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AMD Big Navi release date, price, specs and performance

AMD Big Navi
(Image credit: AMD)

AMD Big Navi has finally been revealed and it's basically a trio of powerful graphics cards designed to battle Nvidia's finest GPUs.

Forming the Radeon RX 6000 series of graphics cards, the range is spearheaded by the mighty Radeon RX 6900 XT, designed to take on the GeForce RTX 3090, then there’s the Radeon RX 6800 XT set to battle the GeForce RTX 3080, and then the Radeon RX 6800, a less powerful card but still one that seemingly sits above the GeForce RTX 3070

Check out our AMD Big Navi recap to catch up on all the details from the AMD Big Navi reveal event.

Touted as an “Nvidia-killer,” Big Navi and the rest of the Radeon RX 600 series cards, looks to be exactly just that: GPUs to take on the RTX 3000-series. So read on for everything you need to know about Big Navi and the Radeon RX 6000 range. 

AMD Big Navi latest news (Updated October 28)

AMD Big Navi release date 

The Radeon RX 6800 XT and Radeon 6800 will go on sale November 18, just after the release of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, which use the same RDNA 2 architecture. 

But it could be worth holding fire as the Radeon RX 6900 XT will go one sale December 8, bringing in a graphics card that could beat the RTX 3900 but undercut it on price. It’s definitely a graphics card worth considering depending on the rest of the components of your gaming PC. 

AMD Big Navi price 

The Radeon RX 6900 XT sits at the top of the pile of the new Radeon GPUs, with a price tag of $999. Given it delivers 4K gaming performance that’s up there with the $1,499 RTX 3090, the RX 6900 XT is arguably very good value, even though it's a high-end enthusiast gamer graphics card. 

At $649 the Radeon RX 6800 XT promises performance that can take on the GeForce RTX 3080, only for some $50 less. That’s a pretty compelling price, but we’ll have to see how well the AMD card measures up to the 4K gaming-centric RTX 3080, particularly when it comes to ray-tracing

Then we have the Radeon RX 6800. At $579, it’s offering performance that beats the $999 GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. But then so does the $499 RTX 3070, so the Radeon graphics card seems a little out of place. 

All three cards are still pretty well-priced for the performance they appear to be offering. And they could be a thorn in Nvidia’s side. 

AMD Big Navi specs

Radeon RX 6900 XTRadeon RX 6800 XTRadeon RX 6800
Compute Units807260
Video memory 16GB GDDR616GB GDDR616GB GDDR6
Game clock speed 2,015MHz2,015MHz1,815MHz
Boost clock2,250MHz2,250MHz2,105MHz
Memory interface256 bit256 bit256 bit
Infinity Cache128MB128MB128MB

AMD Big Navi performance 

From the specs above, it’s clear that all three Big Navi graphics cards are pixel-pushing powerhouses. 

The Radeon RX 6900 XT has been touted as a graphics card that will chew through games at 4K resolution with all the settings maxed out. AMD’s own benchmarks have the RX 6900 XT delivering 150 frames per second in Doom Eternal, just lagging behind the GeForce RTX 3090. But in Battlefield V, Forza Horizon 4, and Gears 5, the RX 6900 XT comes out on top, delivering high frame rates across the board. 

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT benchmarks

(Image credit: AMD)

It’s worth bearing in mind that the RTX 3090 is really a GPU designed for professional use or very high-end 8K gaming; it’s only really 10% to 15% faster than the RTX 3080 at 4K. So while the RX 6900 XT is very impressive for a card that’s some $500 cheaper, we’d need to see how well it performs at 8K resolutions to get an arguably fairer comparison.

The Radeon RX 6800 XT is another 4K gaming GPU able to deliver 4K gaming at frame rates in excess of 60 frames per second. AMD has it level-pegging with the RTX 3080, at times being beaten by it and at others pulling ahead of Nvidia’s high-end graphics card. This is rather compelling given the Radeon RX 6800 XT is $50 cheaper than the RTX 3080, which is also really hard to buy at the moment given its stock shortage.  

At 1440p resolution gaming, the Radeon RX 6800 XT also keeps pace or beats the RTX 3080. That's worth bearing in mind if you have a 1440p display with a high refresh rate. 

AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT

(Image credit: AMD)

What wasn’t shown off was the ray-tracing performance of the RX 6800 XT or the other RX 6000 series graphics cards. Nvidia's RTX GPUs have dedicated ray-tracing hardware, so they could have the edge here, though we’ll need to wait and find out more about that.  

As for the Radeon RX 6800, this less-powerful take on the RX 6800 XT is also a 4K gaming graphics card. AMD didn’t compare it to the RTX 3080, but rather pitted it against the older GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, the previous flagship of the RTX 2000-series. The Radeon card delivered 4K gaming at 60 fps, seemingly beating the RTX 2080 Ti across the board.

AMD Radeon RX 6800

(Image credit: AMD)

That’s all well and good, but the GeForce RTX 3070 beats the RTX 2080 Ti, and at $499 it's cheaper than the RX 6800. We’d be curious to see how the two measure up against each other. We’d not be surprised if the RTX 3070 took the edge here, but we’re open to being proven wrong.  

All three cards come with access to AMD's "Rage Mode" one-click overclocking that can make boosting the performance of the GPUs very easy. And with "smart access memory," whereby a Ryzen CPU has full access to GPU memory, the new Radeon cads can deliver even more performance; how noticeable that will be in games has yet to be seen. 

AMD Radeon RX 6000

(Image credit: AMD)

AMD Big Navi outlook  

AMD Big Navi promised a powerful graphics card; instead it gave us three. With the Radeon RX 6900 XT and RX 6800 XT shaping up to be very impressive graphics cards. They appear to be able to match or beat Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3000-series graphics cards and undercut them in price as well. 

That's something that could worry Nvidia and see it come up with more aggressive pricing for its graphics cads or release boosted versions of them. That being said, we're not sure where the Radeon RX 6800 sits, seemingly beaten by its XT variant and costing more than the GeForce RTX 3070. 

But overall, these new Radeon cards further add to the GPUs Nvidia has to make 4K gaming at 60 frames per second and above a reality for all PC gamers. And that's a very good thing, especially as more competition in the graphics card arena should breed innovation and result in more exciting gaming hardware.  

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer is U.K. Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.