Every champion gamer knows too well why having a powerful graphics card is essential. As one of the leading brands in the gaming industry, AMD touts its graphics cards for having the ability to deliver the ultimate performance. Although the RDNA 2 era is ending, AMD is back with its final RDNA 2 card, the RX 6950. This article explores the three best reasons to avoid an RX 6950.
If you ve indulged in the6000 series AMD Radeon cards, you undoubtedly know their capabilities well. They have excellent performance across the board, with ray-tracing being the only downside. The RX 6950 graphics card sits at the top of AMD s Radeon stack and is said to unlock the full might of the GA102 GPU.
Despite its impressive capabilities, you shouldn t invest in the RX 6950 graphics card before exploring other alternatives. For this reason, we highlight the graphics card s features and the three best reasons to avoid an RX 6950 graphics card.
What Is the AMD RX 6950?
This late-gen refresh graphics card is similar to the RX 6900 XT card since both have the same number of cores, 16GB of GDDR6 memory, and a 256-bit memory bus. Nonetheless, the RX 6950 card offers more memory bandwidth, superior performance levels, and power consumption. The card s specifications are listed in the table below:
|GPU||Navi 21 XTX|
|Manufacturing process||7 nm|
|Texture mapping units||320|
|Base clock speed||1,925 MHz|
|Game clock speed||2,116 MHz|
|Boost clock speed||2,324 MHz|
|Infinity cache||128 MB|
|Memory bus width||256-bit|
|Memory bandwidth||576 GB/s|
|Memory size||16 GB GDDR6|
- Video Memory: 16GB GDDR6
- Stream Processor: 5120
- Game Clock: 2226 MHz (OC) / 2116 MHz (Silent)
- Boost Clock: 2435 MHz (OC) / 2324 MHz (Silent)
- Memory Clock: 18.0 Gbps
These specifications are impressive by all standards. However, given that we are heading to the RDNA 3 era, it begs the question, why would someone purchase the RX 6950 graphics card? Well, there s no plausible answer because supply is increasing while prices are in a free-fall, especially forRDNA 2cards like the RX 6950. Thus, the only reason to purchase the card would be because you want to not to upgrade your gaming performance.
Top 3 Best Reasons to Avoid an RX 6950 Graphics Card
Here are our top three best reasons to avoid an RX 6950 card and consider the available alternatives instead:
Reason 1: High Power Consumption
The RX 6950 card s higher clock speed attests to AMD s attempts to compete with Nvidia s fastest graphics cards. Nonetheless, that comes with a significant downside higher power consumption. Nevertheless, when testing the card, we were impressed by its performance improvements over its predecessor. It delivers faster VRAM than older cards in the AMD 6000 series, but its power consumption is higher by a whopping 335 watts.
Despite having a significantly lower TGP than the competition, the AMD card requires more energy. A gaming session consumes an average of 589 watts. In addition, a superior power dissipation system is necessary for temperature control, so you may need to invest in a casing with axial fans for cooling purposes. For any gamer who isn t concerned about massive energy bills, the RX 6950 may be an excellent fit. However, you may want to consider alternatives if you don t want to make do with a hotter or louder card.
Reason 2: RX 6950 Isn t a Major Upgrade from RX 6900
Upon its launch, the RX 6950 graphics card was touted as an upgrade to the 6900 graphics card. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Anyone looking tobuy the RX 6950would imagine a significant upgrade to the RX 6900 card, but that isn t the case.
The nomenclature is probably the only different thing because the 6950 has all the flaws associated with its predecessor. This includes the ray-tracing issue that s common across the 6000 series AMD graphic cards. Moreover, the RX 6950 s clock speed can only do so much. We also noted that the RX 6950 s performance isn t as consistent as the 6900. It could be because AMD wanted to launch the card before the RDNA 2 era elapses.
In terms offrame rateperformance, which is a critical factor for PC gamers, the RX 6950 card can only go so far. In this regard, you must consider the higher power draw required to get the RX 6950 graphics card performing better than the RX 6900. On average, the RX 6900 knocks around the 300W mark, whereas the RX 6950 can hit a peak of 408W. Thus, you ll spend more money running the graphics card without a notable performance improvement.
The most significant benefit you ll get from the RX 6950 graphics card is its pricing. With an MRSP of $1099, the card is significantly more affordable than the competition, including the RTX 3080 and the RX 6900. Moreover, given that it packs more features than the two cards mentioned above, you may get some bang for your buck.
Besides that, the RX 6950 isn t the best possible AMD 6000 series card you can get, especially when you consider its flaws and higher power consumption. So, if you were hoping the card would be an upgraded version of the AMD RX 6900 graphics card, you could be in for a shock.
Reason 3: Next-Gen Cards Are Being Launched
The RDNA 2 era has undoubtedly been successful. In the last few years, we ve seen some of the most impressive graphics cards entering the market, offering PC gamers and miners more options and flexibility at affordable prices. The glorious era is ending, ushering in the RDNA 3 era.
The RX 6950 was launched at the tail-end of the RDNA 2 era, and it beats logic why someone would want to purchase it right now, given that more powerful and cheaper graphics cards will be available soon. For instance, NVIDIA has already released its flagship RDNA 3 graphics card, the RTX 4090. Priced at $1,600, it has better features than what you ll find on the RX 6960 card.
AMD has also joined the bandwagon by launching highly powerfulRDNA 3 cardsthat deliver next-gen performance. The RX 7900 graphics card is a notable example of AMD s foray into the RDNA 3 era. The card delivers up to 50% higher performance per watt than predecessors like the RX 6950. Besides, it offers an incredible 96 new unified compute units, second-generation ray-tracing tech, and higher AI performance.
A notable selling point for the new graphics cards is that they cost less than the RX 3950 graphics cards, despite being superior. For example, leadingboard partnerssuch as Sapphire, Yeston, MSI, Gigabyte, and ASUS sell the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT at $899, while the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX retails at $999. For this reason, we wouldn t advise you to spend more than $1,000 on an older-generation graphics card when you can buy something superior at a lower price.
The Best AMD RX 6950 Alternatives
Here are some alternatives to the RX 6950 graphics card which you may want to consider: