AMD Radeon RX 6700 review: If another sold-out GPU falls in the forest…

Look, I’ll level with you: reviewing a GPU amidst a global chip shortage is ludicrous enough to count as dark comedy. Your ability to buy new, higher-end GPUs from either Nvidia or AMD has been hamstrung for months—a fact borne out by their very low ranks on Steam’s gaming PC stats gathered around the world.

As of press time, AMD’s latest “Big Navi” GPUs barely make a ripple in Steam’s list. That’s arguably a matter of timing, with their November 2020 launch coming two months after Nvidia began shipping its own 3000-series GPUs. But how much is that compounded by low supplies and shopping bots? AMD isn’t saying, and on the eve of the Radeon RX 6700’s launch, the first in its “Little Navi” line, the company’s assurances aren’t entirely comforting.

In an online press conference ahead of the launch, AMD Product Manager Greg Boots offered the usual platitudes: “a ton of demand out there,” “we’re doing everything we can,” that sort of thing. He mentioned a couple of AMD’s steps that may help this time around. For one, AMD’s “reference” GPU model is launching simultaneously with partner cards, so if the inventory is actually out there (we certainly don’t know), that at least puts higher numbers of GPUs in the day-one pool. Also, Boots emphasized stock being made available specifically for brick-and-mortar retailers—though he didn’t offer a ratio of how many GPUs are going to those shops, compared to online retailers.

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