Dark or Light
logo
Logo

Sapphire NITRO+ AMD Radeon RX 6750 XT Review

1440p, but at what cost?

Joseph Bradford Posted:
Category:
Hardware Reviews 0

The AMD Radeon RX 6750 XT aims to bring a modest increase over its 6700 XT counterpart, giving consumers another 1440p performer in the class. With a claim to bring high refresh rates to some of the industry's most demanding games at 1400p, a resolution quickly becoming the new standard, the 6750 XT aims to replace the 6700 XT in the class. But at an MSRP of $549, how does it stack up, especially compared to the competition? We took the Sapphire NITRO+ RX 6750 XT for a spin, putting it through its paces to find out.

Specifications:

  • Architecture: RDNA 2
  • Engine Clocks:
    • Boost Clock: Up to 2623 MHz
    • Game Clock: Up to 2554 MHz
    • Base Clock: 2150 MHz
  • Stream Processors: 2560
  • Infinity Cache: 96MB
  • Ray Accelerators: 40
  • Memory Size/Bus: 12GB GDDR6
  • Memory Bandwidth: Up to 432 GB/s
  • Memory Speed: 18 Gbps
  • Effective Memory Bandwidth: 1326 GB/s
  • Total Board Power: 273W
  • Recommended PSU: 650W
  • I/O: 1x HDMI 2.1;  3x DisplayPort 1.4a
  • Price: MSRP for Reference: $549; Current price: $569 on NewEgg

First Thoughts

At first glance, the Sapphire NITRO+ RX 6750 XT is a beefy card. It's three large cooling fans adorn the front of the card, while aggressive angles and contrasting grey and black colors of the card remind me of the reference color scheme by AMD. The metal backplate also looks rather aggressive, which I love, with clear angles, as well as the Sapphire NITRO+ logo clearly adorning the plate. The cooler itself is pretty thick, with Sapphire rating this as a three-slot card as there is a ton of space from the cooling fans sticking out from the edge where you fasten it into your case.

This being the Sapphire variant, this card has a few improvements over a standard reference model, namely in both the cooling required and the boost and game clock frequencies that the extra cooling will be put to work with. While the reference AMD model has a modest game clock of 2495 MHz, the game clock on the Sapphire NITRO+ 6750 XT sees it shade a bit higher at 2554. Boost clock frequencies also push the limits, with it reaching 2623 MHz according to the manufacturer. 

Sapphire NITRO+ RX 6750 XT

The RX 6750 XT acts as a mid-cycle refresh of the 6700 series line, aiming to take the place of its 6700 XT brother. It's built on the same RDNA architecture and boasts the same amount of RAM, 12GB GDDR6, however, the 6750 XT sees its memory clock speeds pushed to 18 Gbps compared to the 6700 XT's 16 Gbps. The 6750 XT also sees a memory bandwidth increase over the 6700 XT, with the former sporting up to 432 GB/s compared to the latter's 384 GB/s. These increases aim to deliver solid 1440p performance in some of the most demanding titles on the market a little better than the 6700 XT counterpart.

The Sapphire NITRO+ RX 6750 XT also takes advantage of the various features from AMD's chipset, such as the AMD Adrenaline software which allows for quick driver installs, performance tracking, and so much more. The software has improved since the last time I used it as well, with the whole suite feeling responsive and easy to navigate. Additionally, the 6750 XT can avail itself to AMD's FreeSync technology, as well as the company's FidelityFX Super Resolution, including the most recent update to this, FSR 2.0.

Sapphire NITRO+ AMD RX 6750 XT Benchmarks

Test Bench: 

  • CPU: Intel i7-10700K @ 3.8GHz (Boost Clock up to 5.1 GHz)
  • Cooling: Corsair 100i 240mm Liquid Cooler
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte Aorus Z490 Ultra
  • RAM: Corsair Vengeance 32GB @ 3200MHz
  • Storage: Intel 760p 2TB M.2 NVMe, ADATA Falcon 1TB M.2 NVMe
  • PSU: Gigabyte 1200 W Platinum PSU
  • Case: Lian Li 011 Dynamic

With the RX 6750 XT being a 1440p targeted card, we went modest with the surrounding GPUs to compare it with, opting for the RX 6700 XT reference board from AMD, as well as the XFX Speedster Merc 308 6600 XT to round out the AMD GPUs. For the Nvidia side, we went with the RTX 3060 Ti FE, RTX 3070 FE, and a Gigabyte RTX 3080 Gaming OC 10GB since we don't have a Founder's Edition on our bench. The thinking here was to show the comparison for the other 1440p targeted cards in the stack, as well as the jump in performance if you spend just a little bit more if that's your fancy.

As with all our tests, we put the Sapphire NITRO+ RX 6750 XT through its paces in both gaming tests as well as synthetic benchmarks. In our gaming tests, we ran each test at both 1080p and 1440p, using max settings and specifically looking at a mix of DX11 and DX12 titles among a multitude of game engines. When we could, we used an in-game benchmark tool to measure data using Nvidia FrameView, while in titles where we couldn't (such as Spider-Man Remastered), we replicated the same minute-long pass as best we could to get as consistent data as possible.

It should be noted that because our test rig for this review is an Intel machine, we were unable to test AMD's Smart Access Memory available on Ryzen CPUs, such as the new Ryzen 7000 series. As a general rule, SAM can provide a performance uplift, as demonstrated in the past by Steve at GamersNexus.

Sapphire NITRO+ AMD RX 6750 XT Synthetic Benchmarks

For our synthetic testing, we used 3DMark's suite of tools to measure performance in DX11, DX12, and Ray Tracing applications. We tested each GPU at default settings for each test, giving a snapshot of how they will perform in real-world applications when pushed to their limits.

As the graphs show, in FireStrike the RTX 3080, understandably, stands alone at the top dwarfing all the other cards. Looking at the RX 6750XT, however, it's the runner-up, leading the RTX 3070 and 3060 Ti on the Nvidia side. Compared to the RX 6700 XT, the scores are rather close, though the mid-cycle refresh does edge out the 6700 XT in the end. 

In TimeSpy, the DX12 benchmark, the differences are starker. The same placement shakes out, with the 3080 sitting atop everything, while the Sapphire NITRO+ 6750 XT brings up a second place among the cards. Compared to the reference 6700 XT, the NITRO+ has a 6% advantage in the overall score, while beating both the 3070 and the 3060 Ti by Nvidia as well in the test.

However, synthetics don't tell the whole story. While it can give us a barometer of performance, the real test is how they handle the very games we'll be throwing at them.

Sapphire NITRO+ AMD RX 6750 XT Gaming Benchmarks

For games, we opted for a range of popular titles across a multitude of game engines and APIs, with DX11 and 12 both being test. We also made sure to include some titles with ray tracing support, both with Nvidia's Deep Learning Super Sampling and AMD's own FidelityFX Super Resolution to test as well. Every game was tested using the game's own benchmark when available, with the exception of Spider-man Remastered, which lacks a benchmark tool. For this test we took a save file in the middle of the day and ran a loop around the same set of buildings in downtown New York, slinging across streets, onto rooftops, and ending right where we started a minute later. We would reload the checkpoint to attempt to keep the time of day as consistent as possible with each pass.

With the RX 6750 XT being marketed as a 1440p card, touting high framerates at max settings, we tested both 1080p and 1440p across each title at each title's ultra or max preset. 

At both 1080p and 1440p, these numbers aren't real slouches to look at for the most part. When compared to the RX 6700 XT, the card the 6750 XT aims to replace, it's an uptick in performance on nearly every game out there at both 1080p and the targeted 1440p. On average, the 6750 XT outperforms the 6700 XT by a modest 3% at 1440p while at 1080p it's a bit wider at 6% on average.

Demanding titles, such as Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Spider-man Remastered both show the RX 6750 XT putting up respectable numbers at both resolutions, with the latter almost breaking 100 FPS on average at the higher pixel count. These tests are normal rasterization tests with out DLSS or FSR on, so you'll also have some wiggle room there if you enable them when available. They also show you've got some headroom, so if you're looking for faster framerates and don't mind sacrificing some visual quality, you can even knock down a few settings.

When compared to Nvidia's RTX 3070 or even the RTX 3060 Ti, the results are a bit more varied. Sometimes the 6750 XT beast them, such as in Spider-man at 1080p (the 3070 ekes out a narrow in at 1440p on this title). Othertimes, all of the Nvidia cards seemingly trounce the 6750 XT, such as in Cyberpunk 2077. While the AMD card's 89 FPS at full ultra in this title is nothing to scoff at, the RTX 3060 Ti, a card that MSRPs for only $399 (and can be found online around that price now, mercifully) beats it at 1080p with a 27% gulf in performance.

However, 1440p here is more down-to-earth, with the 6750 XT beating the 3060 Ti, though lagging behind the 3070 in the testing. Interestingly, as well, during these tests we saw the  GPU clock speeds of the RX 6750 XT boost higher than their recorded thresholds, easily topping out at 2730MHz in our testing (Cyberpunk 2077 got this honor).

Sapphire NITRO+ AMD RX 6750 XT Ray Tracing Gaming Benchmarks

As the Sapphire NITRO+ RX 6750 XT is a RDNA 2 card, it possess AMD's Ray Accelerators, capable of hardware accelerated ray tracing in games. Coupled with AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution, Team Red hopes to turn in playable framerates when using the technology while still supplying the player with excellent image quality.

FSR 2.0 has released this year and is much better than its original counterpart, even though adoption hasn't fully latched on just yet. In our testing, we tested mostly FSR 1.0 titles as those were what was available, though Spider-man Remastered is our lone FSR 2.0 title. 

Since you really shouldn't be using ray tracing on either an Nvidia card or AMD card without utilizing one of their image technologies (DLSS for Nvidia) our gaming benchmarks bear this out, showing results, when able, with either DLSS or FSR turned on. In a few titles, such as Spider-man and Cyberpunk 2077, we tested both DLSS and FSR performance as both were available to us.

Port Royal, the ray tracing benchmark by 3DMark plays out much like it has this entire GPU generation. The second generation RT Cores by Nvidia beat out the first generation Ray Accelerators by AMD, full stop. Out of the AMD cadre of cards, though, the Sapphire NITRO+ RX 6750 XT does perform noticeably better than its 6700 XT reference counterpart. 

In gaming, it's a bit less one-sided once FSR is turned on. For Watch Dogs and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, there is no FSR option, so the results there are just purely with RT on in both games. These two graphs clearly show how necessary it is for some sort of upscaling technology to help alleviate some of the GPU stress when ray tracing is factored into the equation. 

For Spider-manGodfall and Cyberpunk we see more interesting examples, however, as FSR isn't just relegated to AMD cards. While DLSS is an Nvidia-only technique, and for good reason as it leverages AI to reconstruct an image on the fly using machine learning; AMD is a different approach that doesn't require the dedicated silicon found on Nvidia's boards. As a result, it's an approach that any GPU can realistically take advantage of should they decide to do so.

Interestingly, as a result, when FSR is enabled in these titles, the results are rather close between AMD and their Nvidia counterparts. In fact, we see some wins for the AMD  6750 XT over the RTX 3070 in Spider-man, (12% uptick at 1440p), while Cyberpunk 2077 is perfectly playable at 1080p, though the AMD cards still struggle at 1440p. 

Compared to the 6700 XT, the 6750 XT has a modest uptick, with the former having an average framerate at 1080p of 74fps (to the 6750 XT's 77fps avg). 1440p is a bit closer, with a 61fps average for the 6700 XT to the 6750 XT's 63fps average (an uptick of a whopping 3%). 

Peak GPU Temperatures

Thankfully, the RX 6750 XT remains cool under pressure, even when the GPU clocks are pushed to their limit. The highest recorded temp while benchmarking was AC Valhalla, curiously hitting 67C during our testing. Otherwise the GPU sat closer to the 64C range, perfectly acceptable for this type of card (and much appreciated for me as I live in a desert).

Performance Thoughts and Conclusion

So what do we make of all this? Well, for starters, none of these numbers are anything to really shirk at in the long run. If you're looking for a decent 1440p card, the Sapphire NITRO+ RX 6750 XT will definitely do that for you, and with some settings tweaks to work with you can make titles like Cyberpunk 2077 run at higher-than-console framerates. 

However, there are two issues I see facing this card right now: performance uptick over the 6700 XT, and price. 

Compared to the 6700 XT, it is an increase in performance all the way, no doubt. The beefed up specs of the 6750 XT play that out in every test, but it's closer than I anticipated. I was really hoping this mid-cycle refresh would give us more of a boost in performance over the 6700 XT, but alas, it feels negligible. On average, both at 1080p and 1440p, our testing gave us a 3% uptick in favor of the 6750 XT when using ray tracing. Regular rasterization was better, with 1080p seeing a 5% difference on average, while 1440p got us around 8% better. It's objectively a better-performing card, but not by a huge margin.

I still struggle too with the image quality of FSR when compared with DLSS . With Spider-man Remastered and Cyberpunk 2077 housing both, it was really easy to see which just looked better on screen. Both games were running with the same settings, same resolutions, but different image techniques. FSR simply looked blurrier, especially with the fast motion of Spider-man clearly displaying aliasing along Peter Parker's body in mid-air. 

Sapphire NITRO+ RX 6750 XT

Reflections in Cyberpunk 2077 were noticeably clearer as well, likely down to Nvidia's denoiser at play here. You can play with some of the sharpness settings on both, but even then DLSS proved the better when producing a noticeably better image. FSR isn't unplayable - it's perfectly fine for most I'll wager. But when comparing side-by-side (and choosing which to buy), it's worth noting.

However, I have to give credit to AMD for their Adrenaline software compared to Nvidia's GeForce Experience. The latter requires a log-in to an Nvidia account to even access drivers and the ability to set optimal settings for games installed. AMD's, for its part, just works out of the gate. No need to sign in, you're just ready to start tweaking to your heart's content. The software also doesn't feel laggy like Nvidia's can at times, though I still vastly prefer the ease of use ShadowPlay offers on the GFE-side of things.

When it comes to the price equation, this is where I'm given pause. At $569 on NewEgg as of the time of this writing (the 6750 XT has an MSRP of $549), the Sapphire NITRO+ RX 6750 XT feels priced during the height of the chip shortage that saw prices skyrocket. When you consider both AMD and Nvidia are releasing new cards soon (with AMD hosting their own showcase in November), many might find it prudent to wait it out, especially if you've not upgraded since the 5000-series yet. 

The MSRP of the RX 6700 XT series is also more manageable at $479 (with sites like Best Buy selling them for even less than MSRP). Couple this with the relative performance of the 30-series GPUs from Nvidia in this price range, and it's a hard ask for only 8% max extra performance. You might be better off waiting to see how things shake out with AMD's RDNA 3 announcement, as well as seeing what that does to the prices of the 6000-series GPUs as well in the meantime. 

If you decide you need an upgrade, though, the Sapphire NITRO+ RX 6750 XT is a fine card on its own. It fits the brief: high performance at 1440p, especially if you needn't play at max settings or are focused more on esports titles, and can handle ray tracing thanks to FSR 2.0. It's an upgrade over its 6700 XT brother, giving AMD users a clear card to grab if you're looking for a 1400p performer and don't want to - or don't need to - wait for the upcoming cards from AMD. 

7.5Good
Pros
  • Good 1440p Performer
  • FSR holds its own in RT titles
  • Cool and quiet under pressure
  • An upgrade over the 6700 XT
  • Looks great
Cons
  • Cost makes it feel less compelling
  • FSR just doesn't look as good as DLSS
  • Only a modest upgrade over the 6700 XT
  • New cards coming down the pipeline


lotrlore

Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore