XFX MERC319 6700 XT

 The RX 6700 XT has been exciting, having already taken a look at one other card we know that it performs well in the 1440p range and is a monster for 1080p for anyone looking to run a high refresh rate monitor. The first card I took a look at was an overclocked one from MSI but XFX also sent over a card. I was impressed with their new styling when I took a look at the Merc 319 6800 XT and from what I’ve seen the Merc 319 6700 XT has a similar setup. The name alone tells us that this is their high-end model and it has the triple-fan cooler. So it will be interesting to see if the 6700 XT performs even better with the cooler and we get the chance to check out card-to-card performance as well which is a rare chance in the current market. So let’s jump in and see what it is all about and find out if it’s the 6700 XT to pick up.

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MSI RX 6700 XT Gaming X

Well, today's the day, AMD announced the RX 5700 XT on their video launch at the start of March. There have been performance leaks and lots of information but today is the day where everything is released. I don’t have a reference card coming in to test but I do have an overclocked card from MSI. Their RX 6700 XT Gaming X. Today I’m going to put it through our normal test suite to see how it performs and to get an idea of where it stands in today's very complicated market.

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MSI RTX 3060 Gaming X Trio

With my first look at the newly launched RTX 3060, I had the chance to take a look at the XC Black which has a stock 3060 clock and is designed to reach the target MSRP Nvidia announced. But what other kinds of options are out there? MSI sent over their RTX 3060 Gaming X Trio which has an overclock out of the box and a significantly larger three fan design. I’m excited to see what MSI has going on with their higher-end RTX 3060 and to see how the 3060 performs with an overclock. So let’s dive in and see what the Gaming X Trio is all about!

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EVGA RTX 3060 XC Black

The video card market has been a little like groundhog day for four or five months now with card demand being through the roof and availability being limited. Big jumps in cryptocurrencies have brought mining back in vogue as well which has exacerbated things as well. Well, today is the big day for the new Nvidia RTX 3060 which was announced back in January. Nvidia has already put miners on notice that they are taking firmware and software action to limit mining performance, at least with Etherium with the hope that their new cards can get into gamer's hands. This is extremely important because the RTX 3060 follows up the RTX 2060 and the GTX 1060 which were huge sellers. Today I’m going to check out the EVGA RTX 3060 XC Black and see how the new GPU performs in EVGAs more compact dual-fan SFF friendly design.

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Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition

Every GPU launch cycle we go and get excited about the biggest and best cards in the market and the flagship cards like the RTX 3090 are exciting. But they are often beyond what people are looking to spend and beyond what a lot of people need if not gaming at high resolutions. So as Nvidia fills out their product stack, the cards that people are waiting for are farther down. Like the RTX 3060 Ti that is launching today. While the latest-gen cards, in general, are extremely hard to find still, Nvidia is finally starting to let loose the cards that fill the middle of the range that. Even right now four and a half years later, the GTX 1060 dominates the Steam hardware usage charts at 10.9% and the top 15-20 are almost all in that same xx50-xx70 range. I’m excited to see what Ampere does and to see what people looking to upgrade in that range can look forward to.

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XFX MERC 319 RX 6800 XT

 Some of you may have noticed we didn’t have coverage of the AMD Radeon team's launch of the RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT last week. Sadly we haven’t gotten in the reference cards, at least not yet. But I have had the chance to spend some time with one of the aftermarket RX 6800 XT’s, the XFX Speedster MERC 319 AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT BLACK to be exactly. The full name is a mouthful, but I was excited to see how XFX would follow up the 5000 series. They have changed things up completely with a new series of cards (Speedster) as well as Merc which stands for mercury, not mercenary which designates this is their high-end model. Today we get to get our first official look at the 6800 XT as well as put XFXs new cooler to the test. But only after I take a closer look at what all it has going on. So let’s dive in!

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MSI RTX 3080 SUPRIM X

Up until now MSI’s flagship for the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 have been the Gaming X Trio models, but as of today they are stepping up and looking to take on the top end of the market with their brand new brand SUPRIM. SUPRIM, which is said like “Supreme” and I think the name makes it extremely clear what MSI is aiming for. The word is defined as “highest in degree or quality”, MSI is replacing the Lighting models that used to sit at the top of their product stack with a cleaner, more elegant card while still keeping that performance focus. Today I have the RTX 3080 SUPRIM X in the office and I’m excited to see what MSI is doing differently. Especially with Nvidia themselves upping the ante when it comes to build quality and styling over the last few years with the Founders Editions. When the demand/card availability issues start to level out, is the SUPRIM going to be the go-to option? Let’s find out!

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EVGA RTX 3070 XC3 Black

On Tuesday I took a look at the new RTX 3070 Founders Edition as a look at Nvidia’s new Ampere-based GPU ahead of today's launch. Well in addition to the launch, today is also when the embargo drops for aftermarket RTX 3070’s and I’m lucky enough to have the RTX 3070 XC3 Black from EVGA on hand to check out. The RTX 3070 Founders Edition performed well, but today I’m excited to see what an overclock and a different cooler can do. Especially with EVGA going with a more traditional full-length PCB and cooler here over the short PCB that the Founders Edition had to support their unique blow-through design.

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Nvidia RTX 3070 Founders Edition

2020 has been a crazy year for almost everyone and the list of reasons for it are really long, especially with the ongoing pandemic. But on the hardware front, Nvidia’s announcement about their 3000 series of cards surprised a lot of people. The RTX 3080 and the RTX 3090 were a big part of that, but the RTX 3070 also created a lot of excitement. Nvidia showed its performance to be right with last generations' flagship, the RTX 2080 Ti, and with a price of $499 it immediately changed the used market and gave gamers who don’t have a bottomless wallet hope. Well the RTX 3070 will be available on October 29th at 9 am EST and before that mad dash, I’m going to put the RTX 3070 Founders Edition through our test suite to see if the RTX 2080 Ti claims are true and to find out if it is as good of a deal as it sounds.

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Nvidia RTX 3080 Founders Edition

Nvidia’s announcement of their new Ampere based RTX 3000 series of cards couldn’t have gone better for them. They ramped up the hype leading up to it for a month and even with countless leaks, they still managed to surprise everyone with both their performance estimates as well as the pricing. The combination almost instantly tanked the used card market as well, given estimates that put their RTX 3070 right with or above the RTX 2080 Ti which has been the top dog for gaming for two years now. Then you have the RTX 3080 and the RTX 3090 which show a big performance jump over the previous generation and for once pricing didn’t go way up. The RTX 3080 is coming out first and launches tomorrow, but before store availability, we get to take a look at the RTX 3080 Founders Edition and see why it is such a special card and put it through our test suite to see how it performs.

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EVGA RTX 2060 KO

Well last week was crazy! AMD launched their RX 5600 XT, but before that happened Nvidia announced a lower price for the RTX 2060. Not long before the launch some of the AMD cards received big BIOS updates with significant overclocks. Altogether, it was all great for anyone considering a video card right now. I tested the RTX 2060 Founders Edition against our RX 5700 XT sample but I did also have the new EVGA RTX 2060 KO come in as well. We haven’t seen the KO branding in a long time, it has a different cooler and PCB design designed to fit with the new Intel NUC 9 platform announced at CES and for the GPU it is sporting cut down TU104 GPUs which are originally from the RTX 2080 and both RTX 2070 variations. I’m excited to see how EVGA’s new card performs and to also another look at the high end 1080p options when the 2060 has an aftermarket cooler attached.

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ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming OC

This year at CES, AMD had a few different big announcements, one of which was on the GPU side where they introduced their latest GPU the RX 5600 XT. The RX 5600 XT falls in between the original Navi RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT cards and above the RX 5500 XT that launched not too long ago. This is AMD filling out their Navi product stack. Well, today's the day, the RX 5600 XT is available and with that, we can also finally look at the cards and their performance. AMD sent over the ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming OC for mt to take a look at and in addition to being excited to see how the new GPU performs I am also excited to get my first look at an ASRock video card. I’ve used many of their motherboards in the past, but it wasn’t until 2018 when they introduced their first cards. So I’m curious to see how they compare with the competition while I also see how the 5600 XT fits into the market.

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MSI RX 5500 XT Gaming X 8GB

Surprisingly, while we work with MSI a lot of coverage I didn’t end up getting in any of their RX 5700 or RX 5700 XT’s. With AMD's new cards MSI made changes to their designs, so I was excited to hear that they were up for sending over one of the new RX 5500 XT’s. They sent over the RX 5500 XT Gaming X with 8GB of memory. I’ve had the Gaming X cards in before and they have a specific styling that they have had for years now. Things have changed some, dropping the bright red for example, but the new Navi Gaming X cards are completely different so I’m excited to check them out more. This specific card has a boost clock up to 1845 MHz which is right in line with the PowerColor card I took a look at with the RX 5500 XT launch so I’m curious to see how they compare.

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PowerColor RX 5500 XT Red Dragon 8G

The introduction of the RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT which are based on AMD's new RDNA architecture was a huge deal partially because of the new architecture but also because AMD was back to focusing on the high-end GPU market. That launch has had its ups and downs but it has clearly had its impact including Nvidia launching its SUPER cards. Well, today's the day where AMD introduces their next lineup, the RX 5500 and RX 5500 XT (the non-XT model is OEM exclusive). This is bringing the same RDNA architecture with Navi to a more budget-focused lineup. For the RX 5500 XT which is the only card of the two that is available outside of OEMs, the RX 5500 XT has both 4GB and 8GB models. Well, today I’m going to check out what the 5500 XT has to offer by checking out the new PowerColor RX 5500 XT Red Dragon. I haven’t had a PowerColor card in the office in a long time and their Red Dragon cards have been extremely popular so I am especially excited to see what the card has going on.

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Zotac GTX 1650 SUPER Twin Fan

Well, I finally took a look at the GTX 1660 SUPER earlier this week, now I can check out the recently introduced GTX 1650 SUPER. Unlike the GTX 1660 SUPER, the GTX 1650 SUPER is actually more than just a memory upgrade. In fact it isn’t even using the same GPU as the GTX 1650, it has the TU116 used in the GTX 1660, GTX 1660 SUPER, and GTX 1660 Ti only it is cut down to use 1280 CUDA cores compared to the 1408 on the GTX 1660. It also gets a clock speed increase over the GTX 1650 but it sticks with the 128-bit memory controller except with the same GDDR6 upgrade as the GTX 1660 SUPER. The change in GPU also means an upgrade to the Turning NVENC encoder as well. With that I’m excited to see the performance improvements that the new GPU is bringing at more budget-focused price points.

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Gigabyte GTX 1660 SUPER Gaming OC 6G

If you thought the 1600 series was a strange naming scheme for Nvidia when it launched at the start of the year then you are really going to think it is weird with the SUPER designation that a lot of Nvidia’s lineup has been getting as they have been refreshing things. The GTX 1660 SUPER launched a few weeks ago. Well, today I’m going to check out the GTX 1660 SUPER Gaming OC from Gigabyte. The GTX 1660 super isn’t a huge change from the previous 1660, but it does have GDDR6 over the original GTX 1660’s GDDR5 and offers a rare look at what the newer memory offers for performance when everything else is the same. The Gaming OC adds an overclock up to 1860 MHz on the core clock from the 1785 MHz reference. So I’m excited to see how the Gaming OC performs compared to a few other cards new and old in that range.

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XFX RX 5700 XT Thicc III Ultra

Not long ago I took a look at the XFX RX 5700 XT Thicc II Ultra and while there were some aspects of the card that I liked, like the styling. I wasn’t impressed with its cooling performance and the price point that they had it listed. It was being sold as a flagship card but didn’t have flagship performance. Well XFX reached out and let me know that the price on the Thicc II was dropping and they had a new three fan design that would be coming, the Thicc III Ultra. Because I’ve seen a lot of people who think that the II and III in the names is the revision number, no it represents how many fans the card has. Anyhow I went through and retested all of our RX 5700 XT’s including the Thicc II Ultra and then tested the new Thicc II Ultra as well and today I’m going to check out the new card and see how it performed in our test suite. Is the new model enough to justify a flagship price? We will have to find out!

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Gigabyte RX 5700 XT Gaming OC 8G

When it comes to aftermarket RX 5700 XT’s I had the chance to check out the Thicc II from XFX but around that time I also had a card from Gigabyte come in. They sent over the RX 5700 XT Gaming OC. Unlike the Thicc II the Gaming OC sticks a lot closer to reality when it comes to card size, with exception to card length which the Gaming OC cards with their triple fans are always long. But I’ve been curious to see how the RX 5700 XT Gaming OC performs in comparison to the larger card as well as the reference card. Cooling is especially important given the cooling and noise issues of the reference card. So today I’m going to take a closer look at the Gaming OC and then run it through our test suite and see how it performs.

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XFX RX 5700 XT THICC II Ultra

Continuing with my coverage of the aftermarket AMD RX 5700 models, the first RX 5700 XT that came in was from XFX. They sent over their top of the line model, the RX 5700 THICC II Ultra. Now the THICC branding kind of goes along with the Fatboy branding that I made fun of at the RX590 launch and adding Ultra in as well for the name does make the cards name a little crazy, silly, and long. But none of those things have anything to do with performance. Beyond maybe being a little embarrassed when you tell everyone your new video card is THICC, the name isn’t even in the top 5 things to worry about with your video card purchase. So today I’m going to focus on the card itself, how it performs, and I want to take a look at the new cooler design. Is the new look XFX going back to some of their great past designs or is it sticking with the flashy fake carbon fiber type theme they have been doing recently? Initial looks put the new design as looking good, but let’s find out more.

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Asus RX 5700 Strix

When I took a look at both the AMD RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT at their launch I was extremely impressed with their performance and the price point that AMD was aiming for. While I normally like blower coolers, the reference/blower cooling on both of the RX 5700 cards had a really hard time keeping up with thermals causing both heat and noise issues. Because of that, I have been excited to get my hands on aftermarket cards to see how they could potentially improve on things. Well today's the day, Asus sent over their RX 5700 Strix and today I’m going to check out what the card has to offer in both features and performance. So let’s dive in and see what sets it apart from the reference design!

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