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Radeon RX 6900XT or GeForce RTX 3090 for testing with Intel’s new CPUs? An analysis and preview

Tomorrow afternoon I will finally publish a review of Intel’s latest CPU generation. However, the question of which high-end GPU I should use for the tests for the launch article arose beforehand. Since I wanted to test all four resolutions, i.e. from Ultra-HD down to 720p, I had to consider if and where a possible driver overhead could occur with the NVIDIA card. In addition, the 11. I was curious to see how good the performance would be on the Z590 board Resizeable BAR.

Now I was spoilt for choice. Since I assume that most of my colleagues will be testing with a GeForce RTX 3090, I grabbed exactly that card in the form of an MSI RTX 3090 SUPRIM and a factory overclocked MSI RX 6900XT Gaming X Trio right after it. In the end there wasn’t much time left to whip through umpteen games, but I’ll write something about that tomorrow. Also on the circumstances that do not make the result seem better. But everything in its own time and if it is allowed.

Which card scales better to 720p?

Since CPU tests don’t primarily focus on graphics features like DLSS and RTX, but CPU limits always play a role at very low resolutions, you really have to carefully consider which game and which hardware allow for the most objective results. To get a first overview, I first tested both cards on a Ryzen 9 5900X in 4 games and compared the scaling between 1440p (each as 100% output) over 1080p down to 720p. In the process, each card first competes for and against itself. First of all, the Radeon RX 6900XT and for the sake of fairness I measure without Resizeable BAR:

I have now done the same with the GeForce RTX 3090. Even though the increase is slightly higher in Borderlands 3, the actual FPS values are significantly lower in a direct comparison. In the other 3 games, the performance is also a bit higher at the lower resolutions, so I was already leaning towards the Radeon here.

“Driver Overhead”
There were also some games such as CoD MW, Horizon Zero Dawn, or Apex Legends that showed some anomalies with increasing CPU limit on the GeForce RTX 3090 and scaled significantly worse as the resolution dropped on that one card. In some cases, this even led to the 6-cores to be tested suddenly producing significantly worse results than in other games or with the Radeon RX 6900XT in the same game suddenly dropping sharply compared to the 8-cores. In addition, in some situations of such limitations, the results unexpectedly shifted towards Intel, as the test platform obviously coped better with the GeForce and its slowing drivers.

Comparison in 720p with and without Resizeable BAR

Now I’m comparing the Ryzen 7 5800X to the new Intel Core i7-11700K, both 8-cores with a similar target audience. And this time I’m setting the performance of the GeForce RTX 3090 in 720p as a 100% baseline and using it to compare the performance the RX 6900XT with and without Resizeable BAR. First, I start the test with the Ryzen 7 5800X. Except for the old DX11 title Far Cry New Dawn, where the cards are already limited by the CPU in Ultra HD, we see a nice increase in two games with large address space enabled.

Where it runs well on the Ryzen, the comparable Intel CPU also manages it to a comparable degree, which proves to us that Intel has definitely done its homework and implemented it well. And we can also see nicely here that, for example, in Shadow of the Tomb Raider Resizeable BAR is capable of even turning the Radeon’s lag into a small lead when the feature is enabled.

Radeon instead of G
eForce As long as NVIDIA doesn’t offer a real alternative for all RTX 3xxx cards in the form of a new BIOS, I will probably use the Radeon RX 6900XT for the time being, because the card comes a bit closer to the requirements than the GeForce.


By the way, if you are wondering why I used percentages and not FPS in the four charts, besides the better comparability, please refer to the launch article, which then also contains the CPUs that were not yet available for purchase in stores.

The exact test system and methodology will of course be in the launch article and it will also be fair on memory, within my intentions of course. And no, I definitely won’t test by specs, because that’s how customers rarely use their newly acquired tech. Since I know that there are colleagues who adhere exactly to the package inserts, I then do something else with a clear conscience. And yes, it’s also kind of about an imaginary crown, but in the end no one needs it. Let me surprise you.


Lade neue Kommentare



1 Kommentare 0 Likes

I'm sorry that I only speak english, but I love your articles and wanted to point out that Resizable BAR as a factor in consideration shouldn't be prematurely denied on RTX 3090...

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Klicke zum Ausklappem


1,514 Kommentare 547 Likes

I'm sure it will be tested once available. doesn't solve nvidia's driver overhead problems though.

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930 Kommentare 705 Likes

The test ought to be rather interesting. Beside that none of the above named cards are available at reasonable prizes at the moment. The question is whether resizable bar is really relevant - at least in higher resolutions thus performance increase differs from game to game between some 15 percent down to nothing.

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About the author

Igor Wallossek

Editor-in-chief and name-giver of igor'sLAB as the content successor of Tom's Hardware Germany, whose license was returned in June 2019 in order to better meet the qualitative demands of web content and challenges of new media such as YouTube with its own channel.

Computer nerd since 1983, audio freak since 1979 and pretty much open to anything with a plug or battery for over 50 years.

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