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AMD RX 6800 and 6800 XT review: the typical performance upgrade spectrum

Death Stranding, Far Cry 5, Hitman 2, Assassin's Creed Odyssey.

With the RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT proving solid contenders so far, let's see how they do in a broader range of titles. On this page, we've selected two Ubisoft games, Far Cry 5 and Assassin's Creed Odyssey, plus two new additions you'll remember from our RTX 30-series reviews: Death Stranding and the Hitman 2. There's an even split between DX11 and DX12 here, with Ubisoft on the older API and the others on the latest version, allowing us to see how the RX 6000 series cards handle games with slightly less modern architectures.

As we mentioned on the first page, we're using our 2020 test rig for these benchmarks. The heart of the system is a Core i9 10900K locked to an all-core turbo frequency of 5.0GHz on a ultra premium Asus Maximus 12 Extreme Z490 motherboard. This is cooled with a Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 240mm AiO and backed with 16GB of dual-channel G.Skill Trident Z Royal DDR4 RAM at 3600MHz CL16. To keep our entire test suite installed on a single drive, we're relying on a 2TB Samsung 970 Evo Plus NVMe SSD. All of this is powered by a 1000W Corsair RM1000i PSU.

Death Stranding

An important representative of trendy 'strand-type' games, Death Stranding is our first port of call as we slog across a green field in post-apocalyptic America. We normally comment on the excellent DLSS implementation in the game, but unfortunately that's not an option for the RX series. Of course, we kept the feature disabled for our RTX testing, so we get a true apples-to-apples comparison here.

RX 6800 first. We get a 17 per cent lead over the RTX 3070 at 4K, enough for the RX 6800 to outgun the likes of the RTX 2080 Ti and Titan RTX as well. The lead narrows to ~12 per cent at 1440p and 1080p, but it's still a good enough victory for the RX 6800 to be construed as a better value - as long as we don't take performance-boosting DLSS into account, anyway. The RX 6800 XT also does well here, outpacing the RTX 3080 by around three per cent at 4K and double that at 1440p or 1080p.

For the last-gen comparison, the RX 6800 is 36 per cent faster than the RX 5700 XT and the RX 6800 XT is 53 per cent faster. Again, not the biggest advantages we've seen in this comparison, but still enough to make an upgrade pretty tempting. If you're coming from Vega hardware, expect an even bigger margin.

Death Stranding: Max, DX12, TAA

Far Cry 5

Far Cry 5 comes next, and this is a game that really runs a lot of its processing on a single thread - both in the integrated benchmark we're using for testing and actual gameplay. That means we see pretty strong CPU bottlenecking at 1080p, so we'll focus our attention on 4K and 1440p results.

Looking at the 6800, we see a 19 per cent lead at 4K and a 9 per cent lead at 1440p, so depending on the resolution of your monitor the 6800 is either a slightly better or slightly worse value than the the RTX 3070 which costs $80 less. The RX 6800 XT is a more unabashed winner here, with a margin-of-error lead over the pricier RTX 3080 at 4K and a three per cent loss at 1440p. Given that it's a $50 cheaper card, we can chalk that up as a win for Radeon.

For the gen-on-gen comparison, we're back to an 85 per cent lead for the 6800 XT over the 5700 XT, and a little over half that at 1440p.

Far Cry 5: Ultra, DX11, TAA

Hitman 2

Hitman 2's Miami benchmark is a reasonably convincing facsimile of a racing game, although you might wonder why the crowd is so well detailed if you weren't familiar with the series. The game is highly CPU-bound at lower resolutions, and even at 4K we see less of a difference between different GPUs. The leads are fairly emblematic of what we've seen before: 13 per cent for the 6800 over the 3070, three per cent for the 3080 over the 6800 XT. That's job done as far as AMD is concerned, despite smaller margins (eight and two per cent for each matchup, respectively) at 1440p.

Hitman 2: Ultra, DX12, TAA

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Assassin's Creed Odyssey is a game I recently completed in a marthon session, so I'm happy to say that this benchmark takes place in Athens, starting in the Temple of Hephaistos - I'd always wondered where the benchmark was set. In any case, Assassin's Creed Odyssey is a DX11 title with less severe performance characteristics than the other Ubi game on this page, Far Cry 5, but it still provides a big combined CPU/GPU workout.

The RX 6800 leads the 3070 by nine per cent here, a little less than we'd hoped, but the RX 6800 XT performs to expectations by coming in just four percentage points behind the more expensive RTX 3080. That's at 4K; at 1440p the AMD cards get a little pep in their step with the RX 6800 tying the RTX 3080 (!). Against the 3070, the RX 6800 manages a 12 per cent lead, while the 6800 XT beats the 3080 by a respectable five per cent. In fact, the XT is only five per cent behind the RTX 3090 here, so we might expect the 5900 XT to set a new 1440p record when we have a chance to test it later this year. At 1080p, the 6800, 6800 XT and RTX 3070 all achieve around 90fps, with the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 managing a comfortable 15 to 20 per cent advantage - perhaps due to driver overhead on the AMD side, something that's not as visible on less CPU-heavy workloads.

*The benchmark annoyingly includes variable weather, with clouds sometimes appearing on the horizon and tanking performance. We also see a decent amount of variance in lowest one per cent scores from run to run, especially at 1080p, so it's best to look at the averages here and not read too much into the other metrics.

AC Odyssey: Ultra High, DX11, TAA

Next, let's look at our final set of rasterised game benchmarks - including one classic that still trips up modern GPUs.

AMD Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT Analysis

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Will Judd avatar

Will Judd

Deputy Editor, Digital Foundry

A bizarre British-American hybrid, Will turns caffeine into technology articles through a little-known process called 'writing'. His favourite games are Counter-Strike, StarCraft and Fallout 2. Will also tweets the latest tech deals at @DigitalFoundry.


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