When it comes to building a gaming PC, there is always a slew of questions that are asked. Beyond the questions of what CPU, how much RAM, and what motherboard to snag, there is always that ever-present thought behind it all. Should you choose AMD or NVIDIA? The two manufacturers have had a back-and-forth with their GPUs for decades now, and the conflict is still here.
The RTX 4080 is a monstrous card for performance, but how does it stack up against the AMD RX 6900 XT? AMD’s last flagship card might be a little older, but it still remains relevant in today’s gaming landscape. Let’s take a look at how these two GPUs stack up against each other, go over their specs, and see how they handle the hottest games on the market.
RTX 4080 vs 6900 XT: Side-by-Side Comparison
|RTX 4080||AMD 6900 XT|
|Year of Release||2022||2020|
|Architecture||Ada Lovelace||RDNA 2|
|Manufacture Process||4 nm||7 nm|
|Core Count||9728 CUDA Cores||5120 Stream Processors|
|Base Clock||2205 MHz||1825 MHz|
|Boost Clock||2505 MHz||2250 MHz|
|Memory Amount||16 GB||16 GB|
|Interface||PCI-E 4.0 x16||PCI-E|
|Outputs||HDMI, DisplayPort||HDMI, DisplayPort, USB Type-C|
|TDP||320 watts||300 watts|
RTX 4080 vs 6900 XT: What’s the Difference?
The RTX 4080 is a more recent card, but there are still some similarities between these two GPUs. The 6900 XT remains quite the competitor despite being a generation behind the current competing 7900 GPUs from AMD.
Synthetic benchmarks aren’t typically indicative of real-world performance. They do serve a purpose in showing a piece of hardware’s capabilities where it can be fully utilized. The ever-popular Passmark test on both of these GPUs saw the RTX 4080 score 35,342 points, nearly a 32% difference in performance compared to the 6900 XT’s 26,919 points.
Gaming shows more of a gulf, with hit games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla performing far better on the RTX 4080 with an average of 100 frames per second at 4K and ultra graphics settings. The 6900 XT is playable at 4K ultra, with 66 frames per second on average. This doesn’t account for skipped or dropped frames or abnormal frame pacing, however.
Rockstar Games’ gorgeous Red Dead Redemption 2 is also quite the demanding game to run, but the RTX 4080 brings in a smooth 60 to 65 frames per second against the 6900 XT’s 55 frames per second on average.
Part of this is down to the GPU’s recency; the RTX 4080 has had three extra years of research and development to benefit from compared to the older 6900 XT.
The 6900 XT does put up an admirable performance, age notwithstanding. Running such demanding games at higher settings and demanding resolutions is no easy task, and the older AMD flagship GPU does well with the material.
The age of the 6900 XT shows here, as it is just an older card overall. The RTX 4080 operates at a base clock frequency that is closer to the 6900 XT’s boost clock and goes well beyond what stock clocks on the 6900 XT can handle when boosted.
Both GPUs have the same amount of VRAM, and the performance difference between the two certainly isn’t aided by this. The extra speed of GDDR6X is minimal, at least compared to the quite nimble GDDR6.
NVIDIA’s GPU draws more power from the wall, with a TDP of 320 watts. This isn’t significantly more than the 300 watts of the 6900 XT. Ideally, you’ll be running a powerful gold-rated PSU of some sort as it sits to accommodate these GPUs.
Transistor count, core count, and every other appreciable metric on performance tilt the scale towards the RTX 4080. It has nearly double the amount of processing cores on the GPU, and also nearly double the amount of transistors.
The performance gulf between the two isn’t that large in gaming, however, with the most noticeable gap being 50% higher for the RTX 4080. This is quite surprising given the sheer age of the 6900 XT. On paper, the RTX 4080 is the clear winner, but it comes out a little closer in use.
Pricing and Availability
The 6900 XT is not a current production card, so any you’ll find on the market are new old stock. Its successor, the 7900 series GPUs, are widely available and come in at roughly the $999 MSRP the 6900 XT launched in 2022.
The price gap between the RTX 4080 and the 6900 XT is quite a leap, with NVIDIA’s GPU having a suggested retail price of $200 higher at $1199. Of course, in practice, finding a GPU at that price can be difficult. Amazon has RTX 4080s listed currently at a cost ranging from $1199 all the way up to $1400. It is a current production GPU, however, so availability across the board is quite good.
RTX 4080 vs 6900 XT: 6 Must-Know Facts
- RTX 4080 is great for AI work and has specialized Tensor Cores for ML and AI development.
- RTX 4080 has a memory bus of 256 bits.
- RTX 4080 is capable of DLSS for increased framerates in supported games.
- 6900 XT is capable of FidelityFX Super Resolution.
- 6900 XT has a good price-to-performance ratio despite its age.
- 6900 XT has USB outputs for supported displays.
RTX 4080 vs 6900 XT: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Choose?
Even with the price difference, the RTX 4080 wins the shootout. It is a high-performing GPU that is widely available on store shelves. The retail price for the 6900 XT is still around the same as its MSRP, despite being a three-year-old card. It is a bit tough to recommend something that is a generation behind and that is the same price as its current-day successor.
If you’re in the market for a new GPU for your build, the RTX 4080 is going to be future-proof for quite some time. It doesn’t have the absolute grunt of the RTX 4090, but it can more than handle most gaming-related tasks you throw at it. Features like DLSS sway this further in NVIDIA’s favor, with performance getting even sharper boosts thanks to the technology driving it.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©GreenBelka/Shutterstock.com.