When AMD took over ATI for 5.4 billion USD in 2006, it didn’t only get hold of another graphics card company, but some new promising markets as well.
From gaming consoles to smartphone graphics, AMD soon started exploring a host of other niches it never ventured into before. And since then, AMD and Nvidia remained the last of the significant Mohicans in the GPU manufacturing sector for PC gaming.
Considering merely the financial aspect, Nvidia is a giant for which AMD is still no match. Nvidia’s generous cash pool makes it possible for them to create new GPU technologies and architectures more frequently than AMD.
However, AMD is no slouch either. Especially with its newly launched Radeon RX 6000 graphics card series, the performance gap between Nvidia and AMD cards is closing faster than industry experts could ever imagine. Here in this brief piece, we at Zamenet are going to give you a glance at the features and other crucial factors of RX 6800 XT and its Nvidia counterpart, RTX 3080.
AMD uses RDNA2 7nm architecture in RX 6800 XT that features ray tracing on an AMD card for the first time. But as we already experienced with Nvidia RTX cards, supporting a wide range of games will solely depend on the implementation. Although RX 6800 XT supports games based on Vulkan APIs and MS DXR, it doesn’t support some other popular titles, which RTX 3080 does, thanks to its proprietary Nvidia extensions. For example, take Wolfenstein: Youngblood, a famous first-person shooter that you can play with RTX 3080, but not with AMD’s one.
AMD RX 6800 XT and Nvidia RTX 3080 comes with 267mm and 285 mm length, respectively. AMD card is a little beefier and requires a 2.5 slot, while the Nvidia RTX 3080 comfortably fits in a two-slot design.
The test setup
Our gaming PC system includes an Intel Core i9-10980HK with a 32 GB DDR4 Corsair Vengeance RAM module. It lacks both AMD’s Smart Access Memory and PCIe 4.0.
Here we will use a single game, Metro Exodus, with varied settings for both cards.
Ultra setting, 2560 x 1440 resolution, RTX Enabled, Hairworks off
Here Nvidia RTX 3080 got a decisive lead with a min 59 and avg 111 FPS compared to RX 6800 XT, which could touch 43 (min) and 67 (avg) FPS figure.
Ultra setting, 2560 x 1440, Ray Tracing disabled, Hairworks off
Now, with the ray tracing feature disabled, AMD RX 6800 XT outstripped RTX 3080 in minimum framerate (64, compared to 59) but scored a bit short in the average section, which is negligible.
4K setting, DLSS, Ray Tracing enabled, Hairworks off,
With both DLSS and ray tracing enabled, Nvidia RTX 3080 was able to widen the gap even further with 45 and 70 FPS (minimum and average), while the AMD card barely touched the minimum 27 and average 37 FPS mark.
Here AMD RX 6800 XT consumes 50W less than the Nvidia card under load, and that’s an excellent feat considering it outperformed RTX 3080 in some tests we conducted in our setup.
Thermals and noise
Again, in terms of temperature and quietness, AMD wins hands down. It felt almost silent, and even when we were in the in-game situation, its triple-fan system rarely activated. Its thermals were always 5-10 degrees lower than the RTX 3080 and never exceeded 65 degrees, which is again an astounding number.
Undoubtedly, Nvidia is the market and segment leader in PC gaming with its mighty offerings, and RTX 3080 is no exception either. However, AMD RX 6800 XT is significantly cheaper ($50 less expensive than the Nvidia’s founders edition card), requires less power, and also remarkably quiet. Moreover, it matched or even outpaced RTX 3080 in quite a few cases, so there’s no way you will be disappointed with its performance, albeit not at par with the Nvidia.