Test Configuration and Overclocking
Test Configuration – Hardware
- Intel Core i9-10900K (HyperThreading/Turbo boost On; All cores overclocked to 5.1GHz/5.0Ghz. Comet Lake DX11 CPU graphics)
- EVGA Z490 FTW motherboard (Intel Z490 chipset, v1.9 BIOS, PCIe 3.0/3.1/3.2 specification, CrossFire/SLI 8x+8x), supplied by EVGA
- T-FORCE DARK Z 32GB DDR4 (2x16GB, dual channel at 3600MHz), supplied by Team Group
- Red Devil RX 6700 XT 12GB, factory settings and overclocked, on loan from PowerColor
- Radeon RX 6700 XT 12GB, reference version stock clocks and overclocked, on loan from AMD
- Radeon RX 6800 Reference version 16GB, stock settings, on loan from AMD
- Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB Anniversary Edition, stock AE clocks.
- EVGA RTX 3060 Black 12GB, stock clocks, on loan from NVIDIA
- RTX 3070 Founders Edition 8GB, stock clocks, on loan from NVIDIA/EVGA
- RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition 8GB, stock clocks, on loan from NVIDIA/EVGA
- RTX 2060 Founders Edition 6GB, stock clocks, on loan from NVIDIA
- EVGA GTX 1060 SC 6GB, factory SC clocks, on loan from EVGA
- 2 x 1TB Team Group MP33 NVMe2 PCIe SSD for C: drive; one for AMD and one for NVIDIA
- 1.92TB San Disk enterprise class SATA III SSD (storage)
- 2TB Micron 1100 SATA III SSD (storage)
- 1TB Team Group GX2 SATA III SSD (storage)
- 500GB T-FORCE Vulcan SSD (storage), supplied by Team Group
- ANTEC HCG1000 Extreme, 1000W gold power supply unit
- Samsung G7 Odyssey (LC27G75TQSNXZA) 27″ 2560×1440/240Hz/1ms/G-SYNC/HDR600 monitor
- DEEPCOOL Castle 360EX AIO 360mm liquid CPU cooler
- Phanteks Eclipse P400 ATX mid-tower (plus 1 Noctua 140mm fan) – All benchmarking and overclocking performed with the case closed
Test Configuration – Software
- GeForce 461.72 for the RTX 3070; and GeForce 461.64 drivers for the RTX 3060 and RTX 3060 Ti. GeForce 461.40 drivers are used for the older two GeForce cards.
- Adrenalin 2021 Edition 20.50.11 press drivers used for the RX 6800, the RX 6700 XT reference and Red Devil editions, and 21.2.3 used for the RX 5700 XT Anniversary Edition (AE).
- High Quality, prefer maximum performance, single display, set in the NVIDIA control panel; Vsync off.
- All optimizations are off, Vsync is forced off, Texture filtering is set to High, and Tessellation uses application settings in the AMD control panel.
- AA enabled as noted in games; all in-game settings are specified with 16xAF always applied
- Highest quality sound (stereo) used in all games
- All games have been patched to their latest versions
- Gaming results show average frame rates in bold including minimum frame rates shown on the chart next to the averages in a smaller italics font where higher is better. Games benched with OCAT show average framerates but the minimums are expressed by frametimes (99th-percentile) in ms where lower numbers are better.
- Windows 10 64-bit Pro edition; latest updates v10.0.1942. DX11 titles are run under the DX11 render path. DX12 titles are generally run under DX12, and multiple games use the Vulkan API.
- Latest DirectX
- DOOM Eternal
- Red Dead Redemption 2
- Ghost Recon: Breakpoint
- Wolfenstein Youngblood
- World War Z
- Strange Brigade
- Rainbow 6 Siege
- Hitman 3
- Cyberpunk 2077
- DiRT 5
- Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War
- Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
- Watch Dogs: Legion
- Horizon Zero Dawn
- Death Stranding
- F1 2020
- Gears 5
- Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
- Metro Exodus
- Civilization VI – Gathering Storm Expansion
- Battlefield V
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- Project CARS 2
- Forza 7
- Crysis Remastered
- Mech Warriors 5: Mercenaries
- Destiny 2 Shadowkeep
- Borderlands 3
- Total War: Three Kingdoms
- Far Cry New Dawn
- Assetto Corsa: Competitione
- Monster Hunter: World
- Grand Theft Auto V
- TimeSpy (DX12)
- 3DMark FireStrike – Ultra & Extreme
- Heaven 4.0 benchmark
- AIDA64 GPGPU benchmarks
- Blender 2.912 benchmark
- Sandra 2020/2021 GPGPU Benchmarks
- SPECviewperf 2020
NVIDIA Control Panel settings
Next the AMD settings.
AMD Adrenalin Control Center Settings
All AMD settings are set so that all optimizations are off, Vsync is forced off, Texture filtering is set to High, and Tessellation uses application settings. All Navi cards are capable of high Tessellation unlike earlier generations of Radeons.
Anisotropic Filtering is disabled by default but we always use 16X for all game benchmarks.
Let’s check out overclocking, temperatures and noise next.
Overclocking, temperatures and noise
Above is the reference RX 6700 XT Wattman default settings which include the power limit set to default. For the reference card, the performance didn’t matter whether it was set to default or higher and in fact, setting a higher power limit than 5% at our sample’s maximum overclock made it unstable. However, we needed 5% to stabilize the maximum overclock. Reference clocks generally runs from 2544MHz to 2571MHz at stock settings which is right around AMD’s maximum Boost of “up to 2581MHz”.
The Reference RX 6700 XT runs rather warm at stock and the fan speed hovers around 2000rpm to keep the temperatures below 74C and the junction temperatures under 90C under Heaven 4.0’s full load. At 2000rpm the reference RX 6700 XT can barely be heard over our other case fans.
Next we used trial and error to find the maximum performance at the edge of stability by maxing out the memory (107%) and increasing the clocks by 8% as below.
At the very edge of stability, the clocks run from 2748MHz to a peak of 2766MHz, but this time the temperatures rise above 75C with junction temperatures above 90C, and it begins to throttle performance because the fan speed is still low as set by the automatic profile.
The Red Devil RX 6700 XT’s clocks are specified to boost “up to 2622MHz” and our sample can run from 2588MHz to 2596MHz under full load, at default. The Red Devil’s temperatures stay low in the mid-60sC with a junction temperature below 85C with the three fans quietly running under 1100rpm even using the OC BIOS. It is quieter than the reference version. So let’s overclock it to the max.
At max overclock, we are still limited to a 7% memory overclock, but we overclocked the core to 9% bringing our clocks to 2790MHz-2800MHz or almost 35MHz higher than the reference core. Now the Red Devil’s three fans speed up peaking below 1790rpm which is still quieter than the dual fans of the reference version running above 2000rpm. At its maximum overclock, the Red Devil remains below 55C and the junction temperature never rises above 75C – so it doesn’t throttle like the reference version and it remains very quiet.
There is a small performance increase from overclocking the RX 6700 XT core by 8% to 9% and increasing the memory by 7%. Unfortunately, AMD has evidently locked all RX 6700 XT cards overclocking down in an attempt to maximize overall performance by limiting the voltage to 1200mV. We would also suggest that the RX 6700 XT is rather voltage constrained and the Red Devil could seriously benefit by more voltage – but not necessarily the reference version. We suspect that many enthusiast gamers will use MPT (More Power Tool) and risk their warranty to gain a substantially higher Red Devil overclock although we cannot recommend it.
We believe that the Red Devil’s overclock will not degrade over time as its PCB components are fit to run all the time at the highest overclock settings – perhaps unlike the reference version, which although it is well-built, it is not over-engineered for ultimate maximum reliability.
Of course, many gamers will want to fine-tune their own overclock and undervolting is a possibility. We have found that Red Devils are generally power-hungry and as the voltage limits are increased using MPT, the Power Limit usually has to increase also. Check the overclocking chart in the next section for performance increases in gaming for both the reference version and the Red Devil RX 6700 XT.
Let’s head to the performance charts to see how the performance of the RX 6700 XTs at reference and at Red Devil clocks compare with 8 other cards.