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6950 XT vs 3080 Ti

When choosing a new graphics card within budget, a lot of us will be faced with a tough choice which is Nvidia or AMD. Unlike before when Nvidia used to dominate the market for GPUs, the competition between the 2 brands is quite fierce now and both manufacturers are offering a lot of good options for every price range, making it a difficult task to finalize which option fits your needs the best. And the doubt is usually followed by which GPU model you need to get as there are hundreds of different options available, each offering a decent set of specifications for the price.

Today, we are going to compare one of the most high-end options from both brands which are the AMD 6950 XT and the Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti. Even though most GPUs these days are primarily marketed for gaming, there is a lot more to a GPU than gaming PC performance. And if you wish to get a deeper and more thorough comparison between any 2 GPUs, you will have to compare their core specifications and see which option is offering the best results for the long term. To help you with that, we have created this ultimate comparison between the 6950 XT and the RTX 3080 Ti.

What is an AMD Radeon 6950 XT?

AMDs GPU choices are usually much cheaper which makes it possible to include a powerful GPU in your system, even if you are going for a budget-focused PC build. The AMD Radeon 6950 XT is one of the graphics card which is developed by AMD which was introduced in mid-2022. So this is a rather new option from the brand which operates on the RDNA 2 architecture.

What is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti?

The Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti is also a very good choice as it is one of the premium as well as powerful models ever. This is also a pretty fresh option on the market as it was introduced back in 2021. As for its performance, this GPU is pretty much ahead of all other options. However, the significant price difference between this card and a few other more powerful options makes it a fine choice, especially for gaming. Since this is a 30 series GPU from Nvidia, it runs on the trusted and reliable Ampere architecture.

Specifications and Features

Now that you have a slight idea about the GPUs, let us dive into the technical comparison of both of these cards and see which of these options suits your needs the best. As we mentioned before, the only way to truly compare GPUs is by taking a look at what they have to offer under the hood. If you only look at the benchmarking results, you can’t get a clear idea about the capabilities of the GPU. For example, if a certain game is capped at a certain FPS, then you will get similar results from both GPUs. Such games or programs cannot utilize the GPU up to its full extent, thus compromising the outcome.

But to offer you a comprehensive comparison between the 2 options, we will be going through each and every aspect of the graphics card and comparing the GPUs according to these qualities. This way, you can understand the core properties of a GPU in general and easily understand which of these options is for you. When it comes to a GPU, there are a lot of technical features such as PCIe support, CUDA cores, clock speeds, processor type, architecture, and much more that are difficult to understand. Therefore, we have also explained these factors in brief along with the comparison.

1. PCIe 4.0

The PCIe extension available on your motherboard is the only way to connect your GPU to your system. These interfaces are designed to allow the pairing of various PCIe-based components to your computer, primarily the GPU. And just like other connectivity ports, the PCIe extension slots have also gone through a lot of upgrades over the years.

With each new generation, there is something better with the PCIe ports, whether it is compatibility or bandwidth capacity. Right now, the latest PCIe port available on motherboards is the PCIe 4.0 port. This highly versatile extension slot is used for GPUs as well as NVMe SSDs to allow using these components up to their maximum capacity.

To compare the 2 graphics cards, both the Radeon 6950 XT and the RTX 3080 Ti are compatible with the PCIe 4.0 extension slot along with backward compatibility with previous-gen PCIe slots. So, you don’t have to worry about the performance or compatibility of the graphics card on whichever motherboard you may own right now, or going to install in your system.

2. CUDA Cores vs Compute Units

When it comes to Nvidia and AMD GPUs, you will get CUDA cores and Compute units respectively on these GPUs that perform all the processing tasks. These are basically the sole computation units of the card which perform all the heavy work.

The compute cores available on AMD Radeon cards are basically parallel arithmetic and logical processing units that are used for the graphical processing on the card. So, the higher the compute units count, the better will be the performance of the GPU as it has more resources to get the task done.

As for Nvidia, things are a bit different when it comes to CUDA cores. Nvidia uses the term CUDA cores for the count of floating point units. The CUDA cores can also be considered as parallel processing elements on an Nvidia card used for floating point operations. Inside a single-core cluster, Nvidia manages to fit a lot of CUDA cores, increasing the total count of available floating point units on their GPUs. So, the CUDA core count of an Nvidia GPU will always be higher than the compute units on an AMD card.

Therefore, it would not be fair to compare the compute units directly against the CUDA core count on an Nvidia GPU as the core cluster count on a GPU is always lesser than that of its floating points unit count.

3. Clock and Boost Speed

The clock speed and boost speed are also major factors of a GPU which refer to its actual performance speed. Just like a CPU, the GPU also has a certain clock speed which is basically the speed at which the card is functioning. This clock speed is measured in Hz and GPUs usually range up to a certain GHz clock speed value, especially high-end options like the 6950 XT and RTX 3080 Ti.

When you are comparing the working speed of a GPU, you need to compare both the base clock speed as well as the boost speed which you will find mentioned alongside the GPU. The core clock speed of the RTX 3080 Ti graphics card is about 1.3 GHz and it can be boosted up to 1.6 GHz. These speed ratings put the RTX 3080 Ti GPU amongst the best options developed by Nvidia.

However, AMD Radeon 6950 XT surpasses these speeds by quite a wide margin with a base clock speed of 1.9 GHz which goes as high as 2.3 GHz under load. With such high speeds, you can always expect better output from the graphics card, whether it is regarding the gaming performance.

4. Memory

Memory is a component of a GPU which plays a very important role in the overall functionality of the card. Consider it to be the same as the memory or RAM that you have on your computer which stores the data that has been processed by the CPU. The memory on a graphics card performs the same task except it stores graphical data processed by the GPU.

Since the graphical data is much larger in size, the memory available on a GPU is also quite high, especially on options like the 6950 XT and the 3080 Ti. Here are some important factors to think about when you are comparing the memory or VRAM on a graphics card.

  • Memory Type: The type of memory used on the GPU is also an important factor to consider as it affects the performance and speed of your GPU. Right now, the most popular option for memory interface on a GPU is GDDR6 whereas the latest interface on the market is the GDDR6X. The updated GDDR6X memory module uses about 15% less power to transmit every single bit compared to the GDDR6 memory. But, it also has a faster performance speed which increases the average power consumption of the GDDR6X and also causes slightly higher heat generation. The Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti GPU has a GDDR6X memory module whereas the newer AMD model is still working with the GDDR6. As a result, you will get the benefit of a faster operating speed with the GDDR6X memory interface on the RTX 3080 Ti. But, the 6950 XT would be a more power efficient choice in the long run.
  • Capacity: Apart from the interface and speed of the memory, it is also important to check the memory capacity of a GPU. When you are gaming, the textures and graphical assets of the scene will be loaded into your GPUs memory before you can see it on the screen. So with more memory capacity, the GPU can load more assets and reduce the loading time. High memory capacity also benefits non-gaming applications such as 3D designing and video rendering. Comparing the 2 options, the Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti features 12 GB of VRAM capacity whereas its competitor the AMD Radeon 6950 XT brings 16 GB of VRAM for better results. While the difference may not be noticeable in older games or lesser graphical intensive tasks, it is generally a better idea to go with a high VRAM option to easily play new-gen games.
  • Bandwidth: The bandwidth of a memory module refers to the speed at which the data can be transferred between the GPU processor and memory. So, higher bandwidth means the data would be transmitted at a faster rate within a particular period of time. So, it means that you will get a much faster loading time in games, whether you are booting up the game or simply switching between levels. Unlike most other factors, the bandwidth has a significant impact when you’re comparing the RTX 3080 Ti with the Radeon 6950 XT. The latter operates at a 512 GBps bandwidth whereas the RTX 3080 Ti almost doubles down on the bandwidth limit, offering 912 GBps bandwidth thanks to the new and improved GDDR6X memory interface. It makes the RTX 3080 Ti a clear winner in this comparison since the difference is simply too wide to ignore.
  • Bus Width: The bus width is a similar factor to the bandwidth of a memory interface as it also affects the performance of the memory. But instead of the actual working speed of the module, the bus width refers to the data lines that connect the memory to the GPU processor. So, with a wider bus width, the GPU offers the capability of transferring more data at once which surely improves its performance. Again, the RTX 3080 Ti takes the lead with 384-bit bus width available on the card whereas the 6950 XT offers the standard 256-bit bus width. Though this factor does not make much of a difference in gaming, it is surely a better choice to go with a higher bus width option since it allows a more versatile GPU usage and offers noticeable improvements in various applications.

5. Processor

GPUs are also equipped with a microprocessing chip similar to your CPU. However, these are special types of processing chips that are specifically designed to compute graphical data and calculators.

For any type of video or graphical calculation, the processor has to go through a large number of polygons to calculate the entirety of a game scene, to maintain a heavy load on the processor. Therefore, you should also pay attention to the processor parameters of the GPU if you want to gauge its performance. And or, there are a few important processor attributes to examine that are:

  • Size: Since these are microprocessors, the processor size of a GPU is measured in nanometers (nm) which helps you to evaluate the GPUs performance with ease. As you may already know, the smaller the processor, the better are the results. A small processor is always a better choice whether it is a smartphone, desktop CPU, or GPU. There is an ever-so-slight difference between the processor size of the Radeon 6950 XT and the RTX 3080 Ti, which makes both of these options ideal for their budget ranges. The RTX 3080 Ti works on an 8 nm processor, whereas the Radeon 6950 XT has a 7 nm processor. The smaller processor size of the Radeon 6950 XT can handle more instruction per processing cycle and offers faster rendering of the frames, increasing the FPS of the game.
  • Pixel Rate: The pixel rate of a GPU is a factor that can directly affect its gaming performance. The pixel rate of a GPU is basically the number of pixels the GPU can render per unit time. And since digital displays or rendered frames of a game are nothing but pixels, the pixel rate can tell you about the rendering capability of a GPU for games. The pixel rate is more of a parent factor for a GPU which is dependent upon many core factors such as processing unit count, clock speed, memory bandwidth, etc. But, if you were to compare the pixel rate of the GPU directly, you wouldn’t need to think too much about other factors. The pixel rate of the Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti is about 186.5G Pixels per second, whereas the same for an AMD Radeon 6950 XT card goes as high as 295.7 GPixel pixels per second. As you can imagine, this is a more than 50% increase in the pixel rate of the GPU, making the choice quite clear for a gamer.

6. Ports

The ports are also a very important part of the GPU as this is the only connectivity option available between your GPU and your display device, whether it is a monitor or a TV. There are multiple factors to keep in mind when you are checking the ports on a graphics card such as the number of ports, the type of display output port, the version of the port, compatibility with your display device, etc.  Right now, the most popular and versatile display output options are HDMI and DisplayPort as they are widely available on all monitors and TVs.

Both the Nvidia RTx 3080 Ti and the AMD Radeon 6950 XT are equipped with a single HDMI 2.1 port and a set of 3 DisplayPort 1.4 ports. The HDMI port has a bandwidth capacity of about 48 Gbps, making it possible for the card to offer up to 60 Hz refresh rate output at 8K resolution and up to 120 Hz refresh rate output at 4K resolution.

As for the DisplayPort, you will get DisplayPort 1.4 ports on these cards, offering 32.4 Gbps bandwidth capacity which is quite close to that of the HDMI 2.1 port. So, you still get 8K60 and 4K120 output from these ports.

7. Thermal Design Power

Last but not least, the TDP or thermal design power is also a major factor for a GPU, especially when you are going for a high-end build suitable for the Radeon 6950 XT and RTX 3080 Ti. Apart from either of these cards, you will also choose a similarly high-end CPU, faster RAM and storage drive, and a motherboard that can support all of these components. With all that, you won’t have much power to spare on your PSU, especially if you are on a budget and trying to cut some corners on the PSU.

The Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti works at a TDP of 350 Watts, whereas the Radeon 6950 XT has a TDP rating of 335 Watts. Again, the rating difference may not be far from each other. But in some PC builds, this can be a determining factor based on the PSU you are using. In most cases, going with a lower TDP option is better as it generates less heat and offers compatibility with slightly cheaper power supply units. But if you are focusing on the performance, then even a slight increase in TDP can offer you the performance you desire from a demanding video game.

AMD Radeon 6950 XT vs Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti

Now that you have a good idea about the technical specifications of both graphics cards, let us take a quick glance at what we have discussed so far with the following comparison. Here, you will find a direct comparison between both options, which will help you easily finalize your choice.

GPU Specification AMD Radeon 6950 XT Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti
Architecture RDNA2 Ampere
Processor Size (nm) 7 nm 8 nm
RT Cores 80 320
CUDA Cores 5120 10240
Core Clock Speed (GHz) 1.9 1.36
Boost Clock Speed (GHz) 2.3 1.66
Memory Type GDDR6 GDDR6X
Memory Capacity (GB) 16 12
Memory Bus Width (bit) 256 384
Memory Bandwidth Gbits 576 GBps 912 GBps
Pcie 4.0 Support Yes Yes
Slot Width PCIe 4.0 x16 PCIe 4.0 x16
Output Ports HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a
TDP (Watt) 335 350
Type of Power Connectors 2x 8-pin 6+2 connectors
DLSS/FidelityFX FSR 2.2 DLSS 2

Gaming Performance

1. 1080p Gaming (Ultra Preset)

Game AMD Radeon 6950 XT RTX 3080 Ti
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla 130 FPS 100 FPS
Battlefield 5 170 FPS 196 FPS
Cyberpunk 2077 122 FPS 146 FPS
Watch Dogs: Legion 107 FPS 97 FPS

2. 1440p Gaming (Ultra Preset)

Game AMD Radeon 6950 XT RTX 3080 Ti
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla 90 FPS 86 FPS
Battlefield 5 150 FPS 192 FPS
Cyberpunk 2077 93 FPS 99 FPS
Watch Dogs: Legion 103 FPS 89 FPS

3. 2160p Gaming (Ultra Preset)

Game AMD Radeon 6950 XT RTX 3080 Ti
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla 60 FPS 61 FPS
Battlefield 5 105 FPS 136 FPS
Cyberpunk 2077 46 FPS 50 FPS
Watch Dogs: Legion 65 FPS 59 FPS

Ray Tracing and DLSS Technology

Even though Ray Tracing and DLSS technologies are from Nvidia graphics cards, you will be glad to know that AMD also offers its own alternatives for the same on its Radeon cards that are the AMD Radeon Rays and FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR).

To offer a heightened result in terms of Ray Tracing, Nvidia has implemented dedicated RT cores on the GPU and for DLSS, it features Tensor cores. The Ray Tracing and DLSS performance is better on an Nvidia card thanks to the dedicated cores. Plus, the software support from Nvidia for these technologies has always been a lot more reliable.

While AMD Radeon cards also have RT cores that can perform optimally to offer a delightful ray-traced scene in a game, it does not have dedicated Tensor cores necessary for DLSS. Instead, the FSR technology depends on the standard processing cores of the GPU, making it a relatively weaker software compared to DLSS. Even the Nvidia cards that do not have RTX feature can take advantage of the FSR technology.

1. Power Requirement

The TDP or thermal design power of a graphics card gives an idea of how much power the card requires to function. It also gives you an idea about how much heat it generates under load. This is important to know because if the card generates too much heat, it can lead to overheating, throttling, and simply a decrease in performance. But, a higher TDP rating usually means that the graphics card is more powerful and can handle more demanding tasks, such as gaming, video editing, or 3D rendering. However, it also means that the card will require a more powerful cooling system to keep it running smoothly.

AMD is famous for its low TDP graphics card models. Even the high-end options from the brand offer a relatively lower TDP rating than its competitors and the same goes for the 6950 XT. This graphics card has 335 Watts which is still lesser than the Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti, which operates at 350 Watts. Even though the TDP difference between the cards isn’t that high, you will still notice slightly lesser heating on the AMD 6950 XT, and it may be the only compatible option for some buyers who have a low-wattage PSU on their system.

2. Cooling Performance

The cooling performance of a graphics card is also essential to maintain its optimal functionality and prevent overheating. As we mentioned before, overheating can lead to reduced performance, crashes, and even permanent damage to the card. A well-designed cooling system can not only prevent overheating but also extend the lifespan of the graphics card. In addition, improved cooling performance also allows the GPU to operate at higher clock speeds and boost frequencies via overclocking.

The AMD 6950 XT features a standard triple-fan cooling system. With that, you get about 2000 RPM fan speed which can easily keep the card temperatures under control even when it is at max load capacity. The peak GPU temperatures for these cards stay at about 77C.

As for the RTX 3080 Ti, you will find an excellent cooling solution on this card as well, which is powered by dual fan technology operating on a push-pull working principle. So even with the higher TDP, this card stays around 79C, which is not too bad for such a powerful card.

3. Price

Coming to the factor which probably causes a lot of buyers to prefer the 6950 XT over the RTX 3080 Ti, is the price of both cards. The 6950 XT was released at an MSRP of $729.99, whereas the RTX 3080 Ti was launched at almost twice the MSRP as that of the 6950 XT, which was $1199. For a lot of buyers, the slight performance increase on the RTX 3080 Ti wouldn’t seem worthy of the additional investment. But again, the additional features, such as Ray Tracing and new-gen DLSS technology support, is much better on the Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti. But again, the regional pricing and availability also affect the cost of the card, and it may also bridge the price gap between the 2 cards, making the RTX 3080 Ti a better deal in comparison.


Overall, both the Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti and the AMD Radeon 6950 XT are highly capable graphics cards that are ensured to offer you an enjoyable gaming experience along with reliability and compatibility with upcoming games and game enhancement technologies for years to come. Both of these options are ideal for 1440p QHD and even 4K UHD gaming which is pretty much the best option for story-driven campaign games.

But if you are focusing only on sheer specifications and performance, then the Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti is a clear choice. In almost all technical specifications, the RTX 3080 Ti has the upper hand with upgraded hardware or increased performance. The actual factors that tip the scale in Nvidia’s favor are the Ray Tracing and DLSS support which is far better than what you get with AMD cards right now.

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