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RTX 3070 vs RX 6800: Ray tracing performance of both graphics cards surprises two years after release


»Get an Nvidia graphics card if you want to enable ray tracing and an AMD graphics card if pure rasterization performance is what matters most to you« – this is what tech experts, youtubers and we advise people to do when buying a new graphics card.

A new test from Youtuber Hardware Unboxed turns that advice completely on its head, however, and proves that the truth isn’t just black and white. Many gamers who were looking for a last generation graphics card for around 500 euros were faced with the decision of whether to buy an RTX 3070 from Nvidia or an RX 6800 from AMD.

Even then there were concerns that the 8 GB graphics memory would not be future-proof and that the RX 6800 with its 16 GB would age better. And this is exactly what the Youtuber has now put to the test.

The RX 6800 beats the RTX 3070 in the ray tracing test – clearly

Hardware Unboxed pitted the two graphics cards against each other and compared their performance in current games. Here is a snippet of the results the youtubers from Australia came up with:

RX 6800 (1080p) RTX 3070 (1080p) RX 6800 (1440p) RTX 3070 (1440p)
The Last of Us Part I (Ultra) Average: 97 fps
1%: 80FPS
Ø: 65 FPS
1%: 17FPS
Ø: 70 FPS
1%: 60FPS
Ø 45 FPS
1%: 11FPS
Hogwarts Legacy (Ultra, Ray Tracing High) Average: 98 fps
1%: 81
Average: 87 fps
1% 58FPS
Average: 77 fps
1%: 58FPS
Average: 68 fps
1%: 45FPS
Resident Evil 4 (RT Quality) Ø: 122 FPS
1%: 106 fps
Ø: 93 FPS
1%: 80FPS
Average: 94 fps
1%: 80FPS
Average: 71 fps
1%: 60FPS
A Plague Tale: Requiem (Ultra, Ray Tracing) Ø: 52 FPS
1%: 41FPS
Ø: 44 FPS
1%: 11FPS
Ø: 36 FPS
1%: 31FPS
Ø: 16 FPS
1%: 2FPS

In the table you can see the average frame rate that the two graphics cards were able to achieve in games and “1 percent lows”, i.e. the lowest FPS number that was measured. This gives us a good indicator of whether the game is running smoothly or whether there are stutters.

As you can see, AMD’s Radeon RX 6800 performs more or less better than Nvidia’s Geforce RTX 3070 in all games. The often very low 1 percent lows of the Nvidia graphics card are particularly noteworthy.

Hardware Unboxed was able to visually confirm this in its test, because the RTX 3070 often struggles with stuttering with activated ray tracing and high settings, while the RX 6800 usually ran buttery smooth. This is mainly due to the fact that the Geforce graphics card on dhe limits of the 8 GB VRAM bumps while the Radeon card still has room to grow.

Many more games are tested in Hardware Unboxed’s half-hour video:

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In Hogwarts Legacy, the performance of the RTX 3070 is behind the RX 6800, but the frame rates measured suggest good playability. In reality it looks different.

The RTX 3070 has severe problems with game textures. These appear and disappear permanently, even if the character just stands still. Again, the VRAM memory just isn’t big enough.

Same problem could Hardware Unboxed also in Forspoken determined. There many textures were simply not loaded at all. The problem can be fixed by playing with medium settings. The RX 6800 doesn’t have these problems at all and delivers better performance overall.

A Plague Tale Requiem is almost unplayable with the RTX 3070 if you set the settings to Ultra and activate Ray Tracing. The game suffers from severe stuttering and the refresh rate is very low, especially at 1440p. The RX 6800 is more recommended here if ray tracing is important to you. With this you can still achieve a relatively stable 30 FPS even in 1440p.

However, the result is obvious: 8 gigabytes of VRAM is no longer sufficient for graphics cards in this price range and should be the new standard in the entry-level class.

AMD’s RX 6800 has actually aged significantly better than Nvidia’s RTX 3070, and that’s only because of twice the graphics memory. The Youtuber assumes that the RTX 3070 could have won the ray tracing test if it also had 16 GB of VRAM – Unfortunately, it doesn’t have that, which is why the RX 6800 is better suited for ray tracing.

Admittedly, 8 gigabytes of VRAM memory is sufficient for most, but current games can already exhaust this capacity quite well. Did you expect that the RX 6800 would be better suited for ray tracing than the RTX 3070 these days? How important is the graphics memory capacity for you when deciding to buy a new graphics card? Write us your opinion in the comments!

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