AMD Radeon RX 6600 review: When overpriced is still a good deal

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AMD RX 6600 among other graphics cards.

AMD Radeon RX 6600

MSRP $329.00

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score details

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“The AMD Radeon RX 6600 is very expensive, but in this market, almost anything flies.”

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professionals

  • Above 60 fps in most games at 1080p

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    Single-to-triple-fan design available

  • Only 132 watts of total board power

  • hardware-accelerated ray tracing

Shortcoming

  • RTX 3060 . about 8% slower than

  • No access to DLSS

  • Poor ray tracing performance without upscaling

It’s unfortunate, but the lack of a GPU makes it nearly impossible to shop around for a good graphics card deal. Compared to the best graphics cards, AMD’s new RX 6600 isn’t stellar, and its list price just manages to be acceptable. But at a time when graphics card prices are dictated by scarcity and scalpers, the RX 6600 may be the deal PC gamers have been looking for.

It’s a small card targeting 1080p gamers, and based on my testing, it hits that mark fairly well. The list price should be higher than that, but Nvidia cards generally cost more in the secondhand market. You’ll probably be able to buy the RX 6600 for less than the Nvidia RTX 3060, which is AMD’s latest release card that competes directly.

Once the dust settles on the reduction, you may be left with a card that underperforms compared to the competition. And with features like better ray tracing and AI-assisted upscaling on the Nvidia card, the RX 6600 is a tough sell.

design

Like the RX 6600 XT, AMD isn’t releasing a reference model for the RX 6600. Instead, you’ll only be able to buy the Add-In Board Partner (AIB) model – and AIB has spoiled us with options. There’s no shortage of cards to choose from, from single-fan to triple-fan designs.

AMD sent me the triple-fan Gigabyte Eagle, which looks and feels a lot more impressive than the RX 6600. The shell is finished with a matte coating, and the card displayed inside my Lian Li PC-011 Dynamic looked excellent. Although one of the taller models available at 11 inches, the Eagle still follows the dual-slot design of the other AIB models.

Gigabyte logon on AMD RX 6600.

However, the three fans are just for beauty points. As I’ll dig into in the next section, the RX 6600 only has 132 watts of board power, and it doesn’t get very hot under load. ASRock was able to squeeze the card into a single-fan design, and I don’t think it would struggle with the heat too much. Still, you have plenty of options for AIB models, even if they are more for looks than practical differences.

As for ports, the Gigabyte Eagle comes with two DisplayPort 1.4a connections and two HDMI 2.1 connections. I would have preferred the third DisplayPort connection over the second HDMI – even with the increase in refresh rates in HDMI 2.1, it makes sense for a triple-monitor setup to have one of the three connection types instead of splitting them up. Is. The RX 6600 is less than the price of a lot of monitors, though, so it’s probably an edge case.

Judging by the photos of the launch models provided by AMD, I’m a fan of the Gigabyte Eagle and XFX Swift. For the most part, though, the AIBs didn’t go crazy with their designs. The PowerColor Hellhound goes a little further with LED fans, but most manufacturers have stuck with the traditional black, dual-fan design.

Glasses

The RX 6600 is the weakest in AMD’s RDNA 2 lineup. It has 12% fewer compute units than the RX 6600 XT, for a 13% drop in price, but otherwise the cards are very similar. They both come with 8GB of GDDR6 memory on a 128-bit bus, though the RX 6600 has a lower overall clock speed.

counting units cinematography units game speed speed up memory capacity TDP cost
Radeon RX 6600 28 1,792 2.04GHz 2.49GHz 8GB GDDR6 132W $330
Radeon RX 6600 XT 32 2,048 2.35GHz 2.59GHz 8GB GDDR6 160W $380
Radeon RX 6700 XT 40 2,560 2.32GHz 2.58GHz 12GB GDDR6 230w $480
Radeon RX 6800 60 3,840 1.82GHz 2.11GHz 16GB GDDR6 250w $580
Radeon RX 6800 XT 72 4,608 2.02GHz 2.25GHz 16GB GDDR6 300W $649
Radeon RX 6900 XT 80 5,120 2.01GHz 2.25GHz 16GB GDDR6 300W $1,000

The RX 6600 should be about 15% below the XT model, but my testing shows a difference closer to 20%. This difference is likely behind clock speed, which will drop your frame rate. However, the lower speed helped AMD achieve only 132W of board power, allowing you to use the RX 6600 with a 450W power supply.

Nvidia only recommends a 450W power supply for the RTX 3060, and its list price is the same as the RX 6600. AMD is emphasizing its performance-per-watt gain over the RTX 3060 here, with the RX 6600 offering up to 1.5x the boost metric over the RTX 3060. However, there isn’t a huge difference in this type of wattage, especially for a performant gaming PC.

AMD cards have traditionally sold for less than Nvidia ones in the secondhand market, and the RX 6600 should be no different.

Simply put, the RX 6600 is very expensive. It certainly draws less power than the RTX 3060, but it’s not that powerful either. This is the same situation as the RX 6600 XT and RTX 3060 Ti. You’re paying around the same list price, but with a sizable performance advantage with Nvidia around the corner.

As the lack of GPUs has taught everyone, though, list price doesn’t make sense. The good news is that AMD cards traditionally sell for less than Nvidia ones in the secondhand market, and the RX 6600 should be no different. It pulls AMD back the favor in the corner. The RX 6600 XT may not be as powerful as the RTX 3060 Ti, but it sells for about $200 less in the secondhand market. I bet something similar will happen with the RX 6600 and RTX 3060 a few weeks after launch.

Gambling

AMD RX 6600 among other graphics cards.

The RX 6600 is hard to measure. AMD compared it to the RTX 3060, but the company compared the RX 6600 XT to the RTX 3060 as well. Based on my testing at 1080p, the RX 6600 actually sits below the RTX 3060, which is less of a mighty outing. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. In fact, the RX 6600 is closer to the RTX 2060 Super.

You can see my results below. I ran tests from 1080p to 4K in the Medium and Ultra presets, but the results below are for 1080p with Ultra settings. I ran all my tests inside a PC with an Intel Core i9-10900K and 32GB of RAM from a Crucial MX500 2TB SSD.

amd rx 6600 AMD RX 6600 XT nvidia rtx 3060 RTX 2060 Super
3DMark Time Spy (GPU Score) 8,071 9,644 8,629 8,513
red dead redemption 2 59 fps 68 fps 65 fps 62 fps
fortnite 98 fps 137 fps 132 fps 105 fps
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla 71 fps 83 fps 64 fps 66 fps
battlefield v 120 fps 139 fps 123 fps 120 fps
Civilization VI 138 fps 161 fps 143 fps 150 fps

The straightest fight is the DirectX 12-based 3DMark Time Spy, which showed some significant disparities for the RX 6600. The XT model is about 20% faster, while the RTX 3060 has a solid 7% lead. Synthetic benchmarks aren’t games, but the Time Spy card shows the difference clearly – and the RX 6600 is at the bottom of the pile.

However this was not true in all sports. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla There is an example where the RX 6600 showed an improvement of about 11% compared to the RTX 3060. The XT model is still ahead, but valhalla It seems to be more like AMD cards. Unfortunately, this was not true in other titles. In red dead redemption 2, The RTX 3060, for example, was about 10% faster than the RX 6600.

Taking 1080p Ultra results together, the RTX 3060 is about 8% faster while the RX 6600 XT is about 21% faster. The RX 6600 is (theoretically) the same price as the RTX 3060, indicating that AMD is once again taking advantage of the lack of GPUs. To be clear, that’s a steal of $329 compared to what the RTX 3060 is on sale for. And given what the RX 6600 XT is selling for, the non-XT model is likely to go into the older market for less than the RTX 3060.

This is a card that targets 1080p perfectly and manages to hit the mark.

Although I’ve listed my 1080p Ultra results, optimizing some settings can represent a large increase in frame rate. The RX 6600 jumped at 83 frames per second (fps) Assassin’s Creed Valhalla with high current, for example, and battlefield v Produced 158 fps with the Medium preset.

It should come as no surprise that the resolution is killer, even though the RX 6600 can perform at 1440p in some games. It still managed at 55 fps red Dead Redemption At 1440p, which is impressive considering how demanding that game is. in less demanding titles like Civilization VI, The RX 6600 was able to squeeze above 100 fps, and it even managed to top 60 fps at 4K.

Civilization VI However, it was the only game I could manage at 4K. The card gave a pathetic 26 fps in . produced red dead redemption 2 and couldn’t crack the 30 fps mark in Fortnite. Without the help of FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR), 4K is out of the question for the RX 6600. While 1440p is manageable, this is a card that targets 1080p solely and manages to hit the mark.

content creation

Pugetbench for Premiere Pro Benchmark.

AMD cards generally outperform Nvidia’s for content creation workloads — and the RX 6600 doesn’t change that. It’s a 1080p gaming card, but my results (particularly in Blender) show you can use it for content creation, and sometimes at an advantage over Nvidia.

amd rx 6600 AMD RX 6600 XT nvidia rtx 3060 RTX 2060 Super
Blender BMW (sec) 86 79 45 58
Blender Classroom (sec) 167 155 208 275
Blender Coro (sec) 156 139 162 183
Pugetbench for Premiere Pro (overall score) 605 625 703 784

In two of the three Blender renders I tested, the RX 6600 managed to beat the RTX 3060 and RTX 2060 Super (though, those cards beat the RX 6600 in BMW renders by a significant margin). But we are comparing apples to oranges here. Blender is able to use CUDA or OptiX for GPU…

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