CES 2022 has finally come around, which means that each of these massive tech giants will jockey for the next few days in order to remove your hard-earned dollars from your wallet. AMD's best effort this year comes in the form of the new "entry-level" Radeon RX 6500 XT, which will surely be the card that solves the years-long GPU crisis, right?
Well, probably not, but the $199 card does seem like a pretty good option for budget-minded PC gamers who are looking to build a new rig — but that's assuming, of course, that you can even get your hands on one. In the announcement, AMD emphasizes that the card performs 1.6 times better with maxed 1080p gaming than aging competitors like the GTX 1650, but it's hard to know what that actually means without actual data from sources like Digital Foundry.
Another brick in the wall — As with Nvidia's RTX cards, the Radeon RX 6000 line offers a hardware based ray tracing solution called RDNA 2, which is the same technology used in the current-gen consoles like the PS5. The RX 6500 XT will also support FidelityFX Super Resolution, which can boost image quality or performance in certain games via supersampling.
It's impossible to mention the RX 6500 XT without noting that Nvidia announced a very similar card today, the RTX 3050, which AMD's competitor also compared to the GTX 1650 in its marketing materials. The RTX 3050 will debut at the slightly higher price of $269. Again, given the fact that GPUs have been hard to find at any price remotely near MSRP for years now, that's probably less relevant than you might think.
Which way, gamer man? — As a whole, both of these cards seem like a good buy for so-called "entry-level" PC players, but it remains to be seen if they'll be any easier to obtain than any new-ish GPU over the past few years. The RX 6500 XT releases on January 19, and the new Nvidia card comes out January 27.