Card Layout and Photos
If you saw my previous XFX review which was the RX 6800 XT MERC 319, both the name and the overall look of the 6700 XT MERC 319 are going to look familiar. This card shares a lot with its older brother, but they aren’t the same card. The MERC name tells us that this is their highest-end RX 6700 XT and like I mentioned in my previous review the MERC stands for Mercury not Mercenary like you might think. As for the numbers, the 3 tells us we have a three fan cooler and 1 says there is a 100mm fan, and 9 means there is a 90mm fan. I like the idea here but when you compare the 6800 XT cooler to this one. It has the same 319 name but it has two 100mm fans and one 90mm fan where this card has two 90mm fans and one 100mm. I think a numbering scheme that lets you know when that changes like 290 for the 6800 XT cooler and 280 for this one would match the size if you added the fan sizes together and it also gives you a little clue in overall cooler size. Anyhow, enough about the name, the overall look of this card is similar only this one dropped the golf ball like dimples for a smooth flat black finish which is like older XFX cards. It has silver accents around all three fans and at the ends which I like as well but overall it completely avoids the angular design that almost every other card seems to have.
So with the dual 90mm fans, this card is a little smaller than the 6800 XT MERC 319. It’s still a large card though, especially compared to the MSI that I just took a look at. For length, it is 323mm long and it is 132mm tall. Then the thickness is 51mm. The 6800 XT was 340mm x 139mm x 57mm so you can see it is smaller in every dimension. But it still manages to be a huge card.
I already talked a little about the fan sizes, but I will mention it again. The two outer fans are 90mm and the inside fan is 100mm. It's a solid layout that gets the largest fan right over the top of the hottest area of the card with the other fans to help with the heat pulled away by the heatpipes. Both fan sizes have a similar fan design which has 13 blades on each fan and only a slight twist to the blades. The fans have a single X logo on each on the center section which is the only XFX branding visible from this side. We can also see through the fans and see that the heatsink has a vertical layout which is always good for cooling performance but does mean with these being axial fans that air will vent out the top and bottom. With the bottom vent, you do want to avoid having M.2 drives mounted up under the GPU whenever possible.
Looking around the edges of the MRC reinforces the fact that the airflow is focused towards the top and bottom edges of the card. XFX did open up their airflow here when compared to the 5000 series cards. We can see most of the heatsink but there is still the fan shroud going around the top and bottom edges to help focus the airflow in those directions. The top edge also has an LED-backlit section with the XFX logo on one end then Radeon RX 6700 XT on the other. I can’t say how much I love this. I hate seeing every card just have a backlit company logo, getting the model name out on the top edge lit up shows off what card you have. Even here I would like it more if it dropped the XFX and had the 6700 XT and then MERC 319 to show off that this is the higher-end model as well. The view of the end does have a gap but it just lets any extra airflow out this end, down in the heatsink area is blocked to keep that air flowing across the heatsink. Then the bottom does show that XFX has the heatsink formed around components on the board which is great, not just a universal design and we can see the large contact surface that covers the GPU as well as the memory around it.
Along with the 6700 XT branding on the top edge, the MERC 319 also has its dual 8-pin power connections up there. They are next to the end but not at the complete end of the card due to the PCB being shorter than the cooler and they are flipped around with the clips facing the PCB and the PCB notched to match to get the tightest possible fit from the heatsink itself. Next to that is also a BIOS switch. This lets you flip between two modes. Our pre-launch sample didn’t have the two modes just the one balanced mode. But I’m told that the card has a quiet mode and then balanced mode. Quiet has the power limit set to 198 watts with a fan target temperature junction of 90c. The balanced mode has a higher power limit at 211 watts and a target temperature of 85c.
The backplate for the MERC 319 is a full-length backplate but it is also very open, so much so that it feels weird calling it a full backplate. XFX has vents opened on it down at the PCI bracket end and then down below the power connections there are four more openings as well as the XFX logo cutout. Then at the end when the PCB ends there is a larger hole that lets airflow blow through. The cooler and backplate also drop down at the top of the card where the PCB is shorter than the cooler to allow extra airflow up there. The backplate is metal with a black textured finish, then across it in bright white they have MERC.
The PCI back bracket has the XFX logo cut out of it along with a few small ventilation holes. Then down in a row, they have three DisplayPort connections and one HDMI which is mixed in as the third one down. As I mention with just about every card, if this was blacked out, it would look a lot better in my opinion, especially here with the card being mostly blacked out. This view also shows the overall thickness and how much height the card has over the top of the PCI bracket as well.
I also took a look at the overall lighting once I got the RX 6700 XT MERC 319 setup on our bench before testing. I talked a lot about it previously but I do love what XFX has going on with the top edge lighting. Showing off the card model is cool, though some accents on the backplate or front wouldn’t hurt to go with it as well. Most of the lighting is white with a hint of blue except for the RX which is red.