There was one small bit of information that we didn't know when we talked about Sapphire's new hybrid-cooled 6900 XT (opens in new tab) on Friday. We knew about the impressive cooling solution, which couples an onboard fan to keep the RAM and VRMs chilled with a dedicated liquid-cooled loop for the Radeon RX 6900 XTXH itself. We also knew about the Toxic Boost allowing the clocks to hit an incredible 2,730MHz. What we didn't know was the cost. Because some things are just too much for mortals to bear.
That has now changed though, as Sapphire's PR got back to me late Friday with the one detail that was missing from the press release about Sapphire's most extreme graphics card to date.
It costs an eye-watering $2,499.
That's more expensive than my main gaming machine. That's probably more expensive than every PC I've ever owned (or close enough), and definitely the most expensive graphics card I've ever written about, and that includes some serious dual-GPU oddities from days gone by. You know the kind of cards that you can now look back on and wonder what anyone was thinking when they designed it.
Maybe that's exactly how the Sapphire Toxic AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Extreme Edition will be remembered (apart from having a ridiculously long name). A card that was once at the cutting edge, albeit for a tiny fraction of time.
Then again, if you're in the market for a high-end graphics card right now, that price tag is expensive, sure, but it's far from ridiculous. The likes of the RTX 3080 (opens in new tab) still tip up on eBay for this kind of money. Even normal renditions of the standard AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT (opens in new tab) roll in north of $2,000. They shouldn't, and we're not for a second suggesting anyone buys a used graphics card for this sort of money. But that's the market we find ourselves in. And people are clearly buying cards for this sort of money. Amazingly.
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More importantly, this is the market this Extreme Edition finds itself in. Sapphire will undoubtedly still sell every single card it makes. I have absolutely no doubt about that. And this isn't even a card that will be tempting for cryptocurrency miners, as AMD's RDNA 2 GPUs don't seem to like mining as much as Nvidia's 30-series offerings.
No, this is a card aimed exclusively at the most extreme of users, at graphics card overclockers at that. it's not simply a cynical release to cash in on a moment. Well, not entirely at any rate. The base 6900 XTs sell for $999, and that's with a standard cooler. This thing is on another level and was always going to cost a serious chunk of cash. I just didn't see it being quite so much.