AMD Nudges Radeon RX 6000-Series GPU Speeds

The RX 6950 XT, RX 6750 XT and RX 6650 XT gain a gentle lift in performance over their predecessors.

Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
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Lori Grunin
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AMD Radeon logo on AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT
Lori Grunin/CNET

AMD's midterm refresh of several RX 6000-series graphics cards holds few surprises. Available today, the Radeon RX 6950 XT ($1,299), RX 6750 XT ($599) and RX 6650 XT ($399) remain essentially the same as the RX 6900 XT, RX 6700 XT and RX 6600 XT they replace, but with boosted clock speeds to eke out some extra frames per second. As usual, AMD will offer its own cards with the 6950 and 6750 GPUs in addition to models from add-in board companies but only third-party versions based on the 6650.

While they should perform slightly better than the earlier models -- thanks to refined firmware, updated drivers and the aforementioned memory and GPU clock speed boosts -- they're not decision-changers; their performance ranks relative to their Nvidia competitors should remain the same, though there should be a narrower absolute gap between them and the next-up competing card in a similarly configured system. So no need to feel like you're missing out if you've recently upgraded.

In fact, given boards based on the new chips draw more power than their predecessors -- 35w for the RX 6950 XT and 20w for the other two -- I'd expect slightly more than the roughly 5-8% average improvement you gain. Despite the higher power needs, they probably don't bump up a power-supply class, so there's that.

AMD is also switching its Raise the Game Bundle, the free game promotion it sponsors that's offered by etailers with purchases of qualifying products, in conjunction with these releases. You can take advantage of the promotion now, though the specific details about which games and the redemption terms will be released within the next month or so when the bundle launches. AMD does say that the forthcoming Saints Row reboot and Sniper Elite 5 will be part of the mix.

In March, the company announced a big update for its second generation of FidelityFX Super Resolution, its analogous technology to Nvidia's DLSS for game-optimized upscaling (as opposed to its Radeon Super Resolution driver-based upscaling, which doesn't require any specific support by a game). But we've been waiting for the first games implementing it to become available. AMD says an update to Deathloop coming Thursday will include the FSR 2.0 patch. Other upcoming FSR 2.0-supporting updates are expected for Farming Simulator 22, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Forspoken and more.