RX 7800 XT vs RX 6950 XT – RDNA 3 or previous-gen?

We comb over the new 7800 XT and wonder if an older option is viable

RX 7800 XT vs RX 6950 XT - cards faceoff

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In the ever-evolving world of GPUs, the RX 7800 XT vs 6950 XT face-off promises an intriguing juxtaposition. At first glance, the match might seem a tad skewed. After all, the RX 6950 XT stands tall as the flagship of its generation for AMD, bearing the weight of its era’s technological prowess. But with the dawn of the RX 7800 XT, a fresh challenger enters the ring, representing the advancements of AMD’s newer line. Let’s delve deeper to see how this rising star measures up against its esteemed predecessor.

RX 7800 XT vs 6950 XT: Specs

When diving into the intricacies of the RX 7800 XT vs RX 6950 XT specs, it’s evident that both AMD Radeon RX GPUs hold their own, showcasing AMD’s technological marvels across two generations. Let’s not forget both take aim at Nvidia cards, but how do they compare? Well they share a remarkable similarity in several key areas, evident in their VRAM capacities both standing at a generous 16 GB GDDR6. This parity extends to the Memory Interface Width, with both GPUs featuring a 256-bit interface, providing robust channels for data transfer.

SpecsRX 7800 XTRX 6950 XT
ArchitectureNavi 32Navi 21
RT Accelerator6080
Cores38405120
VRAM16 GB GDDR616 GB GDDR6
Memory Interface Width    256-bit bus256-bit bus
Memory bandwidth620.8 GB/s576.0 GB/s
Process TechnologyTSMC 5nmTSMC 7nm
Base clock speed1800 MHz1860 MHz
Boost Clock speed2430 MHz2310 MHz
Graphics Card Power (TDP)263 W335 W
L3 cache64 MB128 MB
MSRP$499$1,099

However, the RX 6950 XT flaunts its flagship stature with larger numbers in certain areas. Its 5120 cores, surpassing the 3840 of the RX 7800 XT, suggest a greater raw computational power. Moreover, with 80 RT Accelerators, the RX 6950 XT overshadows the RX 7800 XT’s 60, further asserting its dominance.

It’s also evident in the L3 cache, with the RX 6950 XT boasting double the volume at 128 MB compared to the RX 7800 XT’s 64 MB. While the 7800 XT represents AMD’s strides in newer tech, especially with its more refined TSMC 5nm process technology, the 6950 XT’s raw specs still seem to edge out, especially in terms of core count. The sheer magnitude of specs in the 6950 XT serves as a testament to its commanding presence during its era.

Interestingly, as AMD’s RX 7000 series XT graphics cards become more evolved, power consumption remains an important aspect. The new arrival has a TDP 75 W below the older card, It’s also higher than the 200 W of the RTX 4070 though – so it’s not super efficient. Team red has a little way to go.

RX 7800 XT vs 6950 XT: Performance

At the pinnacle of AMD’s previous generation GPUs, the RX 6950 XT was heralded as the pinnacle performer, specifically tailored to thrive in the most demanding of environments. Its raw power and computational capabilities are hard to rival. However, innovation never rests. The upcoming RX 7800 XT, though a part of a newer generation, is not just bringing raw power to the table. According to AMD’s insights, it’s equipped with a game-changing feature: the AI accelerators.

These new AI accelerators set the RX 7800 XT apart. Designed to specifically enhance AI processing, the 7800 XT is projected to perform up to twice as fast as the 6950 XT in AI-oriented tasks. This doesn’t just mean better performance in specialized AI applications, but it will significantly influence AI-driven features in games and productivity software. Though we anticipate these advancements, the real test will be observing these two GPUs in real-life applications and understanding how they truly stack up against one another.

RX 7800 XT vs 6950 XT: Price

Upon examining the MSRP, the pricing difference between the RX 7800 XT and the RX 6950 XT is quite stark. The RX 6950 XT carries a hefty price tag of $1,099, positioning it at a premium range in the market.

On the other hand, the RX 7800 XT is positioned at a more accessible price point of $499. This significant disparity is notable, especially when one considers the advanced AI capabilities the newer RX 7800 XT is bringing to the table. Buyers would definitely weigh the advantages against the cost when deciding between these two GPUs.

PC Guide thoughts

Without a doubt, the RX 6950 XT shines brightly as an outstanding GPU, demonstrating the pinnacle of what AMD achieved in its previous generation. Its performance, features, and capabilities have set a high standard. However, the RX 7800 XT, though priced much lower – below the RX 7900 XT but not as low as the RX 7700 XT – is emerging as a dark horse in this comparison.

Its emphasis on cutting-edge AI capabilities and the promise of unmatched performance in AI-driven applications make it an exciting contender. The 7800 XT may very well surprise many in real-world applications, potentially offering more value for its price, especially for those intrigued by AI innovations. The future looks promising, and we’re eager to see how the landscape evolves with the full entry of the RX 7800 XT into the market. Now we’re past launch, we look towards September 6th for the release, and third-party benchmarks.

Kevin is the Editor of PC Guide. He has a broad interest and enthusiasm for consumer electronics, PCs and all things consumer tech - and more than 15 years experience in tech journalism.