I’m holding AMD’s new graphics card in my hand, getting ready to take some photos of it. I’ve spent the last few days using it on my test bench to play Call of Duty: Cold War multiplayer in crisp 1440p with maxed-out visuals (“St. Patrick’s Stockpile” is my current jam, and I’m killyourfm#1175 if you want to get connected on Blizzard).
Certainly, this card exists in my slice of reality. But I’ll allow for the possibility that it could be a strictly hypothetical hardware launch in your reality. And that makes this beautiful offering from the Red Team nearly impossible to properly review.
Especially in a world dominated by “Performance Per Dollar” charts, which are now meaningless for pretty much every midrange to high-end GPU that’s launched since 2017! Especially in a world where we both know that you won’t pay anything close to AMD’s suggested price of $479, despite AMD’s best efforts.
Gamers vs Scalpers vs Miners
We’ve been conditioned to treat the prospect of buying new hardware almost like it’s a war. Gamers vs miners. Gamers vs scalpers. Gamers vs gamers.
We expect cryptocurrency miners to snatch them up by the crate, and for greedy scalpers to buy them resell them for up to triple the MSRP. We’ve been trained to jump at the chance to buy overpriced GPUs and consoles because hey, who knows if that one unit in stock will ever be available again!?
It will be gone within 5 seconds. Mouse finger feeling itchy yet?
This post-pandemic consumer hardware mindset makes it difficult to discuss any sort of value proposition and conclude how it competes against Nvidia’s stack. Maybe that discussion will become valid by the end of the year? Maybe it never will, at this point.
I can tell you that once again, just as it did with the RX 6800 XT, AMD has hit a home run with its reference design. The build quality is outstanding, the cooling solution rivals what many of AMD’s board partners will put forward, it’s quiet and it’s pleasing as hell to look at sitting in your rig.
I’ll take it a step further and say it’s a point of pride. AMD tells me they will continue to sell the “reference design” of the RX 6700 XT via AMD.com for the foreseeable future, and that’s a wise decision.
12GB of VRAM was the right decision…