Since Nvidia is (generally) better than AMD for both gaming and video editing, I had always decided that my next GPU would be an Nvidia one – and probably the RTX 3060 Ti.
So… why did I randomly purchase an AMD RX 6700 XT for £100 more than MSRP, especially when GPU prices are falling all the time?
Well, it’s because I looked at things in more detail and the RX 6700 XT offers me better gaming performance than the RTX 3060 Ti – and it’s not too bad for video editing either. It’s basically the best choice for my PC build, at this moment in time.
Hello, I’m Tristan. For the past few months, I’ve been sitting on the fence. Well, not literally – that would be painful. Basically when I upgraded my computer last year, I went for a 12 core CPU (the Ryzen 5900X), 64 GB of RAM… and I stuck with my six year old RX480 GPU. Doing 4k video editing on a GPU with just 4GB of VRAM wasn’t ideal. But of course I stuck it out because GPU prices were so high that only Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos could afford to buy one. But now, FINALLY, GPU prices are starting to fall.
I have investigated GPUs quite a lot over the past few months, and I decided that since Nvidia graphics cards are generally better than AMD for both video editing AND gaming, I would purchase an Nvidia card. And due to my case being quite small, I decided that I’d buy the 3060 Ti, since they’re often sold as dual fan configs.
So… why do I have a Sapphire RX 6700 XT right here? And why did I buy it NOW for £529 – which is £100 more than MSRP – when GPU prices are falling all the time? Well there’s a few reasons for choosing this card.
Firstly, size matters. My case can comfortably fit a 28cm GPU without requiring physical modifications, so many of the longer cards like the RX 6800 XT and the RTX 3070 (and 3080) probably wouldn’t be ideal for me. Yes I know that you can buy “mini” versions of those more powerful cards, but those “mini” cards aren’t always available at a good price. However the Sapphire RX 6700 XT that I purchased will fit my case fine – it’s only a couple of centimeters longer than my old RX480 card.
Secondly, gaming performance. The 6700 XT’s gaming performance usually beats the RTX 3060 Ti, and is sometimes on par with the RTX 3070, despite costing a LOT less and consuming less power (than the 3070). Whilst I have a 4K monitor, it’s only 27″ so I plan on mainly gaming in 1440p – and this card will be great for that. It’ll definitely be good enough for me to max out graphics settings at 1440p. My current card struggles to play the latest games in decent graphic settings. Heck, it struggles when I zoom in with one of my weapons on Serious Sam – I only get around 20 fps, which is rubbish. I want a card NOW that will allow me to play games without lag.
My third reason is SAM. The fact that I have a Ryzen 50 series CPU means that I can take advantage of Smart Access Memory – from AMD. Whilst this isn’t perfect in every game, I have the right mix of hardware (namely, the latest motherboard chipset, CPU series and GPU series) to take best advantage of SAM. It’s basically like a free performance boost, since I already have an AMD CPU. Overall I will get better gaming performance than the 3060 Ti, and sometimes the 3070, due to SAM.
My fourth reason, that I bought this card, is the price. Many 6700 XT cards are still £600-800 in the UK, so when this card popped up at £529, I… carpe diem’ed it. Whilst I do expect that GPU prices will continue to fall over the coming months, of course, it’s not a guarantee. There are still loads of stock shortages about. So because I saw a decent enough deal, I bought it. Paying around 20% over MSRP is a lot better than paying double over MSRP.
The final reason I bought this specific card is VRAM. Video editing needs a fair amount of VRAM – especially since I shoot in 4K – and I already max out 4GB of VRAM with my current card the moment I hit the render button. I was conscious that whilst Nvidia IS better for video acceleration and editing, the 8GB of RAM offered by the 3060 Ti and 3070 probably wouldn’t be enough in a few years. But 12 GB would be – giving me a choice between the RTX 3060 or this card, really.
Basically the 6700 XT offers me gaming performance between the 3060 Ti and 3070, but the price and power consumption is basically at 3060 Ti levels. And I’ll then have more VRAM for future proofing, than the 3060 Ti. So for my purposes, the 6700 XT makes sense for me.
To wrap up, it’s great that GPU prices are falling quickly. I think that they MIGHT hit MSRP later this year. But I also think that if you see a good deal now, you may as well buy it. It’s different when GPUs were DOUBLE their MSRP, but now they are much closer to MSRP.. it’s a relief. And who knows what’ll happen to GPU prices with continued stock shortages and ongoing crypto mining – crypto isn’t dead, after all.
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