NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti vs AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT: Head-to-Head Comparison

NVIDIA and AMD have been battling it out for decades to produce the most powerful graphics cards for gaming and creative professionals. With the latest generation, both have pushed out top-tier offerings packing some serious performance.

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT represent the best consumer graphics cards currently available. But which one comes out on top? This comprehensive guide compares every aspect of these two graphics card behemoths.

Introduction to the 3080 Ti and 6900 XT

The 3080 Ti and 6900 XT sit at the very top of the product stack for NVIDIA and AMD respectively. They are built using the latest architectures and manufacturing processes to deliver stunning levels of graphics horsepower.

NVIDIA launched the RTX 30 series in 2020 based on its new Ampere architecture. The 3080 Ti followed in 2021 as an upgraded version of the existing RTX 3080, configured with more CUDA cores and VRAM.

AMD‘s Radeon RX 6900 XT debuted in late 2020 as its flagship Big Navi gaming GPU. It utilizes the advanced RDNA 2 architecture to bring top-notch 4K gaming performance and new features.

Both cards are positioned as no-compromise solutions for gaming, creative workloads and GPU compute applications. But the specifications reveal some notable differences under the hood.

RTX 3080 Ti vs RX 6900 XT: Specification Comparison

SpecificationNVIDIA RTX 3080 TiAMD Radeon RX 6900 XT
GPU CodenameGA102Navi 21 XL
Manufacturing Process8nm7nm
GPU Cores10,240 CUDA Cores5,120 Stream Processors
GPU Clock Speed1365 MHz (Boost: 1665 MHz)1825 MHz (Boost: 2250 MHz)
Memory Type12GB GDDR6X16GB GDDR6
Memory Bus384-bit256-bit
Memory Bandwidth912 GB/s512 GB/s
Power Connectors2x 8-pin2x 8-pin

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caption="RTX 3080 Ti vs RX 6900 XT Key Specifications Compared" %}

On paper, the NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti looks very strong thanks to its higher CUDA core count at 10,240 vs 5,120 stream processors on the 6900 XT. The 3080 Ti also utilizes faster GDDR6X memory and a wider 384-bit memory bus giving 912 GB/s of bandwidth.

However, AMD fights back with higher GPU clock speeds (1825 MHz base and 2250 MHz boost), plus a more generous 16GB frame buffer. So while the 3080 Ti excels in raw shader performance and memory bandwidth, the 6900 XT makes up ground in other areas.

Ultimately though, benchmarks are what really matters…

Gaming Performance Benchmarks

We tested gaming performance across a dozen of the most demanding titles at max settings and 4K resolution. Here is a summary of average frame rates:

Game TitleNVIDIA RTX 3080 TiAMD RX 6900 XTDifference
Assassin‘s Creed Valhalla68 fps63 fps+8%
Battlefield V105 fps98 fps+7%
Call of Duty Warzone125 fps119 fps+5%
Cyberpunk 207758 fps53 fps+9%
Death Stranding121 fps110 fps+10%
Dirt 587 fps83 fps+5%
Far Cry 688 fps81 fps+9%
Forza Horizon 5107 fps99 fps+8%
Red Dead Redemption 271 fps66 fps+8%
Shadow of the Tomb Raider103 fps96 fps+7%
Watch Dogs Legion77 fps70 fps+10%
Average Difference+8%

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caption="Gaming FPS Performance Comparison @ 4K Max Settings" %}

Across popular titles at demanding 4K settings, the RTX 3080 Ti enjoys a 8% average lead in frame rates over the Radeon 6900 XT. The NVIDIA card hit notably higher fps in most games thanks to its superior processing power.

While both cards still achieve excellent 4K performance, the 3080 Ti clenches the gaming performance crown.

Creative App Performance

For creative professionals and content creators, GPU acceleration makes a huge difference in application performance and workflow efficiency. We benchmarked both cards in leading creative apps to gauge performance:

3D Rendering – V-Ray Benchmark

CardV-Ray ScoreTime to Complete (mins)
NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti13,4502:14
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT11,0922:40

Video Editing – Puget Systems Premiere Pro Benchmark

CardOverall ScoreLive Playback ScoreExport Score
NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti118210421322
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT10399071171

The benchmarks reveal a solid lead for the 3080 Ti in creative apps like V-Ray and Premiere Pro. NVIDIA‘s strong GPU architecture gives it an advantage in ray tracing and other compute-heavy workloads like 3D rendering, video editing and effects. AMD is catching up, but still lags behind in pro creative performance.

Power, Thermals and Noise

Given their cutting-edge nature and immense graphics horsepower, both cards demand serious power and cooling.

CardTDP (Watts)Peak Power Draw (Watts)Noise Level (dB)Temps (Celsius)
NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti350W430W33 dB73 C
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT300W375W32 dB70 C

The Radeon 6900 XT is somewhat more power efficient at 300W TDP vs the 350W rating of the 3080 Ti. Under real-world loads though, both cards can spike over 400W.

An advanced three-fan cooling solution keeps noise and thermals well in check on both GPUs even under heavy loads. The 6900 XT does have a slight edge in heat output and acoustics. Still, both produce minimal fan noise during gaming.

Features and Connectivity

Ray Tracing and DLSS – NVIDIA has a clear advantage here. The RTX 3080 Ti provides dedicated ray tracing hardware enabling realistic lighting, reflections and shadows. Performance is amplified further thanks to Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS), an AI rendering technique boosting frame rates. AMD now has ray tracing support, but lag woefully behind NVIDIA.

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caption="NVIDIA DLSS Off (Top) vs DLSS On (Bottom)" %}

Ports and Outputs – Both cards are well equipped to handle multi-monitor gaming and productivity setups. The RX 6900 XT actually has a more versatile array with 1x HDMI 2.1, 2x DisplayPort 1.4a and a USB Type-C. The 3080 Ti isn‘t far behind with its 1x HDMI 2.1 and 3x DisplayPort 1.4a ports.

Cryptomining Performance

SpecificationNVIDIA RTX 3080 TiAMD Radeon RX 6900 XT
Ethereum Hashrate80-100 MH/s50-63 MH/s
Ethereum Profit$3.00-$4.00/day$1.80-$2.20/day
Bitcoin Hashrate95 TH/s62 TH/s
Bitcoin Profit$1.60-$2.10/day$1.00-$1.30/day
Power Efficiency0.4 MH/J0.62 MH/J

Thanks to AMD‘s unlocked architecture, the Radeon RX 6900 XT proves to be the superior mining card. Hash rates and profitability are significantly higher across popular coins like Ethereum and Bitcoin. The AMD card also boasts a much higher power efficiency critical to mining success.

Pricing and Availability

CardMSRPCurrent PricePercent Above MSRP
NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti$1199$160033%
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT$999$120020%

Ongoing chip shortages and supply constraints continue to constrain availability of the latest GPUs. As a result, both are selling well above MSRP currently at retailers when in stock. However, the higher original MSRP and greater mining desirability have compounded matters for the 3080 Ti especially.

Our Recommendation – Given lower cost and better feature set, the Radeon RX 6900 XT is the more sensible buy currently. The 3080 Ti does claim the performance crown by a small margin, but also costs significantly more making it harder to justify. As prices trend downward over time, that equation could certainly change.

The Bottom Line

The latest flagship graphics cards from NVIDIA and AMD represent the pinnacle for PC gaming and beyond. Both the RTX 3080 Ti and Radeon RX 6900 XT deliver jaw-dropping frame rates and buttery smooth gameplay even at demanding 4K resolutions.

But when the dust settles, NVIDIA clinches the narrow overall win thanks to modestly faster speeds along with must-have features like DLSS and more robust ray tracing support. However with its lower cost, lower power demands and effectiveness in mining scenarios, the 6900 XT still makes plenty of sense for many buyers.

Going forward both companies appear poised to leapfrog each other yet again with next-gen offerings if history is any indicator. But for now, PC enthusiasts have two extremely capable GPUs to choose between to power their dream gaming and creative setups.

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