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AMD Radeon RX 6800 and the RX 6800 XT are out today

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Today, AMD are bringing out the big guns with the formal release of their next generation desktop GPUs with the AMD Radeon RX 6800 and the RX 6800 XT. Announced back in late October, these cards are AMD's first to come with hardware accelerated Ray Tracing support. Although for Linux, we're still waiting on The Khronos Group to formalise the cross-vendor Ray Tracing Vulkan extensions for that.

Here's a reminder of the specifications:

  RX 6900 XT RX 6800 XT RX 6800
Compute Units 80 72 60
Process TSMC 7nm TSMC 7nm TSMC 7nm
Game clock (MHz) 2,015 2,015 1,815
Boost clock (MHz) 2,250 2,250 2,105
Infinity Cache (MB) 128 128 128
Memory 16GB GDDR6 16GB GDDR6 16GB GDDR6
TDP (Watt) 300 300 250
Price (USD) $999 $649 $579
Available 08/12/2020 18/11/2020 18/11/2020

For running them on Linux, the driver situation isn't the best. AMD have put out the Radeon Software for Linux version 20.45, which adds support for the Radeon RX 6800 Series but that driver only officially supports Ubuntu 20.04, RHEL/CentOS 7.9 and RHEL/CentOS 8.2. For Mesa drivers, you're going to need Linux Kernel 5.9, Mesa 20.2 (or newer) and also LLVM 11.0 which means most normal distributions will be missing out unless you're prepared to do major manual upgrades. So, unless you really know what you're doing with everything, you will likely want to hold off.

If you do manage to find one because, as expected, most places are sold out and you get everything it needs setup - expect to see some incredible performance. We don't get sent any hardware from AMD, so we're going by what others have been cooking up. It seems Level1Linux on YouTube are very happy with it, and the Phoronix benchmarks show them doing well too. From a price point of view, the performance does seem pretty amazing considering how close it appears to be with the NVIDIA 3080 and if you prefer the open source side of things it doesn't get better than this.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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76 comments
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Nibelheim 18 Nov
Finally i'm going to 6900 XT. Benchmarks for 6800 XT are amazing.

AMD beat the game this year with their GPU and CPU. Amazing.


Last edited by Liam Dawe on 18 November 2020 at 5:11 pm UTC
ageres 18 Nov
I'll start to put aside money for RX 6800 XT. By the way, how to switch from Nvidia to AMD? Do I have to uninstall the Nvidia driver first and then swap cards, or do something else?
Ananace 18 Nov
People were very worried about AMD and the out-of-the-box support for the new release, nice to see that even that part is doing quite well - albeit requiring the latest releases.
Shmerl 18 Nov
Custom models will come out on November 25th.
Shmerl 18 Nov
Quoting: ageresI'll start to put aside money for RX 6800 XT. By the way, how to switch from Nvidia to AMD? Do I have to uninstall the Nvidia driver first and then swap cards, or do something else?

Normally yes, just uninstall Nvidia driver (some distros ship it as a package, so removing it can be enough) and make sure you have latest kernel and Mesa master. You'd also need amdgpu firmware.
Quoting: ageresI'll start to put aside money for RX 6800 XT. By the way, how to switch from Nvidia to AMD? Do I have to uninstall the Nvidia driver first and then swap cards, or do something else?

I went through that process for one of my systems. I first made sure I have all the updated packages ready at hand (Mesa, Kernel, LLVM and the firmware. Then as the last step I uninstalled the Nvidia driver (.run package from their site) and then installed Mesa.

Also you might want to make a backup of your xorg.conf file. In my case I also had to run "Xorg -configure" to create a new one to accomodate the AMD gpu.
x_wing 18 Nov
Good to see that we can have Linux benchs on release date! and really good to see that Mesa 20.2 already supports them :D


Last edited by x_wing on 18 November 2020 at 3:58 pm UTC
tuubi 18 Nov
Quoting: Avehicle7887Also you might want to make a backup of your xorg.conf file. In my case I also had to run "Xorg -configure" to create a new one to accomodate the AMD gpu.
You should simply remove the old xorg.conf file. You don't need one for AMD or Intel.

In case you want to fiddle with options (e.g. to enable TearFree), it's better to just create a new file in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/ containing nothing but the device section for the driver.
Ehvis 18 Nov
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These are looking pretty great! Hardware wise the results on Windows are very solid and consistently on the heels of the 3080 (except for RT, but that's really not important). The Phoronix test do show a lot of anomalies on Linux. In both directions. SOTR looks unreasonably bad while Superposition looks suspiciously good. Also quite a few differences between the different Linux drivers. Looks like there is still some work to do in getting the Linux drivers to be more consistent.

Happy to see AMD catch up though. That means I'll actually have a choice when I'm due for an upgrade.
Quoting: ShmerlCustom models will come out on November 25th.

I don't see much value this time around (with RTX3000 and RX6000 series) in AOB versions of the cards. Probably with nVidia you get a normal power connectors and better cooling, but for AMD...I'm not sure, it looks like reference design is very efficient (read silent/cool (as in temp.)). But OC-wise, reference designs are running very close to the limits already, so...

As for me, I'm still a bit torn between 6800 and 6800XT, I'm not running 4K setup, only 2K, but I'd like some head room for a few years...my Ryzen 5900X is on a back order for God know how long, so I still have time to decide, I guess. I'm finally going AMD for Graphics, last time that happened it was Radeon 9550...
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