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Sapphire RX 6800 XT Nitro+ Review

Rating: 9.0.

After the launch of AMD's flagship GPU, the RX 6900 XT, today we take step down to take a look at another custom RX 6800 XT. In for review is the Sapphire RX 6800 XT Nitro+, a large triple-fan solution with factory overclocked core and increased power limit compared to the reference specifications. We put this card through its paces and see how it compares to both AMD's reference design, as well as the PowerColor Red Devil

Sapphire's Nitro+ series has earned a well-deserved reputation for quality, with the RX 5700 XT Nitro+ impressing us when we reviewed it last year. Sapphire also produces slightly more affordable cards as part of the Pulse series, but we are told these models will be coming later.

For now, our focus is on the RX 6800 XT Nitro+, and while stock is still seemingly impossible to come by, we have been told by Sapphire this model has an MSRP of £694 here in the UK. There is also a Nitro+ SE (special edition), which comes with ARGB fans and an extra USB-C port at a slightly higher price point, but this review is focused on the regular Nitro+.

 RX 6900 XT  RX 6800 XT RX 6800  RX 5700 XT   RX 5700
Architecture RDNA 2 RDNA 2 RDNA 2 RDNA  RDNA
Manufacturing Process 7nm 7nm 7nm 7nm  7nm
Transistor Count 26.8 billion 26.8 billion 26.8 billion 10.3 billion 10.3 billion
Die Size  519 mm² 519 mm² 519 mm² 251 mm² 251mm²
Ray Accelerators 80 72 60 n/a n/a
Compute Units  80 72 60 40 36
Stream Processors  5120 4608 3840 2560 2304
Game GPU Clock Up to 2015MHz Up to 2015MHz Up to 1815MHz Up to 1755MHz Up to 1625MHz
Boost GPU Clock Up to 2250MHz Up to 2250MHz Up to 2105MHz Up to 1905MHz Up to 1725MHz
Peak SP Performance Up to 23.04 TFLOPS Up to 20.74 TFLOPS Up to 16.17 TFLOPS Up to 9.75 TFLOPS Up to 7.95 TFLOPS
Peak Half Precision Performance Up to 46.08 TFLOPS Up to 41.47 TFLOPS Up to 32.33 TFLOPS Up to 19.5 TFLOPS Up to 15.9 TFLOPS
Peak Texture Fill-Rate Up to 720 GT/s Up to 648.0 GT/s Up to 505.2 GT/s Up to 304.8 GT/s Up to 248.4 GT/s
ROPs 128 128 96 64 64
Peak Pixel Fill-Rate Up to 288.0 GP/s Up to 288.0 GP/s Up to 202.1 GP/s Up to 121.9 GP/s Up to 110.4 GP/s
AMD Infinity Cache 128MB 128MB 128MB n/a n/a
Memory Bandwidth 512 GB/s 512 GB/s 512 GB/s 448 GB/s 448 GB/s
Memory Interface  256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit
Board Power  300W 300W 250W 225W 185W

As a quick recap, here we can take a high-level overview of the Navi 21 GPU that forms the basis of the RX 6800 XT. While it is still fabricated on TSMC’s 7nm process node, as per the RX 5000-series, Navi 21 sports a much larger GPU die, measuring 519 mm². For the RX 6800 XT, it houses 72 Compute Units (CUs), with 64 Stream Processors each, giving a grand total of 4608 shaders.

Rated clock speed has increased significantly for the RX 6000 series. The reference RX 6800 XT, for instance, has a rated game clock of 2015MHz and a rated boost clock of up to 2250MHz. The Sapphire Nitro+ has increased this to 2110MHz and 2360MHz, respectively.

AMD has also increased the memory capacity, with 16GB of GDDR6 memory found on every RX 6000 SKU (so far). The memory is clocked at 16Gbps, and operates over a 256-bit memory interface for total bandwidth of 512 GB/s. AMD has also implemented a 128MB Infinity Cache on the Navi 21 GPU, to significantly increase effective memory bandwidth without excess power draw.

Speaking of power, the reference RX 6800 XT has a rated total board power (TBP) of 300W, though Sapphire has increased this for the Nitro+, as we will see later in this review.

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