Here are the specifications of our test rig:
The following synthetic benchmarks and games were run, with the games chosen from a wide range of genres to give a better indication of performance across different segments:
3DMark is a synthetic benchmark that tests graphics and computational performance at different resolutions, starting at 1080p and going all the way up to 4K. A series of two graphics test, one physics test, and then a combined test stresses your hardware in turn to assess its performance.
Performance was a pretty mixed bag here for the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT. It was more or less on par with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti for the DirectX 12 Time Spy benchmarks, but it managed to inch ahead of even the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 in all three Fire Strike tests. In the 1440p Fire Strike Extreme benchmark, it was roughly 5% faster. But synthetic benchmarks only tell part of the story, and the real test will come in real-world games.
These 1440p benchmarks are of the most interest here, since the Radeon RX 6700 XT is positioned primarily as a card for 1440p gaming. It's difficult to tease out a clear pattern of performance here too, and the Radeon RX 6700 XT's standing in relation to the two NVIDIA cards varied from game to game. For instance, it was neck and neck with the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti in Metro: Exodus, but 10% slower in Total War: Three Kingdoms. On the other hand, it was roughly 4% faster than the GeForce RTX 3070 in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, while sitting between both NVIDIA cards in Watch Dogs Legion and Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
The 4K benchmarks paint a similar picture and relative performance varies from game to game as well. However, it's clear that the Radeon RX 6700 XT isn't really intended as a 4K card, with middling performance in most titles.
Finally, in games that support ray tracing, the Radeon RX 6700 XT is still far behind both NVIDIA offerings. NVIDIA has the headstart in hardware-based ray tracing support, and AMD only just enabled real-time ray tracing on the Radeon RX 6800 XT.
Despite the improvements made to AMD's cooler design, the Radeon RX 6700 XT still runs hotter than both NVIDIA cards, which is slightly disappointing given that the GeForce RTX 3070 runs faster. Board power draw was much better, sitting between the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and 3070.
|3DMark Time Spy Extreme Stress Test||AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition|
|Board power draw (Peak)||344W||317W||376W|
The AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT is one of those middle-of-the-road cards that aren't really super exciting. With a US$479 price tag and performance that sort of straddles both the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and 3070, it's neither tantalisingly affordable nor breathtakingly fast. It's a more mainstream version of AMD's new RDNA 2 architecture, and it serves up a more than decent gaming experience, but that's about the most interesting thing you can say about it.
Still, it is a solid alternative to both the US$399 NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and US$499 3070, and features like Smart Access Memory may give you more incentive to pick Team Red over Green if you also own an AMD processor. We're still waiting for AMD's DLSS equivalent however, so NVIDIA still has a slight advantage in this area.
Nevertheless, the Radeon RX 6700 XT is a very capable card on its own. Performance at resolutions up to 1440p is great, but with numbers that are on par with the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti at times, there's good reason to still consider NVIDIA's card which is a hundred dollars cheaper. Either way, we should never turn our noses up at more choice – but because performance can vary so much from game to game, you'd best make your choice by looking at review benchmarks for the games you play to see how well the Radeon RX 6700 XT runs on them.