New AMD RX 6800 XT design revealed — and it makes RTX 3080 look boring

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

AMD Big Navi graphics cards are on their way, and Sapphire has given us a look at how its versions of the RDNA 2 GPUs will look like. 

The graphics card maker provided a sneak peak of its Radeon RX 6800 XT PULSE and RX 6800 XT Nitro+, both of which look very impressive despite their rather silly names.  

The Radeon RX 6800 XT Nitro+ features a gray and black livery with various slashes and accents in the GPU shroud to boost its gamer aesthetic. And there's what appears to be a light-up logo and RGB lighting to really show off the graphics card when it's in a gaming PC with a windowed side. 

The Nitro+ will come with 12-blade fans and potentially boosted passive cooling in the form of extra heatpipes and heatsinks beneath the shroud. While the graphics card’s design shouts "gamer" in no uncertain terms, it still looks pretty good for a collection of transistors, fans, and silicon. And it also evokes the look of something out of the lived-in Star Wars universe. No doubt PC gamers who have an RGB-centric desktop setup will be eying up this card with glee. 

For people who want something a little more understated but still worth peering into a PC case to look at, then Sapphire’s Radeon RX 6800 XT PULSE could be the card to consider. Its gunmetal gray/black shroud is punctuated by red lines running through it, conveying the idea that the graphics card has a pulse.  

Sapphire Radeon RX 6800 XT PULSE

(Image credit: Sapphire)

And the triple fan array, while chunky, conveys a functional aesthetic that seems to promise plenty of performance from the GPU without it getting too hot and bothered. Both the above cards come with an HDMI port and a trio of DisplayPort connections, with all four ports able to output a maximum resolution of 8K. 

Speaking of resolution, both these cards are set to target gaming at 4K resolution and at 60 frames per second, all with the goal of taking on the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080. With 16GB on GDDR6 video memory and the new RDNA 2 GPU architecture to tap into — the same GPU architecture is found on the PS5 and Xbox Series X — the Radeon RX 6800 XT looks to be on track to give the RTX 3080 serious competition. 

Sapphire hasn’t revealed the price of its takes on the RX 6800 XT. But AMD has the base price of its new graphics cards set at $649, which undercuts the $699 RTX 3080.

We'll have to wait and see if the Radeon RX 6800 XT can beat the RTX 3080 in real-world gaming tests come November 18, when AMD releases its next-gen GPU. We’re quietly hopeful that more competition in the graphics card arena will yield further exciting and powerful GPUs at more affordable prices, making 2020 a good year to be a PC gamer.

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. 

  • russell_john
    Seriously you are impressed with the back side of a graphics card? 90% of people won't be able to get one until next year anyway because the Script Kiddie Scalper Scum will snap them all up in a matter of minutes