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XFX Speedster Merc 319 6900 XT Limited Black review


I had acquired this card just over a week ago. Despite being on AMD CPUs since 2018, with my first Ryzen, the Ryzen 5 2600, and sticking to Ryzen CPUs only since then, my entire GPU collection up to this point has always been nvidia. From my first card in 2007, the GeForce 8500 GT, up to my last card, a Gigabyte RTX 2070. 


However, since 2021 ive been more and more tempted by the red team. The 5000 series was a good first attempt to be back in contention on the mainstream GPU market, but I feel like they made the biggest dent with the 6000 series cards, and 7000 series is looking to continue that trend. Therefore when I was looking to finally upgrade my 2070, which I had used since 2020, AMD cards were on the top of my list. The 40-series and 7000 series cards were a bit out of my budget, even in the used market. I couldnt quite get myself to swing $700 for a card, those were the minimum prices of 7000 series and 40 series cards that had at least a 50% uplift in performance over my 2070. A 50% uplift in performance was always the limit I set myself to consider upgrading, otherwise I personally dont see it being worth it. This left me with the 30 series and the 6000 series cards.


With my 50% uplift target, I was left with RTX 3080s and above, and RX 6800XTs and above. To my surprise, 3080s here are still at least $600 for a good used one, whereas 3080tis and 3090s were all $700 and above. I honestly didnt expect them to hold value so well, and that basically decided my fate. On top of the somewhat shady business practices nvidia had done over the past 3 years, it looks like the market made the decision for me. After a few more weeks of digging, my card popped up, a XFX Merc 6900 XT Limited Black, for $450usd used. The seller had 1000s of positive reviews, and from all the photos and videos the card looked in very good shape, so I decided to commit.



As I was waiting for the card to ship, I did more research into it. Turns out, the Limited Black card is actually a pretty significant upgrade even over the stock 6900 XT. Firstly, its an XTXH chipped 6900, for those who arent aware, 6900s came in 2 variants, the XTX and the XTXH, with the XTXH chips being better "binned" and "unlocked" for overclocking. They had higher clock limits on the core and memory, and were usually seen in the water cooled cards, very few air cooled 6900s had them. Secondly, its 2495mhz advertised boost clock also puts it pretty high on the list of highest boosting 6900 XTs overall, air or watercooled. Safe to say I was very exited to play around with it, as overclocking is something ive always enjoyed. With my previous 2070, and a AIO strapped onto it, I even managed to break into the top 3 of 3dmark scores with it for my hardware. However, I did have my doubts, especially given the driver history and overall instability of AMD cards that was reported online.


The card does live up to the expectations I had for it. On completely stock settings the card gets a 22,274 graphics score in TimeSpy, this is a 54% boost in performance over the 2070s MAXIMUM overclocked graphics score of 10,421. If we compare the stock 2070 graphics score, then its a 62% boost. The story continues in FireStrike, with the 6900 XT setting a graphics score of 62,929, completely stock, which is a 59% uplift over, again, the MAXIMUM overclocked graphics score the 2070 ever got of 26,108. Stock for stock, this difference goes up to 62% again.


Great, the card meets my 50% uplift requirement, and it manages to do so whilst running the fans at a maximum of 35%, which is barely audible, and the core doesnt see anything above 67c, with the hotspot staying around 80-84c, something the 2070 struggled with, as the stock gigabyte cooler wasnt very good. *Take this with a bit of a grain of salt, as the seller did say he repasted the card with MX4, and this could be why it runs so cool. In any case, this means this card is going to be completely insane when overclocking right? Not quite. This is where I came upon my first hurdle with this card. I have to give credit to XFX, they have absolutely squeezed every single bit of performance out of this card on its stock settings, with the card hitting and holding 2600mhz constantly, even when gaming, well above the advertised clocks. But it does mean that there is hardly any room to go above the stock settings. With a maxed power limit, overclocked memory and core, the absolute best score I managed to get whilst being stable was a 22,782 in TimeSpy and a 64,911 in FireStrike. Only a 3% and 4% uplift respectfully, so much for that "binned" and "unlocked" XTXH chip. Turns out, after spending some time on this forum and other AMD subreddits and forums, the card is power limited. Despite drawing over 360w with the 15% power slider, it is not enough for it to do anything more, and most people have to resort to MPT to get more out of it, something I wasnt willing to do.




Fine, so the overclocking card is so heavily overclocked from the factory that anything I do on top doesnt result in any more significant performance gained. This does mean I should have some room for undervolting, and maybe I can get the card to run even quieter and even cooler at the same settings right? Once again, the cards clocks are so high from the get go, that anything below 1200mv is not stable, and would require a drop to the factory clocks. Something I was not willing to do. So im stuck with an overclocking card that I cant overclock without messing with BIOS limits, and a overclocking card I cant undervolt without sacrificing performance, great! Not quite what I was expecting, but its not the end of the world. The card performs so well out of the box that frankly the lack of any overclocking performance gain isnt a deal breaker. As even on stock settings the card is setting numbers that are 6% higher than the average 6900 XT and 4% higher than a 6950 XT. Its actually performing closer to a 4070ti, and outperforming the daddy of 30 series, the 3090ti, if the 3dMarks own results are to be trusted. So I cant really be sad about its performance.


How about those infamous AMD drivers then? And the constant game crashes and shitty optimization? Well, I havent experienced any of that at all, everything has been rock solid, every game I play, and all my work related tasks have been flawless, fingers crossed it stays this way. In a weird turn, the card being as good as it is, has actually revealed bottlenecks in my system that I did not have with the 2070, take that as you will but it has forced me to look into the 5800X3D a lot sooner than I wanted to. 


In conclusion I am still happy with what I got for the price I got it at. The card is extremely well built, the Limited Black actually comes with a cool and very solid brace/sag bracket that bolts right into the card and really makes it look like a serious weapon inside of my case. It runs super quiet and super cool (once again, this might not be the case for stock cards as it has been repasted), and its performance is above the expectations I had for it, despite the limited overclocking potential. But those limited overclocking potentials do need to be highlighted to anyone considering this card for that purpose. As they might have seen it has the XTXH chip and rushed out to get one thinking it will be an overclocking weapon, but the card ends up being the exact opposite. Just something to take note of. 



R5 5600X | XFX Merc 6900 XT Limited Black | 32gb 3200mhz CL16

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Well done review, thank you for posting.

"Do what makes the experience better" - in regards to PCs and Life itself


Onyx - AMD Ryzen 7 7700x (-30 PBO, 5.5 GHz all core) / MSI 6900xt Gaming X Trio / Gigabyte B650 AORUS Pro AX / G. Skill Flare X5 6000CL36 32GB / Samsung 980 1TB x3 / Super Flower Leadex V Platinum Pro 850 / EK-AIO 360 Basic / Lian Li Lancool II Mesh C / AOC AGON 35" 3440x1440 100Hz / Mackie CR5BT / Corsair Virtuoso SE / Cherry MX Board 3.0 / Logitech G502 - THANK YOU, MICROCENTER for the FREE DDR5 and $629 6900xt!!!!


Emma : i9 9900K @5.1Ghz - Gigabyte AORUS 1080Ti - Gigabyte AORUS Z370 Gaming 5 - G. Skill Ripjaws V 32GB 3200CL16 - 750 EVO 512GB + 2x 860 EVO 1TB (RAID0) - EVGA SuperNova 650 P2 - Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate 360mm - Fractal Design Define R6 - TP-Link AC1900 PCIe Wifi


Plex : Ryzen 5 5600 - Gigabyte B550M AORUS Elite AX - G. Skill Ripjaws V 16GB 3200Mhz - MSI 1050Ti 4GB - Crucial P3 Plus 500GB + WD Red NAS 4TBx2 - TP-Link AC1200 PCIe Wifi - EVGA SuperNova 650 P2 - ASUS Prime AP201 - Spectre 24" 


Raven:  Intel i5 10600K - ASRock H410M-HDV - G. Skill Ripjaws V 16GB 2666Mhz - Zotac GTX1070 AMP - Inland 256GB SSD + Crucial MX500 1TB - TP-Link AC600 USB Wifi - Gigabyte GP-P450B PSU -  Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L -  Samsung 27"



OnePlus 11 5G - 16GB RAM, 256GB NAND, Eternal Green

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Other Tech:

- 2021 Volvo S60 Recharge T8 Polestar Engineered - 415hp/495tq 2.0L 4cyl. turbocharged, supercharged and electrified.

Lenovo 720S Touch 15.6" - i7 7700HQ, 16GB RAM 2400MHz, 512GB NVMe SSD, 1050Ti, 4K touchscreen

MSI GF62 15.6" - i7 7700HQ, 16GB RAM 2400 MHz, 256GB NVMe SSD + 1TB 7200rpm HDD, 1050Ti

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