I will be reviewing the SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX 6700 XT GAMING OC. This video card is the new reference card for the RX RX series of GPUs, and it’s the most powerful RX RX part released to date. In this review, I’ll cover the base specifications of the card, then I’ll cover the overclocking of the card, and then I’ll move on to the test methodology.

We get a lot of requests for hardware reviews here at Battle of Banners, and I was recently sent a Sapphire RX 6700 video card to review. So, I took it into the lab to see how it performs compared to the competition. This review isn’t going to be about the cards performance, as that’s pretty obvious from the test results. Instead, I’ll be talking about the card’s design and the actually value offered by the RX 6700.

Introduction

The Radeon RX 6700 XT goes NITRO with the SAPPHIRE NITRO+ AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT GAMING OC video card.  This custom video card from SAPPHIRE has robust cooling and a custom design with overclocking in mind. SAPPHIRE is AMD exclusive in its video card lineup.  In the SAPPHIRE video card lineup, it has four main brands, Radeon, PULSE, NITRO, and TOXIC.  Radeon carries the standard reference cooling from AMD, but it is the PULSE, NITRO+, and TOXIC that receive special custom cooling and designs.  The TOXIC cards are the best of the best from SAPPHIRE. Most of SAPPHIRE’s range of GPUs actually lies in its NITRO+ series.  This is where you will find more robust cooling, custom factory overclocks, and RGB.  Among SAPPHIRE’s Radeon RX 6700 XT GPU-based video cards, the SAPPHIRE NITRO+ AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT, 12GB, AMD RDNA 2 is the top-tier, fastest 6700 XT, from SAPPHIRE.

AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT

The AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT was launched on March 17th with an MSRP of $479.  Radeon RX 6700 XT (NAVI 22 XT) is based on the RDNA2 architecture on 7nm TSMC.  It has 2,560 cores, 160 TMUs, and 64 ROPs, and 40 Ray Accelerators.  The game clock is set at 2424MHz and the Boost Clock at 2581MHz.  It has 12GB of GDDR6 memory on a 192-bit memory bus at 16GHz providing 384GB/s of bandwidth.  The TDP is 230W.

SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX 6700 XT GAMING OC Specs

The SAPPHIRE NITRO+ AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT GAMING OC 12GB GDDR6 HDMI/TRIPLE DP video card with SKU# 11306-01-20G is based on the Radeon RX 6700 XT GPU.  This is the fastest Radeon RX 6700 XT SAPPHIRE offers.  It has a GPU Game Clock set at up to 2548MHz and a GPU Boost Clock set at up to 2622MHz.  This is therefore a 5% higher game clock compared to the reference spec of 2424MHz and a 2% higher boost clock compared to the reference spec of 2581MHz.  The higher game clock will allow it to boost higher while gaming than a reference video card.  This video card is aimed at the 1440p gameplay experience. A unique feature of the SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX 6700 XT OC video card is its triple BIOS setting.  It does have a dual-BIOS on board, but the switch allows three separate settings.  In the default Performance Mode, you get the highest performance.  Then there is a middle position which sets a Silent Mode, which means a lower fan speed.  Finally, the third mode called Software Switch Mode allows you to set these two options (Performance or Silent) from within software via SAPPHIRE TriXX installed on your computer.  In this way you don’t have to ever physically switch the video card, you can do it at any time from within the software. There are a lot of technologies at play with SAPPHIRE video cards.  It bases its whole lineup on its SAPPHIRE DNA values.  This makes up core components including a Tough Metal Backplate, Two-Ball Bearing fans, Fan Quick Connect, Fuse Protection, and Dual BIOS.  All of these features are found on its NITRO+ series of graphics cards. The Backplate is an all-aluminum backplate that provides rigidity and helps cool the video card.  It is well ventilated to not trap heat, plus it uses thermal pads to conduct heat.  The fans use dual-ball bearings to prolong their lifespan and provide a quieter operation.  One unique feature SAPPHIRE has is its Fan Quick Connect system.  You can literally detach the fans very easily from the shroud, without much effort.  This allows you to clean them and replace them if they break very easily.  SAPPHIRE has replacement fans on its website.  With Fuse Protection built into the circuit of the external PCI-E power connector, it will keep your components safe.  Finally, the Dual BIOS means you can choose between a performance or silence mode. New for the Radeon RX 6000 series is SAPPHIRE’s Cooltech fan designs.  This includes a Hybrid Fan Blade which combines the quietness of a traditional axial fan with a strong air pressure of a blower fan design to improve downward air pressure while keeping fan noise at a minimum.  Also new is the WAVE Fin design which reduces friction when the fan wind goes into the fin modules of the heatsink resulting in a reduction of the wind noise.  Also new for the Radeon RX 6000 series is the V-Shape Fin Design on top of the GPU that centralizes airflow around the GPU to dissipate heat. Also new for the Radeon RX 6000 series is an Integrated Cooling Module.  This cooling module specifically cools memory and VRMs as well as MOSFETs and chokes.  It has a two-heat pipe system added underneath the module to dissipate heat from those components with better efficiency.  Finally, another new feature for the Radeon RX 6000 series is the K6.5 Memory Pads.  These new memory pads have nearly 38% better thermal conductivity between the components and cooler compared to the previous K5 pads. The video card requires one 8-pin and one 6-pin power connectors. The PSU requirement is a 650W power supply. SAPPHIRE rates the board power at 260W for this video card, which is more than the reference card which is 230W. This is the same as the reference design power connections. In terms of display outputs, the SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX 6700 XT supports three DisplayPorts and one HDMI. New for the Radeon RX 6000 series is SAPPHIRE’s Cooltech fan designs.  This includes a Hybrid Fan Blade which combines the quietness of a traditional axial fan with the strong air pressure of a blower fan design to improve downward air pressure while keeping fan noise at a minimum.  Also new is the WAVE Fin design which reduces friction when the fan wind goes into the fin modules of the heatsink resulting in a reduction of the wind noise.  Also new for the Radeon RX 6000 series is the V-Shape Fin Design on top of the GPU that centralizes airflow around the GPU to dissipate heat. Also new for the Radeon RX 6000 series is an Integrated Cooling Module.  This cooling module specifically cools memory and VRMs as well as MOSFETs and chokes.  It has a two-heat pipe system added underneath the module to dissipate heat from those components with better efficiency.  Finally, another new feature for the Radeon RX 6000 series is the K6.5 Memory Pads.  These new memory pads have nearly 38% better thermal conductivity between the components and cooler compared to the previous K5 pads. Other features that continue in the Radeon RX 6000 series is Intelligent Fan Control.  This allows the fan speed to be intelligently controlled to keep the GPU, memory, PWM IC and other components as low as possible in temperature to balance performance and fan noise.  It also has Precision Fan Control using Fan IC Control to reduce differential in fan rotation cycles at approximately 3%.  This is a 70% improvement on accuracy for rotational speeds. Using Robust VRM Cooling the SAPPHIRE NITRO+ video cards keep the VRMS cool and thermal conductivity pads on the backplate take heat away.  It has Robust Memory Cooling to keep the memory cool with that unique Integrated Cooling Module.  The NITRO+ Radeon RX 6700 XT we are reviewing uses the SAPPHIRE Tri-X Cooling Technology using three large fans to optimize wind flow for a low temperature and low noise cooling solution. The SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX 6700 XT GAMING OC video card measures 12.2 inches in length, which is 2.2 inches longer than the 10.5-inch reference Radeon RX 6700 XT. It is also 5.1 inches in width and 2 inches in height or 2.5-slot. That also makes it wider than the reference Radeon RX 6700 XT which is 4.3 inches and higher as the reference is only 2-slot. All in all, this is a bigger video card in all directions. This video card also supports SAPPHIRE NITRO Glow which is the shroud design combined with ARGB LEDs controlled by TriXX software. There is also an addressable ARGB header RGB connector on the video card to sync up to other RGB lighting components. The top bar lights up, along with the SAPPHIRE logo on top plus the logo on the backside. In fact, with the way the backplate is vented the lighting from the backplate permeates the design, and shines through the whole backside.

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