AMD's RX 6500 XT.
Amplify / AMD’s RX 6500 XT.


AMD will start promoting its newest funds GPU, the Radeon RX 6500 XT, on January 19th. Its retail worth is $199. However the ongoing GPU scarcity, led to partially through cryptocurrency miners and scalpers who’re snapping up each and every card they are able to get, has made it most commonly unimaginable to get any graphics card at its checklist worth during the last yr. 

Whether or not the 6500 XT will probably be any other is dependent in part on provide, however AMD has additionally curiously designed the cardboard to make it intentionally much less interesting to miners whilst maintaining its usefulness as an entry-level graphics card. Chatting with newshounds in a press roundtable previous this week, AMD Radeon VP Laura Smith mentioned how the 6500 XT have been “optimized” for video games (a transcript from a now-apparently-deleted PCWorld article is preserved right here).

“Now we have in point of fact optimized this one to be gaming-first at that concentrate on marketplace,” Smith mentioned. “And you’ll be able to see that with the way in which that we configured the phase. Even with the 4 gigs of body buffer. That’s a in point of fact great body buffer dimension for almost all of AAA video games, however it’s now not specifically horny for those who’re doing blockchain-type actions or mining actions.”

Certainly, for those who have a look at the spec sheet of the 6500 XT, you’ll realize a couple of issues that stick out in comparison to the last-gen RX 5500 XT. For starters, there isn’t an 8GB model of the 6500 XT. The 6500 XT additionally makes use of a 64-bit reminiscence interface, which is exceedingly uncommon in trendy GPUs—you’ll on occasion see it in low-end devoted pc GPUs just like the GeForce MX 450, however discrete GPUs launched throughout the final couple of generations have most commonly caught to 128-bit reminiscence interfaces at a minimal. Either one of those choices make the 6500 XT unhealthy for Ethereum mining specifically, because it wishes greater than 4GB of video RAM and in point of fact likes reminiscence bandwidth.

To make up for the slower reminiscence interface and assist the cardboard compete with the RX 570-class playing cards that AMD needs it to exchange, AMD has boosted the clock pace of the RX 6500 XT method up. Its most spice up frequency is 2815 MHz, up from 1845 MHz within the RX 5500 XT. Even the top-tier 6900 XT simplest boosts as much as 2250 MHz—it simply has much more GPU {hardware} and a lot more reminiscence bandwidth to paintings with within the first position.

Nvidia has additionally taken steps to restrict its GPUs’ mining functions, maximum significantly when it re-issued “LHR” (or Low Hash Fee) variations of the RTX 3000-series playing cards in mid-2021. However the underlying {hardware} stays in a position to higher hash charges, and decided miners have used the whole lot from choice BIOSes to particular device to buggy drivers to revive all or a part of the ones playing cards’ mining efficiency. The 6500 XT shouldn’t have the ones issues—it’s normally now not conceivable to hack extra video RAM onto a graphics card. What continues to be noticed is whether or not the design choices that make the 6500 XT sub-optimal for mining additionally make it sub-optimal for gaming.

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