AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT assessment

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Our Verdict

In an alternate universe, with out the present silicon drought, AMD’s RX 6600 XT is lower than $300 and a terrific mid-range possibility. On this, the darkest timeline, it is nearly $400, negligibly faster than an RX 5700 XT and solely barely cheaper. Although not less than it is higher than the RTX 3060.

For

  • Comfortably faster than an RTX 3060
  • Fantastically environment friendly RDNA 2 structure
  • Secure at 2.7GHz when overclocked

Towards

  • The higher RTX 3060 Ti is barely $20 extra
  • Does not transfer the sport on from the RX 5700 XT

“The final word 1080p gaming expertise,” that is what AMD is looking its $379 Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics card. And I’ll recommend that is perhaps a troublesome promote. It is clear that AMD is aiming at people wishing to hit triple determine body charges in aggressive shooters at 1080p, particularly those that are keen to spend important quantities of money doing so. Simply not the type of important determine that will get you a considerably higher graphics card. 

That appears like a distinct segment viewers when your new technology’s most reasonably priced GPU is historically meant to be the one which targets the broadest vary of PC avid gamers doable. 

These should not conventional occasions, nevertheless, and making an attempt to make use of current historical past to tell opinions on newly launched graphics playing cards nearly appears like a idiot’s errand proper now. Admittedly, so does speaking about such ephemeral ideas as a $379 MSRP, particularly in relation to the long-forgotten steered retail pricing of current playing cards. That is one thing which has lengthy since ceased to have any which means in the actual world.

However forming the underside rung of the RDNA 2 GPU ladder, the Radeon RX 6600 XT is the fifth tier decide of AMD’s present graphics card technology. And the very fact it is a nigh-on $400 GPU—when that was the value of the earlier technology’s high Radeon card—most likely tells you a large number concerning the graphics card market proper now.

AMD is aggressive once more, and not has to solely depend on undercutting its Nvidia GeForce rival’s high playing cards. However we’re additionally at some extent in historical past the place just about each GPU that may be manufactured is assured to be offered, and offered for properly above its market worth. Nevertheless a lot AMD and its companions wish to recommend there might be sufficient silicon on the market to maintain gross sales round this card’s said MSRP, the chances are the RX 6600 XT will nonetheless promote out simply as rapidly as all the opposite GPUs launched within the final yr, and doubtlessly for equally exorbitant sums of cash.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT specs

AMD Navi 23 GPU

(Picture credit score: AMD)

What are the Radeon RX 6600 XT specs?

Which nearly makes discuss concerning the precise specs of a specific chip, and even its real-world efficiency, really feel form of pointless. Sure, there’s a sure malaise setting in for us humble GPU reviewers nowadays, and I’m actually not immune. 

However let’s do that: The AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT options the brand new Navi 23 GPU; one of many newest second-gen Navi chips primarily based on the severely spectacular RDNA 2 structure. It is one other TSMC N7 (7nm) graphics processor, however the smallest of all of the current-gen AMD GPUs. Regardless of its small scale, although, it packs in additional transistors than even essentially the most highly effective of the primary technology Navi playing cards, the Navi 10 chip on the coronary heart of the RX 5700 XT.

Radeon RX 6600 XT specs

GPU: Navi 23

Lithography: TSMC 7nm

Transistors: 11.1B

Stream Processors: 2,048

CUs: 32

Ray Accelerators: 32

GPU Sport Clock (MHz): 2,359

Reminiscence bus: 128-bit

Reminiscence capability: 8GB GDDR6

Reminiscence velocity: 16Gbps

Reminiscence bandwidth: 256GB/s

TBP: 160W

Really helpful energy provide: 500W

Worth: $379

In the case of speeds and feeds we’re speaking a couple of chip with 32 compute items (CUs) at its coronary heart, with a complete of two,048 stream processors making up these RDNA 2 dual-CU workgroups. If you need a full rundown of how the RDNA 2 structure is ready to produce graphics playing cards in a position to preserve tempo with Nvidia’s most interesting, then try Jacob’s wonderful Radeon RX 6800 XT assessment

One of many keys to the newest architectural design is the way in which AMD’s engineers have been in a position to push its environment friendly silicon sooner than any GPUs we have seen earlier than. This give attention to uncooked frequency was a part of the method which made subsequent Ryzen CPU generations so good, and it is an method that has been working to nice impact with AMD’s newest graphics chips too. 

That is made abundantly clear by means of the speeds of the RX 6600 XT. The ‘sport clock’ of the newest card, basically the anticipated clock velocity beneath gaming masses, is a heady, and unusually particular 2,359MHz. Examine that with the 1,755MHz of the outdated RX 5700 XT and you may clearly see the progress AMD has made. Nvidia’s Ampere silicon is never in a position to get near the 2GHz mark, and this is likely one of the core causes as to why AMD has been in a position to shut the hole between it and its rivals’ high playing cards. 

With that tremendous excessive frequency in thoughts, the effectivity of the RDNA 2 structure ought to be clear whenever you examine the overall board energy (TBP) of the RX 6600 XT at 160W vs. that of the RX 5700 XT at 225W.

It’s value noting that the XFX RX 6600 XT Merc 308 card we’ve in for assessment is ready to hit a median 2,516MHz beneath regular gaming operations, and was even regular with a median 2,731MHz when overclocked. A 2.7GHz clock velocity is just about unprecedented in GPU phrases outdoors of the LN2-sniffing overclocking crowd.

It is only a disgrace that type of frequency bump does not really translate into greater than an additional couple fps right here and there in your bother.

XFX Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics card

(Picture credit score: Future)

With that it is also value noting that, like with the Nvidia RTX 3060, you will not discover reference mannequin variations of AMD’s newest GPU. That is why we have the XFX card right here, relatively than the type of pleasingly chonky black and gray reference numbers we have had for the Radeon RX 6700 XT et al.

However the Navi GPU silicon itself is not the entire take care of AMD’s newest playing cards, the reminiscence subsystem is completely key, particularly down at this finish of the stack. In contrast with the remainder of the RX 6000-series playing cards which have already been launched, and the last-gen RX 5000-series, we’re a reminiscence bus often reserved for playing cards decrease down the ladder. 

With 8GB of 16Gbps GDDR6 arrayed throughout an mixture 128-bit bus you’d usually count on the GPU to be starved of reminiscence bandwidth, and whereas it is actually decrease than both the 448GB/s of the RX 5700 XT or the 288GB/s of the RX 5600 XT, its 256GB/s determine does not look too dangerous.

However that is with out taking into consideration the RDNA 2 magic bullet of Infinity Cache. It is a supplementary, die-mounted slice of speedy cache reminiscence, that may intercept a bunch of calls that will in any other case must go throughout the PCIe bus to reminiscence swimming pools outdoors of the cardboard itself. With one thing just like the RX 6800 XT, and its wholesome chunk of 128MB of Infinity Cache, and an already excessive reminiscence bandwidth, this additional cache is partly answerable for its 4K efficiency.

AMD Navi 23 GPU

(Picture credit score: AMD)

With the RX 6600 XT, nevertheless, Infinity Cache must be arguably extra necessary. AMD mentioned, when it launched the brand new RDNA 2 design, that cache hits are almost definitely at 1080p, although at that decision you are much less more likely to run into points with reminiscence bandwidth on higher-spec card. The RX 6600 XT, nevertheless, is already fairly restricted by way of bandwidth, and so the regularity of cache hits at its goal decision ought to imply the additional efficient bandwidth increase of Infinity Cache might be a real boon for its restricted 128-bit bus.

Although that is tempered by the very fact there’s solely a relatively paltry 32MB of this performance-salving cache obtainable to the newest AMD card, nevertheless.

After which there’s ray tracing. Which, let’s be trustworthy, you do not actually care about for those who’re shopping for an AMD graphics card.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT efficiency

XFX Radeon RX 6600 XT and AMD RX 6700 XT graphics cards

(Picture credit score: Future)

How does the Radeon RX 6600 XT carry out?

There aren’t any actual surprises right here, which itself is not a lot of a shock. 

The additional you get into a brand new architectural technology of graphics card the extra it turns into a recognized amount and you may nearly predict the efficiency ballpark of subsequent iterations of GPU. When relative 3DMark Time Spy Excessive GPU numbers—flatter line from RX 6900 XT to RX 6800 XT apart—the pattern is sort of utterly linear by means of the remainder of the 4 Radeon playing cards. 

AMD vs Nvidia 3DMark Time Spy Extreme index scores

There’s much more variation, for good or in poor health, whenever you have a look at the inexperienced line of GeForce 3DMark scores.

For the RX 6600 XT itself, the excellent news is that it confidently beats Nvidia’s least expensive Ampere GPU, the RTX 3060, throughout the board. That was a card we have been initially eager on round launch, however its lustre is perhaps sporting off. Nonetheless, it is essentially the most reasonably priced ‘next-gen’ GPU proper now, which is not less than one thing. 

Then again, the RX 6600 XT falls wanting the tempo of the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, which is trying ever extra like the card of this present technology. 

AMD RX 6600 XT 1080p gaming efficiency

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The most effective displaying for the latest Navi GPU is at its 1080p goal decision. That is typically been the case for AMD’s playing cards in comparison with their Nvidia competitors this time round. With the RX 6600 XT it is some 15% slower on common than the nominally $20 costlier Nvidia card at this res, although that efficiency delta rapidly grows you shift gears to 1440p after which on to 4K. 

For those who’re sporting the next decision monitor, or simply need to get your self these excessive 1080p body charges in aggressive shooters that AMD appears to be aiming its new card, then that $20 outlay begins to look more and more like cash properly spent on the RTX 3060 Ti.

AMD RX 6600 XT 1440p gaming efficiency

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AMD RX 6600 XT 4K gaming efficiency

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AMD RX 6600 XT ray tracing efficiency

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Take a look at rig

CPU – Intel Core i7 10700K

Motherboard – MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi

RAM – Corsair Vengeance RGB Professional @ 3,200MHz

CPU cooler – Corsair H100i RGB Professional XT

PSU – NZXT 850W

Chassis – DimasTech Mini V2

Monitor – Eve Spectrum

The environment friendly GPU on the coronary heart of the RX 6600 XT, coupled with the spectacular triple fan cooler provided by XFX’s Merc 308 version, signifies that this assessment card stays tremendous chill even beneath sustained load. To be truthful, it is not like RTX 3060 Ti with its Founders Version shroud is especially toasty, however even when cranking up the clock velocity of the RX 6600 XT it by no means broke the 70°C mark, which is supremely spectacular.

When it comes to energy, too, the RDNA 2 structure exhibits its class. Regardless of recurrently outshining the RTX 3060 by way of uncooked gaming efficiency it additionally does so with each a considerably decrease common energy draw and decrease peak too.

AMD RX 6600 XT energy and thermals

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AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT evaluation

XFX Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics card

(Picture credit score: Future)

How does the Radeon RX 6600 XT stack up?

For many of this GPU technology, and for a big a part of the final, the common chorus has been that uncooked efficiency numbers are one factor, however Nvidia has a severe edge by way of the additional options. Whereas real-time ray tracing has been touted as the most important, realistically it is the almost-indistinguishable-from-magic Deep Studying Tremendous Sampling (DLSS) tech that has garnered extra business plaudits.

Delivering increased gaming efficiency with a barely perceptible affect on visible constancy has lengthy been one thing Nvidia is rightly pleased with. And it has been one thing that has recurrently been the differentiating issue between recommending an Nvidia card over an AMD one.

However AMD now has a pool of options with its current Radeon playing cards that, whereas they perhaps cannot fairly match as much as their GeForce equivalents, present a real value-add on high of the bottom body price ranges of its GPUs. King of these is FidelityFX Tremendous Decision (FSR). It’s held up as AMD’s reply to DLSS, although it’s a very totally different factor, it might allow you to get increased body charges in choose video games, with out being significantly punitive in terms of the look of your sport.

We’re massive followers of it, and whereas it is not as snazzy an answer as DLSS, it can nonetheless ship extra efficiency and look fairly nice whereas doing so. That is a particular win for a mid-range card such because the RX 6600 XT. 

Although FSR seems to be a little bit underrepresented in terms of sport help, AMD’s promise that it is easy for devs to implement has been born out by earnest modders dropping FSR the characteristic into totally different video games, akin to GTA V and Skyrim VR, themselves. Some have even created apps that let you add it into virtually any Home windows or Vulkan sport.

Then there’s Radeon Anti-Lag and Radeon Enhance, now with a variable price shading increase in sure titles, that are each designed to ship the slickest gaming efficiency in aggressive video games the place milliseconds could be the distinction between life and loss of life.  

And the Adrenalin driver software program is not so awkward to make use of anymore both. The drivers themselves have been recurrently bettering through the years, however that precise software program is now becoming a member of it. Clearly there are some points, like unusual {hardware} suggestions, and settings being buried and needlessly obfuscated inside Russian doll menus, nevertheless it feels way more strong than it has shortly.

XFX Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics card

(Picture credit score: Future)

However this improved AMD bundle does not change the truth that I would fortunately pay the additional $20 that will theoretically get me the extra performant Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti over the AMD RX 6600 XT. In uncooked efficiency phrases it is the faster GPU, after which you may add the inexperienced group’s personal spectacular characteristic set on high of that.

Which makes the pricing of this card my greatest frustration. At $379 it is clearly far too costly for what it’s, and what it represents. However AMD has been laser-focused on boosting the typical promoting value of its elements, and the GPU scarcity has now given it ample alternative to take action with its Radeon graphics playing cards.

There was an actual probability right here to stay it to Nvidia and both match or beat the value of the RTX 3060, through which case we might be solely mentioning the relative energy of the RTX 3060 Ti card in passing, not specializing in it. What makes that doubly irritating is that, with few RX 6600 XT playing cards ever more likely to be offered on the MSRP, AMD may simply as simply have plucked a less expensive value out of the air and basked within the goodwill that generated. As an alternative it is trying overpriced up towards the one barely costlier, and sooner Nvidia GPU.

It is also not just like the RX 6600 XT is basically transferring issues alongside any both. It is virtually the identical value because the RX 5700 XT, and solely single digit figures sooner on common. Taking our total benchmarking suite under consideration, this new card delivers common 1080p body charges solely 7% increased than the first-gen Navi card, whereas solely being 5% cheaper than the RX 5700 XT’s $399 MSRP. 

The brand new GPU is extra environment friendly, with considerably decrease energy consumption, and positively a extra technically elegant resolution, although that does not make an enormous distinction by way of precise temperatures or efficiency. I can completely say the RDNA 2 structure is actually a greater expertise than its RDNA 1 forebear, however the in-game outcomes on this case are barely any totally different.

Although if I simply say the fifth tier of this newest technology of AMD graphics playing cards successfully matches the body price efficiency of one of the best of the earlier technology, then issues look fairly rosy. However when you think about they’re each the identical value that does not actually really feel like a variety of mainstream progress to me.

Bear in mind when there have been nice $250 graphics playing cards in each technology? Looks as if a very long time in the past now. And with the GPU scarcity anticipated to final for not less than one other yr, it looks like a protracted solution to go from the place we are actually, too. Neither AMD or Nvidia are more likely to dip their toes into that historically high-volume mainstream degree when each higher-priced graphics card is being offered anyway.

Why provide cheaper playing cards, when the thirst forsimply something is so insatiable?

AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT verdict

XFX Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics card

(Picture credit score: Future)

Must you purchase the Radeon RX 6600 XT?

The brand new AMD RX 6600 XT is a graphics card in 2021, which suggests two issues: It is MSRP might be ephemeral at greatest, and each single one manufactured might be offered anyway. Shortly.

In the case of gaming efficiency the RX 6600 XT is a superb 1080p GPU, simply because the RX 5700 XT was, and truthfully like several near-$400 graphics card has been in any technology of the final 5 years. Actually that ought to be a given, and we must always not less than be trying to push excessive refresh price displays at 1440p after we’re spending this a lot money on a GPU.

It comfortably beats the RTX 3060, which I suppose is the purpose, nevertheless it’s nominally $50 extra. Although it is fairly properly off the tempo in contrast with the RTX 3060 Ti which prices solely one other $20. With that card’s increased decision efficiency, the magic of DLSS, and Nvidia’s typically higher availability, that is the place my suggestion lies proper now. 

The positioning and pricing of the RX 6600 XT appears out of contact with the remainder of the GPU market. However that is after we’re speaking about relative MSRP’s, which, within the present silicon-starved state of the business, are nearly totally irrelevant. 

At another time there could be some last-gen playing cards nonetheless floating round in retail, and if there have been any RX 5700 XTs nonetheless on the market priced usually the RX 6600 XT would have a really totally different launch value. However, on this darkest timeline, there aren’t.

And that is why AMD can value its new card so excessive, and nonetheless be assured that it will promote out nearly instantly. 

XFX Radeon RX 6600 XT Merc 308

In an alternate universe, with out the present silicon drought, AMD’s RX 6600 XT is lower than $300 and a terrific mid-range possibility. On this, the darkest timeline, it is nearly $400, negligibly faster than an RX 5700 XT and solely barely cheaper. Although not less than it is higher than the RTX 3060.

Dave James

Dave has been gaming for the reason that days of Zaxxon and Woman Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Loss of life Race 2000!). He constructed his first gaming PC on the tender age of 16, and at last completed bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system round a yr later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first began writing for Official PlayStation Journal and Xbox World many a long time in the past, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 amongst others. Now he is again, writing concerning the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with extra cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the solar, and SSDs extra capacious than a Cybertruck.