AMD's Radeon RX 6600 is the first true 1080p graphics card of this generation, finally. It's fast and incredibly power efficient, but has a high price (that will soar even higher on the street) and isn't a great 1440p option. Well over a year after this generation of graphics cards kicked off, AMD is releasing the first true 1080p GPU of the lot with the Radeon RX 6600, which is being both announced and launched today. Sure, the step-up Radeon RX 6600 XT ostensibly targets high-refresh rate 1080p gaming, but it's massively overkill for gaming on a standard 60Hz monitor. And the rival GeForce RTX 3060 doesn't offer enough GPU grunt for no-compromises 1440p, but Nvidia ladened it with a ludicrous 12GB of VRAM, which contributes to its sky-high street price. The Radeon RX 6600 offers very good Ultra-quality 1080p gaming paired with 8GB of GDDR6 memory, a remarkably sane combination.
The Radeon RX 6900 XT is finally here and it is magnificent, as you'd expect from a graphics card that costs a staggering four figures. At $1,000, AMD's first enthusiast-class gaming flagship doesn't come cheap--but it's a lot cheaper than its primary competition, the $1,500 GeForce RTX 3090. The Radeon RX 6900 XT wins some and loses some depending on the game, but overall, it's 9 percent slower than the GeForce RTX 3090 at 4K resolution across our testing suite, while a mere 2 percent slower at 1440p. How does it hang at 3440x1440 ultrawide gaming, which essentially splits the difference between 4K and 1440p? We conducted our tests on the $550, 144Hz Nixeus EDG34S monitor we've used for prior ultrawide testing.
The Sapphire Pulse delivers a whisper-quiet spin on AMD's affordable Radeon RX 6500 XT, with the company's Trixx Boost software giving performance a helping hand. It's a good option for newcomers to PC gaming as long as you operate within limits imposed by the unusual technical configuration of AMD's GPU. AMD's Radeon RX 6500 XT is a humble graphics card built to bring 1080p gaming to the masses at a time when the masses haven't had an affordable GPU option for years. Sapphire's popular "Pulse" brand relentlessly focuses on delivering solid gaming experiences without cost-adding frills you may not want. On paper, it sounds like a peanut butter and jelly-type situation. But does the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 6500 XT, which retails for AMD's $199 suggested price, hold up in practice?
The Sapphire Nitro Pure Radeon RX 6950 XT is a cool, quiet, gorgeous beast pushed even further by AMD's Smart Access Memory and Radeon Super Resolution features--if you can afford it, fit it in your case, and feed its deep thirst for power. After two long, bleak years of heartbreak, graphics cards are finally starting to become available at suggested prices (sometimes), right as Intel winds up to deliver its debut Arc discrete desktop graphics cards this summer. The winds of change are finally blowing, and AMD decided this is the perfect time to roll out a "refresh" of several Radeon RX 6000-series graphics cards. Each sports the same underlying GPU specs as their vanilla counterparts (the Radeon RX 6600 XT, 6700 XT, and 6900 XT, respectively), but with faster memory and both clock speeds and power draw juiced. Is that enough to jockey AMD's latest offerings into pole positions on our roundup of the best graphics cards and justify their higher price tags? To find out, we look to Sapphire's swanky Nitro versions of each model--including the stunning new whited-out Nitro "Pure" Radeon RX 6950 XT, a premium piece of kit that aims to take down Nvidia's vaunted RTX 3090. Editor's note: Our content system only allows for one scored review per article. The Nitro Radeon RX 6650 XT and Nitro 6750 XT would get 3.5 stars--3 for AMD's underlying GPU performance, and an extra half star for Sapphire's sublime Nitro design and implementation.
Nvidia's new Ampere graphics architecture is finally creeping down to more mainstream (read:affordable) cards, and the $400 GeForce RTX 3060 Ti delivers performance faster than the RTX 2080 Super--last generation's second most powerful GPU--for half the cost. We've already declared Nvidia's latest offering a spectacular 1440p graphics card in our comprehensive GeForce RTX 3060 Ti review, but how does it handle itself at a more strenuous 3440x1440 ultrawide resolution that splits the difference between 1440p and 4K? We conducted our tests on the $550, 144Hz Nixeus EDG34S monitor we've used for prior ultrawide testing. While the display only officially supports AMD's FreeSync Premium adaptive sync technology, you can manually activate G-Sync in Nvidia's control panel and it works like a charm. You'll need to use the monitor's on-screen display to activate adaptive sync first, however.