The gaming performance on a graphics card is the most important factor in buying a card, but you also need to be concerned about the noise, temperature and power consumption numbers.
AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Temperatures:
We tested the cards with their default settings and found the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT had an idle temperature of 41C (44C hotspot). After playing a 1440P game title for 30 minutes and found the 6900 XT hit 77C (94C hot spot). For comparison sake… The Radeon RX 6800 reached 71C (81C hotspot) and the Radeon RX 6800 XT hit 74C (91C hotspot).
For testing power consumption, we took our test system and plugged it into a Kill-A-Watt power meter. For load numbers we ran Rainbow Six Siege at 1440P and recorded the peak power number while the in-game benchmark was running. This is done to ensure the results are repeatable.
Power consumption on the AMD Radeon RX 6900 topped out at 513 Watts and that is about 20 Watts more than the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT. Both cards are rated at the 300 Watts (total graphics power), but every GPU has different leakage amounts and that is likely the reason behind some of the difference that we are seeing.
NVIDIA PCAT Testing
One of the new tools that we have to look at power consumption is the NVIDIA Power Capture Analysis Tool (PCAT). NVIDIA came up with custom designed board and software utility that captures accurate perf-per-watt and total graphics board performance data. The Kill-A-Watt power meter that we used for the previous data has a polling rate of 1 second, whereas the PCAT has a polling rate of 0.1 seconds and also logs the data. This combined with the fact that it is only measuring the power used by the graphics card make it the superior way to look at power consumption. We recorded power usage on 3DMark Time Spy as this graphics test doesn’t often receive updates and is easy to run.
Here is a look at total PCIe Power for the the GeForce RTX 3070/3080 Founders Edition graphics cards compared to the AMD Radeon RX 6800/6800 XT/6900 XT. All of the cards were running at stock settings and we recorded the power on a standard run of 3DMark Time Spy. Here you can see the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT peaks at 360.8 Watts of power and this is a measurement of just what the card itself is using and nothing else in the system. This is basically the same peak power draw as the Radeon RX 3800 XT and GeForce RTX 3080. The average over the entire benchmark run showed the Radeon RX 6900 XT was about 20 Watts lower than the 3080 Founders Edition and 10 Watts more than the Radeon RX 6800 XT.
Let’s wrap this up!