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The 3 Best Reasons to Avoid an RX 6950

AMD Radeon graphics

The 3 Best Reasons to Avoid an RX 6950

Every champion gamer knows too well why having a powerful graphics card is essential. As one of the leading brands in the gaming industry, AMD touts its graphics cards for having the ability to deliver the ultimate performance. Although the RDNA 2 era is ending, AMD is back with its final RDNA 2 card, the RX 6950. This article explores the three best reasons to avoid an RX 6950.

If you’ve indulged in the 6000 series AMD Radeon cards, you undoubtedly know their capabilities well. They have excellent performance across the board, with ray-tracing being the only downside. The RX 6950 graphics card sits at the top of AMD’s Radeon stack and is said to unlock the full might of the GA102 GPU. 

Despite its impressive capabilities, you shouldn’t invest in the RX 6950 graphics card before exploring other alternatives. For this reason, we highlight the graphics card’s features and the three best reasons to avoid an RX 6950 graphics card. 

What Is the AMD RX 6950?

This late-gen refresh graphics card is similar to the RX 6900 XT card since both have the same number of cores, 16GB of GDDR6 memory, and a 256-bit memory bus. Nonetheless, the RX 6950 card offers more memory bandwidth, superior performance levels, and power consumption. The card’s specifications are listed in the table below:

FeatureSpecification
GPUNavi 21 XTX
Manufacturing process7 nm
Compute units80
Shading units5,120
Texture mapping units320
Ray accelerators80
Base clock speed1,925 MHz
Game clock speed2,116 MHz
Boost clock speed2,324 MHz
Infinity cache128 MB
Memory bus width256-bit
Memory bandwidth576 GB/s
Memory size16 GB GDDR6
TBP335 W
Top-of-the-Line Performance
PowerColor Red Devil AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT
$528.11
  • Video Memory: 16GB GDDR6
  • Stream Processor: 5120
  • Game Clock: 2226 MHz (OC) / 2116 MHz (Silent)
  • Boost Clock: 2435 MHz (OC) / 2324 MHz (Silent)
  • Memory Clock: 18.0 Gbps
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These specifications are impressive by all standards. However, given that we are heading to the RDNA 3 era, it begs the question, why would someone purchase the RX 6950 graphics card? Well, there’s no plausible answer because supply is increasing while prices are in a free-fall, especially for RDNA 2 cards like the RX 6950. Thus, the only reason to purchase the card would be because you want to — not to upgrade your gaming performance.

Top 3 Best Reasons to Avoid an RX 6950 Graphics Card

Here are our top three best reasons to avoid an RX 6950 card and consider the available alternatives instead:

Reason 1: High Power Consumption  

The RX 6950 card’s higher clock speed attests to AMD’s attempts to compete with Nvidia’s fastest graphics cards. Nonetheless, that comes with a significant downside — higher power consumption. Nevertheless, when testing the card, we were impressed by its performance improvements over its predecessor. It delivers faster VRAM than older cards in the AMD 6000 series, but its power consumption is higher by a whopping 335 watts.  

Despite having a significantly lower TGP than the competition, the AMD card requires more energy. A gaming session consumes an average of 589 watts. In addition, a superior power dissipation system is necessary for temperature control, so you may need to invest in a casing with axial fans for cooling purposes. For any gamer who isn’t concerned about massive energy bills, the RX 6950 may be an excellent fit. However, you may want to consider alternatives if you don’t want to make do with a hotter or louder card.

Reason 2: RX 6950 Isn’t a Major Upgrade from RX 6900

Upon its launch, the RX 6950 graphics card was touted as an upgrade to the 6900 graphics card. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Anyone looking to buy the RX 6950 would imagine a significant upgrade to the RX 6900 card, but that isn’t the case.

The nomenclature is probably the only different thing because the 6950 has all the flaws associated with its predecessor. This includes the ray-tracing issue that’s common across the 6000 series AMD graphic cards. Moreover, the RX 6950’s clock speed can only do so much. We also noted that the RX 6950’s performance isn’t as consistent as the 6900. It could be because AMD wanted to launch the card before the RDNA 2 era elapses.

In terms of frame rate performance, which is a critical factor for PC gamers, the RX 6950 card can only go so far. In this regard, you must consider the higher power draw required to get the RX 6950 graphics card performing better than the RX 6900. On average, the RX 6900 knocks around the 300W mark, whereas the RX 6950 can hit a peak of 408W. Thus, you’ll spend more money running the graphics card without a notable performance improvement.

The most significant benefit you’ll get from the RX 6950 graphics card is its pricing. With an MRSP of $1099, the card is significantly more affordable than the competition, including the RTX 3080 and the RX 6900. Moreover, given that it packs more features than the two cards mentioned above, you may get some bang for your buck.

Besides that, the RX 6950 isn’t the best possible AMD 6000 series card you can get, especially when you consider its flaws and higher power consumption. So, if you were hoping the card would be an upgraded version of the AMD RX 6900 graphics card, you could be in for a shock.

Reason 3: Next-Gen Cards Are Being Launched

The RDNA 2 era has undoubtedly been successful. In the last few years, we’ve seen some of the most impressive graphics cards entering the market, offering PC gamers and miners more options and flexibility at affordable prices. The glorious era is ending, ushering in the RDNA 3 era.

The RX 6950 was launched at the tail-end of the RDNA 2 era, and it beats logic why someone would want to purchase it right now, given that more powerful and cheaper graphics cards will be available soon. For instance, NVIDIA has already released its flagship RDNA 3 graphics card, the RTX 4090. Priced at $1,600, it has better features than what you’ll find on the RX 6960 card.

AMD has also joined the bandwagon by launching highly powerful RDNA 3 cards that deliver next-gen performance. The RX 7900 graphics card is a notable example of AMD’s foray into the RDNA 3 era. The card delivers up to 50% higher performance per watt than predecessors like the RX 6950. Besides, it offers an incredible 96 new unified compute units, second-generation ray-tracing tech, and higher AI performance.

A notable selling point for the new graphics cards is that they cost less than the RX 3950 graphics cards, despite being superior. For example, leading board partners such as Sapphire, Yeston, MSI, Gigabyte, and ASUS sell the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT at $899, while the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX retails at $999. For this reason, we wouldn’t advise you to spend more than $1,000 on an older-generation graphics card when you can buy something superior at a lower price.

The Best AMD RX 6950 Alternatives

Here are some alternatives to the RX 6950 graphics card which you may want to consider:

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090

Our Pick
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition
$1,535.00
  • Ampere Architecture
  • 24GB DDR6X
  • 384-bit memory interface
  • GPU clock speed: 3.1GHz
  • DisplayPort x 3 (v1.4a) and HDMI 2.1 x 1
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In terms of premium graphics cards, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 strikes a balance between price and performance. It also usurps the RX 6950, thanks to its superior features. Nonetheless, it has a higher price.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti

Budget Pick
Geforce RTX 3080 Ti Graphics Card
$1,129.99
  • 12GB GDDR6X Memory
  • 19,000MHz memory clock speed
  • Enhanced Tensor and RT Cores for a super fast gaming experience
  • Scored 69.51 points on Passmark's benchmark test
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Although only marginally more expensive than the RX 6950 graphics card, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti offers tons of great features lacking in the RX 6950. This includes better ray tracing, superior creative workload performance, and tensor cores.

AMD Radeon RX 6800

Best Value
MSI Gaming Radeon RX 6800 16GB GDRR6 256-Bit HDMI/DP 2105 MHz RDNA 2 Architecture OC Graphics Card (RX 6800 Gaming X Trio 16G)
$666.00
  • Chipset: Radeon RX 6800
  • Video Memory: 16GB GDDR6
  • Memory Interface: 256-bit
  • Output: DisplayPort x 3 (v1.4) / HDMI 2.1 x 1
  • Digital maximum resolution - 7680 x 4320
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This AMD Radeon RX 6800 graphics card may not be as powerful as the RX 6950, but it has a phenomenal performance-to-price ratio. As a result, the 1440p graphics card is an excellent option for those who do not need 4K gaming capability and want to save some money.

What to Look for When Purchasing an RDNA 2/3 Graphics Card

Now that we’ve outlined reasons to avoid the AMD RX 6950 graphics card, one question will run through your mind; how do I find a good card? Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

RAM

For general use, a graphics card with 2GB is sufficient. However, intensive applications require at least 4GB of GPU RAM.

Performance

The truth about graphics cards is that the more expensive they are, the higher performing they will likely be. Thus, paying top-dollar guarantees a good product.

Compatibility

Choosing a graphics card that slots into your PC seamlessly without requiring you to purchase additional accessories is best.

Clock Speed

The higher a GPU’s clock speed, the faster it will be. As a result, the graphics card will be an excellent option for gaming and rendering.

Wrapping Up: The 3 Best Reasons to Avoid an RX 6950

The RX 6950 graphics card offers impressive capabilities, but it falls short in several areas, namely power consumption, price, and the fact that it’s among the last RDNA 2 cards. Its capabilities also lag behind competing brands such as the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090, NVIDIA 3090 Ti, and Gigabyte Radeon RX 6900 XT.

  1. PowerColor Red Devil AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT
    $528.11
    • Video Memory: 16GB GDDR6
    • Stream Processor: 5120
    • Game Clock: 2226 MHz (OC) / 2116 MHz (Silent)
    • Boost Clock: 2435 MHz (OC) / 2324 MHz (Silent)
    • Memory Clock: 18.0 Gbps
    Buy Now on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/18/2024 10:37 am GMT
  2. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition
    $1,535.00
    • Ampere Architecture
    • 24GB DDR6X
    • 384-bit memory interface
    • GPU clock speed: 3.1GHz
    • DisplayPort x 3 (v1.4a) and HDMI 2.1 x 1
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/19/2024 11:48 am GMT
  3. Geforce RTX 3080 Ti Graphics Card
    $1,129.99
    • 12GB GDDR6X Memory
    • 19,000MHz memory clock speed
    • Enhanced Tensor and RT Cores for a super fast gaming experience
    • Scored 69.51 points on Passmark's benchmark test
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/18/2024 10:37 am GMT
  4. MSI Gaming Radeon RX 6800 16GB GDRR6 256-Bit HDMI/DP 2105 MHz RDNA 2 Architecture OC Graphics Card (RX 6800 Gaming X Trio 16G)
    $666.00
    • Chipset: Radeon RX 6800
    • Video Memory: 16GB GDDR6
    • Memory Interface: 256-bit
    • Output: DisplayPort x 3 (v1.4) / HDMI 2.1 x 1
    • Digital maximum resolution - 7680 x 4320
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/18/2024 10:37 am GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

What are AMD RX 6950 cards used for?

These cards are primarily used in 3D-accelerated and gaming applications. They can be attached to the computer’s motherboard via an expansion slot or be embedded into the CPU. Graphic cards help to generate a feed of graphics output to display devices such as monitors, allowing gamers to enjoy a higher resolution at faster frame rates.

Where can I purchase the AMD RX 6950 graphics card?

You can purchase the graphics card from major board partners like Sapphire, Yeston, MSI, Gigabyte, and ASUS. The cards can also be found on Amazon and resale websites like eBay.

Can the RX 6950 graphics card reduce or cause lag?

No, graphic cards do not cause or reduce lag. When you start experiencing lag, the chances are that your Internet connection is slow. Furthermore, your monitor and peripherals, such as the mouse and keyboard, can cause lag. That’s often the case when they are of poor quality, leading to delays between when they receive input and when you see the necessary action on the screen.

Does the RX 6950 improve the performance of my PC?

Graphic cards typically get deployed in demanding applications such as gaming. Installing one can significantly improve your system performance, especially when gaming. If you already have a graphics card, upgrading to a newer or more powerful one will boost your system performance even more.

Can the RX 6950 graphics card fit any computer?

Since graphics cards are not universal, although they share some similar features. For this reason, the RX 6950 card may not fit into every computer. Some of its features, including size and card slot, make it incompatible with some computers. Since the RX 6950 graphics card is relatively large, it may not fit into a compact computer case.

Can the RX 6950 graphics card become obsolete?

Yes, the RX 6950 graphics card may become obsolete with time, especially as new features and technologies enter the market. A case in point is real-time ray tracing technology, which has rendered older-version graphics cards obsolete. Moreover, the AMD RX 6950 card can fail to meet the minimum requirements for a particular gaming application or game. In this case, such applications won’t run if the card is below the minimum spec.

Will graphic cards keep improving?

The graphics card market is highly competitive, and manufacturers always try to outdo each other. Thus, expect more powerful and better-designed graphics cards to launch in the coming years. Besides, graphics cards continue to evolve by the day, which is attested to by the advent of the RDNA 3 era. Manufacturers continually add new technologies and features like ray tracing. Thus, GPU power and tech will continue to advance in the coming years.

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