The AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT, RX 6800 XT, and RX 6800 graphics cards

The AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT, RX 6800 XT, and RX 6800 graphics cards

The AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT, RX 6800 XT, and RX 6800 graphics cards are already supported from the latest macOS Big Sur beta (11.4).

Apple confirmed in its 11.4 release notes: “You can now use graphics cards based on the AMD Navi RDNA2 architecture.”

What exactly does this mean for Mac owners? If you have a Mac Pro, you can now plug in one of these Big Navi GPUs and feel the benefits, as some owners have already done (for example, with Octane X, a rendering package that has some pretty nimble performance levels).

It’s the only Apple computer that can be installed internally with one of these AMD GPUs, but keep in mind that other Mac owners can use an external GPU (eGPU), a box that contains a graphics card that connects via a fast Thunderbolt connection. much better interpretation. And now you can use these Big Navi cards on an eGPU, which can be a big help for players.

First days
For now, if you want to spin, you need to install Big Sur Beta, with all the usual warnings that come with running beta software (things can go wrong, of course, with any pre-release code). Big Sur version 11.4 is still in its infancy, and in fact version 11.3 of the operating system is yet to be released, but should be released soon.

Keep in mind that Apple’s new M1-chip Macs won’t support eGPU, at least for now, though that may not change in the future (or actually not, as there are certainly people who are skeptical that this will ever happen).

This is the only Apple computer that can be installed internally on one of these AMD GPUs, but keep in mind that other Mac owners can use an external GPU (eGPU), a box that contains a graphics card that connects quickly over a Thunderbolt 3 connection . able to put together to provide a lot. better performance. And now you can already use these Big Navi cards in an eGPU, which can bring significant benefits to the player.

New Graphics Card Too Expensive? 10 Ways to Squeeze More Performance From Your GPU


1. In the beginning

For now, if you want to give it a whirl, you have to install the Big Sur beta, with all the usual warnings that come with running the beta software (things can go really wrong with the pre-release code). Big Sur version 11.4 is still in the very early stages, and version 11.3 of the operating system is still unreleased – but it should be soon.

Keep in mind that Apple’s own M1 chip with brand new Macs doesn’t support eGPUs yet, although that may change in the future (or just not, as there are certainly people who are skeptical that this will ever be the case). finally).

2. If possible, turn on dynamic solution scaling

Dynamic Resolution Scaling (DRS) is a recently introduced service that provides just the initial feel in the mainstream, as more developers want to offer a way to run their games on optimal, non-optimal hardware at optimal frame rates.

DRS is only available on a per-game basis, meaning the game menu must be an option to turn it on. Increases the frame rate by dynamically adjusting the scene display solution and the number of display elements. Not in technojargon? The more stuff you ask the GPU to do, the more downwardly it will reduce the image tightly to keep the frame rate above a constant value.

Dynamic resolution scaling Warzone

For example, you are in a small hallway where only a few enemies are visible. This is an easy task for the GPU, resulting in better frame rates. Step out into the wide view where there are more enemies, spaceships firing from the sky and track markers everywhere? Frame rate tanks.

The DRS solution does this, and while it is not always the best way to pull a higher frame rate off the card, it helps ensure a more consistent frame rate across different scenes and scenes. Who wants to try? Simply set the game settings to see if there is a DRS switch and flip.

3. Do you have a Radeon card? Contact your settings advisor

Owners of AMD Radeon cards who can’t decide which ones to set in the area of ​​high frame rates come with the latest version of the company’s Radeon Software Adrenaline Edition (which is a package of GPU management and performance monitoring). what the company calls Radeon Settings Advisor (RSA).
RSA is part of the complete Radeon package. This is a real-time reporting system that tracks how well a game is performing at your current settings. Equally important: It automatically makes suggestions as to which settings can be adjusted to provide the best visual experience ensuring more consistent frame rates.

This draws a little more out of the equation, although he suggests that you always tune the game to your own visual preferences before learning the advice of the artificial intelligence-driven method. The reason why? He’s coming up.

4. Image Sharpeners: Radeon Image Sharpening, Nvidia Freestyle and ReShade

The reason for this is the image sharpener. Increasingly popular in recent years, sharpeners like Nvidia Freestyle apply a secondary filter over the game to clean up any rough edges, these render solutions can be used when rejecting the level of alarms.

The AMD Radeon Image Sharpening (RIS), on the other hand, is a bit more advanced. Instead of simply applying a flat filter to the whole image, RIS uses an algorithm called Contrast Adaptive Sharpening (CAS) that uses the various elements present to determine which life to sharpen and which can be left alone. .


The known advantage of CAS is that it is open source, so anyone with any graphics card (AMD or Nvidia!) Has the option to be bundled with a feature that allows the game to be played in a native way. The feature is improved in many games that can be compared to new video cards. Our latest results show the impact of CAS or DLSS (later on from DLSS later) on AAA games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Death Stranding on the launch of the Radeon RX 6700 XT.

In our testing, we found that players can reduce their rendering resolution by up to 35% on average using RIS without noticeably degrading image quality, which means a 35% increase in frames per second. However, Nvidia Freestyle is not so forgiving, and RIS has generally produced better image quality, thanks to a more targeted approach.

Turning on these sharpeners is usually a simple switch in supported games. The question is whether a particular game supports the technology and which one.

5. Another benefit for AMD cardholders: Radeon Boost

If you have a Radeon RX 400 or later, setting up AMD Radeon Boost is an interesting way to achieve higher average frame rates and reduced latency among today’s most popular multiplayer games. Like the DRS, Radeon Boost determines when you change the character quickly by moving the mouse so that a small video card corner cut is not noticeable.

Think of it that way. When commonly referred to as “flick” in multiplayer shoot-’em-ups, it quickly moves the mouse from one part of the screen to the other to try to focus on its head. the enemy as fast as possible. In these situations, the higher frame rate is more important than how good the head looks when you click it.

AMD Radeon Boost

Radeon Boost adaptively reduces game resolution while the camera is in motion. provides an instantaneous “boost” to your frame rate. After you stop moving the mouse, the game returns to rendering in native resolution.

We’ve tried this feature on several demons, and while it can provide a significant average increase in frame rate, its limited support (less than two dozen games know how to use it) prevents this from being a kind of “catch” -all bonus owners can search.

Nevertheless, the list of Radeon Boost-compatible games includes very heavy bats:

  • Apex Legends
  • Borderlands 3
  • Call of Duty Modern Warfare
  • Call of Duty: World War II
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • 2. sors
  • Fallout 76
  • Fortnite
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Metro Exodus
  • Overwatch
  • Battlefields of an unknown playerResident Evil 3
  • The rise of the Tomb Raider
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • Sniper Elite 4
  • Warframe
  • The Witch 3: Wild Hunt
    Sports kits that play one of the games on the list are worth the entry costs under the right circumstances. And speaking of the high cost of entry …

6. Turn on DLSS … If you can (GeForce RTX owners only)

So you threw yourself into an Nvidia 20-series graphics card with a “RTX” badge on it, by the time the kit was dry and prices were circulating in both the 20 and the newer GeForce RTX 30 series? By far, using DLSS is by far the fastest and easiest way to get the most out of your existing Nvidia graphics card. With a big warning.

DLSS is a magic in the service of time for lack of more sophisticated technical explanations. The technology uses artificial intelligence to smooth out the pseudonym of games. In our testing, we’ve seen that in some cases, you can increase frame rate by up to 70 percent without having any noticeable effect on the visual quality of the game.

Nvidia RTX DLSS 2.0

Is this the big catch? DLSS has only been realized to a limited extent in games, and the game needs to be supported to get involved. As of April 2021, DLSS 2.0 (the only version worth using, according to this humble benchmarker) is available with less than three dozen titles. If you regularly play one of the licensed games, such as Call of Duty: Warzone, the momentum is undeniable.

Call of Duty DLSS

Call of Duty: Warzone is on with RTX, DLSS is off: 108 fps. RTX with DLSS Ultra Performance mode: 176 fps. Buttons pressed? One.
Literally in the middle of this story, an DLSS 2.0 update has been released for the new COD: Warzone mode, and reactions are already pouring in (specifically from yours): This is the future of the game. Unfortunately, for now, still, especially the future. (In the update, only Bladepoint and Mortal Shell were the game, which was hardly a global 100 million player phenomenon, which is COD: Warzone.)

Nvidia DLSS

We expect this to change in the coming years, as Nvidia recently announced basic DLSS integration with both Unreal Engine 4 and Unity, which are the most commonly used game engines on the market today. In the meantime, however, given that the technology is limited by both the number of games and the individual cards it will run on (i.e., only GeForce RTXs), this is not an everyday option for most people.

Users should be aware that for most of the technologies mentioned above, DLSS is an “all or not” situation. Overrides anti-aliasing, DRS or AMD FidelityFX CAS permissions one with nothing more than a firmware patch and a software update. That’s money not spent on a new video card that you could put toward a higher-resolution monitor, and still not see it a drop in frames because DLSS would be picking up the slack all the way up the chain.

Nvidia DLSS 2.0

Like we said before – magic.
DLSS is finally, after a turbulent start, the beginning to show some maturity in its place. If you own a GeForce RTX card, DLSS (if supported in a given game) should always be your first and last resort to find any additional performance hidden in the virtual GPU GPU cushion. If it’s supported, just look at the toggle in the game’s menu and turn it on.

7. Tweak Two Keys Windows 10 Settings

For those on Windows 10, the two settings buried in the Graphics Settings section of your Display Settings window, VRS, and hardware accelerated GPU scheduling, can help you resolve some extra frames in some games that support either feature Huh. To get them, right-click on the Windows desktop, choose Display Settings, then scroll to the bottom and click Graphics Settings. (If you don’t see them, make sure your installation of Windows 10 is turned on via Windows Update.)

Turn on variable rate shading

The first is Variable Rate Shading (VRS), a new technique that works in just two games at the time of this writing: Gears 5, and Gears Tactics. If any of them are your thing (and they very well may be, as one of them earned our Editors’ Choice Award), you can see the benefit of this new technology. It changes the way that shadows are counted, in so few words.

VRS Settings 1
Gears not geeks? Lines on.

Turn on hardware accelerated GPU scheduling

Another minor buffer in the GPU world recently came in the May 2020 Windows 10 update. This applied to changes known as the “GPU scheduler”, the basic terminology in the instruction set that tells your GPU how much or how little power to use for a particular task. The GPU scheduler in Windows is all the way back to the days of Windows Vista, and was recently updated as a part of the Windows 10 2004 feature build.

Hardware Accelerated GPU Scheduling

We haven’t tested the feature for ourselves, but other outlets have all come to the same conclusion, thus far: It’s mildly helpful, but it’s still too early to tell how big a deal it will be. The games launched prior to the latest May 2020 update were designed keeping in mind the original GPU scheduler, meaning they wouldn’t even know how to take advantage of the optimization if they could.

Even with optimization, it is assumed that the primary beneficiaries of the technology will be games that can take advantage of CPU six cores or more, such as Grand Theft Auto V or Civilization VI. If you play any of these games regularly, you can see a small percentage gain by turning it on, but again, this feature is reserved for fringe cases.

8. Have a Drink at the Resizable BAR

Another recently introduced feature, Resizable BAR, has actually been sitting in the depths of beta BIOS builds on motherboards for a while now. (It’s also known as Smart Access Memory, or SAM, on AMD-based systems.) Just recently, it got flipped on as the emergence of PCI Express 4.0 buses on motherboards have allowed for a more efficient communication pipe to open up between compatible CPUs. and GPUs.

Resizable BAR AMD

The feature first made its appearance during the launch of AMD’s Radeon RX 6000 Series of graphics cards. When we tested the feature then, it provided only a small bump overall, with frame results that were up to 8% faster in certain cases. This often was not enough to help the RX 6700 XT keep up with its Nvidia competition (specifically the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition) in DirectX 11 games, though …

Speaking of which, if you plan to play lots of games that use DirectX 11, err on the side of caution. Stick with your Nvidia card, if you’ve got one, to get the best possible frame rates in those games until drivers for the Radeon RX 5000 and RX 6000 Series GPUs shake out in future updates.

Turning on Resizable BAR or SAM, if capable, happens in the BIOS, and it requires late-model components, so it may be less useful for folks with older hardware they are trying to extend the life of. It also may require updates to the motherboard and possibly the video card firmware. Check your motherboard manufacturer’s website for the appropriate BIOS updates required, as well as instructions on where to find the toggle for your specific model. Once again, our Resizable BAR primer has much more on the compatibility issues.

9. And Then There Was Overclocking

Though it has been diminished in effectiveness in recent years, the oldest, most-vetted method of getting more power out of your GPU is overclocking.

As cards have grown in power and complexity, the clock-speed ceiling that a GPU can reasonably expect to hit above its base rate has lessened, and card makers have gained quite good at leaving little performance untapped in their designs. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get what you need out of your card in a pinch. Applications like AMD’s WattMan and Radeon Overclocking Software give an array of novice-friendly options to tune your graphics card. Nvidia users aren’t suffering for choice, either. They can use third-party software options such as MSI Afterburner and EVGA Precision X1, which tend to work with the widest array of third-party GeForce cards.

In our own reviews, we’ve seen cards like the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT that could comfortably stick at an overclock of nearly 25%. Whether or not that translates 1: 1 into that much performance depends on the game, though. In our stock overclock testing, we saw that 25% overclock return around 10% faster frames in our test runs, on average. And that’s just on air cooling …

Buy a GPU Waterblock

One of the few classes of computer components that has not seen a surge in cost over the past year are coolers. Specifically in the case of GPUs, that means closed-loop liquid cooling systems with GPU waterblock adapters. While that may sound like a mouthful, what you’re getting is pretty basic: the same kind of water cooling you’d attach to a CPU, except with a customized block designed to fit over a specific GPU. (GPU waterblocks are model-dependent, designed to interface with and mount on specific video card PCBs.)

GPU liquid cooling is a reliable, if expensive, way to significantly reduce the temperatures of your GPU to a point where you can overclock by multiples more than what’s possible with traditional air cooling. Some all-in-one (AIO) liquid GPU cooling systems are going for as low as $ 70 right now on Amazon, and although your costs will vary depending on the card, it will likely still be far less than the price of even a new , current-generation midrange GPU right now.

Origin millenium

Origin PC really loves Miami Vice … and liquid-cooled GPUs.
The best part, though? Once you finally do get the new graphics card you’ve been waiting for, in most cases you’ll only have to swap out the waterblock for the new backplate, while keeping the rest of the liquid cooling system intact. This means even more performance out of your new GPU, and cooler operating temperatures all around. Who wouldn’t like that? (Check out our GPU overclocking primer for much more on how to actually pull off a graphics overclock.)

10. Always Tune for Your Own Eyes

Settings advice and extra card- and game-specific features are all well and good. But ultimately only you know how well you can actually see anything. When turning down settings on your favorite games to allow your GPU to catch up, you’ll be the best and only judge of what can be sacrificed and what stays, in the end.

Pixel density visual acuity chart

Books have been written about the phenomenon of “pixel pitch”, and you can read a brief version in the roundup of our best 4K monitors. It comes down to this: Are you near, visionary or astigmatism? Use trifocals or bifocals? Is a 4K monitor or 1080p one? All of the above? No one? A list of variables that go to “specifically what a monitor looks like for you”, and back and forth.

The first step in determining your personal performance perception? Start with these tools from workstation manufacturer Pugate Systems to decide what monitor is right for your vision, and then work backwards from there. After that, it is about coloring in individual choice during the tuning process. Depending on your eyes and your visual taste, you’ll be able to tell whether to sacrifice shadows for texture, allow for worse anti-aliasing for higher draw distances, turn on RIS or not, and so on.

Ultimately it is about whether the game suits you best, or at least you have to keep up with the competition without sacrificing your speed, if it is your thing. For some, this would mean an insistence on frame rates that lock up to a butter-smooth 144fps; Others will not settle for less than an elite 360fps. Many won’t need more than 60fps at 4K, and some won’t be happy until their 8K TV runs at 120Hz.

Conclusion: All Hope Lost, Not Folks!

Certainly, the GPU market is a bloodbath for buyers these days, and reports from vendors, manufacturers, foundries, and fabricators suggest that the higher prices we’re seeing first and second hand, the GPU won’t be shutting down anytime soon . . Nevertheless, apply every relevant optimization and setting tweak we have mentioned and you can already see significant benefits on your frame rate using the hardware. For example, if you have implemented DRS, Hardware GPU scheduling, Resizable BAR and a RIS Sharpening level of around 35% (with a similar downrender), you can boost your performance significantly.

Alternatively, depending on the game and if you have the right GeForce card, the owners of the Nvidia GeForce RTX can flip for a moment on DLSS 2.0, save their bucks, and wait in earnest that After all, what could be the stunning Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090? Display mode in Ultra cranked to the max.

Faux GeForce RTX 4090

Is this the RTX 4090? No not really.
Again, it should be emphasized that your results will vary. There are dozens of factors working here, and the game you are playing can change depending on which hardware you’re playing, the version of Windows you’re running, whether it’s cold or hot outside … then From, the list goes on. But in today’s video card marketplace, driven by small bots pumping prices, trying to do anything is still better than nothing.

All told, if you are determined to try to get an all-new GPU for yourself, we have produced a series of guides that can help you find a GPU at a reasonable price. Or, if you’re really, really desperate, fight fire with fire and check out how we joined the ranks of the bot. (Why not let the machines do the hard part for you, okay?)

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