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AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT review: built for 1080p

AMD has returned to problem Nvidia with its entry-level RX 6600 XT. This $379 (on paper at the very least) card is built on the identical RDNA 2 structure that AMD is utilizing for its high-end playing cards, but it surely’s designed to spice up 1080p gaming as an alternative of reaching the heights of 4K gaming.

Practically 70 p.c of PC gaming on Steam is still at 1080p, so if you happen to’re one of many thousands and thousands having fun with 1080p gaming with an older card just like the GeForce GTX 1060, this newest RX 6600 XT could be a tempting improve when it launches on August eleventh.

It sits at $50 extra (once more, on paper) than Nvidia’s RTX 3060, and $20 lower than the RTX 3060 Ti. AMD claims the RX 6600 XT ought to carry out round 15 p.c higher than an RTX 3060 at 1080p, for the additional $50.

However AMD’s newest RDNA 2 playing cards have barely registered on Valve’s newest Steam {hardware} survey, suggesting that Nvidia is producing way more RTX playing cards in comparison with AMD. So even when AMD can beat Nvidia on the entry degree, it must make playing cards that folks can really purchase for it to matter.

AMD isn’t creating its personal RX 6600 XT, so it’s counting on board companions like ASRock, Asus, Biostar, Gigabyte, MSI, PowerColor, Sapphire, XFX, and Yeston to supply playing cards. I’ve been testing Gigabyte’s model of the RX 6600 XT.

This specific RX 6600 XT has three followers, with the fan within the center spinning in an wrong way to assist with cooling. There’s a metallic again plate that features a cutout for the air to dissipate from the heatsink beneath.

Because the RX 6600 XT solely attracts round 160W of energy, it solely wants a single eight-pin PCIe energy connector. The really useful minimal energy provide is 500W, so that is preferrred for these not eager to improve their whole techniques.

At greater than 11 inches lengthy, Gigabyte’s model is a surprisingly huge card for an entry-level GPU, but it surely’s light-weight to carry so it shouldn’t put any pressure in your motherboard. The cardboard can also be a standard dual-slot width, regardless of its cumbersome look.

Gigabyte has geared up its RX 6600 XT with an RGB gentle system that lights up its brand on the facet of the GPU. By default, it will cycle by way of a rainbow of colours, however with 16.7 million colour choices and the flexibility to sync to different Aorus units, there are many choices for customizing this.

On the rear of the RX 6600 XT there are two HDMI 2.1 ports and two DisplayPort 1.4 ports. The cardboard additionally helps PCI Specific 4.0 and contains 8GB of GDDR6 reminiscence.

I’ve been testing the RX 6600 XT with Intel’s newest Core i9 processor. For each 1080p and 1440p exams, I’ve paired this GPU with a 32-inch Samsung Odyssey G7 monitor. This monitor helps refresh charges at as much as 240Hz, in addition to AMD’s FreeSync assist.

I wasn’t in a position to take a look at the RX 6600 XT instantly towards Nvidia’s RTX 3060 as I don’t personal certainly one of Nvidia’s entry-level playing cards, however you’ll be able to see how properly the RTX 3060 carried out in my colleague Sean Hollister’s review. I’ve been testing the RX 6600 XT towards AMD’s RX 6700 XT to see simply how a lot efficiency you get for $100 much less.

I examined a wide range of AAA titles, together with Microsoft Flight Simulator, Gears 5, Murderer’s Creed: Valhalla, and Management. All video games have been examined at excessive or extremely settings on the RX 6600 XT with resizable BAR enabled, and most comfortably exceeded 60fps at 1080p.

Demise Stranding topped out at a powerful 150fps on common, whereas Gears 5 managed 105fps at extremely settings. Even Microsoft Flight Simulator practically managed 60fps, because of a current replace that has drastically improved how the sport runs on all {hardware}.

The place I actually noticed the 6600 XT battle was in ray tracing efficiency. Watch Canine: Legion solely managed a pathetic 6fps with ray tracing settings maxed out, but it surely held at 60fps with out ray tracing turned on. There seems to be some points with this card and Watch Canine: Legion, although. AMD provided a brand new driver for testing halfway by way of the evaluation interval to particularly assist with Watch Canine: Legion, but it surely didn’t enhance ray tracing efficiency in my exams.

“We’re conscious of some lingering efficiency points when DXR is enabled at max settings in Watch Canine: Legion,” says an AMD spokesperson. “In our findings, lowering high quality settings with DXR enabled delivers a greater person expertise.”

Management appeared to run properly with ray tracing enabled, however you’re reducing efficiency in half in order for you this visible high quality and there’s no DLSS, or FSR in AMD communicate, to make up for it but. Metro Exodus was virtually unplayable with ray tracing and settings maxed out, averaging 24fps.

So this isn’t a ray tracing card, however for an entry-level funds GPU, I wasn’t actually anticipating it to be. For every little thing else, it performs properly for its worth level at 1080p. Once you examine it to the RX 6700 XT, with its $100 worth premium, you’ll get round 20 p.c extra efficiency if you happen to’re prepared to pay further.

Efficiency in Gears 5 was 18 p.c higher on the RX 6700 XT over the RX 6600 XT, ranging all the best way as much as 29 p.c higher in Murderer’s Creed: Valhalla and 31 p.c with Watch Canine: Legion. Given the problems with Watch Canine: Legion on the RX 6600 XT, that’s a spot which may be closed with driver updates, although.

The place issues get actually attention-grabbing is when you think about Nvidia’s RTX 3060 Ti. At a $20 worth premium (in idea at the very least) over AMD’s RX 6600 XT, you’ll get between 10 p.c and 25 p.c higher efficiency within the majority of video games. There are some uncommon exceptions the place video games like Murderer’s Creed Valhalla are clearly optimized for AMD, but it surely’s definitely price paying further if pricing and availability is practical.

Whereas AMD could be advertising and marketing the RX 6600 XT at 1080p, plenty of PC avid gamers are nonetheless contemplating the transfer to 1440p, even on the entry-level facet of the market. I additionally examined the RX 6600 XT at 1440p to see if it may stretch to this decision, and to be sincere… the outcomes have been higher than I anticipated.

Gears 5 manages 70fps on common at extremely 1440p settings, and Murderer’s Creed: Valhalla hits 62fps. I used to be shocked that Management didn’t handle higher throughout my exams at 1440p, although. Whereas it hits 60fps on common, it dropped to the 30fps vary at extra demanding elements of the sport. In the event you allow ray tracing in Management at 1440p, it makes the sport actually unplayable in plenty of spots.

AMD’s RX 6700 XT manages 81fps on common in Management; that’s a stunning 42 p.c efficiency soar over the RX 6600 XT. Elsewhere, the efficiency hole ranges from Demise Stranding working at 21 p.c higher on the 6700 over the 6600, as much as Murderer’s Creed: Valhalla with a 32 p.c hole.

Nonetheless, Fortnite managed 75fps on common with every little thing maxed out, and Demise Stranding obtained all the best way as much as 107fps throughout my exams. There’s definitely room right here to play at 1440p with this card, however you’ll probably want to regulate picture high quality to get there in a number of titles. Metro Exodus was unplayable in plenty of elements of the sport at excessive settings and 1440p, and Watch Canine: Legion crawled alongside at simply 3fps with ray tracing enabled (clearly as a consequence of some driver points).

I wouldn’t advocate this card for 1440p gaming, neither is it actually designed for it. As extra demanding video games arrive this 12 months and subsequent, you’ll undoubtedly have to hold adjusting settings down if you happen to actually wish to pair an RX 6600 XT with a 1440p monitor.

In the event you’re prepared to stretch one other $20, if you happen to can really get a card at retail worth, then Nvidia’s RTX 3060 Ti excels at 1440p as compared. There’s an honest hole of 25 p.c or extra in most video games, and body charges are nearer to 60fps or above within the majority of video games.

AMD’s new FidelityFX Tremendous Decision (FSR) may assist with the longevity of the RX 6600 XT both means. Very like Nvidia’s Deep Studying Tremendous Sampling (DLSS), AMD’s FSR goals to upscale video games from a decrease decision to offer smoother body charges and not using a noticeable compromise in picture high quality.

It’s actually early days for FSR, so not one of the video games we’ve been testing for this evaluation have FSR assist. FSR is off to a promising early begin within the video games that do assist it, providing increased body charges on the flick of a change. However you shouldn’t essentially count on it to assist at 1080p: like Nvidia’s DLSS, the machine-learning upscaling approach appears to supply worse picture high quality at decrease resolutions. If something, FSR may assist push the RX 6600 XT into 1440p territory, however provided that AMD manages to get widespread assist for its know-how into video games.

AMD can even need to match that widespread assist for FSR with extra widespread availability of its GPUs. As I discussed earlier, the newest Steam {hardware} survey means that AMD’s struggling to supply sufficient GPUs, and whereas it’s not essentially the most correct means of monitoring GPU gross sales, it does present how properly Nvidia’s RTX 30-series playing cards are making their means into PC avid gamers’ arms regardless of a worldwide chip scarcity.

Apart from ray tracing efficiency, AMD is now competing with Nvidia each in entry-level GPUs and at the $599 price point. There are many gaps elsewhere in AMD’s lineup, however the $379 RX 6600 XT fills an attention-grabbing one between the $329 RTX 3060 and the $399 RTX 3060 Ti. In the event you’re in a position to spend the additional $20 on an RTX 3060 Ti (if it’s even accessible at that worth) then it can outperform AMD’s entry-level card within the majority of video games. AMD nonetheless packs a bunch on the entry degree right here, however provided that its board companions can create sufficient playing cards to make the RX 6600 XT a possible possibility for these on a funds.

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