Probably the most attention-grabbing issues to occur at CES 2022 from a PC gaming perspective was that each AMD and Nvidia lastly revealed this technology’s sub-$250 graphics playing cards. Whereas we’re nonetheless ready for extra specs and efficiency particulars about Nvidia’s RTX 3050, there are some miserable issues to notice about AMD’s Radeon RX 6500 XT, most particularly if you evaluate it with the $199 Radeon RX 480 AMD launched again in 2016.
The efficiency will increase we have seen in graphics playing cards over the previous couple of years has been astonishing. We have been handled to probably the most highly effective GPUs ever to grace a PC, slices of graphical silicon able to pixel-pushing feats we may hitherto solely dream of. However that is come on the expense of affordability with even at the moment’s third-tier graphics playing cards costing upwards of $700.
Whenever you put the dual mood-killers of a world pandemic and a world chip scarcity into the equation you additionally get a scenario the place it isn’t financially prudent to create lower-priced GPUs that will probably be in excessive demand. Not when you possibly can simply make costly merchandise, that are in simply as excessive demand, and watch these fly off the cabinets anyway.
So we have needed to undergo higher-priced GPUs and an apparent lack of mainstream graphics playing cards for the traditional people unable to spend their total financial institution steadiness on a brand new card.
However now we’re lastly getting new, reasonably priced RX 600-series and RTX 3000-series graphics playing cards. Although, whereas it is nice to see each the GPU makers lastly releasing price range graphics playing cards, it is painful to see simply what meaning when it comes to their specs. These look to be each bit the pandemic GPUs of our worst nightmares, I simply hope I am flawed about them.
What we all the time need to see is greater efficiency and better specs in contrast with the identical value GPUs of the final technology, and that’s tangibly not the case with the RX 6500 XT. Okay, so the jury continues to be out on precise gaming body charges from the brand new Radeon till we get it in our check bench, however our experiences with the RX 6600 XT—basically an RX 5700 XT for a similar value—and a learn of the RX 6500 XT specs sheet do not fill us with confidence.
I imply, this stark image comparison from reddit illustrates the difficulty completely…
|AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT||AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT||AMD Radeon RX 480|
|Launch date||January 2022||December 2019||June 2016|
|Shader Cores||1024 RDNA 2||1408 RDNA||2304 GCN|
|Reminiscence||4GB GDDR6||4GB GDDR6||4GB GDDR5|
|Reminiscence bandwidth||144 GB/s||224 GB/s||224 GB/s|
|Processing energy||5.77 TFLOPS||5.20 TFLOPS||5.83 TFLOPS|
With regards to uncooked GPU efficiency, the RX 6500 XT is available in at 5.77 TFLOPS, whereas the outdated (and nonetheless aggressive) RX 480 managed a wholesome 5.83 TFLOPS. The older card, even in its $199 4GB guise, has greater reminiscence bandwidth, way more shader cores, and far more texture items.
There’s an opportunity that 16MB of Infinity Cache could make up for the shortfall of the RX 6500 XT’s 64-bit reminiscence bus, by boosting that bandwidth. After we initially checked out the Infinity Cache structure with the Radeon RX 6800 XT, AMD advised us cache hits had been extra doubtless at 1080p resolutions—the place price range playing cards are aimed—which implies the additional bandwidth afforded by the good cache tech ought to assist.
However it could solely assist in that it will get it to carry out on the similar stage as an older, greater specced GPU utilizing in any other case weaker silicon. I assume that is progress, however provided that the value tag had been decrease. Perhaps these RDNA 2 cores will ship some magic we have not beforehand seen, however they will must work damned exhausting. I assume that is the place the two.6GHz clock velocity is supposed to come back in.
It may then doubtlessly give the last-gen 4GB RX 5500 XT a run for its cash then, however that is one other miserable indictment of the state of the GPU market, as a result of that was a less expensive $169 card when it launched on the tail finish of 2019.
However this all appears to be a part of an AMD technique to put players first; by giving them graphics playing cards too weak to be worthwhile for mining and due to this fact extra out there to the remainder of us.
Speaking at a CES roundtable, Laura Smith, CVP of Radeon Graphics at AMD mentioned of the RX 6500 XT specs: “Now we have actually optimized this one to be gaming-first at that concentrate on market. And you’ll see that with the way in which that we configured the half. Even with the 4 gigs of body buffer. That’s a very nice body buffer measurement for almost all of AAA video games, but it surely’s not significantly enticing if you happen to’re doing blockchain kind actions, or mining actions.
“And so we have tried to make some actual gamer-first transitions for the issues that we don’t management however we’ve affect over to optimize that card to be as accessible as potential to that use of players.”
On the Nvidia aspect, I’ve but to be satisfied the RTX 3050 goes to be in a lot higher form gen-on-gen. That is a $250 GPU, and prone to be considerably faster than the RX 6500 XT, however I might be shocked if we weren’t simply GTX 1660 Ti efficiency for $30 much less, although with the promise of DLSS help.
So, thanks CES 2022, for kicking the yr off in miserable GPU fashion.