XFX Speedster Merc 308 Radeon RX 6600 XT overview: It does one factor very nicely

It’s a mouthful, however the identify “XFX Speedster Merc 308 Radeon RX 6600 XT Black Version” actually tells you all the pieces you want to know in regards to the firm’s newest providing.

This graphics card represents the most recent in a sequence of beautiful XFX {custom} designs—which final wowed us within the type of the Radeon RX 6700 XT Merc 319—constructed round AMD’s new Radeon RX 6600 XT GPU, which gives spectacular 1080p efficiency on excessive refresh-rate shows. If that appears like what you’re searching for, the XFX will make you very comfortable certainly, assuming you possibly can abdomen the excessive beginning value of the Radeon RX 6600 XT whereas the world is within the midst of a crippling GPU scarcity.

Fortuitously, XFX doesn’t require your first-born youngster to purchase the XFX Merc 308. The overclocked, custom-cooled card prices between $409 and $419 relying on the shop, I’m instructed. That’s $30 to $40 greater than the Radeon RX 6600 XT’s baseline value, which is cheap for a kitted-out {custom} mannequin like this. You’ve acquired choices, although. If you happen to’d choose the identical body charges with much less bling, XFX’s $399 Fast 308 strips out the aptitude (and RGB) you get within the Merc, marrying overclocked efficiency with a clear, black shroud. Lastly, the corporate’s Swft 210 Core sticks to no-frills and reference specs for AMD’s prompt $379 pricing.

In the present day we’re digging into the flagship Merc 308. Let’s go.

XFX Speedster Merc 308 Radeon RX 6600 XT specs, value, and design

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Be sure you learn our preliminary Radeon RX 6600 XT overview for a deeper look into the brand new GPU’s technical bits. We’ve included a refresher cheat sheet beneath, however principally, the Radeon RX 6600 XT is a full-fledged RDNA 2 GPU with the entire advantages that gives, from wonderful energy effectivity to sky-high clock speeds.

One tidbit price noting: AMD tuned the 6600 XT’s Infinity Cache round 1080p gaming. If you happen to bump the decision as much as 1440p, its efficiency falls off fairly a bit. That’s as a result of utilizing Infinity Cache lets AMD use a smaller reminiscence bus width for higher energy effectivity, however the GPU must ship alerts over that bus to the onboard GDDR6 reminiscence extra usually at greater resolutions. The 6600 XT can recreation at 1440p, however it merely isn’t optimized for the duty due to its tiny 128-bit bus and smaller Infinity Cache. When you’ve got a 1440p show, go for a GeForce RTX 3060 Ti as an alternative.

With that out of the best way, right here’s that spec cheat sheet:

rx 6600 xt specs AMD

XFX juiced the Merc 308’s Navi 23 GPU a bit. Whereas AMD’s reference spec targets a typical Sport Clock of two,359MHz, the Merc 308 ups that to 2,428MHz—a pleasant 69MHz enhance. The 8GB of GDDR6 reminiscence blazes alongside on the similar 16Gbps because the reference spec. That’s loads of pace and capability for the 1080p gaming at which the Radeon RX 6600 XT excels.

The actual draw is XFX’s {custom} cooling design, which appears to be like killer and permits these ultra-fast clock speeds. The Merc 308 is constructed round a {custom} PCB with a 6+2 part full-digital PWM energy design. A nickel-plated copper plate connects to 4 6mm warmth pipes to attract performance-killing warmth away from the GPU and GDDR6 reminiscence modules, pulling it into the cardboard’s giant warmth sink. (Warning for small case homeowners: The Merc 308 makes use of a protracted 2.5-slot design.) Three 80mm followers with 9 blades apiece flow into cooler air by that warmth sink, aided by a cut-out within the aluminum backplate that enables for higher airflow.

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That’s a complete lot of phrases to say that the XFX Speedster Merc 308 comes brimming with cooling expertise that simply tames the overclocked Radeon RX 6600 XT GPU inside. This can be a cool, silent graphics card. The Asus ROG Strix 6600 XT we examined in our preliminary overview runs a lot cooler, but additionally considerably extra audibly, and it prices $130 extra than the XFX mannequin even earlier than the inevitable real-world markup happens. It’s additionally not tangibly quicker than the XFX Merc 308, as you’ll see in our benchmark part.

The Merc 308 additionally contains the aforementioned bling, for which XFX expenses a (slight) premium over the bling-less Swft mannequin. Whereas the Swft sticks to a plain black shroud, the Merc jazzes issues up with chrome accents across the followers and the perimeters of the cardboard, together with a spiffy illuminated brand on the sting. Refreshingly, you received’t discover any RGB onboard the Merc.

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Ooooo, fairly lights.

Right here’s what we stated in regards to the contemporary brand design once we first noticed it on the XFX Merc 319 6800 XT, and it nonetheless holds true for the 6600 XT model:

“The XFX and [Radeon RX 6600 XT] logos on the facet are illuminated although, and in a surprisingly hanging trend. Their white lights (pink, for the “RX” lettering) shine rather more cleanly and clearly than the logos do on rival graphics playing cards—kind of just like the distinction between commonplace automobile headlights and LED headlights. These photos don’t seize how good it appears to be like.”

That backplate nonetheless contains a massive, aggressively styled “Merc” brand, as you possibly can see on the high of this web page, however it’s achieved in black on the 6600 XT model, so it shouldn’t be as love-it-or-hate-it because the standout white letters on pricier Merc choices. (I adore it.) If you happen to don’t like all these extras, go for the plain black XFX Swft as an alternative. Straightforward!

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The BIOS change lies to the suitable of the 8-pin energy connector.

XFX geared up the Merc 308 with a dual-BIOS change to help in overclocking endeavors. Many {custom} graphics playing cards load every setting with completely different Efficiency and Quiet profiles, however the Merc 319 sticks to the identical setup for every. Energy comes through a single 8-pin connector, and the cardboard comes with an HDMI 2.1 connection and three DisplayPorts.

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Port report

Like different RX 6000-series GPUs, XFX’s tackle the 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 Fee Shading, Radeon Anti-Lag throughout all main DX APIs, FreeSync show assist, AMD Hyperlink streaming to different gadgets, and rather more. AMD’s strong Radeon Settings app contains each handbook and computerized efficiency tuning controls so you possibly can tweak the cardboard to your coronary heart’s need with these twin BIOS profiles.

Let’s get to benchmarking.

Subsequent web page: Our take a look at system, benchmarks start