AMD Radeon RX 6600 review: The opposite of future-proof

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amd-radeon-rx-6600-review:-the-opposite-of-future-proof

When AMD introduced the Radeon RX 6600 XT just a few months in the past, it was positioned as the perfect 1080p gaming card, with the potential to supply respectable 1,440p efficiency in sure video games. Now there’s the lower-tier RX 6600 and the story is just about the identical — besides, you realize, worse. I suppose the existence of an “XT” card implies a extra mainstream model finally. But after testing out the RX 6600 for the previous week, I’m nonetheless questioning who this card is for.

Gallery: AMD Radeon RX 6600 | 5 Photos

Gallery: AMD Radeon RX 6600 | 5 Photos

Of course, that is a tricky question to answer when the GPU market is so risky and card costs fluctuate wildly. AMD says the RX 6600’s prompt retail value is $329, in comparison with $379 for the 6600XT. But given the worldwide chip scarcity and resellers hungry for extra GPUs, these costs are purely conceptual. In the true world, the 6600XT now sells for upwards of $600 (and in some circumstances near $800!). The 6600 can be competing in opposition to the RTX 3060, which additionally has an MSRP of $329, however is now promoting between $800 and $1,020. So a lot for price range GPUs.

Pros

  • Fast 1080p efficiency
  • Cool beneath load

Cons

  • Lackluster ray tracing
  • Upscaling tech is restricted
  • Fewer options than NVIDIA playing cards
  • Volatile pricing

AMD, a company with a popularity for creating budget-friendly playing cards that packed an honest punch, most likely needed to remain true to its roots. But except it could actually assure a value near MSRP, the RX 6600 simply appears out of place in immediately’s gaming panorama. As you may see in our testing, it is a succesful 1080p gaming card. But its ray tracing efficiency is horrible, and it could actually’t take benefit of NVIDIA’s DLSS expertise, which makes use of AI to spice up efficiency.

I’ll be sincere, I did not actually count on a lot from the RX 6600 from the beginning. Under the hood, its RDNA 2 structure is powered by 28 compute items and 1,792 stream processors, a noticeable step down from the 6600XT’s 32 CUs and a pair of,048 stream processors. There’s additionally a severe velocity distinction: the cheaper card has 2,044 MHz sport clock and a pair of,491 MHz increase, in comparison with 2,359 MHz whereas gaming on the 6600 XT and a 2,589 MHz increase. Both playing cards have 8GB of GDDR6 RAM, however the 6600’s reminiscence bandwidth is 34 GB/s slower at 224 GB/s.

3DMark TimeSpy

Destiny 2

Hitman 3

Port Royal (ray tracing)

AMD Radeon RX 6600

8,521

1080p: 110-120 | 1440p: 75-85

1080p: 138 | 1440p: 94

3,846/17fps

AMD Radeon RX 6600XT

9,872

1080p: 130-150 | 1440p: 85-105

1080p: 146 | 1440p: 110

4,5824/32.22fps

AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT

11,198

1440p: 75-100fps

4K: 50-75fps

N/A

5,920/27.4fps

NVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti

11,308

1440p: 85-110fps

4K: 45-60fps

N/A

6,989/32.36fps

Given these specs, I predicted the RX 6600 could be an honest 1080p card and never a lot else. And for essentially the most half, that is what my testing proved: It reached a strong 120FPS in Destiny 2 whereas enjoying in 1080p with maxed out graphics. Once I pushed the sport to 1,440p, although, it fell to 80fps. That sample held true for just about all the pieces I examined. Hitman 3’s benchmark reached a good 138fps in 1080p with graphics settings cranked to the utmost, however solely 94fps in 1,440p.

If you have received an AMD Ryzen 5000 CPU (or some 3000 fashions), the RX 6600 will probably be a slight improve because of Smart Access Memory. That’s a function that principally lets your CPU immediately tackle all of your video card’s RAM, and it is one thing you may’t use in any respect in the event you’ve received an Intel CPU. I had SAM enabled on my testing rig, which was powered by a Ryzen 7 5800X and 32GB of RAM, in case you had been questioning.

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Both the Radeon RX 6600 and 6600 XT had a tough time competing in opposition to their NVIDIA counterparts in our benchmarks. The RTX 3060 Ti reached 11,308 in 3DMark Time Spy, whereas the 6600 XT hit 9,872 and the 6600 trailed behind with a rating of 8,521. I did not have an RTX 3060 on-hand to check, however 3DMark’s verified benchmarks with similar systems present scores of round 10,000.

Ray tracing was additionally a lost trigger with the 6,600 — simply flipping on ray traced reflections in Control slowed the sport to a meager 35fps. Without ray tracing, it was a minimum of playable in 1080p, hitting between 60 and 70fps. Now Control is a notoriously powerful sport on GPUs, however a minimum of NVIDIA playing cards let me get respectable framerates with ray tracing because of DLSS, which makes use of AI processing to upscale the sport from a decrease decision. AMD’s various expertise, FidelityFX Super Resolution, is not supported in Control but. That resolution can be cross-compatible with NVIDIA playing cards, so you will not want a Radeon GPU to take benefit of it — which once more makes me surprise, why would you get the RX 6600 as an alternative of the 3060?

I may see it being a worthwhile card for a really particular gamer: Someone who has a small case and would not wish to improve past a 450 watt energy provide. The RX 6600 has a complete board energy demand of 132 watts, in comparison with 170 watts on the RTX 3060. That’s a serious purpose why it runs so cool, reaching solely round 70 celsius beneath load (the 3060 sometimes runs between 70 and 75 celsius when harassed). Still, I am unable to think about that somebody who needs to shell out $329 for a GPU (and realistically a lot extra), would restrict themselves based mostly on a weak energy provide.

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

A very good PC improve is one which’ll final you for years, and, sadly, I am unable to think about that’ll be true of the RX 6600. Solid 1080p efficiency is a pleasant function to have immediately, however 1,440p displays are getting cheaper and video games have gotten extra demanding. Who is aware of if the 6600 will be capable of deal with a flagship title in just a few years even at 1080p. And if you find yourself upgrading to a 1,440p, ultrawide, or 4K display screen over the subsequent few years, you may need to improve instantly.

The Radeon RX 6600 might be an honest contender if the GPU market stabilizes and AMD pushes the value under $300. But for now, it’s a misfire that solely is sensible in the event you can’t get your fingers on an RTX 3060.

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