XFX Speedster RX 6800 | 16GB GDDR6 | 3,840 shaders | 2,105MHz boost clock |
$429.99 $399.99 at Newegg (save $30)
Now, $30 isn't a stunning saving, but when you bring into context just what you're getting for $400 it's pretty impressive. The RDNA 2 card delivers performance just a few fps off that of the new RX 7700 XT, and for around $50 less. And you get the full might of a 256-bit memory bus and 16GB of GDDR6 memory, compared with the 192-bit and 12GB GDDR6 you get with the RX 7700 XT.
Price check: Amazon $399.99
Graphics card memory capacity has been a thorny issue this generation, with AMD and Nvidia fighting over what really matters to PC gamers. Nvidia claim it's all about the end performance, with extra Ada cache and DLSS being able to make up for a paucity of VRAM and weak aggregated memory buses. AMD, well, AMD wants to sell you a GPU with a ton of memory attached to it.
But, to be fair, it's been doing that for a while, and this Radeon RX 6800 only serves to highlight that. It was the fourth-tier graphics card of the RDNA 2 generation and yet still served up a 256-bit memory bus and a full 16GB of GDDR6 memory.
And when you can now pick up an XFX Speedster SWFT 319 RX 6800 from Amazon and Newegg for just $400 that makes it the cheapest modern 16GB graphics card you can buy today. The RX 7700 XT is arguably it's closest rival, and is admittedly a few fps faster in some games, but that's still a 192-bit graphics card with 12GB of VRAM. And if that sort of memory capacity concerns you about the demands of future games, then the RX 6800 might be a better bet.
It retains support for AMD's new Frame Generation feature—in both agnostic game-based and AMD-specific driver-level forms—and of course can deliver on the promise of the red team's FidelityFX Super Resolution 3.0 tech, too.
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The closest Nvidia rival is the RTX 4060 Ti, which is a lot slower in general gaming terms, and itself can only offer a 128-bit memory bus with 8GB GDDR6 memory at the same price as this RX 6800. And if you want to swap to the still-relatively-slow RTX 4060 Ti 16GB version that'll be another $100 extra for little tangible benefit.
The next step up in terms of both performance and memory capacity in real terms is the Radeon RX 7800 XT, which has the same memory spec, but is again $100 more expensive, though will at least be actually faster in the render draw.
But we know budgets are tight, and if you're looking for a graphics card with a proper GPU at its heart and a lot of video memory to support it, then the RX 6800 is a great option at this price.