Computing

RX 6700 XT vs. RTX 3070: A Battle for 1440p Performance Supremacy

AMD’s highly anticipated RX 6700 XT aims to challenge Nvidia’s RTX 3070 for the title of the best performer in the 1440p gaming realm. With a price tag of around $500, the RX 6700 XT offers features like ray tracing, variable-rate shading, and Radeon Boost that are typically found in more expensive models like the RX 6800 and 6900. But can this new contender truly compete with the mighty RTX 3070?

Pricing and Availability

RX 6700 XT vs. RTX 3070
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The RX 6700 XT was unveiled during AMD’s Where Gaming Begins event on March 3 and is set to launch on March 18 with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $479. AMD will release both first-party and board partner cards on the same day.

In contrast, the RTX 3070 was released on October 28, 2020, with a price tag of $499. Board partner cards also hit the market concurrently, priced $50 to $100 higher than Nvidia’s own offering.

However, due to the current state of the GPU market, prices are volatile and availability is extremely limited. The demand from gamers, miners, and scalpers has caused shortages that have driven up prices. Tariffs in the U.S. have further exacerbated the issue, resulting in retail prices far exceeding the original launch prices.

At present, the RTX 3070 can be found for around $750, with secondhand prices reaching as high as $1,500. It is important to note that we do not encourage supporting price gouging. Finding a 3070 at or near the original price of $500 is unlikely for the next few months, if at all.

While the RX 6700 XT has yet to be released, it is expected to face similar pricing and availability challenges. The RX 6800, originally priced at $579, now retails for around $850, with secondhand prices soaring to $1,200. However, AMD plans to release the 6700 XT in batches in an effort to make it more accessible to gamers.

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Comparing the prices of the RX 6700 XT and the RTX 3070 is difficult due to the fluctuating market conditions. While AMD’s card may technically be cheaper, actual prices can be much higher, and availability is a significant factor to consider.

Specs and Performance

When comparing AMD and Nvidia graphics cards, it’s important to note that the specifications can vary significantly. For instance, the RTX 3070 boasts more than twice the number of GPU cores compared to the RX 6700 XT. However, these differences are not necessarily indicative of superior performance since the cards are built on different GPU architectures.

There are a few specs that can be directly compared, such as memory capacity and memory bus width. The RX 6700 XT provides 12GB of memory, while the RTX 3070 offers 8GB. However, the 3070 has a wider memory bus, allowing for faster data transfer between the processor and memory. It’s worth noting that a limited memory bus, as seen with the RTX 3060, can impact performance, even with more memory. To compensate for this, the 6700 XT utilizes Infinity Cache, which significantly improves memory operation speed.

In terms of real-world performance, the RTX 3070 surpasses the previous-generation Turing cards. It outperforms the 2080 Super in most benchmarks and matches the $1,200 2080 Ti, even with ray tracing enabled. Nvidia remains the leader in ray tracing performance, an important consideration for those interested in playing the latest AAA games.

While third-party benchmarks are not yet available for the RX 6700 XT, AMD’s internal benchmarks show promising results. At 1440p with maximum settings, the 6700 XT outperforms last-gen’s RTX 2080 Super in games like Borderlands 3, Cyberpunk 2077, and Dirt 5. AMD also highlights the card’s 12GB of GDDR6 memory, which offers an advantage in games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Horizon Zero Dawn that utilize more than the typical 8GB to 10GB found in most GPUs.

An intriguing comparison made by AMD is against the RTX 3060 Ti and 3070. The RX 6700 XT maintains a lead over the RTX 3070 at 1440p with maximum settings in games like Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War and Hitman 3. However, it struggles in other titles, with the RTX 3070 outperforming it in Cyberpunk 2077, and even the RTX 3060 Ti delivering better performance in Watch Dogs Legion.

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RX 6700 XT vs. RTX 3070 Performance Comparison
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Many questions remain unanswered. AMD’s benchmarks do not mention ray tracing, leaving us to assume that they were conducted without it. As seen with other RDNA 2 cards, Nvidia continues to dominate in ray tracing performance. Third-party benchmarks are crucial, but with the current GPU demand, buyers must make quick decisions. The RTX 3070 and RX 6700 XT are expected to perform similarly, with certain titles favoring one GPU over the other. Ray tracing performance is likely to be the differentiating factor, and based on current information, Nvidia holds the advantage.

Features

RX 6700 XT vs. RTX 3070 Features Comparison
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The most notable differences between the 6700 XT and 3070 lie in their features. The 6700 XT introduces Smart Access Memory (SAM), which allows a Ryzen 5000 processor direct access to the GPU’s memory, enhancing gaming performance. Previously, SAM required a 6000-series GPU and a Ryzen 5000 processor, but now it is also available with the launch of the 6700 XT on Ryzen 3000 processors.

The 3070 boasts a similar feature called Resizable BAR, which enables the CPU to access the GPU’s memory via the PCIe 4.0 interface. However, Nvidia’s implementation supports both AMD and Intel processors. As of March 2021, Resizable BAR is compatible with Ryzen 5000, Intel 10th-gen, and Intel 11th-gen processors.

Nvidia’s offering also includes hardware-accelerated Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS), which is a crucial feature for playing modern AAA games at maximum settings with ray tracing enabled. DLSS utilizes AI-driven image reconstruction to render games at a lower internal resolution before upscaling them to match your display’s native resolution. The results are remarkable, with DLSS often indistinguishable from native resolution in supported games. Simply enabling DLSS can boost performance by 50% or more, giving Nvidia a significant performance advantage, especially in games with ray tracing.

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On the other hand, AMD’s Fidelity FX provides adaptive sharpening to enhance image quality. While AMD’s long-promised Super Resolution feature is not yet available, it aims to achieve similar results to DLSS in the future.

No Clear Winner

RX 6700 XT vs. RTX 3070 - No Clear Winner
Image used with permission by copyright holder.

The RX 6700 XT is a unique graphics card. While its limited memory bus may present some challenges, its impressive clock speeds and ample video memory might compensate for any potential shortcomings. However, it is crucial to wait for third-party benchmarks to confirm its performance.

Nvidia continues to lead the market not only because of its GPUs but also due to the bundled features. The combination of ray tracing and DLSS is a winning formula, and Nvidia continues to refine and support these technologies. AMD is relatively new to ray tracing, and results from other RDNA 2 cards indicate that it still has some catching up to do.

Availability is a critical consideration. The RTX 3070 has been consistently out of stock since launch, with restocks selling out within minutes. AMD promises improved availability for the 6700 XT, following in the footsteps of similar claims made by Nvidia in recent months. If you can find an RX 6700 XT for around $500, it is likely a better option than the 3070, which currently retails for around $750. However, availability remains a key factor in the decision-making process.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • The first Starfield-themed GPU is up for sale — amid warnings of scams
  • Half-Life 2 is getting Nvidia’s RTX treatment with DLSS 3
  • Take a look at AMD’s limited-edition, Starfield-themed GPU
  • Nvidia doesn’t want you to know about its controversial new GPU
  • Even Nvidia’s partners don’t believe in the new RTX 4060 Ti

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