In the market for a new graphics card – or a completely new PC build? If so, you are probably aware that actually buying a GPU is easier said than done. Shortages on the newest graphics cards are rife, so if you are looking to buy one, you will want to make sure then when it does come time to check out of whatever site you are buying on, that you have the very best GPU for your money sat in your basket.
So, to that end, this article is going to help you decide which is the very best AMD Radeon RX 6800 on the market today. And by best, I don’t just mean the card that has the highest benchmarking performance scores. We are going to be looking into a number of different factors that will decide the best 6800 for your needs, so let’s get stuck in:
- Great Performance
- Great Cooling
- A little pricier than other cards on the list
It shouldn’t be a surprise that the very first card I’m going to be talking about on this list will be the best performer for gaming, should it? The main reason that anyone buys a graphics card is to enjoy PC gaming. So, for the highest quality PC gaming possible from an RX 6800, you shouldn’t look any further than an ASUS ROG STRIX Radeon RX 6800 Gaming edition.
First off, let’s take a look at some of the on the box specifications. Firstly, you can expect a game clock of 1,980 GHz, and a boost clock of 2,190 GHz, which on its own is pretty impressive, claiming a joint first position on the leader board for the fastest performing boost clock loaded into a 6800 GPU, first-party or otherwise.
What’s worth noting here is that these boost clock and game clock speeds are both higher than the 3070, which comes from the Nvidia camp. If you were still stuck between the two manufacturers for a final choice when it comes to deciding on a mid-range GPU, then know that the 6800 is closer to the 3080 in terms of performance than the 3070 – so that’s worth bearing in mind.
Outside of the on-the-box clock speeds, there is a lot more to get from this card than just superior in-game speed. Like the size for example. This card is a 2.9 slot design, which might not be at the top of your list when it comes to ‘must-haves’ in your graphics card – but trust me when I say that the larger design of the card itself combined with the triple axial tech fans that this card has spinning on it, as well as the vented backplate and an option for fan connect II to be implemented, you are going to have yourself a card that can pump our peak performance in gaming sessions that run hours long.
Heat management is a big issue in gaming – especially when those looking to buy a new GPU are going to have hours of continuous gameplay on their mind, so the cooling factor of this card plays a big part in why it takes top spot in the list of the bet 6800 GPUs for gaming.
Of course, you have all the added extras like Big Navi 2’s increased performance and the much-lauded ‘smart access memory’ to be taken advantage of in this card as well, so you can rest assured that you are going to be buying into the next generation of AMD level quality. If that wasn’t enough, its wrapped up in a product made by ASUS, who (time has told us) make very reliable, sturdy, and robust products – so the longevity of this card isn’t really in question, meaning the money you put down will serve you for a long time.
The price point isn’t too bad either, with other RX 6800 cards costing more than the ASUS ROG STRIX Gaming edition, despite not offering more in terms of in-game performance or thermal management.
If you are envisioning a future in which you spend a lot of time on your PC with your GPU being put through it paces every minute it’s in use, then this is definitely the card for you.
- Great aesthetics
- Great boost clock
The great thing about the RX 6800 is that it’s genuinely a great graphics card for its performance and price point – but that can present itself as kind of a problem when you are looking at each of them for an option for not only the best GPU for gaming, but also for a runner up.
Luckily, I was able to choose a runner up 6800 GPU for those of you not completely sold by the ROG STRIX, and it’s the Sapphire Nitro+ AMD Radeon RX 6800. Why did I pick this card? Well firstly, you are going to be able to expect the same on-the-box performance stats that you would out of the ROG STRIX, a boost clock of 2,190 GHz and a game clock of 1,980 GHz – which, again, is higher than the competitions 3070.
So, you will be able to enjoy the same high level of in-game performance than you would with our top pick, which is no small thing. This includes ray-tracing by the way, with stable frame rates hovering around the 70-100 FPS range with ray tracing and 1440p resolution, which is pretty great. You can expect all of the other AMD enhancements as well, including that direct access memory boost to your cards performance if you are using a compatible Ryzen 5000 CPU.
So, the performance here isn’t in question – you are going to be getting the top-level action out of this card that you can expect from a 6800, so no worries there. On to a much more aspect of a third party GPU, the actual design and build quality of the card itself.
And, just like the ASUS ROG STRIX, you are going to be in safe hands here. Sapphire have constructed a very well made card, with the all-important cooling factors overhauled and remade for the 6000 line AMD cards. Firstly, there is a brand new fan blade design that is set to improve the cooling design on these cards as a whole, which is going to be running alongside precision and intelligent fan control to let you have the ultimate level of control over your GPU when it comes to its cooling habits.
And cooling is important – it’s what’s going to help you keep your PC healthy for the long term, even if you are blasting that GPU for hours at a time. So, rest assured that on this card you will have no reason to worry, and your money will last you a long time.
Plus, if I’m being honest…I really like the design of this card. Even if you take away the high-quality construction of the card (it has fuse protection, a great backplate and all kinds of other solid building materials designed to keep it solid and cool), then you are going to be left with a triple-fan card that doesn’t overdo it when it comes to RBG, and is understated in its presence.
That’s what I like in a GPU – it might not be for you, but if you do want a less overwhelming presence in your PC, giving out a solid and lasting in-game performance, then the Sapphire Nitro+ AMD Radeon RX 6800 is definitely the card for you.
- Windforce cooling
- High quality product
- performance not at same level as other cards
When it comes to the best value for money, people are often talking about one thing: a low price. However, I think a much better indicator of value isn’t getting the lowest price on the market, but getting the most for your money. Sure, you spend a little less, but you want to make sure that every penny you put down counts.
Enter Gigabyte, and their RX 6800 Gaming OC card. Right off of the bat, you are going to see that OC tacked onto the card there, and that indicates exactly what you think it does – an overclocked card. So, you can expect a boost clock of 2155 MHz and a game clock of 1925 MHz, which isn’t bad at all, especially when you consider that this isn’t even the highest performing card to be rolled out of Gigabyte’s warehouse.
Along with that performance, you are going to be able to expect stable frame rates again hovering between 60 and 100 when it comes to 1440p gameplay, and obviously, you will be getting all of the accouterments that are associated with Big Navi – ray tracing, increased performance per watt and the smart access memory are all on the cards here, with all the power you would associate with 16Gb of GDDR6 memory.
Again, this card performs better than the 3070, at a price point that comes in just below a lot of the other cards on this list (the official price point that is, when the demand and supply issues smooth out). You know what’s coming next: cooling and design, and naturally, this card wouldn’t be in this list if I didn’t have every confidence in Gigabyte’s building ability.
You get the Gigabytre brand windforce cooling system on the GPU itself, with a triple fan setup on the card to make sure that your graphics card keeps itself nice and regulated throughout gameplay, as well as copper heat pipes to properly disperse heat whilst the card is in use.
Realistically, this is an amazing design for thermal management, and to be honest the actual design of the card itself is pretty stellar too – I wouldn’t rate it as highly as the eagle card that Gigabyte put out, but it is pretty grown up and not plastered in RGB – though it is present and easily controllable if you do want it.
So, if you are looking for a card that is going to give you great in game performance housed inside a well built chassis that is going to manage your temperatures well, all without busting the bank account, then you should definitely be giving Gigabyte a look in.
- Stong performance
- Great boost clock
- Still AMD
- More expensive
Best Alternative Card: AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT
Now, if you are sat reading this and completely unable to get your hands on a 6800, but still desperately want to get a new GPU into your PC, then you should look no further than the 6800 XT from AMD.
First and foremost you are going to be getting all of that RDNA 2 goodness you wanted out of the 6800 – including ray tracing, smart access memory, improved performance-per-watt, and more importantly improved in-game performance. The key difference here though is that you will be seeing an even bigger increase in that performance over RDNA 1, thanks to more power being pumped into the 6800 XT.
Comfortable FPS rates over 60 in games at 4K and at ultra-high settings, a game frequency of 2010 MHz and a boost clock of 2250 MHz, as well as 128 MB of infinity cache memory and 16GBs of GDDr6 memory. This card goes head to head with the Nvidia 3080 – and if you are looking to spend a little more on your GPU so that you can experience a bit more in-game performance over the 6800, then you really can’t go wrong.
Now, the 6800 XT is just as (if not more) popular than the 6800 itself, and there are plenty of different 6800 XT models for you to choose from (you can have a read through our favorites here). But, if you do want an alternative to the 6800 that builds on the strongest areas of AMD’s GPU, then the 6800 XT can do you no wrong.
GPUs always tend to run hot, so make sure that your preferred choice of graphics card come with adequate cooling systems that make an improvement over what was present on the previous versions of these cards. I've picked out GPUs here that have solid cooling systems included, but if you wanted to look at some different GPUs that feature great cooling check out options from the likes of MSI, EVGA, and PNY. Obviously, this all has to be in tandem with a decent amount of space and airflow, but luckily for you the 6800 is a decent-sized card, so making sure that it has room to breathe won't be an issue at all. Due to the graphical output of an RTX 3070, you know it’s likely to get hot. So, when on the search for your preferred choice, look out for that cooling improvement manufacturers have made over previous iterations of their GPU family. Companies like MSI and EVGA for example have quite clearly shown that the inclusions of new fan systems as well as heat dissipation tools were necessary and more importantly, work. But, this doesn’t always mean it’ll be icy cool so ensure you have a spacious case that provides excellent airflow to keep your 3070 GPU at optimal temperatures.
If you are looking for the best 6800 card out there right now, then you can’t go wrong with the ASUS ROG STRIX Radeon RX 6800 Gaming edition. Looking for something just as good as that? Our runner up best 6800 is the Sapphire Nitro+ AMD Radeon RX 6800, with the best value pick being the Gigabyte 6800 Gaming OC – and if all these fail you, you can always shoot for the 6800 XT as the best alternative card to the 6800.
And, that just about wraps up this list of the best 6800 GPUs out there and on the market today, and the best versions of that card out there righty now. Got any questions? Don’t worry, just send a comment below and we will do our very best to answer it!