Radeon RX 6800 XT benchmarks show 33% worse ray tracing performance compared to RTX 3080

Written by Neil Soutter on Fri, Oct 30, 2020 4:00 PM

AMD recently unveiled their next-gen Radeon RX 6000 graphics cards based on the new RDNA2 architecture. But whilst some performance benchmarks show traditional rasterization performance on par with Nvidia’s RTX 30 series GPUs, it looks like AMD’s equivalent don’t handle the ray tracing performance quite as well.

We already briefly saw this in some leaked benchmarks earlier, which showed the RX 6800 XT perform better at 4K resolution, but worse during ray tracking tests when compared to an RTX 3080. Now these new benches show that the Radeon RX 6800 XT actually performs 33% worse than the RTX 3080 at ray tracing.

Where Nvidia has dedicated Ray Tracing Cores on their RTX cards, AMD instead has what they call “Ray Accelerators”. On the Radeon RX 6000 series, there is 1 Ray Accelerator for every Compute Unit.

Luckily for us, AMD also provided some footnotes, which detailed the exact performance figures on Microsoft's DXR (DirectX Ray Tracing) SDK tool called “Procedural Geometry”:

Measured by AMD engineering labs 8/17/2020 on an AMD RDNA 2 based graphics card, using the Procedural Geometry sample application from Microsoft’s DXR SDK, the AMD RDNA 2 based graphics card gets up to 13.8x speedup (471 FPS) using HW based raytracing vs using the Software DXR fallback layer (34 FPS) at the same clocks. Performance may vary.

Fortunately, some handy Reddit users ran the same benchmark tool using their RTX 3080 cards, and recorded an average of 630fps. The RTX 3090 was also benched using the same tool and recorded an average of 749fps. Let’s put this info into a table so we can easily compare the difference:

GPU RT Cores / Ray Accelerators DXR benchmark
RTX 3090 82 749fps
RTX 3080 68 630fps
RX 6800 XT 72 471fps

*Note that RT Cores and Ray Accelerators are not the same and do not equal 1:1 performance.

If we do the math, that means the RTX 3080 performs roughly 33% better than the RX 6800 XT at ray tracing, whilst the RTX 3090 performs 59% better at the same test. That’s not looking too great for AMD if their RTX 3080 equivalent is only $50 cheaper and on par at 4K performance.

What do you think? How do you feel about these performance figures? Are you still interested in getting an RX 6800 XT GPU? Or is this a deal breaker for you? Let us know your thoughts!

Are you interested in getting an RX 6000 GPU?

Is worse ray tracing performance a deal breaker for you?

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09:07 Oct-31-2020

everyone making excuses for amd in 3..2..1...
suddenly bad rtx perf is not such an issue as it was when only nvidia cards supported it?

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19:55 Oct-31-2020

no, it was an issue back then too. thats why people called them beta gpus and stuff like that. first year stuff is going to suck. go back to unified shaders and look at that mess.

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07:55 Oct-31-2020

AMD Ray tracing maybe slower but certainly not a slouch compared to RTX, well except in RTX exclusive games which much of the work for AMD would be a software solution.

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05:01 Oct-31-2020

I think we are still a generation away from when RayTracing is a standard feature in games and a big deal in graphics card buying decision. New gen console games are not out yet, and most PC games out this year are still cross-gen or for older gen when their development started. For now I'd say VRAM and DLSS/Super Resolution are more of a selling point since 1440p and 4K high refresh rate screens are becoming cheaper and entering mainstream.

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06:28 Oct-31-2020

Aye, I just purchased an IPS 1080p 144hz 1milisecond freesync monitor and its really cheap so thats my priority for the next couple of years gaming at a really high frame rate. Ray Tracing is cool but i dont find it as a game changer I hone

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06:31 Oct-31-2020

honestly found Nvidia Physx to be much more epic the water, grass, hair, smoke, snow, air, cloth physics were epic added particles during explosions debris spread accross the floor that we could interact with it was awesome and gave a sense

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06:34 Oct-31-2020

of interactivity with the game world while Reflections, shadows,are things you dont really notice as much after a while but on the other hand Environment lighting by the actual light source is quite important and has a significant impact on

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06:36 Oct-31-2020

the way we play (mostly its us complaining how god damn dark it is that we cant see $hit) but Games have gotten really good the last couple of generations with lighting Ubisoft went and Baked in Beautiful lighting in their open world games

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06:42 Oct-31-2020

such as Assassins Creed Unity and Tom Clancy Division 1, the consoles then forced em to sorta scale down their ambitions with the following releases. maybe we see Ray Tracing make things work better but i have a feeling that the Traditional

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06:44 Oct-31-2020

method of baking in various times of lighting would be a much better and faster method especially when you take next gens focus on storage into account. size isnt an issue but processing budget will always be.

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22:12 Oct-30-2020

If im Nvidia im doubling, hell, TRIPLING efforts to getting RTX and DLSS into as many games as possible. the hardware cards have been played, the fight will now be onto software.

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08:35 Oct-31-2020

DLSS and RTX are hardware accelerated.

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21:40 Oct-30-2020

Personally I really want to see what this means for games, because benchmarks can exaggerate the difference. I got no doubt RTX cards will be better, no arguing there. It would be crazy, if AMD could just beat nVidas 2nd gen raytracing hardware. But in general, I don't mind that much, like raytracing is still gimmick and will stay one till consoles and everything gets better hardware for it.

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21:42 Oct-30-2020

So for me, it is nice to have, but optional. And I really want to see independent benchmarks, since we don't even know what settings did AMD use with benchmark. So we could be comparing apples to apples or apples to oranges with this. And it could go in both, worse or better way for AMD with proper comparison. Or at least I heard that benchmark has settings which will impact result.

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20:09 Oct-30-2020

I feel like just $50 off for 30% worse ray tracing performance is a tough pill to swallow.. Then again, realistically it's completely impossible to get a rtx 3080 for 699€ here in germany. They just randomly pop up in some random online shop without prior notice and are sold out within minutes. If I can actually get a 6800 XT for about 600-650€, or a 6900 XT for under 1000€ I'll probably get one.

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19:42 Oct-30-2020

6900xt delayed until december and aib might get a version that doesnt use the amd designed cooler. considering its the 6800xt in all forms except with being a fulllly enabled die means aib designs would instaly work.
better raster performance is what i want, so i'll be waiting.

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19:18 Oct-30-2020

Game's may not require ray tracing for a long time but with the new consoles being capable of it, I expect nearly every major cross platform release to implement it in some way. If you're spending over half a grand on a GPU to last you four or more years, it should probably be at least something to consider.

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19:13 Oct-30-2020

Well, raytracing is a major selling point of current gen consoles and thus every new gen game will be using it. If you say it's irrelevant then you're wrong, as you didn't notice how better graphics look and the amount of realism that ot provides. I would sacrifice a 10% normal performance in favor of 33% rt, it is actually a game changing technology, you'll see it in every game very soon

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19:20 Oct-30-2020

Oh damn likeminded. I was five minutes off, but yeah I agree. Some people don't care at all for visuals though so at least it's easy for them.

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20:12 Oct-30-2020

I honestly got to agree, I think it's not fair from AMD to keep the raytracing performance secret and claiming that their cards are competitive, because for most future games they probably won't be that close. Definitely something to consider, if I spend 650€ on a graphics card, I don't wanna have to deactivate such important settings.

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17:08 Oct-30-2020

Predictable...it will be optimized 6 months from release.

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17:00 Oct-30-2020

Meh... the fact that AMD cards offer 16GB VRAM at similar prices and possibly lower power draw is much more appealing than a tecnology that is still in its infancy and is barely used but let's wait for benchmarks. DLSS on the other hand...

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16:56 Oct-30-2020

That is completely expected as its AMDs first iteration of Ray Tracing.

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20:29 Oct-30-2020

Still the 6800 XT is "only" $50 less, despite having about 2/3 of the performance for games with Ray tracing, that's kind of a big deal considering moving forward more and more games will support it. On "Ultra" Benchmarks they should always show the RT performance, which they're clearly not doing.

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05:59 Oct-31-2020

there will be a good amount of years before games need ray tracing mandatory. Then if you think about it, future games will be optimized for AMD's raytracing performance since consoles have AMD RDNA2 GPUs in them, so if you run them in AMD's mode of Ray Tracing then AMD should perform great.

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16:37 Oct-30-2020

Its still going to be a long while where games no longer fake global illumination/reflections. 85% of the pc market remains on non-raytracing hardware gpu´s. So developers always need to do double the work for raytracing and "faked" lighting. I dont expect a game requiring raytracing gpu in the next 4 years.

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16:23 Oct-30-2020

I only care for DLSS and AMD's equivalent. Ray tracing is irrelevant to me.

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16:11 Oct-30-2020

Who would have imagined? :sarcasm:

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16:10 Oct-30-2020

AMD's 1st gen raytracing acceleration vs Nvidia's 2nd gen. It was expected.

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