AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT evaluate: A killer 1080p graphics card with pandemic pricing

AMD promised the Radeon RX 6600 XT would ship “epic” 1080p gaming, and the corporate’s newest graphics card delivers that in spades. This RDNA 2-powered GPU doesn’t simply blow previous the Radeon RX 5600 XT it’s changing, it additionally skirts by the Radeon RX 5700 XT—a graphics card not one however two tiers larger than the 5600 XT was. Spectacular stuff. The Radeon RX 6600 XT will completely scream when paired with a excessive refresh-rate monitor.

Then again, that lead diminishes greater than you would possibly anticipate if you bump up the decision to 1440p. That’s attributable to some key tweaks launched within the Radeon RX 6600 XT’s reminiscence subsystem and its implementation of AMD’s radical new Infinity Cache. You can also’t ignore the sticker value: The Radeon RX 6600 XT carries a steered price ticket of $379, a full $100 greater than the 5600 XT was and simply $20 shy of the price of the Radeon RX 5700 XT (and Nvidia’s implausible GeForce RTX 3060 Ti). Sure, we’re within the midst of a crippling GPU scarcity. This graphics card will little question each value extra and promote out immediately on the streets.

Add all of it up and the Radeon RX 6600 XT is an efficient graphics card with some difficult caveats. Let’s dig in, with the assistance of the Asus ROG Strix Radeon RX 6600 XT, a premium customized mannequin with an extremely luxe $550 price ticket that’s in all probability extra reflective of what you’ll see in the actual world.

Radeon RX 6600 XT specs, options, and value

The Radeon RX 6600 XT is constructed on AMD’s new RDNA 2 structure,  particularly the “Navi 23” GPU that’s significantly smaller in dimension than the Navi 22 and 21 GPUs present in step-up playing cards just like the Radeon RX 6700 XT and flagship 6900 XT. That issues for a number of technical causes, however virtually, smaller die sizes imply AMD can squeeze extra out from every silicon wafer it manufactures. Extra GPU dies imply extra graphics playing cards hitting the streets—stellar information throughout a scarcity.

Right here’s a fast take a look at how the $379 Radeon RX 6600 XT’s reference specs stack up in opposition to each the $279 Radeon RX 5600 XT and $399 Radeon RX 5700 XT from final era:

rx 6600 xt specs AMD

RDNA 2 hits considerably larger clock speeds than its predecessors did. Simply witness the “Sport Clock” speeds—the typical clock velocity anticipated whereas gaming—for the 5600 XT and 6600 XT. AMD’s new card may be very practically 1,000MHz larger. Candy holy moly. Regardless of these sky-high speeds, and the addition of 2GB extra reminiscence (bringing the full to 8GB), the Radeon RX 6600 XT attracts solely 10 watts extra energy than the cardboard it’s changing, a testomony to RDNA 2’s advances.

A part of the rationale AMD’s new playing cards are so power-efficient is the addition of “Infinity Cache,” a big blob of L3 reminiscence embedded proper inside the GPU die. Video games faucet into it for lots of reminiscence duties, which suggests the GPU doesn’t have to ship requests “all” the best way out to the graphics card’s GDDR6 reminiscence. That in flip lets AMD construct Radeon RX 6000-series GPUs with smaller reminiscence buses, which helps save energy. Consider the reminiscence bus because the freeway for reminiscence knowledge: Extra lanes lets site visitors transfer quicker. The Radeon RX 6600 XT contains a slender 128-bit reminiscence bus, versus a 192-bit bus on the older 5600 XT, and a 256-bit bus on the 5700 XT.  

infinity cache solution AMD

Infinity Cache is really a game-changer, however the Radeon RX 6600 XT’s 1440p efficiency exhibits its implementation issues.

It’s not all roses, although. AMD tuned the Radeon RX 6600 XT’s Infinity Cache for 1080p gaming, giving it considerably much less capability than its siblings—32MB, versus 96MB on the 1440p-focused Radeon RX 6700 XT and 128GB on AMD’s higher-end 4K choices. Radeon product supervisor Nish Neelalojanan advised me that the “hit charge” that determines the Infinity Cache’s effectiveness is “very related” within the 6600 XT at 1080p to what the opposite playing cards obtain at their focused resolutions.

However as you’ll see in our benchmarks, if you happen to step the decision as much as 1440p, the Infinity Cache’s hit charge decreases considerably, that means the 6600 XT wants as an alternative to depend on the standard reminiscence system way more. When that occurs, the Radeon RX 6600 XT’s lead over the older 5700 XT plummets—and generally disappears fully. That is smart: The 5700 XT’s a lot wider bus helps enhance it to 448GBps of reminiscence bandwidth, in comparison with 256GBps on the Radeon RX 6600 XT. (Infinity Cache isn’t counted in that—it’s a lot quicker.) And bumping up the decision usually calls for extra reminiscence in video games. However it additionally signifies that whereas the Radeon RX 6600 XT does effectively sufficient at 1440p gaming, it shines brightest at excessive refresh-rate 1080p.

Sufficient chip geekery. Let’s speak concerning the $550 Asus ROG Strix Radeon RX 6600 XT extra particularly.

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This extra mainstream model of Asus’s ROG Strix flagship model doesn’t have fairly as many bells and whistles as probably the most premium choices. The shroud is extra plasticky and lacks RGB lighting except for a emblem on the sting. There aren’t any FanConnect II headers to combine a case fan’s efficiency with the GPU’s temperature, and it’s smaller basically.

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The “ROG Strix” emblem on the sting options RGB lighting.

These kinds of sacrifices are widespread in additional reasonably priced graphics playing cards, and the ROG Strix Radeon RX 6600 XT’s cooling design nonetheless impresses. The twin followers characteristic many steeply swept blades encased in an outer ring. They sit over a heatsink that homes 4 heatpipes and a big base plate to suck warmth away from the GPU and reminiscence modules.

This card could also be compact, however it will possibly nonetheless tame this extra modest Radeon GPU. As you’ll see in our benchmark part, the ROG Strix RX 6600 XT delivers completely distinctive temperatures, albeit in tandem with noticeable noise ranges. Higher but, the cardboard presents a 0db characteristic that turns the followers off for silent operation if you aren’t stressing the GPU below intense gaming masses.

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Aesthetically, this appears to be like like a ROG Strix due to its harsh, angular shroud design, augmented by futuristically styled textual content angled throughout its face. The cardboard contains a slick full-length steel backplate that’s naked except for a swooping ROG emblem. When you’re into the aggressive, virtually cyberpunk-ish “gamer” aesthetic, the ROG Strix Radeon RX 6600 XT will look excellent in your case.

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The ROG Strix’s dual-BIOS change.

On a extra sensible degree, the cardboard presents a twin BIOS change—all the time useful for overclocking endeavors—with preset Efficiency and Quiet profiles, although the default Efficiency profile is loads quiet by itself. Energy comes by way of a single 8-pin connector. Asus outfitted the cardboard with a single HDMI 2.1 connection and a trio of DisplayPorts.

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Port report

Like different RX 6000-series GPUs, the Radeon RX 6600 XT helps all of RDNA 2’s numerous options, together with FidelityFX Tremendous Decision and Sensible Entry Reminiscence to spice up efficiency, real-time ray tracing capabilities, AV1 video decoding, DirectX 12 Final goodies, an improved model of Radeon Enhance that wraps in Variable Price Shading, Radeon Anti-Lag throughout all main DX APIs, FreeSync show help, AMD Hyperlink streaming to different units, and way more. AMD’s strong Radeon Settings app contains each handbook and computerized efficiency tuning controls so you may tweak the cardboard to your coronary heart’s extent, and Asus presents its personal useful GPU Tweak III software program.

Let’s get benchmarking.

Subsequent web page: Our check system, benchmarks start