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The New Sapphire Radeon RX 6800/RX 6800 XT |RX 6800 NITRO+, RX 6800 PULSE!

Sapphire Radeon RX 6800 XT cards were unveiled just in November. And about one week ago, Sapphire finally released Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 Nitro+. We, the adorers of the AMD graphics series, waited for a long time as it brought a massive range of innovations in this RX 6000 series. Certainly, that is great news for us enthusiastic gamers.

Sapphire splits the RX 6800 cards into two parts: PULSE and NITRO+. However, PULSE versions aren’t coming yet. But Sapphire already provides a lot of information about these graphics.

Let’s look at our depth review of RX 6800 XT and non-XT variants to see how it satisfied us for the best gaming performance.

Sapphire RX 6800 Price

ModelsBest ForPrice
RX 6800 XT Nitro+Best pick for included dual BIOS Support$770
RX 6800 Nitro+Best pick for improvement in OC headroom$640
RX 6800 XT Nitro+ “SE”Best pick for a special feature of RGB LED fans$800

Sapphire Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 NITRO+ Detailed Review

Sapphire Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 NITRO+: Design

Sapphire RX 6800 XT comes in 310 mm in length, 134 mm taller, and 55mm in width, which means it’s larger and wider than the AMD reference model. But in weight comparatively, this card is lighter. The reference card has 1510 grams weight; Sapphire RX 6800 XT comes in more lightweight with 1230 grams.

Sapphire claims that they reduce 50% the heatsink weight compared to its previous model. So the refining of the heat pipe and fin design makes it lighter in weight.

The fans are newly designed, but it’s ring design matches the Asus axial-tech fans. The RX 6800 XT NITRO+ is the cooled graphics card that uses a large triple-fan in its architecture.  The first two fans included nine blades, but the third features  12 fan blades that may push maximum airflow towards the central heatsink.

Besides, The fan shroud is made of plastic, and it’s good looking. You’ll also see the NITRO+ uses the RGB LED beautifully in the entire card.

Sapphire Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 NITRO+: Features

This card features a metal backplate to save from any damage when you’re installing or moving it. The large 3-slot makes the cooling process easier. And the cutout at the backside enables the air to pass through the card’s aluminum fins. It also features a single HDMI 2.1 connector so that it is capable of delivering 4K resolution efficiently. There are also three DisplayPort and double 8-pin connectors.

Moreover, Sapphire RX 6800 XT belongs to a 2.7 slot design which will seems to be featuring six larger heat pipes. They are consist in a big aluminum heatsink under the shroud.

It comes with a 1825MHz base clock; the amazing factory-overclock boost its frequency up to 2360MHz, that means it increased 5% than the reference card of AMD with a 2110 MHz game clock.

The notable reasons to choose the Nitro+ over a reference model include dual BIOS support and increased overclocking headroom.

Sapphire Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 NITRO+: Memory & Infinity Cache

Sapphire keeps the 16GB VRAM of RX 6800 XT Nitro+ the same as its reference card. This card is the fastest one due to its GDDR6 memory with 16Gbps memory speed. That large VRAM on top makes the game’s performance worthable. But they did not change the memory bus width, so as usual, it remains in 256-bit.

In this aspect, it may lag behind NVIDIA’s newly released RTX 3080, which features GDDR6X memory. To adjust the gap, AMD bought a new feature called Infinity cache. The 128 MB infinity cache can take workloads of larger data operations in VRAM.

Sapphire Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 NITRO+: Performance

Speaking of performance,  RX 6800 XT Nitro+ is the best at performance, delivering 4K and 1040p gaming. Its efficiency has been proven on its benchmarks. So you can undoubtedly rely on these graphics.

At 4K resolution, Sapphire RX 6800 XT made a 3% increase in relative performance compared to its reference card. On the other hand, if you compare it to non-XT cards, you’ll find it is enhanced by 16%. NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 3070 both are felled behind at 26% than Sapphire Card. This new Nitro+ card is a great generation leap as it showed great performance over the older cards.

Sapphire Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 NITRO+: Ray Tracing Performance

RDNA 2 architecture is the first where AMD started their journey with Ray tracing. The RX 6800 XT carries 72 RAs.Also, The  RDNA 2 based gaming consoles feature the same Ray Accelerator as these GPUs.

As it’s the first Ray Tracing implementation for AMD, we can’t expect much from this than NVIDIA. But its efficiency is not little also. That is huge enough for the first time.

Sapphire Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 NITRO+: Benchmarks

On several games, Nitro+ has been tested. And it shows incredible performance compared to its reference model. In most of the games at both 1440p and 4K, it is ahead of AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT.

At 4K gaming, Sapphire has shown its performance capability. On Shadow of Tomb Raider, testing Nitro+ was 5% faster than the reference model, as well as about to catch RTX 3080.

Besides, Shadow of Tomb Raider at 1440p Sapphire may have less but still faster performance than AMD RX 6800 XT by 3%.

Sapphire Radeon RX 6800 XT NITRO+ ” Special Edition”

The RGB LED around its fans is the main feature that differentiates it from the other variants of NITRO+. Besides, this SE version is the only one among the whole lineup, which features a USB Type C connector. The non-SE NITRO+ models don’t have the connectors, whereas they are configured with one HDMI port and three DisplayPort.

Sapphire Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 PULSE

Here the other version of the RX 6800 series is PULSE, which will come in both XT and non-XT flavors. The individual difference of PULSE is that it also features triple fans, but each of the fans includes 9 blades.

Sapphire Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 PULSE: Design

Sapphire made this RX 6800 PULSE card aesthetically beautiful and suitable for most themes and cases. It comes with red and black trim as usual. The matte finish Black backplate and shroud with red accents on the line of fans Location.  You will find the red rings on the fan as well as the backplates line.

RX 6800 PULSE card is not much width in size and also features less Heatpipe.

Sapphire Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 PULSE: Features

PULSE series features a 2.5 slot design. You’ll see a massive amount of heatsink in this design. This design on top allows the air to pass through the card. So there is no need to change the air direction by forcing.

Sapphire RX 6800 XT PULSE is RDNA2 based graphics featuring 4608 streaming processors and  72 Compute Units like its reference cards. But unlike Nitro+ cards, it has a game frequency 2015, and it boosts up to 2250 MHz frequency. Its memory speed is also similar to NITRO+ of 16GB with GDDR6 memory.

Furthermore, both the PULSE cards configured an 8-pin connector, and the display output included triple DP ports with standard 1 HDMI. Unlike the NITRO+, there is no RGB lighting, but it’s Sapphire logo possibly lights up.

Verdict

For a long time, Sapphire has made Radeon graphics cards. And Sapphire cards are expectedly bringing some new upgrades in their series. So the Sapphire RX 6800 XT does not disappoint us as it’s better in some aspects than its reference card. Like the proper OC headroom, less-noise, the cooling solution is much improved in the Sapphire series though the price is a little higher than the AMD reference card.

Consider the points we discussed here and research yourself as to whether Sapphire can fulfill the requirements that you need in your graphics. Take your time to make your worthwhile purchase to meet the new gaming experience.

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