Watch out, Nvidia. AMD’s long-awaited “Big Navi” graphics cards are almost here, and for the primary time in a while, Team Red is setting its sights on the high end. The $579 Radeon RX 6800 and $649 Radeon RX 6800 XT take direct aim at the GeForce RTX 3070 and RTX 3080, respectively, while the $999 Radeon RX 6900 XT sets its sights on Nvidia’s crown jewel—the $1,500 GeForce RTX 3090. Hot damn. you’ll find all the Radeon RX 6000 details you would like to understand here.

Look for the 2 Radeon RX 6800-series cards to hit the streets on Wednesday, November 18. We’re still knee-deep in testing, but AMD’s allowing photos and unboxings of the hotly anticipated graphics cards to travel live today.

AMD's card Radeon RX 6800 and 6800 XT

Unboxings aren’t usually our thing. during this case, however, the Radeon RX 6000 series marks a departure from AMD’s traditional design, ditching the much-maligned (and often screaming-loud) blower-style coolers for an axial cooling configuration commonly found on custom boards. Given all that, we’d figure we’d provide a sneak peek at the Radeon RX 6800 and Radeon RX 6800 XT.

We can’t tear the cards apart or provide any insight into performance. Stay tuned for our final reviews for that information. It’s what inside that counts, after all. But here are our thoughts on the Radeon RX 6800-series’ outsides.

Taking AMD’s Radeon RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT out of the box, one thought struck me: These appear as if graphics cards. very nice, well-designed graphics cards, sure, but they fundamentally stick with the standard design deployed for years now. While Nvidia needed innovative “flow-through” cooling designs and bristling whole-body heat sinks to tame its GeForce RTX 30-series Founders Edition cards, AMD stuck to the basics—which, again, is fairly new for the corporate, as only the Radeon VII reference card used an axial design before.

AMD's card Radeon RX 6800 and 6800 XT

Both cards stick with the ten .5-inch length common to all or any but the beefiest high-end custom GPUs and draw their power from a pair of ordinary 8-pin power connectors. By comparison, Nvidia’s RTX 30-series Founders Edition boards require the utilization of an (ugly) 12-pin adapter included within the box.

The two cards stick with an equivalent general design. Both come clad in silver and black, with a clean, silver backplate running the whole length of the card—no unique cutouts for airflow here, unlike with many rival GeForce cards. And yes, those PCIe connectors are of the cutting-edge PCIe 4.0 variety, an ideal match to the PCIe 4.0 capabilities in AMD’s Ryzen 3000-series and badass new Ryzen 5000-series processors.

Glancing at the side shows the pair of 8-pin power connectors, and divulges that AMD left much room for decent air to expel out of the side of the cards, in an improvement over the Radeon VII’s design.

AMD's card Radeon RX 6800 and 6800 XT

The blower-style coolers favored in previous reference boards are wholly self-contained. They use one fan to suck in air, then shoot it down the length of the cardboard’s heat sinks before finally expelling the recent air out of the rear I/O bracket of the card. The axial-style cooling employed by the Radeon RX 6000-series uses a trio of fans to draw cool air over the warmth sink, which is then pushed out of the edges of the cards and back to your system. Usually, axial-style fans can spin at slower speeds (and are thus quieter) because there are more of them, and none of them got to force air down the whole length of a card.

Because AMD switched to an axial cooling design, there’s no need for exhaust ports on either end of the graphics cards anymore. Here, you’ll also see AMD’s display connectivity. There’s one HDMI 2.1 connection capable of AV1 decoding, a bit like Nvidia’s new GPUs, joined by a pair of DisplayPort 1.4 connections with Display Stream Compression support enabled, after the technology made its consumer graphics debut within the Radeon RX 5000-series. There’s also one USB-C connector which will hopefully be used with VR headsets or as another DisplayPort video output.

The pair could also be an equivalent length, but they’re not an equivalent thickness. The Radeon RX 6800 sticks to a 2-slot design that ought to slip easily into most systems, but the Radeon RX 6800 XT expands that to 2.5 slots, hopping on the trend popularized by recent enthusiast-class cards. the larger the cooler, the higher the cooling and high-end cards like these aren’t easy to tame. you’ll see the difference in these pictures.

AMD's card Radeon RX 6800 and 6800 XT

There are subtle design differences between the 2 cards, too. As you’ll see within the image above, the “Radeon” logo is red on the RX 6800, but silver on the RX 6800 XT. (Both glow with identical red LEDs when slotted into your system, however.) The shroud design of the 2 cards also appears slightly different, with the pricier card sporting thicker silver accents on the front.

Finally, i assume we should always do an actual unboxing, eh? Here are the boxes:

Opening the Radeon RX 6800’s box reveals a reasonably slip with a summary of the card’s capabilities. Once you pull that out, the cardboard itself is securely encased in foam. There’s a basic instruction print-out, but remarkably little else. Nvidia’s Founders Edition GPUs include the 12-pin adapter and a thicker, more detailed guidebook. I prefer AMD’s approach.

The Radeon RX 6800 XT’s packaging may be a bit more detailed. instead of being an easy slip-out box, the 6800 XT’s top exposes and divulges a pleasant message from AMD welcoming you to Team Red.

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Well, that’s about it for the unboxing. Can AMD’s Radeon RX 6000-series GPUs achieve dethroning Nvidia, ending a year-long era of GeForce dominance within the enthusiast space? is that the new cooler design more successful than yesteryear’s blowers? Stay tuned for our full review to seek out—though it’s hard to imagine the new coolers being worse than Vega 64’s Banshee-like screaming.

The $579 Radeon RX 6800 and $649 Radeon RX 6800 XT launch November 18. In the meantime, here’s what you would like to understand about AMD’s Radeon RX 6000-series GPUs.

the performance of AMD’s cards makes NVIDIA’s pricing appear as if a joke. The $699 RX 6800 XT from AMD, for instance, beats out NVIDIA’s new $1,499 RTX 3090 within the right conditions. NVIDIA is now rumored to be prepping a replacement $999 graphics card, the RTX 3080 Ti, to raised compete against AMD.

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There’s a crucial caveat to AMD’s benchmarks: the corporate is employing a technology called Smart Access Memory, which AMD claims provides up to 11% extra performance. The feature is merely available on systems with an AMD Ryzen 5000 processor, an RX 6000 graphics card, and an AMD 500 series motherboard.

What this suggests is that the performance of AMD’s new graphics cards will likely come short of the company’s benchmarks on systems that do not meet those requirements. For owners of Intel-based systems, AMD’s RX 6000 graphics cards might not be the clear winner.