AMD Radeon RX 6800 leak reveals huge boost — and RTX 3080 should be worried

AMD Radeon RX 6800
(Image credit: AMD)

AMD’s Radeon RX 6800 could be a quiet powerhouse of a graphics card, as early benchmarks show how the GPU can be overclocked to 2.5GHz. 

The benchmarks come courtesy of a software developer CapFrameX, which ran the Radeon RX 6800 through it own benchmarking software and found that it could achieve a stable overclock of 2,532 MHz which is a solid step up from its standard boost clock of 2,105 MHz. 

When AMD revealed the Big Navi series of RDNA 2-based graphics cards, which now officially form the Radeon RX 6000 series, the RX 6800 sat at the bottom of the pile. This $549 graphics card looks targeted at delivering 4K gaming at solid frame rates, and high frame rates at the 1440p resolution. AMD showed how it can beat the older GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, a card that was $999 when it launched in 2018.  

But with a clock speed that beats the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080’s boost clock of 1.73GHz, the Radeon RX 6800 could nip at the heels of Nvidia’s high-end consumer graphics card. AMD is positioning the more powerful $649 Radeon RX 6800 XT as the RTX 3080 killer. But with the overclocking potential, the vanilla RX 6800 could give the RTX 3080 a run for its money. 

It’s worth noting that raw clock speeds aren't the be-all and end-all for graphics card performance, as the Radeon RX 6000 cards use GDDR6 video memory, while the RTX 3080 and hugely-expensive GeForce RTX 3090 use faster GDDR6X VRAM. As such, the Nvidia cards have more memory bandwidth than the Radeon cards, which could give them an overall performance advantage. 

Either way, with its overclocking potential, the Radeon RX 6800 could be the AMD graphics card to get when it’s released on November 18, particularly if it offers performance that gets close to the RX 6800 XT but at a cheaper price. 

One thing to be aware of is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 is now available, though it’s tricky to find at the moment. That card starts at $499 and also targets gaming at 4K and 1440p, so it could be more compelling for PC gamers on a budget.    

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing 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.