Update 4/5/2022 7:40am PT: Adjusted pricing based on Newegg price change.
GPU prices continue to fall to relatively sane levels, and that's definitely the case with AMD's current flagship: the Radeon RX 6900 XT. A month ago, Radeon RX 6900 XT prices were hovering around the $1,256 mark on third-party marketplaces like eBay. However, Newegg is currently selling the Gigabyte RX 6900 XT Gaming OC for $999, which matches AMD's $999 MSRP for reference cards.
But it gets better: Newegg is also offering a $50 rebate, which brings the price down to $949. While we'd prefer an instant rebate over a mail-in rebate, we can't argue with getting a flagship graphics card for $50 less than MSRP during an ongoing chip shortage.
RX 6900 XT reference cards are based on AMD's RDNA 2 GPU architecture and feature 16GB of 16 Gbps GDDR6 memory. AMD's specs quote a game clock of 2,015 MHz and a boost clock of 2,250 MHz. The Gigabyte RX 6900 XT Gaming OC ups those clocks slightly to 2,050 MHz and 2,285 MHz, respectively, which will give you a tiny boost in gaming performance.
Given that this is a customer card, you'll find Gigabyte's Windforce 3X cooling systems (complete with a copper plate for the heatsink) and a metal backplate for the GPU to maintain rigidity. In addition, as is common practice with high-end gaming gear these days, Gigabyte equips its flagship with RGB Fusion 2.0 lighting, which you can sync up with other components in your rig. Other features include Gigabyte's Dual BIOS and user-friendly Aorus Engine optimization software.
This deal has been alive for a few hours, and Newegg still appears to have plenty of inventory. Given the performance that the RX 6900 XT offers, and the fact that it's $100 under MSRP (after rebate), we don't know how much longer it will stay in stock, considering that it's one of the best graphics cards for gaming.
That said, we may start seeing prices drop even further on existing Radeon RX 6000 Series graphics cards, as the Radeon RX 6x50 Series Refresh is right around the corner. It's expected that the cards will feature boosted GPU clock and memory frequencies to battle Nvidia's GeForce RTX 30 Series.
Bear in mind that the 6950 XT is due to arrive soon, which is the prompt for these price drops.
...unless you use Ray Tracing (I speak from experience).
I realize that RDNA2 was not designed with ray tracing in mind, but if you have any inkling of using this tech at 4k, you really have no choice but a high end Nvidia card.
Not even a bit interested.
It’s on its infancy and very expensive both to include and on the processing side.
If you play the few games that use this sparingly, go ahead with nvidia, but it’s a gimmick really.
It's definitely not as good as NVIDIA's 3000 cards. Same with DLSS. NVIDIA has the lead vs. AMD's FSR too. Hopefully AMD will make a larger stride with RT on their next gen vs. NVIDIA.
What would be interesting is to see how NVIDIA/AMD do at Virtual Reality with a Valve Index's 144Hz setting.
I have a 3080 12GB and to be honest, I can't tell much of any difference in most games with ray trace on/off except that the frame rates drop like a rock. If I'm actively looking for it, I can try to find a puddle, window or mirror where you'll see a difference, but not during normal play. It's not that Ray Tracing is bad, but rather normal rasterization methods just got so good over the decades. In some games, Ray tracing is worse because it makes the room so dark and hard to see, when you know it wouldn't be that bad in real life.
Try CP2077 and DL2.