Graphics Cards

AMD Radeon RX 6750 XT Review: Cool-Headed Asus ROG Strix – Tom’s Hardware

Along with the Radeon RX 6950 XT, AMD recently launched two other new GPUs: the Radeon RX 6750 XT and RX 6650 XT. Like the 6950 XT, both come with faster 18Gbps GDDR6 memory, plus higher GPU clocks and slightly higher power consumption. However, prices are also slightly higher than the 6×00 XT models they replace, making the overall prospects a wash at best. You can see how the newcomers rank in our GPU benchmarks hierarchy, where they’re just slightly ahead of the existing models.

AMD didn’t provide samples of its new cards, so we turned to the AIB (add-in board) partners for review units. Asus sent us its ROG Strix 6750 XT, which looks identical to the ROG Strix 6700 XT other than that little “5” on the sticker. We actually have a Strix 6700 XT in hand as well, so we’ll get to see exactly how much more performance you get from the two factory overclocked variants. Note that most of the other cards we’ve reviewed, including Nvidia’s RTX 3070 Ti and RTX 3070, run reference clocks, so you can add a few percent in performance if you’re after like-for-like comparisons.

Here’s the breakdown of the specs for the AMD Navi 22 GPUs along with Nvidia’s competing 3070 and 3070 Ti.

GPU Specifications
Graphics Card RX 6750 XT Asus RX 6750 XT RX 6700 XT RTX 3070 Ti RTX 3070
Architecture Navi 22 Navi 22 Navi 22 GA104 GA104
Process Technology TSMC N7 TSMC N7 TSMC N7 Samsung 8N Samsung 8N
Transistors (Billion) 17.2 17.2 17.2 17.4 17.4
Die size (mm^2) 336 336 336 392.5 392.5
SMs / CUs 40 40 40 48 46
GPU Shaders 2560 2560 2560 6144 5888
Tensor Cores N/A N/A N/A 192 184
Ray Tracing Units 40 40 40 48 46
Boost Clock (MHz) 2643 2600 2581 1765 1725
VRAM Speed (Gbps) 18 18 16 19 14
VRAM (GB) 12 12 12 8 8
VRAM Bus Width 192 192 192 256 256
ROPs 64 64 64 96 96
TMUs 160 160 160 192 184
TFLOPS FP32 (Boost) 13.5 13.3 13.2 21.7 20.3
Bandwidth (GBps) 432 432 384 608 448
TBP (watts) 250 250 230 290 220
Launch Date May-22 May-22 Mar-21 Jun-21 Oct-20
Official MSRP $649 $549 $479 $599 $499
Street Price $779 (opens in new tab) $539 (opens in new tab) $484 (opens in new tab) $699 (opens in new tab) $599 (opens in new tab)

Asus bumps the GPU clock up by 43MHz relative to the reference 6750 XT, which, in turn, has a 19MHz “improvement” over the reference RX 6700 XT. Of course, the higher TBP (typical board power) on the new model means it may end up boosting a bit higher in practice, but we’ll get to that later. At least on paper, the main change is the switch to 18Gbps GDDR6. That’s 12.5% more bandwidth in theory, but we don’t know if other aspects of the memory like subtimings may reduce the real-world gains.

There’s good news in terms of the general availability of graphics cards. As we’ve noted recently, many GPUs can now be found in stock for prices close to the MSRP. Above, we’ve listed the best street prices we’ve been able to find for the various GPUs. That presents some difficulties for the Asus ROG Strix, a premium card that commands much higher prices. At the time of writing, the least expensive RX 6750 XT we could find costs $240 less than the Asus model, and you can shave off another $55 by opting for an RX 6700 XT.

It feels very much as though AMD and its partners came up with a pricing structure based on how much GPUs were selling for several months ago. In the meantime, cryptocurrency (and stock) prices plummeted, which now means the new products cost too much. Short of changes in supply or demand, we expect prices to continue to decline, and the 6750 XT really shouldn’t cost much more than the 6700 XT, which has us wondering why it even exists.

We know AMD is hard at work on its upcoming RDNA 3 architecture, and Nvidia is likewise working on its Ada architecture. We expect to see the first cards using those to arrive before the end of the year, perhaps as early as July for the RTX 40-series. Doing a relatively minor refresh with higher official prices less than six months before the next-gen cards arrive strikes us as odd. Perhaps the supply chain has finally started catching up with backorders, but there’s a real chance AMD and Nvidia could end up with a glut of “old” GPUs on their hands in the coming months, much like what happened with the RX 570 back in 2018. 

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The Asus Radeon RX 6750 XT ROG Strix looks the same as many other ROG Strix cards that we’ve seen. That’s not a bad thing, as you get plenty of RGB lighting effects, triple fans, and ample cooling. The card measures 322x141x57 mm and weighs 1569g, which is pretty chunky for a nominally 250W graphics card — for example, the Sapphire RX 6950 XT we looked at last week only weighed a few grams more at 1582g, though it was a wider 3.5-slot design. The Asus occupies 2.9 slots, though, so it’s still plenty wide.

The three fans all have an integrated rim, which helps to improve static pressure and cooling. Asus also has the middle fan spinning in the opposite direction of the two outer fans, which it says helps reduce turbulence. It’s tough to say how much that really matters, but the Strix card was generally quiet, with the fans stopping completely when GPU temperatures were below 50C.

The top of the card has a large illuminated RGB lighting strip, which also shines down on the fan. The fans don’t have their own RGB LEDs, not that it really matters since they typically end up facing the bottom of your PC case. The traditional black/gray/silver color scheme that we’ve seen on so many other cards is here as well, with the Strix logo on the backplate of the card. There are two 8-pin PEG power connectors on the top, and a small cutout near the back of the card to allow air to flow through the heatsink fins.

The Asus RX 6750 XT includes the standard three DisplayPort 1.4 and one HDMI 2.1 outputs. The IO bracket is only two slots wide, with half of it allowing ventilation of sorts. However, those heatsink fins are oriented parallel to the IO backplate, meaning most of the heat from the card will exhaust out the top and bottom and into your case. 

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TOM’S HARDWARE 2022 GPU TEST PC

Our GPU test PC and gaming suite was updated in early 2022. We’re now using a Core i9-12900K processor, MSI Pro Z690-A DDR4 WiFi motherboard, and DDR4-3600 memory (with XMP enabled). We also upgraded to Windows 11 to ensure we get the most out of Alder Lake. You can see the rest of the hardware in the boxout.

Our gaming tests consist of a “standard” suite of eight games without ray tracing enabled (even if the game supports it), and a separate “ray tracing” suite of six games that all use multiple RT effects. We tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K for this review with “ultra” settings for the standard suite — basically maxed out settings, except without SSAA if that’s an option. Our ray tracing suite consists of six games, and we tested at 1080p in “medium” and “ultra” settings, as well as 1440p at “ultra” settings — with the latter generally being too much for the RX 6750 XT.

We used AMD’s public 22.5.1 drivers for these tests, and we also ran benchmarks on an Asus RX 6700 XT ROG Strix for comparison. (Note that AMD released 22.5.2 drivers that incorporate some additional performance improvements, particularly for DX11 games. We’ll be retesting performance for our GPU benchmarks hierarchy in the near future with those drivers.) Let’s get to the results, starting with 1080p.

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We’ll start with our 1440p testing results, representing the ideal target for many gamers in terms of balancing resolution and performance. The RX 6750 XT also does great at 1440p, at least in our standard benchmarks, averaging over 80 fps across the test suite, with Total War: Warhammer 3 being the only game that can’t average 60 fps or more — and it’s a strategy game that’s not quite as dependent on maintaining extremely high framerates.

Compared to the RX 6700 XT, the Asus 6750 XT delivered 6% higher performance pretty consistently across the test suite, ranging from a 5.6% to 8.3% improvement. That’s nice, but we also need to factor in the overclocked nature of the Asus Strix card. If we compare the two Asus Strix models, the 6750 XT is still 5% faster overall, which is interesting to see. Basically, the RX 6700 XT Strix card was barely faster than the reference design in our testing, despite the substantially improved cooling.

Looking at some of the other GPUs, the 6750 XT basically tied the RTX 3070 (1.7% slower) while being 9% faster than the RTX 3060 Ti. Keep in mind, at current prices, the 6750 XT costs about as much as the 3060 Ti and $50 less than the RTX 3070. It’s also $75 more than the cheapest 6700 XT, though, which still tends to deliver the best overall value.

Going through the individual games and focusing on the 3070 and 6750, AMD came out ahead in half the games (Borderlands 3, Far Cry 6, Forza Horizon 5, and Horizon Zero Dawn), with the 3070 delivering better performance in the other four games, with particularly large 18–20% leads in Flight Simulator and Total War: Warhammer 3.

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As usual, ray tracing vastly favored Nvidia’s competing GPUs, with the RX 6750 XT barely coming out ahead of the RTX 3060. Meanwhile, the RTX 3070 was 33% faster without enabling DLSS, and the 3060 Ti was 24% faster overall. But 1440p with ray tracing wasn’t really a good experience on any of those GPUs, at least without some form of resolution upscaling.

The RX 6750 averaged just 23 fps across our six DXR games, and only Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition managed to break the 30 fps mark, with Control coming in just below that mark. By comparison, the RTX 3070 averaged 34 fps across the suite, but half of the games were still below 60 fps. Again, DLSS would help Nvidia quite a bit, and we’d love to see FSR 2.0 in more games as it generally provided a comparable experience. Unfortunately, FSR 2.0 at present is only available in a single game, Deathloop, with more to come in the future.

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1080p performance was about 33% faster than 1440p performance, and all of the games are now comfortably breaking 60 fps. This time, the RX 6750 XT came out 3% ahead of the RTX 3070, as the 96MB Infinity Cache has a higher hit rate at lower resolutions. The 6750 also remained about 6% faster than the RX 6700 XT, or 5% faster than the “apples-to-apples” Asus 6700 card.

Flipping through the charts, the AMD 6750 continued to lead in half of the games relative to the RTX 3070, but on Warhammer 3 showed more than a minor advantage for the Nvidia GPU. Flight Simulator incidentally ended up CPU limited on many of the graphics cards, with the 6750 landing just below the Nvidia CPU bottleneck of 84 fps — the fastest Nvidia GPUs we’ve tested managed around 87 fps, while AMD’s fastest GPUs top out at around 83 fps.

All of our testing was completed last week, but AMD has since released an updated driver that might change the standings slightly. Other sites have reported about a 4% average increase in performance for the new “DX11 enhanced” driver, though Watch Dogs Legion — one of our test games — has seen double digit percentage gains. Note also that none of the games we tested are pushing more than 144 fps at 1080p ultra, so unless you’re planning to run at minimum settings in order to boost frame rates for an esports game, there’s little need for anything faster than a 144Hz monitor.

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We tested in both “medium” and “ultra” settings for our ray tracing DXR suite at 1080p. Without resolution upscaling, 1080p ultra was still a marginal experience, averaging 36 fps across the six games, with Cyberpunk 2077 and Fortnite still falling below 30 fps. Control and Metro were the only games to feel mostly smooth, with 47–48 fps on average and minimums that stayed about 30 fps.

Nvidia’s competing RTX 3070 delivered 47% higher fps in DXR, and the 3060 Ti was 29% faster overall. The RX 6750 was also 7% faster than the 6700 XT, slightly more than in our non-DXR gaming suite.

1080p medium with medium DXR effects still failed to get above 60 fps in all of the games, breaking that mark in two games (Control and Metro again). While that’s not great, at least the worst-performing of the DXR games was now above the 30 fps barrier. We do run more demanding settings for DXR than are perhaps necessary, but we figure anyone thinking about ray tracing would prefer more eye candy rather than less. Otherwise, they could just turn off ray tracing altogether and get substantially improved performance.

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Ray tracing is obviously out of the question at 4K, so we’re only looking at standard gaming performance. With 45 fps across our test suite, the 6750 XT delivered playable results, with Warhammer 3 being the only game to come up well short of the 30 fps mark. Forza Horizon 5 also nearly averaged 60 fps, but 4K doesn’t do AMD’s Infinity Cache any favors, and nearly every game now ran equal to or faster than the 6750 XT on Nvidia’s competing RTX 3070. There’s not much to add, with performance mostly mirroring what we saw at 1440p, just with much lower framerates.

If you’re serious about taking on 4K gaming, you can use RSR — Radeon Super Resolution — to apply a universal upscaling algorithm to all games. It’s comparable to NIS (Nvidia Image Sharpening), and while it generally doesn’t look as good as native, upscaling 1440p to 4K delivers a far better experience on these high-end GPUs than trying to do 4K native. RSR is also relatively lightweight, meaning upscaling 1440p to 4K only ends up being a few percent slower than running 1440p, and some may find the resulting output to be more pleasing than native 1440p (especially on a 4K display).

FSR or DLSS still result in better upscaling quality in general, just because those require game integration and can render the HUD and text at native resolution and only apply upscaling to areas of the game where a few artifacts won’t be as noticeable. But FSR and DLSS require work on the part of the game developers, whereas RSR and NIS are a cheap and “free” solutions for virtually all games.

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We use Powenetics testing hardware and software for our power, temperature, clock speed, and fan speed testing. We capture in-line GPU power consumption by collecting data while looping Metro Exodus at 1440p ultra as well as while running the FurMark stress test at 1600×900. Our power testing PC uses an open testbed, as that’s required for all the extra wires and riser card, and it’s the same old Core i9-9900K that we’ve used for the past several years.

We tested the Asus card in the three modes defined by Asus’ GPU Tweak software: Gaming (default), OC, and Silent, with the latter two providing a 10% increase or decrease in power limits, along with a 20MHz increase/decrease in GPU clocks.

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Interestingly, something is… off… with the GPU Tweak profiles. We actually confirmed this in some gaming tests, but the OC mode ended up using quite a bit less power than the default mode and also decreased performance by 1–2%. That’s not supposed to happen, so something else apparently came into play, but this is actually good news. It means that anyone using the Asus RX 6750 XT will get optimal out-of-box performance without having to install any extra software.

One of the changes AMD made with the 6750 XT compared to the existing 6700 XT was a 20W increase in the power limit, but Asus pushed the limit even further. The 6750 reference design has a 250W power limit, compared to 230W on the reference 6700 XT. The Asus Strix card came in at 263W in our gaming test and hit 283W in FurMark. By comparison, the reference 6700 XT actually came in below the rated TBP at around 215W.

OC mode dropped the Asus card to 228W in Metro and 276W in FurMark, so it made a much bigger difference in gaming. The silent mode provided a bigger power decrease in FurMark, and actually got gaming power use below the RX 6700 XT. Of course, with the lower power limit, performance in Silent mode would be closer to the old 6700 XT, and the difference in noise levels was hardly noticeable (see below).

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Clock speeds on the Asus 6750 XT were clustered pretty close together, regardless of which power mode was used. Even in Silent mode, the Asus card still averaged just over 2.6GHz, and it only dropped by around 40MHz in FurMark. On the other hand, the Gaming mode only improved average clocks by about 80MHz in gaming, or just 20MHz in FurMark.

Compared to the reference RX 6700 XT, the overclocked Asus 6750 XT provided about 160MHz higher GPU clocks, a 6.5% improvement that tracks pretty much directly with the increased frame rates that we measured. The GDDR6 memory meanwhile provided a theoretical 12.5% boost to bandwidth, but we didn’t see any instances where performance increased by more than 10%. It’s possible memory subtimings are also worse with the higher clocked memory, which could limit the potential gains.

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Cooling performance for the Asus Strix 6750 XT was great, with the GPU not going above 60C regardless of the performance profile or workload we threw at it. That’s by design, as it’s clear from the fan speed charts that the card spins up the fans to keep temperatures in check. For example, silent mode topped out at around 1250 rpm while gaming, whereas the default Gaming mode allowed the fans to reach up to 1600 rpm. However, despite the relatively large jump in fan speed, the actual noise levels were pretty consistent.

We measured noise levels at 10cm using an SPL (sound pressure level) meter. The SPL was aimed right at the middle GPU fan in order to minimize the impact of other fans like those on the CPU cooler and the noise floor of our test environment and equipment measures <33 dB(A).

Using the default settings, the fans reached a maximum of approximately 47% fan speed and generated 44.1 dB(A) of noise. We say “approximately” because the three fans on the Asus card don’t need to spin at the same rate, but if all three spin at 47%, we got the same 44 dB we measured while gaming. Silent mode drops the average fan speed down to 42%, with noise levels of 40.0 dB(A), while the OC mode — which, as already noted, didn’t seem to be working correctly — ran the fans at 43% and 41.3 dB. We also measured with a static fan speed of 75%, which generated 57.9 dB of noise.

Incidentally, we didn’t include all the Asus RX 6700 XT figures in the power charts, but that card was slightly louder than the Asus 6750 XT, hitting 46.5 dB(A) while gaming with a 50% average fan speed. It appears that model may have been tuned for slightly lower temperatures at the cost of increased fan speed and noise.

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AMD’s RX 6000-series refresh in May 2022 still strikes us as a bit odd, and for cards like the RX 6750 XT, it feels largely unnecessary. At least the RX 6950 XT makes a bit of sense, going for halo glory and competing against the RTX 3090 Ti. There’s no new Nvidia competitor for the RX 6750 XT, however, so it basically competes with AMD’s existing RX 6700 XT as well as the RTX 3070. That’s not a bad thing, as the 6700 XT continues to be one of the best overall values for GPUs, except the RX 6750 XT basically makes things worse: It costs 15% more while only improving performance by around 6%.

Two months ago, finding a graphics card with RX 6700 XT / RTX 3070 levels of performance for $550 would have seemed pretty great, but GPU prices have plummeted as the cryptoapocalypse continues. Even in our traditional gaming suite, the RTX 3070 trades blows with the RX 6750 XT. Add in ray tracing and DLSS, and it’s not too difficult to justify paying a bit more money for the extra features and performance Nvidia offers. Or, more likely, with rumors that Nvidia Ada may arrive in just a couple of months, enthusiasts will wait to see what comes next rather than buying a higher cost, warmed-over GPU that debuted over a year ago in March 2021.

AMD does have a new Raise the Game Bundle going on, which applies to all RX 6000-series graphics cards. We haven’t seen much in the way of bundles since 2020, as every GPU sold out immediately, often at massively inflated prices. Plus, well, large-scale GPU miners don’t care about gaming bundles. The new bundle choices currently include the 2022 Saints Row reboot, slated to arrive in September, or Sniper Elite 5, which comes out May 26. There will be other games added over the coming months as well, in case those games aren’t on your list.

The real issue with the RX 6750 XT, in general, is that AMD has tried to increase the pricing on its GPU stack without offering a lot of extra value. The RX 6700 XT was already “overpriced” relative to where it should have landed, were it not for the GPU shortages of the past 18 months or more. Using Nvidia’s MSRPs as a baseline, the RX 6700 XT should be taking on the RTX 3060 Ti, a $400 part. Granted, it hasn’t ever really sold at that price in meaningful quantities, but GPU pricing now has it at around $550, and we could actually see it selling at $450 within another month or two. Given the features and performance, that’s really where we’d prefer to see the RX 6750 XT as well — it should have a lower MSRP than the RTX 3070, since that GPU has DLSS and Tensor cores that provide extra functionality.

The Asus ROG Strix RX 6750 XT delivers a good level of performance, and it targets the sweet spot of 1440p gaming. The design of the card is great; we have no concerns with that. However, Asus takes AMD’s already questionable price and then tacks on an extra $100, giving it a final recommended price of $650, and retail prices are even higher right now. You can find other RX 6750 XT cards for $550, though they’ll likely leave out the RGB bling and more advanced cooling that Asus offers with its Strix line. How much is the extra cooling and RGB lighting worth, though? We’d say $50, $100 at most, meaning we can really only recommend the Strix 6750 XT if you can find it for closer to $600. Asus makes a good card, but there are better values right now, and we really hope availability will improve and that the price will drop to compete with the rest of the market — a market that’s still in freefall from its unsustainable peak prices.