In short: The updated AMD RX 6×50 XT cards won’t blow your socks off, but they could prove to be a worthy upgrade for what’s now aging in RDNA 2 design. Early tests suggest they’ll hold their own against Nvidia’s peers, but price is what it ends up being will determine their success.

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Less than a week is left before the expected release of the updated AMD RDNA 2 graphics cards. As we get closer to the actual launch, more details are coming online, especially in terms of power consumption.

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Several variants of the upcoming Radeon RX 6950 XT have been unveiled. confirmed have a total board power (TBP) of 335W – 35W more than the RX 6900 XT. Previous rumors have pointed to a TBP of 350W, but it appears that AMD has opted for a more modest increase in terms of power budget compared to Nvidia’s 100W increase for the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti.

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The TBP RX 6950 XT is also only five watts short of the RX 6900 XT Liquid Edition’s power rating. The game clock has been bumped up to 2100MHz and the GPU frequency will be bumped up to 2310MHz if the power budget and thermals allow. In terms of memory, we already know that the new card will ship with 18 Gb/s of memory, which translates into an effective memory bandwidth of 1728 gigabytes per second.

Interesting, early landmarks suggest that the updated flagship AMD RDNA 2 will not only be faster than the RTX 3090, but also RTX 3090 Ti. They look even more impressive when you consider that the latest card comes with massive overclocking and a much larger power budget, not to mention 21Gbps memory and more CUDA cores than the previous one. RTX 3090.

The tests in question were carried out using the 3DMark TimeSpy benchmark on a system equipped with Ryzen 7 5800X3D CPU and DDR4-3600 memory. Using pre-drivers and the TimeSpy Performance preset, the RX 6950 XT was 6.5% faster than the RTX 3090 Ti at 1440p, with a graphics score of 22,209 points.

As you might expect, AMD’s new flagship can’t really challenge Nvidia’s best Ampere card when it comes to ray tracing. The RX 6950 XT may come close to the RTX 3080 in 3DMark’s Port Royal test, but the RTX 3090 Ti is about 50 percent faster.

The RX 6750 XT will ship with a 250-watt TBP similar to the RX 6800 and leaked benchmarks suggest it will compete with Nvidia. RTX 3070 in terms of rasterization performance. Ray tracing performance is more modest than RTX 3060 Tibut that’s not a big surprise. In terms of specs, the new card is expected to feature 2495MHz gaming and 2600MHz Boost clock speeds, as well as 18Gbps memory.

AMD gave the RX 6650 XT TBP 20W more than RX 6600 XT which made it possible to increase the frequency of the game and increase the clock speeds to 2410 MHz and 2635 MHz, respectively. This makes it 11 percent faster in the 3DMark TimeSpy test, but it will be interesting to see how well this translates into real-world gaming performance.

Pricing is still unknown, but we’re hoping Team Red will undermine similar offerings from Nvidia as we’re talking about legacy RDNA 2 designs that don’t shine in the ray tracing department. Curiously, now that the prices of the RX 6000 series are close enough to the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, they are starting to appear more often in the Steam hardware review.

If anything, this suggests that AMD could make some headway in the mainstream and budget segments if it can deliver budget brand cap back. The updated RDNA 2 cards are expected to go on sale on May 10, so independent reviews will soon focus on gaming performance and price.