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Tom’s Hardware
Tom’s Hardware
Zhiye Liu

RX 6800 XT is Faster Than RX 7800 XT in Linux Gaming

Radeon RX 6800 XT.

The Radeon RX 7800 XT is one of the best graphics cards. It's also slightly faster than the Radeon RX 6800 XT - at least in Windows. Thanks to Phoronix, we see the other side of the coin where the Radeon RX 6800 XT is colossally better than the Radeon RX 7800 XT in Linux 1080p (1920x1080) gaming performance.

The Radeon RX 6800 XT reigned supreme over all the other AMD, Nvidia, and Intel graphics cards. The last-generation Radeon RX 6800 XT was up to 12% faster than the Radeon RX 7800 XT. The latter's performance was comparable to that of the Radeon RX 6800. In RDNA 2's defense, the Radeon RX 6000 series has been on the market for a while now, so they're running on more optimized drivers than the Radeon RX 7000 series, which isn't even a year old yet.

If you look at the raw specifications, the Radeon RX 7800 XT packs 12 fewer compute units than the Radeon RX 6800 XT. The former delivers around 80% higher FP32 performance than the latter on paper. The higher clock speeds on the Radeon RX 7800 XT aren't enough to make that much of a difference. It's by virtue of the RDNA 3 architecture that allows AMD to double-pump the compute units, which theoretically offers twice the performance. Logically, the final result depends on the workload and, more importantly, the driver since it tells the graphics card when such an execution is feasible.

(Image credit: Phoronix)

Meanwhile, the Radeon graphics cards were at the top of the Linux gaming charts, followed by Nvidia's GeForce RTX 30 series (Ampere), with Intel's Arc Alchemist in last place. The GeForce RTX 3080 was the best Nvidia performer, lagging behind the Radeon RX 6700 XT. Interestingly, the Arc A580 wasn't too far behind the Arc A750, with an 8% performance gap. Meanwhile, the Arc A770 exhibited 13% higher performance than the Arc A580.

AMD's dominance wasn't strictly in the gaming department, as the RDNA 2-powered graphics cards also excelled in workstation workloads. Returning to the comparison with the Radeon RX 6800 XT and Radeon RX 7800 XT, the former offered between 14% and 87% higher OpenGL performance in SPECViewPerf 2020 3.0. The Radeon RX 7800 XT finally won in ParaView 5.10.1, outperforming the Radeon RX 6800 XT by a 5% margin.

RDNA 3 hasn't lived up to its potential in the Linux environment, and whether performance will improve with newer drivers remains to be seen. In the meantime, RDNA 2 is just fine for gaming on Linux, while we give RDNA 3 time to mature. Perhaps pricing will also have improved when RDNA 3 hits its fullest potential, but for now, there's not much incentive to upgrade to RDNA 3 if you're a Linux gamer who games at 1080p.

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