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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.

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Shmerl 23 Nov, 2020
5700XT is close to 2070, even better in some cases. Basically comparable.
slaapliedje 23 Nov, 2020
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Quoting: ShmerlMy Sapphire Pulse RX 5700XT turns fans off under low load, without any custom fan curves.
I think it's a fairly standard feature now, right? My 2080 does the same thing. Hell, my CPU cooler's fans don't both run all the time, and the second one only kicks on under load. Then again, I have a heatsink on it that is rather massive.
Avehicle7887 23 Nov, 2020
Even more performance from the RX 6800 cards:

I can't wait to get my hands on one of them.
Shmerl 23 Nov, 2020
Very nice. If only they'd be available in stores :)
Lightkey 24 Nov, 2020
Quoting: omer666Looking at benchmarks on Windows, I don't know what you are talking about, RX 5700 on Linux sits just where it should, which is just between RTX 2070 and RTX 2070 SUPER...

Thanks for the correction! After some digging around, I found out it was because of a review from that I had checked, where the Radeon RX 5700 XT is clearly ahead of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (equal to a GeForce RTX 2070 Super) in most games in 4K because someone on Reddit had mentioned that the 6800 series is the first from AMD to beat it on Linux, implying that it's faster on Windows.
The aggregate reviews at launch actually shows the Radeon RX 5700 XT 10% behind in 4K on Windows as well, so the result on Linux is completely fine.
Avehicle7887 24 Nov, 2020
Quoting: ShmerlVery nice. If only they'd be available in stores :)

Seems like the scalpers are already all over ebay, and they're opening the box too.

Much as I want the card, I'm going to wait for proper prices. My only chance of getting one is through e-tailers, Malta is a country of Nvidia fanboys, the shops here barely stock AMD GPUs, sometimes even Ryzens are lacking.

Last edited by Avehicle7887 on 24 November 2020 at 9:58 am UTC
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