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AMD Radeon RX 6600 review

AMD is launching a new Radeon RX 6000 series product, the RX 6600, which we’re reviewing today. Two months ago the RX 6600 XT received a mixed reception because it didn’t add much, the MSRP was a little too high, although that doesn’t mean anything these days, and the performance was disappointing. .

However, one thing is the pricing and the supposed role that a given GPU will have in the market, and another in the current (abnormally inflated) GPU market. And so, the Radeon 6600 XT ended up being a decent option thanks to decent availability, some of the best we’ve seen for a new graphics card in the last year or so.

Our GPU price update last month saw the 6600 XT selling on eBay for an average of $ 640, while the slightly slower RTX 3060 typically sold for $ 710. This price remains more or less the same today.

MSRP EBay average price in July eBay Average Price August EBay average price in September Current price inflation Price increase from August to September
Radeon 6900XT $ 1,000 $ 1,460 $ 1,622 $ 1,569 57% -3%
Radeon 6800XT $ 650 $ 1,282 $ 1,268 $ 1,411 117% 11%
Radeon 6800 $ 580 $ 1,087 $ 1,127 $ 1,309 126% 16%
Radeon 6700XT $ 480 $ 733 $ 793 $ 881 83% 11%
Radeon RX 6600 XT $ 380 $ 633 $ 639 68% 1%
Mean 90% 7%

It is expected that there will be even more Radeon RX 6600 vanilla available at launch, so not only will you have a better chance of buying one, but hopefully you can do so at a reasonable price. This is promising, although it remains to be seen, but we’ll keep that in mind when we review the RX 6600.

The Radeon RX 6600 receives an MSRP of $ 330, a discount of $ 50 from the XT model. That’s a small savings of 13%, a figure worth keeping while we take a look at the specs. As the name suggests, the new GPU is a scaled-down version of the 6600 XT. It’s based on the same 237mm2 array containing 11.1 billion transistors, but of course not all of them are active as the base configuration has been reduced from 32 compute units to just 28 CPUs. This sees a 16% reduction in stream processors from 2048 to 1729.

The game’s GPU clock has been reduced by a fairly substantial 13%, from 2359 MHz to just 2044 MHz, although the GPU boost clock has seen a minor decrease of 4%. AMD also slashed memory performance, with 14 Gbps memory and the same 128-bit memory bus. The decrease in memory throughput dropped overall bandwidth by 13% to just 224 GB / s, the same memory bandwidth as the 5500 XT, although RDNA did not take advantage of Infinity Cache.

Fortunately, AMD did not reduce the memory capacity, leaving the RX 6600 with 8 GB. However, the decrease in the frequency of the heart and the memory reduced the nominal power of the card from 160 watts to 132 watts. Finally, like the 6600 XT, the non-XT version is limited to PCIe 4.0 x8 bandwidth. So when installed in a PCIe 4.0 system, this is not a problem, but performance related issues can occur when installed in a system that only supports PCIe 3.0, which is currently most systems.

This is because when using PCIe 4.0, the RX 6600 series connects to the processor using a 16 Gb / s link, which is sufficient for modern graphics cards as this is what you get with PCIe 3.0 x16. However, when limited to an x8 interface, the bandwidth of a PCIe 3.0 system is reduced to just 8 Gb / s, and we have found in the past that this can severely limit performance, especially when upgrading. data recovery from system memory.

I looked at this with the 6600 XT and found only one game where bandwidth throttling became an issue, and even then it could be worked around. Still, I’m concerned that this limitation will show its ugly head in the future and could mean that the RX 6600 series won’t age as well as Nvidia’s competing RTX 3060 series, but of course that’s something we’ll have to. investigate in the future.

For today’s testing we got our hands on the Gigabyte Eagle RX 6600. As was the case with the XT version, AMD did not develop a reference card, although there is a design of Reference PCB that AIB partners are free to use.

In total, we tested 12 games at 1080p and 1440p using our Ryzen 9 5950X test system which was configured with 32GB of dual-rank, dual-channel DDR4-3200 CL14 memory. Since the 6600 is very Similar to the 6600 XT in terms of design, we’ll spend some time analyzing a handful of games and then looking at the average performance seen across the 12 titles. Let’s get into the results …

Landmarks

As of F1 2020, we find results that are best described as predictable, with the new RX 6600 being 13% slower than the XT model, averaging 141 fps. That’s a lot of performance at 1080p, although the RX 6600 will only match the 5600 XT, which will no doubt make some cringe, given that this product had an MSRP of $ 280 at the start of 2020, and that. wasn’t exactly a good deal. so. Still, focusing on current generation products, it at least matched the RTX 3060.

The 1440p results are less impressive as the RX 6600 sits towards the bottom of our graph, delivering RTX 2070-like performance, which admittedly isn’t a bad result.

It seems less favorable compared to AMD’s own products, as the RX 6600 can only match the 5600 XT, so an overall disappointing result.

Moving on to Cyberpunk 2077, we find the RX 6600 struggling even at 1080p with an average of 60 fps, although I guess that was to be expected given that the 6600 XT rendered 69 fps, which makes the new variant 13. % slower.

Again, we take a look at the Type 5600 XT performance of the new RX 6600 and although we compare two different generations of GPUs sold in two very different markets, it’s still hard not to be disappointed with this result. We will discuss this later in the article.

Increasing the resolution to 1440p is not an option when playing Cyberpunk 2077 as it will drop the average frame rate to ~ 35 fps and we are already using adjusted quality settings.

Death Stranding is more compatible with the 6600 as it allows an average of 135 fps at 1080p using the highest quality preset in the game. In fact, it’s a much better result compared to other AMD GPUs than what we’ve seen previously because the RX 6600 was able to match the RX 5700 this time around, making it slightly faster than the RTX 3060. Not bad considering it was 15% slower than the 6600 XT.

1440p is achievable here with an average of 95 fps, although that means the 6600 was 18% slower than the XT version. It also meant we were looking for 5600 XT-like performance again, which is a bit meh if I’m being honest.

Then we have Horizon Zero Dawn and this time the RX 6600 matched the 2060 Super and 2070, so in that regard it was pretty good, even though it was only 6% faster than the 5600 XT, which means that at 1440p they’re going to offer basically the same level of performance.

With the RX 6600 ahead of the 5600 XT by just 3% with 64 fps on average, it was also 15% slower than the 6600 XT and 7% slower than the RX 5700.

The penultimate game we’ll be looking at is Rainbow Six Siege and here the 6600 was 12% slower than the XT model, playing it between the RTX 2060 Super and the RX 5700. It’s only 5% faster than the XT model. the 5600 XT.

This margin is reduced to just 3% at 1440p, although again it is 12% slower than the XT model. Very similar to what we have seen in other titles.

Let’s finish the individual benchmarks with Watch Dogs Legion. 1080p data shows that the 6600 is 10% slower than the XT model, which is a decent result and it means the RX 6600 was able to match the RTX 3060, 2070, and 2060 Super.

The 1440p results are quite similar, the 6600 slips behind the XT model by a 12% margin, but still manages to match the RX 5700 and RTX 2060 Super.

Energy consumption

When it comes to fuel efficiency, the RX 6600 is slightly better than the 5600 XT. We’re talking about a small 26-watt reduction in total system usage for about the same level of performance, although it was a bit better than the RTX 3060.

Performance summary

The Radeon RX 6600 did not come as a surprise to us as performance was as expected and quite linear compared to the XT model launched two months earlier. Now let’s see the average performance observed over the dozen game samples …

At 1080p, the standard RX 6600 is on average 14% slower than the XT version, which is in line with the price drop. Essentially you’re looking at the performance levels of the RX 5700 or RTX 2070, which is generally okay, but poor in terms of progress.

The 1440p results are slightly less favorable and although the RX 6600 is still 14% slower than the XT version, it now only matches the RTX 2060 Super and a bit faster than the 5600 XT.

What we have learned

So there you go, it’s the Radeon RX 6600. Now, what to do with it?

Honestly, it’s hard to say how good or bad the RX 6600 will be at launch and that will only be determined over the next few weeks, based on selling prices and availability. We’ve kept our ears to the ground and retailers tell us availability will be high, at least compared to other recent releases. If they’re right, we should see even more stock than the 6600 XT launch. It is therefore a positive potential.

Unfortunately, cryptocurrency miners now seem to be grabbing RDNA2 GPUs and in some places the price of the 6600 XT has gone up and most models are out of stock. It is possible that the situation is similar to the launch of XT, where you can expect early inventory at a decent price, similar to MSRP for a few days. This stock will run out quickly and will never be seen again.

Let’s go back to the performance of the Radeon RX 6600. Of course, in a normal market, it is undeniable that this product would suck. $ 330 would be a bad joke – a price hike of around 20% over the 20-month 5600 XT – for a performance boost of around 6% at 1440p. But as it stands, the RX 6600 might be the most affordable current gen graphics card you can buy, so there you go.

The best option in a bad situation is arguably the best way to describe the Radeon RX 6600, so let’s leave it at that for now.

It’s possible that you already have a working GPU that’s faster or closer to it, so it won’t be worth upgrading. The RX 6600 is therefore more of an option for those who have no alternative. If you want to play now and you can’t, the RX 6600 can become a cost effective way to gamble.

Ultimately, the Radeon RX 6600 is like the 6600 XT, an uninspiring product made acceptable only by today’s climate. It doesn’t seem like a good idea to recommend a graphics card at this time, especially one that wouldn’t be good value for money, or anything close to it, in a normal market. That being said, you absolutely shouldn’t be buying a graphics card right now if you don’t need one, but if you do, the 6600 will probably be the decent option.

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