With a large cooler and a healthy factory overclock, we expected the ASRock RX 6900 XT Formula to easily beat the reference model across our test suite. It did, but the last testing of the RX 6900 XT is now about four months old and a few of the games actually ran slower, likely due to driver and/or game updates. There were also a few larger jumps in performance, especially at 4K, which may also be partly thanks to updated drivers.
Across our test suite, the ASRock Formula was 6% faster than the reference RX 6900 XT. Only Borderlands 3 showed a slight 2% drop in performance, while the remaining dozen games improved by anywhere from 3% to 12%. Final Fantasy XIV, The Division 2, and Red Dead Redemption 2 all showed double digit percentage gains of 10–12%.
Looking elsewhere, the ASRock Formula also came relatively close to matching the performance of the Asus ROG Strix LC RTX 3080 Ti, trailing by 5% overall. A big part of the reason for ASRock's good showing is our inclusion of Assassin's Creed Valhalla, which heavily favors AMD's latest GPUs (and is an AMD promoted game), though Forza Horizon 4 also favors ASRock's card by 17% — the largest win at 4K. Meanwhile, Horizon Zero Dawn, Strange Brigade, The Division 2, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider all have the Asus RTX 3080 Ti card leading by 12% or more.
AMD's Big Navi architecture generally does better than Nvidia's Ampere architecture at lower resolutions. That's because the large 128MB Infinity Cache can hold proportionately more data, as 4K mostly ends up using the cache for the various buffers and doesn't have as much extra space for things like textures. Where the ASRock card was slightly slower than the Asus RTX 3080 Ti at 4K ultra, at 1440p ultra it swaps places and now leads by about 1% overall. The games that favor AMD GPUs do so even more at 1440p, with Assassin's Creed Valhalla giving the ASRock card a 34% lead over the Asus card — very much the exception rather than the rule. Remove that one game from the test suite and Nvidia's GPU would still hold onto a slight lead.
The ASRock card also sees less of an advantage over the reference RX 6900 XT at lower resolutions, and is now only 4% faster. There are also two games now (Borderlands 3 and Dirt 5) where the results from the reference card were slightly ahead of the ASRock card, but again we suspect that's due to drivers and game updates that have occurred in the past four months.
At 1080p, the Infinity Cache really starts to flex its muscle and the ASRock Formula now beats the Asus ROG Strix LC by 5%. Valhalla remains an outlier, now showing a 46% lead for the AMD GPU, but Horizon Zero Dawn and Watch Dogs Legion also have ASRock leading Asus by 15% and 13%, respectively. CPU limitations also play a role, particularly in Far Cry 5 and Forza Horizon 4, with the 1080p results only being slightly better than the 1440p results.
Given the price and the target market, we're not nearly as concerned with 1080p performance as we are with 1440p and 4K performance, though esports fans might want to look for benchmarks of the various GPUs at 1080p and see which ones can max out a 240 Hz or even 360 Hz monitor. Most of the games we test don't come anywhere close to 240 fps, never mind 360 fps — Strange Brigade being the exception, though it's still not an esports game.
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