ASUS on Monday quietly added its custom-designed TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics board to its lineup, a day before AMD's partners are set to start sales of their Radeon RX 6900 XT-based graphics cards. The new card is factory overclocked and comes with an enhanced cooling system.
The ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics board carries AMD's 'Big Navi' GPU with 5120 stream processors, 320 texture units, and 128 raster operating units that provide at least 10% higher performance compared to the RX 6800 XT out-of-box. Meanwhile, the TUF-RX6900XT-O16G-Gaming actually carries an OC Edition badge on its box, so expect the card to boast with higher-than-recommended frequencies of 1825 MHz/2250 MHz (base/boost), and therefore offer higher performance than reference cards.
The TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6900 XT promises to be one of the first custom-designed RX 6900 XT products on the market. The card presumably features an ASUS-developed PCB with TUF-grade components meant to ensure stable operation as well as longevity. The board has two 8-pin PCIe auxiliary power connectors and a dual BIOS switch for easier setting to factory-overclocked mode without software. As for display outputs, we're dealing with an adapter with three DisplayPort 1.4 connectors and one HDMI 2.1 port.
The board comes equipped with a massive ASUS-designed 2.9-slot cooling system featuring a bulky aluminum heatsink with the company's MaxContact bottom as well as seven heat pipes. The cooler also has three fans featuring the company's axial-tech fan design. The side fans have 11 blades and lower barrier rings to let more air in, whereas the center fan has 13 blades to maximize its performance. Meanwhile, all fans stop when the GPU temperature drops below 55°C, and start when the temperature hits 60°C. Also, the cooler has some programmable RGB elements and a backplate.
ASUS has yet to reveal the base and boost clocks of its TUF-RX6900XT-O16G-Gaming graphics card. Still, with an enhanced voltage regulating module (VRM) and a huge cooling system, this product promises to have some overclocking potential, something that enthusiasts certainly expect from customized boards.
One thing to note is that Asustek's TUF series is considered a mid-range family designed to offer longevity and performance. The company also has its ROG lineup that is designed to be the best of the best, both in terms of technology and performance. As it turns out, ASUS has spent quite a lot of effort on its TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics card, so one can only wonder what to expect from the upcoming ROG Radeon RX 6900 XT boards.
The ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6900 XT is already listed on the company's website, but it is completely unclear when the graphics card is set to hit the market and how much ASUS will charge for it. Even AMD's reference boards carry a $999 MSRP, so custom products will naturally sell at a premium. The question is just how high that premium will be.
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Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.