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(IIWII) Navi 21, socialising, new category and MSI's poor design choices on the Gaming Z Trio 6900XT

You might notice the new prefix denoting a category, "IIWII". The acronym's nature as a palindrome isn't intentional, it simply stands for 'It Is What It Is'. And that's a new category for my Posts & Articles section because it's quite fittingly 'take it for what it is'. I guess this would be a (Stuff) or (Sash Rants) prior to the new categorisation, but, well... It is what it is.

I'll start with the technology related piece since I like technology and I despise socialising, so here you go.

If you are one of the wretched humans that follows my YouTube channel (don't, and no, this isn't a reverse-psychological attempt to gain more followers. I mean, literally, stop), you might have noticed that I have uploaded two videos, both referencing the Radeon RX 6900XT. So here is the first.

In this video, I am generally quite happy with the card's performance (I knew it wouldn't be as fast as the 3090 in this game, obviously with the massive use of Ray Tracing and NVIDIA-focused effects such as HairWorks (though N21 is ironically very fast in those scenes). Unfortunately, my happiness with the GPU was overshadowed by MSI's failure to design a reasonable high-performance heat-exchanger for the Heatsink (normally called a cold plate) where it touches the GPU die.

The second video contains my thoughts about my initial diagnosis for the issue of abnormally high Edge and Junction temperature delta observed on this card. This is usually a sign of poor contact and/or mounting pressure.

After disassembling the card, repasting, trying various other means of contact (including Graphite Pads), many times, I have come to the conclusion that the Edge/Hotspot delta is caused by sub-optimal pressure and contact. The latter is largely caused by MSI's rather curious decision to use heat pipes with a direct-contact layout rather than a cold plate which spreads the heat evenly. This is further exacerbated by the fact that it appears only 4 out of the 6 pipes are actually making full contact with the die.

This reminds me of the issues MSI/Gigabyte coolers had in the past with Radeon cards re-using GeForce cooler plates (i.e, the heat pipe layout would be designed for an NVIDIA GPU and be "just good enough, but not optimal" for the Radeons, since I have noted that vendors making both brands' cards tend to treat Radeon as a second class citizen). I don't know if that's the case here as I have not seen the Ampere version of this cooler and can't be bothered to search for it, but it wouldn't surprise me.

Regardless, the two outer heat pipes on each side do not make full contact, these pipes lead to the extremities of the heatsink and likely inhibit optimal thermal transfer. The use of heat pipes instead of a heat-spreading cold plate also has issues for direct-die contact because of the gaps between the pipes as clearly visible filled with thermal goop in the picture above.

To the final point about this cooler, if you see towards the bottom of the picture, you will notice that there is thicker distribution of paste than towards the top. This is the same side as to where I noticed the 'raised part' of the cold plate/heatsink, and indicative of poor contact pressure on this side. The combination of these sub-optimal design choices and potentially poor manufacturing stands during assembly are to blame for the cooler's sub optimal performance with regards to the Edge / HS delta gap. Yes, that gap is large enough that it begins to affect the overclock ability of the card before power limits are even reached, even at max fan (105+C HS).

Not that I care about overclocking, but if you care, avoid this model, unless you want to water cool it (the Gaming X Trio block apparently fits the Gaming Z Trio). After some backwards and forwards with being extremely stressed, depressed and hateful, I decided to keep the card because it operates fine at stock or in quiet mode where the high hot spot temperature isn't an issue.

This is no fault of AMD's; the Navi 21 GPU is remarkable and I might have a Tech Babble or something to that nature on it soon, because I really impressed with the GPU technologically. This is entirely MSI's fault, but I'm not going to let it get in the way of my excitement for the successor to a card I really liked, but had issues with software. By the way, the drivers for the 6900XT seem absolutely rock solid, I've only had it one day, though. So I will update that later.

So expect (or not) more Navi 21 related content in the future as this should (lol) be the card I settle on for the next couple years or so.


What have you done, Sash? I thought we had been through this so many times before. Yes, we have, and yes, it has happened again. I knew it was inevitable but somehow kept living in denial that it wouldn't happen. Even as I type this, a rage builds up inside me and I wish very, very bad things on internet "people". Regardless, I have left those "communities" once again and find myself once again of the mindset that I will lock myself away from human contact, be it online or otherwise, for the foreseeable future in order to prevent this from happening again.

Until it does.

I blame the asshole of an Aunt I have (or had, she's very much dead to me, like most of the 'family', actually. Seriously, fuck those cretins). That would have built upon the abusive canvas that years of being bullied at educational facilities and subject to the abuse of my equally asshole sister at home. Can you imagine why Sash is socially broken? You only need to look in the mirror.

In this case the same situation presented itself whereby I feel people simply do not listen to me, and they go off on their own little arrogant tangents because of some deep-set 'Sash Bias' they have against me. Maybe I'm just so unlikeable? Oh well.

Don't think I don't think I am to blame, too, because I am. For a start I was rude, but only after the situation had escalated, but It Is What It Is.

For some reason, this post comes to mind again.

Fuck you, people. Seriously, fuck you.

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