AMD's RDNA2 flagship, the RX 6900 XT, is set to launch by the 8th of December this year, but that hasn't stopped someone from benching the card before launch: APAISK on Twitter has shared the first RX 6900 XT gaming benchmark we've seen on the internet so far. And yes, again, it's an Ashes of the Singularity benchmark run. Disclaimer: Ashes can be very much CPU limited and isn't going to show a top-tier GPU in the best light. With that out of the way:
Unfortunately, the results aren't amazing, but again: Ashes. The RX 6900 XT scored a single fps lower than its theoretically less-powerful brother, the RX 6800 XT, with 102 FPS and 10100 points. Nvidia's top dog, the RTX 3090, scored 10400 points and 105FPS at the same resolution of 1080P and with the same CPU, which is an Intel Core i7-8700K.
So is the RX 6900 XT is a rip-off compared to the RX 6800 XT? Not necessarily, and early benchmarks like this need to be taken with a grain of salt, whether the card performs crazy well or crazily lower than expectations. The 6900 XT needs to be used in games that are GPU limited rather than CPU limited if it's going to have any chance of shining. Plus, even on paper it's not massively different from the 6800 XT: It has 10 percent more shader cores ... and that's pretty much it. Same memory, same clocks, same TDP.
Nvidia's RTX 3090 and 3080 have the same relationship as the RX 6900 XT and 6800 XT. The RTX 3090 trades blows with the RTX 3080 and is usually one fps higher in Ashes benchmark. It's not just a Radeon problem, then, it's a game engine limitation. That makes perfect sense, actually, and the Core i7-8700K is clearly the bottleneck at 1080p.
This is why we need to wait for the full suite of testing that we and other sites will provide. One game, particularly a game known to be CPU limited, isn't a great way to determine GPU performance. We don't expect the RX 6900 XT to be much faster than the 6800 XT overall, just like the 3090 isn't a huge step up from the 3080. The asking price of $1,000 is going to put it out of reach of most gamers regardless, though at least that's $500 less than the 3090. We suggest waiting for the full review of the RX 6900 XT before drawing any final conclusions.