XFX Speedster MERC319 AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT BLACK Gaming Review
A Solid Performer With A Very Long Name
Our launch coverage of the Radeon RX 6700 XT continues, as the usual suspects are launching their own versions of AMD’s latest GPU; the spiritual successor to the RX 5700 XT, and the first “midrange” entry in the RX 6000 Series.
XFX is always in the mix with new Radeon launches, and their Mercury (or MERC) series cards this generation look pretty impressive. And while the 6700 XT may have a smaller GPU, there’s nothing small about this MERC319 design, beginning with the official product description:
“XFX Speedster MERC319 AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT BLACK Gaming Graphics Card with 12GB GDDR6, HDMI 2,1, 3xDP, AMD RDNA 2”
Wow. Now if only the performance is as impressive as that name! (Only one way to find out…)
- Model Number: RX-67XTYTBDP
- Product Name: AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT
- Bus Type: PCI-E 4.0
- Clock Speeds:
- Base clock Up to: 2457MHz
- Game Clock Up To: 2548MHz
- Boost clock Up to: 2622MHz
- Stream Processors: 2560
- Memory Bus: 192bit
- Memory Clock: 16 Gbps
- Memory Size: 12 GB
- Memory Type: GDDR6
- Card Profile: 2.6 Slot
- Thermal Solution: 3 Fan
- DisplayPort: 1.4 with DSC
- HDMI: 2.1 VRR and FRL
- Card Dimensions: 323 x 132 x 51 mm / 12.72 x 5.20 x 2.0 inches
“The AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT graphics card, powered by AMD RDNA 2 architecture, featuring 40 powerful enhanced Compute Units, the all new AMD Infinity Cache and 12GB of dedicated GDDR6 memory, is engineered to deliver ultra-high frame rates and powerhouse 1440p resolution gaming.”
The XFX Speedster MERC319 Design
I haven’t gone hands on with an XFX card since the RX 5000 Series, and this card is clearly a step up from earlier designs. It’s a very large card, feels quite well made, and I think it looks awesome.
This is a very large graphics card, measuring some 323 mm / 12.72 inches in length, 132 mm / 5.2 inches in height, and 51 mm / 2.0 inches in width. It will occupy the better part of three slots in your system (a “2.6 slot” wide design), and power requirements are dual 8-pin rather than 8+6-pin of the reference card.
XFX offers this list of features for their new card design:
- Power Design – XFX uses a 7 + 2 phase, full digital PWM power design for clean and stable power delivery
- 13 Blade Fans – The MERC 319 features 13 blade fans, which are new to the XFX RX 6000 series graphics cards
- XFX and Radeon LED Logo – Crisp and clean logo design
- Thermal Pad – You want more pads, so we gave it to you. Thermal pads are placed strategically across all GDDR6, VRM, and other key components on both sides of the PCB
- Solid Structure Design – The aluminum backplate heat spreader and cast aluminum fan shroud provide extra stability and rigidity to the entire card
- Passthrough Exhaust – Nothing special here and that’s the key, no superfluous design, just a big open gap for maximum airflow
It seems that XFX may have taken some of the media criticism of previous cooler designs to heart, but we will see if certain outlets (GN) are pleased with their efforts in that department.
“Cooler than ever before. In addition to a huge pass through vent the new Mercury family of GPUs features plenty of heat dissipation all around including engineered airflow and exhaust, heat pipes, aluminum heatsink, 13 blade fans, and plenty of memory and VRM cooling pads.”
Using the same Ryzen 3900X-based test setup as our previous Radeon RX 6700 XT benchmarks (full specs over at the launch review), I ran the MERC319 card against AMD’s reference design:
Far Cry 5
In Far Cry 5 at 4K/Ultra with HD textures enabled the MERC319 shows an increase of less than 1% over the reference card. This also happens to be both our only DX11 and only 4K test today, so let’s move on to some DX12 titles at 2560×1440.
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
This is more like it! The 7.1 FPS increase represents a 6% gain over the reference card in this test.
A more modest 2.2 FPS improvement over reference here, but it’s still an increase.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Just under 2 FPS faster than reference this time. We’ll have to revisit this GPU with some manual overclocking at a later date, as I get the impression that there might be some additional performance hiding here.
We saw power consumption of around 30W above reference with the Speedster MERC319, but what about temps under load?
A very good showing, and expected given the large cooler and the improvements XFX has made this generation. It’s telling that the hot spot temp with the MERC319 is nearly identical to the GPU temp from the reference card, and in general this was about 15 C cooler than AMD’s reference design in our (admittedly abbreviated) testing.
XFX has created a very large card with better than reference performance out of the box, very good thermals, and low noise. This comes with about a $90 premium over the AMD reference card – in that imaginary land where GPUs can be found at MSRP (or at all).
While cards officially went on sale this morning and were possibly available for multiple seconds, as we mentioned in our AMD reference card review we can only guess as to availability for the RX 6700 XT going forward. The Speedster MERC319 is listed for $569.99 at Newegg (out of stock, naturally), placing it $10 below the asking price of the Sapphire NITRO+ card we looked at yesterday.
I find myself partial to this XFX design, and of the three RX 6700 XT cards I’ve tested to date the MERC319 also has the highest performance out of the box. If your case has room for a nearly 13-inch long GPU and you want an RX 6700 XT, I think this is going to be hard to beat. Now just find one in stock.
This is what we consider the responsible disclosure of our review policies and procedures.
How Product Was Obtained
The card is on loan from XFX for the purpose of this review.
What Happens To Product After Review
The card remains the property of XFX but is on extended loan for future testing and product comparisons.
XFX had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.
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