Sapphire unveils its own AMD RX 6800 cards, and they're kinda gorgeous

Sapphire RX 6800 XT Nitro +
(Image credit: Sapphire)


AMD's Big Navi Big Boi, the 6800XT, will eventually hail from third-party manufacturers, but that's a little way away yet. That hasn't stopped Sapphire from revealing its plans for such boards, and they’re looking good, with the GPU manufacturer getting to flex its high-end muscles for the first time in an age.

There are actually two in fact: Sapphire’s RX 6800-series line is split into PULSE (why the caps?) and Nitro+. Those PULSE boards (honestly, it makes it sound like a backwater nightclub) fill 2.7 slots and are a classy black and red, with a heartbeat motif on the back. Its three fans have nine blades each, and there’s a dual eight-pin power connector. Output is handled by three HDMIs and a DisplayPort, all capable of 8K.

The Nitro+ version, however, gets the full treatment, with 12-blade fans, possibly an extra heatpipe or two, and a walled-in 2.5-slot design that looks much neater than its PULSATING brother.

Again, there are two eight-pin power sockets, and the same HDMI/DP arrangement. You get a little RGB too, but not nearly as much as the Nitro+ SE variant, which slaps swirling yellow and green all over its fans, and shakes things up at the back with one HDMI, two DisplayPort, and a USB-C—AMD clearly having not received the memo about VirtualLink’s death—all rocking 8K output.

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You’ll need a 750-watt power supply to handle these cards, says Sapphire, and they’re both PCIe 4.0, with 16GB GDDR6 on board. Final clock and memory speeds haven’t been released yet.

Sapphire is the world’s largest supplier of AMD video cards, and it’s been at it since 2001. It’s produced some fine-looking cards in its time—as well as some boxart horrors—but with AMD GPUs being slightly off the boil recently it hasn’t been able to shine in the way it deserves. 

AMD has touted Big Navi performance besting Nvidia's already impressive RTX 3080, so perhaps the RX 6800-series launch will be its chance for glory.