Home » Reviews » Best RX 6950 XT graphics card 2022

Best RX 6950 XT graphics card 2022

A new GPU a range of options to choose from

Updated: Nov 22, 2022 3:45 pm
Best RX 6950 XT

AMD has a new range of refreshed graphics cards, with the RX 6X50 XT range, and now we take a look at the best RX 6950 XT. Taking over as the lead of the pack, it offers great performance. It pitches itself up vs RTX 3090 aiming for the full selection.

Bringing an upgrade to its predecessor, with an improved Navi 21 KXTX GPU variant. Slightly different from the XTX in the 6900 XT. The upgrade only brings faster core and memory frequencies. With the cost of higher energy consumption with a larger TBP. This also gives rise to some water-cooled solutions like seen in the RTX 3090 Ti.

This upgrade also brings a price increase alongside it, with an MSRP of $1,099. Where the RX 6900 XT has an MSRP of $999, but not as high as the RTX 3090 reaching $1,499. Giving AMD the edge in price and quite potentially the performance alongside it.

Our Top Picks

01
Best overall RX 6950 XT
ROG Strix LC Radeon RX 6950 XT OC
ROG Strix LC Radeon RX 6950 XT OC
02
Best air cooled RX 6950 XT
MSI Radeon RX 6950 XT GAMING X TRIO
MSI Radeon RX 6950 XT GAMING X TRIO
03
Best water cooled RX 6950 XT
Sapphire AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT TOXIC
SAPPHIRE Toxic Radeon RX 6950 XT

How do we choose the best RX 6950 XT?

As usual, there are multiple factors affecting the choice of the few cards in the final selection. Reading reviews, results, and our own testing we can get an idea of what to recommend. Combining our expert knowledge of previous installments from brands and how well they work.

Since AIB models are based upon the same reference card, there are not a lot of changes between options. The main differences you may find are between the cooling solutions, clock frequency, and the price.

Although the MSRP is dictated by the main creator Nvidia it doesn’t have to stay the same. As the extras on top can hitch up the price. So we make sure you get the best for your money and actually have the features you need.

Reference AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT angled2

How do we test?

With the products in hand, we can make sure they perform as they should. With several stress tests, we can check the performance of the coolers to make sure they keep the die under thermal wraps to keep up the performance. Whilst performance tests can check they are on par or improved with what we’d expect.

Additionally, it allows us to feel the quality and build of the product itself. This lets us test if it lives up to the price they ask for. Along with making sure it lasts a long time to keep up the performance over time.

Combining all of this gives us a good idea of what to recommend. Choosing only the top options that are the best for your money. Or finding the specific model that offers something more specific like software integration or RGB design.

Best RX 6950 XT buying guide

With so many varieties of options, it may be difficult to pick just one option. With many different companies offering a range of choices it may be difficult to pick out just one. So to help there are a number of things to decide upon between the different models.

Cooling

One of the bigger factors for more powerful, cards with larger TBPs is the cooling. As to keep the integrity of the GPU die and prolong its life the card will throttle if it reaches a dangerous temperature. Resulting in lower performance which you shouldn’t be losing out on with the cost of the card.

Therefore, you want to make sure the cooling on the card is sufficient. If you don’t need anything fancy and want simplicity air cooling is sufficient. However, with increased board power it may end up a thicker card for a bigger heatsink to keep it under wraps.

So sometimes there is the choice of water cooling, which will decrease the size of the GPU but does add a radiator. You can be certain it will keep it cool with an AIO if you have the space for it. But it may also come at an extra cost.

Size

Another difference you can find that may be important to you is the physical size of the graphics card. Most of it will depend on the cooling solution provided on the product. So it will come down to what kind of build you are creating. If you have an ITX or limited space case you may not be able to fit every size.

For higher TBPs you’ll have larger air cooling solutions to accommodate it. So there is the option of water cooling. Each of which has its advantages and disadvantages. It comes down to where you have the extra space for cooling, underneath or elsewhere.

Budget

A big deciding factor is the cost of the graphics card. It is the part that can go for the biggest range of prices and it’s down to how much performance you need. Between one model there can be a bit of difference in price. As AIBs have differences to ask for a bigger price.

The RX 6950 XT has an MSRP of $1,099 but there can be choices that have a higher asking price. Delivering different overclocked performances and cooling solutions can do that. But if you don’t need the premium there will be a selection for you too.

Reference AMD Radeon RX 6950 XTangled

RX 6950 XT specifications

Overall, there isn’t much change from the RX 6900 XT. No core changes just improved speeds for the memory and cores. Although coming at the cost of total board power. Altogether pushing the card in the 4k range and up against its Nvidia counterpart.

It comes with a Navi 21 KXTX GPU variant on the RDNA 2.0 architecture. Which is still based on TSMCs 7nm process, creating a die 520mm² in size. And nests 26.8 billion transistors inside of it.

The core composition of the GPU is made up of 5,120 stream processors, 320 TMUs, 128 ROPs, and 80 ray accelerators. Supported by 128 MB of infinite cache. The core frequency of the reference card is set to a 1,925 MHz base clock. And a 2,116 MHz game clock and 2,324 boost clock.

VRAM of the GPU is 16GB of GDDR6 connected to a 256-bit memory bus. Which clocked at 18 Gbps creates a total bandwidth for the memory at 576 GB/s. Speeding up the clock from its predecessor by 2 Gbps.

The faster speeds do also increase the total board power over the RX 6900 XT. With a 35W increase up to 335W. Upping the power consumption and heat output.

Understanding the specifications

Seeing all the terms sprawled out on the boxes or descriptions it can be confusing to know what it is. So there are some terms we go through to clear up their definitions.

  • Frequency – Also known as the clock rate/speed it is how fast the silicon crystal of the die can switch. This determines how quickly the instructions and graphics can be processed. Although not the sole reason for performance it can be overclocked for a few extra frames. AMD GPUs list three different frequencies:
      • Base – this is the speed when the graphics card is not working hard on rendering much. It keeps the temperatures down and saves energy without needing to stress hard.
      • Game – For a prolonged period of heavy usage the GPU will run at a game clock. This allows for performance over time without overheating whilst giving the best framerate.
      • Boost – This is the maximum frequency the GPU can reach. Although it’s unlikely to stay like that for long periods of time due to running hotter. But it does provide quick spurts of speed and performance.
  • VRAM – the video random access memory allows for frame buffering and texture storage. Reducing delays between the frames showing up. As well as giving larger pixel counts in big resolutions to improve their performance.
  • TBP – total board power is the maximum amount of energy the graphics card will consume. This is only at the highest utilization and when used will be transformed to heat energy. So an increased amount will require better cooling to keep it performing.

Reference AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT front

The Best RX 6950 XT

01
ROG Strix LC Radeon RX 6950 XT OC
ROG Strix LC Radeon RX 6950 XT OC
02
MSI Radeon RX 6950 XT GAMING X TRIO
MSI Radeon RX 6950 XT GAMING X TRIO

In-depth Review

01
Best overall RX 6950 XT
ROG Strix LC Radeon RX 6950 XT OC
ROG Strix LC Radeon RX 6950 XT OC
Core Clock Speed 1925 MHz base, 2343 game, 2565 boost
Stream Processors 5,120
Memory Size 16GB GDDR6
Dimensions Card: 277 x 131 x 44 mm, Rad: 276 x 120 x 52 mm
PSU Required 1000W
PROS
  • Excellent cooling
  • Top performance
  • Best overclocking capabilities
CONS
  • Radiator harder to fit
  • More expensive option

For the best RX 6950 XT, there is no better choice than the ROG Strix. It brings unhindered top performance with plenty of overhead on top of it. As well as having a modern sleek design with personalizable RGB features to get it to fit well into your build.

For the higher TBP of the card, the Strix utilizes an all-in-one cooling solution. It utilizes a full coverage cold plate for both the die and memory, so there is no bottleneck in the card that may hinder the performance. As well as a blower in the card structure so everything else also gets cooled that might not be covered by the water. It then utilizes a 240mm radiator to dissipate that heat. With two ARGB fans optimized for static pressure, it makes sure to keep that die nice and cool.

Coming in overclocked at the top of the range you won’t be losing out on any performance. It offers the top range that combined with the cooling can keep going at that speed. It comes with an 11% increase in the game clock up to 2,343 MHz. As well as a 10% increase in the boost clock to 2,565 MHz. Providing the top range of the selection and not holding anything back with extra overhead available on the top.

02
Best air cooled RX 6950 XT
MSI Radeon RX 6950 XT GAMING X TRIO
MSI Radeon RX 6950 XT GAMING X TRIO
Core Clock Speed 1,925MHz base, 2,454MHz boost, 2,244 game
Stream Processors 5,120
Memory Size 16GB GDDR6
Dimensions 325 x 140 x 55 mm
PSU Required 850W
PROS
  • Good overclock
  • Great cooling
CONS
  • More expensive
  • Bulky

The MSI Gaming X Trio offers the best performance for an air-cooled RX 6950 XT. Although not as powerful as some of the water-cooled options it does still offer an improvement over the baseline. Although it does require a bigger solution that may be a harder fit.

For the cooling solution, MSI has used Tri Frozr 2 design. It has three Torx 4.0 fans that alternately combined blades focusing the air into the heatsink. Which is a dual-slot combined with multiple heat pipes to spread the heat along with the whole heatsink.

It has improved the game clock of the card by 6% up to 2,244 MHz. The boost clock was also up 6% to 2,454 MHz but without changing the base clock from 1,925 MHz. Give it a leg up on the base cards but not push it to the limits.

It does also feature some RGB personalization and splashes of color across the card. But otherwise a rather simple and sharp design with black and silver.

03
Best water cooled RX 6950 XT
SAPPHIRE Toxic Radeon RX 6950 XT
Sapphire AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT TOXIC
Core Clock Speed 1,925MHz base, 2,532MHz boost, 2,310MHz game
Stream Processors 5,120
Memory Size 16GB GDDR6
Dimensions Card: 270 x 130 x 45 mm, Rad: 394 x 120 x 52.5 mm
PSU Required 850W
PROS
  • Great cooling
  • Potential for further overclocking
CONS
  • More expensive option
  • 360mm radiator may be hard to fit into build

Providing the biggest cooling solution is the Toxic RX 6950 XT. With a large radiator for the built-in water cooling solution, it gives great performance and longevity. It stands out from the crowd with its more unique design in a sea of black with more grey and RGB. Along with translucent fans to bring something different and spread the color.

With the water cooling the card is kept down to two slots. With a good backplate and water block, it can efficiently transfer heat out and into the radiator. Along with a blower fan on the card itself to help out with the smaller parts. The coolant gets transferred to a triple-slot cooler for the biggest thermal capacity. Along with three fans to effectively remove the heat away.

In terms of frequencies, the card improves upon the game clock by 9%, boosting it to 2,310 MHz. Whilst the boost clock also goes up 9% to 2,532 MHz. Nearing the top of the charts with the performance in the selection of RX 6950 XT.

04
Best vaue RX 6950 XT
PowerColor Red Devil RX 6950 XT
PowerColor Red Devil RX 6950 XT
Core Clock Speed 1925 MHz base, 2116 MHz game, 2324 MHz boost
Stream Processors 5,120
Memory Size 16GB GDDR6
Dimensions 320 x 135 x 62 mm
PSU Required 950W
PROS
  • Cheaper option
CONS
  • Lower quality build
  • Lacking performance

Although the card may not look too much it can still get the work done. With a large heatsink and striking design. With featurettes of RGB lighting, it does have some features that stand out. Along with a large cooler to keep the higher TBP under wraps.

The cooling system has a large copper base plate for good transfer of heat from both die and VRAM. With a dual-slot heatsink that is also long for bigger thermal capacity. But also three fans to best remove the heat from the metal.

Without any overclocking, with a base clock of 1,925 MHz. Whilst the game clock is set to 2,116 MHz and the boost clock at 2,324 MHz. Which is still plenty sufficient for 4k that the card aims for. Even though it falls behind the other choices it should cost you less than them.

Best RX 6950 XT frequently asked questions

Is the RX 6950 XT worth it?

The RX 6950 XT is the top end from AMD Radeon and the best performing card from it. So it is worth it if you’re happy with Team Red. But there are still some Nvidia cards that will perform better but maybe not for a better cost.

When did the RX 6950 XT come out?

The AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT came out on the 10th of May 2022. As part of the 6X50 XT refresh, it is now the lead GPU for the manufacturer.

What is the maximum memory on RX 6950 XT?

The Radeon RX 6950 XT can have a maximum of 16GB of GDDR6 memory. Clocked at 18 Gbps across a 256-bit memory bus it produces a bandwidth of 576 GB/s.

Final Word

Overall, we have the best RX 6950 XT range. With options for air-cooled, water-cooled, or budget you’ll be sure to find the right one for you. With the new flagship from AMD, you’ll be getting the most out of this generation and be on top. But that may change with the new generation of GPUs coming in Q2 of 2022 with the RTX 40 and RX 7000 series.

WePC is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more


Trusted Source

WePC’s mission is to be the most trusted site in tech. Our editorial content is 100% independent and we put every product we review through a rigorous testing process before telling you exactly what we think. We won’t recommend anything we wouldn’t use ourselves. Read more