It has not been long since the RDNA 2 lineup of graphic cards came out from AMD’s side, and Nvidia has been dropping their Ampere GPUs too. It almost feels like we are back to the good old days where both companies enjoyed a competitive environment. The reason why I said “almost” is because AMD no longer competes with Nvidia on the same terms.
For instance, the release schedule of both companies is barely similar, except this time. However, that is not all, they still share many differences, and the comparisons that we normally see show that AMD just cannot seem to catch up to Nvidia. Sure, AMD is enjoying it a lot when you are talking about their desktop processors.
But their graphic cards are a different ball game altogether. Thankfully, the RDNA 2 lineup has shown some promise in the mid-range sector, and there we have Nvidia’s RTX 3070 sitting and waiting for the AMD Radeon RX 6800 patiently. These two GPUs are closer to each other in a lot of ways, but we are more concerned if the same goes when you are discussing performance or whether there is an unfair advantage that is going on.
We have to understand that specifications do make a lot of sense, and not just that, they are important to look at. While, most of the time, they are only good on paper, as we have seen in the past as well, but we want to be certain that our readers are having the best possible understanding.
That is why we have shared a table that will help you know more about each GPU and everything they bring to the table.
|AMD Radeon RX 6800||Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070|
|Process||7nm TSMC||8nm Samsung|
|VRAM||16GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6|
|Bandwidth||512.0 GB/s.||448.0 GB/s.|
|Pixel Rate||202.1 GPixel/s||165.6 GPixel/s|
|Transistors||26.8 billion||17.4 billion.|
|Die Size||536 mm2||392 mm2|
|Additional Technologies||DX123 ray tracing, variable-rate shading, Direct Storage API, Smart Access Memory (Zen 3), 128MB infinity cache.||DLSS 2.0, RTX Cores, NVENC, Direct Storage (RTX I/O)|
Now, things are a bit tricky here. On paper, the Radeon RX 6800 is better than the RTX 3070 in many ways. It uses a more modern manufacturing process, it has double the VRAM, more bandwidth, higher pixel rate, and several transistors, and slightly higher power consumption. But are these things enough to make it a winner? Well, of course not. We are going to dig deeper and find out what the situation with this GPU is.
Winner: AMD Radeon RX 6800: Even though just on paper, the AMD Radeon RX 6800 has started making a compelling case for itself as it looks like a much better option than the RTX 3070. But is it good in terms of performance? That is what we are going to start digging into.
The performance is one thing that you will need to understand that happened to be the only deciding factor for a lot of us when we are picking a GPU, so it is only fair that we are getting something that has a good performance across the board, right? Well, that is the case, but it is not that simple.
Both the RX 6800 and RTX 3070 have a similar performance target, but we did run several games and only found out that the results are a lot closer than one might think, but we are still going to spend some time deciding on which one is the winner here.
Battlefield V DX 11
Battlefield V is one of the games that are heavily used when testing because of how graphically intensive it can be. The RX 6800 shows impressive results here. If you are looking to play on 1080p, the RX 6800 beats the RTX 3070 by over 30%, getting an average frame rate of 218 frames per second, which is more than enough.
Shift over to 1440p and the difference becomes even larger. The RX 6800 manages to outpace the RTX 3070 by around 32%, getting 173 frames per second on average.
Moving on to 4K, the gap does close, but it is still not giving the RTX 3070 a lead. The RX 6800 manages to score a 20% lead and gains 95 frames on average. Now, an important thing to keep in mind is that while the scores are certainly impressive, you are looking at an inherently more expensive card, which means that the performance fight is not as fair.
Moving onto the Hitman 2, it starts appearing that the RX 6800 is not as impressive as we saw it in previous results. Granted, it still manages to beat the RTX 3070 across all resolutions, the margin is fairly small, and in most cases, it is insignificant, as well.
For starters, the 1080p resolution sees the RX 6800 to be at a 4% lead, the lead increases a bit to 5% in 1440p, and 11% lead in 4K resolution. Sure, the performance is still good, but we are not going to say that the lead is impressive or groundbreaking.
Borderlands 3 DX 12
Borderlands 3 sees an impressive victory for the RX 6800 and manages to lead again in all resolutions. The RX 6800 beats the RTX 3700 by 27% on both 1080p and 1440p resolutions on the ultra preset. However, the gap does close a bit when you are going to 4K resolution but the RX 6800 still beats the RTX 3070 by a 23% margin.
Needless to say, the RX 6800 managed to perform a lot better here and manages to deliver great performance.
Fortnite DX 12
In the past, Fortnite used to run poorly on the Radeon GPUs in general, but things have changed as AMD has managed to assess the situation and the game runs well now. Simply put, the RX 6800 manages to outperform the RTX 3070 in all three resolutions and leads by a 17% margin at 1080p, 20% at 1440p, and 21% at 4K.
These are again, impressive results, but always keep the price difference in mind, and remember that the RTX 3070 is still an impressive card for the price.
Apex Legends is another one of the more popular titles that people have been playing for some time now, the performance on both cards is a lot similar than you might think, in the first place. For starters, the RX 6800 is 6% faster at 1080p, 3% faster at 1440p and up to 5% faster at 4K.
There is no denying that the performance margin here is a lot smaller here than you might think, and this margin ends up making the RTX 3070 an even more attractive offering.
A lot like Fortnite, PUBG happens to be another game that didn’t run well on the Radeon GPUs in the past. However, that has not changed with PUBG this time around. The RTX 3070 and RX 6800 performs identical, and this only makes the RX 6800 a less compelling offer when you start looking at the price difference.
Moving onto Cyberpunk 2077, the game that has been bringing every PC to its knees. Sure, the game is still a lot more notorious in terms of how erratic it in performance, but hey, we have to do what needs to be done here.
When you are talking about 1080p, the RX 6800 manages to lead by 8% and 10% at 1440p. However, both GPUs perform identically when you are moving to 4K, but at 4K, you can always use DLSS 2.0 on the RTX 3070 and get more performance.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, finally sees AMD coming back and reclaiming the throne, as there is a strong performance uplift. You are getting around 20% gain on all three resolutions, meaning the scaling remains consistent on both GPUs. Again, the price difference is one thing to keep in mind.
The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt
Despite being old, Witcher 3 still manages to put the GPUs through their paces, and for all the right reasons as it is one of the most visually impressive games available. The Radeon RX 6800 manages to outpace the RTX 3070 by 13% in 1080p, 6% in 1440p, and 4% at 4K. So, it all depends on whether you are still calling it a good value or not.
Control DX 12
Control happens to be another game where the performance gap between the RTX 3070 as well as RX 6800 is barely there. This means that you are not going to notice anything unless you turn the DLSS 2.0 on your RTX 3070 and get a performance boost. Which makes zero contest here.
The Outer Worlds
The Outer Worlds is another game where the RX 6800 manages to struggle, and while it performs the same as the RTX 3070, you will need to know that it is not outperforming the RTX 3070 by any margin at all. Historically, the game, in general, has not been good with AMD GPUs. So, this does not make a lot of sense.
Winner: AMD Radeon RX 6800: While the Radeon RX 6800 does win in the majority of titles that we have tested, it is also important to know that there is a price difference that is still there, with the RTX 3070 being a bit cheaper. The RTX 3070, in general, appears to give a better value of money.
When you are talking about VRAM, things are a bit tricky because most of the time, getting an answer is not as easy as some might think. For starters, just because a GPU has more VRAM does not necessarily mean that it is going to perform better in every single way.
With that said, the RX 6800 has 16GB of VRAM, which is twice the size of the RTX 3070 which comes with 8GB of VRAM. With that said, in our performance review section, you have seen that despite having double the VRAM, the RX 6800 isn’t necessarily twice as fast as the RTX 3070, and the gap becomes even smaller at 4K, so it is better to keep in mind rather than just investing in something that makes little sense.
Winner: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070: Again, this does sound like it makes little sense but it is important to know that while on paper, the RX 6800 does come with more VRAM, more bandwidth, and some of the other benefits here. But when you are talking actual performance, the RTX 3070 manages to come close to the RX 6800 in more ways than just one, clearly showing that the RX 6800 is not invincible.
Both of these GPUs almost look identical in terms of performance but it is all about the technologies that you are going to get access to. Nvidia has always prided itself as someone that brings more technologies to the table than the competition.
With that said, the RTX 3000 series is powered by a newer generation of DLSS, not just that, you are also getting access to better Raytracing and Tensor cores which just makes the performance even better. The best part about the RTX 3070 is that in games where it might be getting defeated by the RX 6800, it can simply use DLSS 2.0 feature and get the extra performance boost.
Granted, the game does have to support DLSS, in the first place. But we have many games that already support this with more games coming in the future.
While the RX 6800 is certainly an impressive option that you can look into, it does not have any equivalent of DLSS 2.0 and more importantly, the Raytracing that the RX 6800 uses is based on DirectX 12 rather than being hardware powered.
Winner: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070: It should not come as a surprise that Nvidia has worked hard on the RTX 3000 series, and it shows with the number of technologies that we are getting access to. Both GPUs are impressive as far as their proprietary technologies are concerned, but DLSS 2.0 is a game-changer, as are the RT cores that the RTX 3000 series is coming with.
Power Consumption, Acoustics, and Thermals
There is no denying that power consumption is certainly something that has managed to make a lot of people question whether they are going to pick up a Radeon GPU or not. Radeon GPUs are notorious for being very power-hungry. However, I thought that things would change this time around as it uses a 7nm TSMC manufacturing process, which should be good enough to keep the consumption in check.
But as it turns out, the Radeon RX 6800 sips more power directly from the wall than your RTX 3070 is going to be doing. For starters, our RTX 3070 maxed out at 208-watts, whereas the RX 6800 sipped more power at 239-watts.
It is important to note here that this test was done by stressing the GPU at the max possible configuration while trying to keep the CPU load at the minimum. Doing so revealed the aforementioned results. The RTX 3070 manages to have a better performance in terms of power consumption. However, it is also important to know that we did tests on reference GPUs, which means that using an aftermarket GPU will show you some difference.
Moving onto the acoustic performance, both cards manage to remain quiet under an idle scenario since the fans weren’t spinning. However, under load, the RX 6800 managed a 40 Dba noise level whereas the RTX 3070 managed a 36 DBa. Do keep in mind that these tests were done on reference models, and custom models are supported to give out a different result.
As far as the temperatures are concerned, the GeForce RTX 3070 managed to reach 73C at full load, whereas the RX 6800 kept it impressive by maxing out at 64C. This is due to a beefier cooler that you find on the latter. Again, these tests are on reference models, so you are likely to see different results when you are going for custom variants.
Winner: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070: While the RTX 3070 does have a higher temperature, that is not due to the efficiency, but the design of the reference card. However, it manages to best the RX 6800 in both temperatures as well as acoustics.
Final Word and Our Winner
There is no denying that both the RTX 3070 and RX 6800 are impressive GPUs but the fact that one has to be crowned the winner is important. The thing is that the RTX 3070 costs less than the RX 6800 and still manages to match the performance in most of the demanding and popular titles. Not to mention, it has technologies like DLSS 2.0 as well as hardware-accelerated raytracing, which makes it all the more compelling.
Both cards are a bit hard to buy, but that does not mean that it manages to influence the winner here. As long as AMD is still lagging on those technologies, it becomes very hard to catch up. Not to forget, the Radeon RX 6800 costs more than the RTX 3070.
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