AMD RX 6850M XT vs Nvidia RTX 3080: Which is Better?

I was surprised by the difference between AMD’s RX 6850M XT and Nvidia’s RTX 3080. I’ve tested both at 4K, 1440p, and 1080p resolutions in 14 different games to show you the differences!

GPU Spec Differences

RX 6850M XTRTX 3080
NAVI 22 7NM GPUGA 104 8NM GPU
2560 STREAM PROCESSORS6114 CUDA CORES
2463MHZ GAME CLOCK1245-1710MHZ BOOST CLOCK
40 COMPUTE UNITS / RAY ACCELERATORS48 RT CORES
12GB GDDR6 MEMORY8 OR 16GB GDDR6 MEMORY
18 GBPS MEMORY SPEED14 GBPS MEMORY SPEED
432 GB/S MEMORY BANDWIDTH458 GB/S MEMORY BANDWIDTH
192-BIT MEMORY INTERFACE256-BIT MEMORY INTERFACE
RESIZABLE BAR ENABLEDRESIZABLE BAR ENABLED
UP TO 165 WATTSUP TO 150 WATTS
LAUNCHED JAN 2022LAUNCHED JAN 2021

Laptop” Tested

I’m using the ASUS ROG Flow Z13 gaming tablet for this testing because it’s the only device that allows us to use either of these GPUs. However, I could have tried to use two different gaming laptops, but this would introduce additional variables such as processors and coolers. It just seemed more equitable to me to connect both GPUs to the same computer.

As a result, we have the same Intel i9-12900H CPU and 16GB of LPDDR5 memory in the same vapor chamber. Only the GPU we’re connecting makes a difference. The graphics we’re attaching are the XG Mobile from ASUS. There are laptop graphics chips inside these boxes, but unlike traditional eGPUs that use Thunderbolt, these use a direct PCIe Gen 3 connection with eight lanes. As a result, they are significantly faster than Thunderbolt.

Benchmarks

Alright let’s get into the 14 games tested at 3 different resolutions to show you all of the differences! In all charts “Ex Screen” is External Screen

Cyberpunk 2077

Let’s start out with Cyberpunk 2077. Although the average frame rate was nearly identical between the two GPUs, Nvidia’s 3080 had a distinct advantage in the 1% lows, resulting in fewer performance dips.

Call of Duty: Warzone

When playing at 1080p and 1440p resolutions, I found that Call of Duty Warzone ran smoother on AMD graphics than it did on Nvidia, but this isn’t to say that the 3080 is unplayable at these high frame rates at max settings. The 3080, on the other hand, makes a strong comeback in 4K, where its average frame rate is 30 percent higher.

Control

In contrast, Nvidia hardware typically performs better in Control. Even though the 3080 had a 1 percent lower average frame rate than the 6850M XT, the 3080 still had a 13 percent higher average frame rate than the 1080p, 29 percent higher average frame rate at 1440p, and 17 percent higher average frame rate at 4K.

God of War

With the RTX 3080 leading at 1080p and 1440p, the average frame rate of God of War is 9 percent and 19 percent higher, respectively, but at 4K, the average frame rate is 46 percent higher. At 4K high settings, the 3080 was still close to 60 frames per second, while AMD was way behind.

Microsoft Flight Simulator

With Nvidia, Microsoft Flight Simulator saw a significant increase in sales. This game had the biggest performance gap at 1080p and 1440p resolutions out of all titles tested, and for some reason I couldn’t even run it on the Z13’s screen at 1080p with the 6850M XT. No matter what I did it just gave me a white screen, but it still ran fine on the external screen.

Fortnite

In general, Fortnite favors Nvidia graphics cards, and the 3080 delivered some significant gains over Radeon in this test. There is an option to use DLSS in this game, but Nvidia has a solid lead regardless of whether or not it is used. Aside from that, using an external screen with 1080p resolution gave a better result than using the Z13’s own 1080p display, though Nvidia saw a bigger boost, possibly due to the increased frame rate of the external display.

Dying Light 2

In Dying Light 2, the RTX 3080 was still the clear winner regardless of resolution, even though the gap between the two cards was smaller than in the first game. FSR or DLSS could have improved the stuttering in either game at 4K high settings. Both were still able to surpass 60 FPS at 1440p though, with the 3080 just 6 FPS ahead.

Far Cry 6

As we move up to higher resolutions, Far Cry 6’s 1080p frame rate is about the same as that of the 6850M XT’s, but this changes dramatically. The 3080 had an average frame rate of 16 percent higher at 1440p and 17 percent higher at 4K.

Forza Horizon 5

It’s not entirely clear why Forza Horizon 5 was ahead of the 6850M XT at 1440p, but the 1% low from the 3080 was still quite a bit higher than AMD’s performance.

Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition

All three resolutions of Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition performed better on the 3080. If you’re looking at average FPS, the 3080 was 25 percent ahead of its predecessor at 1080p, while the 6850M XT had the same lead at 1440p and 4K, too.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

On the other hand, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla performed similarly on both GPUs at a lower 1080p resolution. However, the 3080 has a 16 percent advantage at 1440p and a 9 percent advantage at 4K.

Watch Dogs Legion

Compared to other games tested, Watch Dogs Legion saw above-average performance gains on the 3080. Even at 1440p, the 1% lows from the 3080 are close to the 6850M XT’s average FPS and then ahead of it at 4K, as can be seen here.

The Witcher 3

Witcher 3 is an older but still popular game, and the 6850M XT nailed it at all resolutions with this one. At 1080p, the 1% lows in particular saw a significant improvement, but at ultra settings, 150 FPS with 120 FPS for the 1% low is still very playable at this resolution.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is another older one, but also a title where the 6850M XT was ahead at all three resolutions.

Final Words

As well as offering better performance in most games, the RTX 3080 also includes DLSS and offers superior performance in ray-tracing. FSR and DLSS can both be used, but many games only support DLSS. So the 3080 can take advantage of that in those situations. Other than that, the 6850M XT has 2.5 gigabit ethernet and HDMI 2.1, while the older 3080 unit only has gigabit ethernet and HDMI 2.0b.