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!

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