
Mike Jefferson

I know that the Radeon VII is EOL but I would love to know how much slower the 6800/XT is to it. It's becoming clear that Ampere is the better compute architecture compared to RDNA2.

I always appreciate the thorough testing from Puget Systems.

Posted on 2020-12-06 02:07:23

Yeah, I'm still using a Radeon VII and wondering if an upgrade this generation is even worth it.

Posted on 2020-12-08 18:15:07

Highly recommend running our benchmarks if you want to know: https://www.pugetsystems.co... . Many of these benchmarks we now have available for public download, and they upload results into our online database. We have very few results for the Radeon VII, so running the benchmarks on your system if you can would help answer that question for everyone!

Posted on 2020-12-08 18:18:55
Why Ask Why

Would the 6800xt perform better using an x570 with a Ryzen 3 chip because of the PCIe 4 architecture or were some of these test done on the PCIe 4 architecture?

Posted on 2020-12-10 23:59:31

In most of these applications, using the best CPU for the job is going to make a bigger difference than whether the platform supports PCI-E 3.0 or 4.0. That is why when doing GPU testing, we use whatever is the fastest CPU (or close to it) for that application. The individual articles have full details on the test system hardware.

That said, the next round of GPU testing (6900 XT and 3060 Ti) should have a lot more of the test platforms on Ryzen. With the never-ending rolling launches from NVIDIA and AMD, we haven't had a chance to update all our testing to use the new Ryzen 5000-series processors when it makes sense to do so. It shouldn't change things all that much in most cases, however, and there is almost no chance it will let the 6800 XT make up all the ground it needs to in order to firmly put it out on top of NVIDIA. But hopefully the first of those articles will be going up next week and we'll know for sure!

Posted on 2020-12-11 00:26:50

Actually, Matt, I'm pretty sure most of the testing above was done with PCIe 4.0. Your Premiere and Resolve tests were both done on Threadripper, which supports PCIe 4.0 (in the latest 3rd Gen models) and my Metashape testing was done on a Ryzen 9 5950X (also supporting 4.0).

But you are also correct that PCIe 3.0 vs 4.0 generally shows little difference in these sorts of applications. For the OP, if you are curious about that in general you might want to give this article a look: https://www.pugetsystems.co...

Posted on 2020-12-11 17:56:32

Hi Matt, any news about the 3060 Ti review?

Posted on 2020-12-22 16:48:42

Should be pretty soon actually. We are getting in our first shipment of non-overclocked cards today, so just a matter of doing all the testing and writing the articles. We had an overclocked 3060 Ti a bit ago, but it was giving results that were at times faster than a 3070, so we decided to wait until we could get stock cards before posting articles.

Posted on 2020-12-28 19:18:24