AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT review

This affordable gaming GPU is surprisingly potent if you're gaming at 1080p, clocking up superb frame rates and beating the GeForce RTX 3060.

With a price of just $379, AMD is targeting the GeForce RTX 3060 hard with the Radeon RX 6600 XT – an affordable gaming GPU that’s focused on gaming at 1,920 x 1,080 and is based on AMD’s RDNA2 GPU architecture.

At Custom PC, we’ve been reviewing the latest gaming GPUs since 2003, and we run a number of grueling benchmarks in order to gauge performance. Our game tests include measuring the frame rate in Cyberpunk 2077 and Metro Exodus, with and without ray tracing, and we also test with Doom Eternal and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.  For more information, please read our How we test page.

Rather than using a cut-down version of an existing GPU, the Radeon RX 6600 XT is based on AMD’s brand-new Navi 23 chip. It has a comparatively small die area of just 237mm² and contains 11.06 billion transistors. As a point of comparison, the Navi 22 chip on which the Radeon RX 6700 XT is based measures 336mm² and contains 17.2 billion transistors.

Inside that die you’ll find 32 compute units based on AMD’s latest RDNA2 architecture, with 32 corresponding Ray Accelerator processors for ray tracing. The spec gives you a total of 2,048 stream processors, along with 8 GB of GDDR6 memory attached to a 128-bit wide interface. With a memory clock of 2 GHz (16 GHz effective), that gives you a memory bandwidth of 256 GB/sec.

Comparatively, the GeForce RTX 3060 has 12 GB of memory attached to a wider 192-bit interface, giving you a total memory bandwidth of 360 GB/sec with its 15 GHz (effective) memory. On paper, the Nvidia GPU has the upper hand here, but AMD hopes to bolster the Radeon RX 6600 XT’s performance with 32MB of Infinity Cache. Again, though, that’s only a third of the 96MB Infinity Cache on the Radeon RX 6700 XT.

The final key part of the spec equation is the clock speed. At stock frequencies, the Radeon RX 6600 XT has a 2359MHz game clock and a 2589MHz boost clock, but there are plenty of third-party cards that push the frequency higher.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla RX 6600 XT frame rate

AMD has targeted this GPU at 1,920 x 1,080 gaming, and it delivers on this front. If you enable Resizable BAR, it will play Assassin’s Creed Valhalla at Ultra settings with a 99th percentile result of 64fps and an average frame rate 88fps, with the latter figure being 26fps faster than the RTX 3060.

Cyberpunk 2077 RX 6600 XT frame rate

While the Radeon RX 6600 XT didn’t quite hit our 60fps average frame rate target in Cyberpunk 2077 at Ultra settings, it was only 1fps off, and the GeForce RTX 3060 was no better. Not surprisingly, the GeForce RTX 3060 is much quicker in Cyberpunk 2077 when you enable Medium ray tracing, but not fast enough to be smoothly playable, so the point is largely irrelevant. Yes, you could enable DLSS on the Nvidia GPU, but it will look horribly blurry at this resolution.

Metro Exodus RX 6600 XT frame rate

The Metro Exodus average frame rate of 78fps is a great result – nearly 14fps quicker than the RTX 3060. The Radeon RX 6600 XT actually outperformed the RTX 3060 in Metro Exodus with High ray tracing too at 1,920 x 1,080, although its 35fps 99th percentile frame rate is only borderline playable anyway.

Doom Eternal RX 6600 XT frame rate

The Radeon RX 6600 XT can rack up an average frame rate of 260fps in Doom Eternal, showing scope for playing undemanding games on monitors with high refresh rates. You could even play Doom Eternal at 4K with this budget GPU, where it averaged 68fps with a 47fps 99th percentile result.

There is, however, a potential performance issue from the Radeon RX 6600 XT’s 8x PCIe 4 interface. That’s not a problem if you have a PCI-E 4 motherboard and CPU, but it results in a small drop in performance if you’re using a PCIe 3 setup, such as an Intel Comet Lake CPU or an AMD X470 motherboard, as it still only uses eight lanes. If you drop to PCIe 3 mode, you see a drop of 2-3fps, which isn’t huge, but worth bearing in mind.

The restrictive memory setup also means the Radeon’s performance starts to drop off once you get beyond 1,920 x 1,080. Move up to 2,560 x 1,440, and the GeForce RTX 3060 moves in front of it in Cyberpunk 2077 and Doom Eternal. Go up to 4K, and the difference is starker, but to be fair, neither of these GPUs is designed for 4K gaming. At the target resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, the Radeon is generally the better choice.

RX 6600 XT power draw

AMD has really improved its performance per Watt since the Graphics Core Next days, with our test system drawing just 314W from the mains with the Radeon RX 6600 XT installed. That’s in the same ballpark as the 315W with the GeForce RTX 3060 installed, and shows that you’ll be fine using a 500W PSU with this GPU.

Radeon RX 6600 XT specs

The AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT specs list is:

Stream processors 2,048
RT cores 32
ROPs 64
Game clock 2359 MHz
Max boost clock 2589 MHz
Memory 8 GB GDDR6
Memory clock 2 GHz (16 GHz effective)
Memory bandwidth 256 GB/s
Memory interface 128-bit
L3 cache 32 MB
Card interface 8x PCIe 4
Power connectors 1 x 8-pin

RX 6600 XT pros and cons

Pros

  • Beats RTX 3060 in meaningful tests
  • Decent 1,920 x 1,080 frame rates
  • Reasonable price

Cons

  • Only 8x PCIe interface
  • Poor ray tracing in Cyberpunk 2077

Radeon RX 6600 XT price

The price of the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT is very reasonable for a 1,920 x 1,080 gaming GPU.

Price: Expect to pay $379 (£329).

RX 6600 XT review conclusion

The AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT is a great gaming GPU if you’re only playing at 1,920 x 1,080. It’s overpriced compared to previous 1080p GPUs, but it really delivers the goods. Its ray-tracing performance is poor, but realistically the RTX 3060 isn’t that great at ray tracing either.

In all our other 1080p tests, the Radeon RX 6600 XT beats the RTX 3060 and offers decent frame rates, making it the best entry point for 1080p gaming. If you want more power from your GPU, check out our best graphics card guide.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT rating

Beats the GeForce RTX 3060 despite costing less money, and delivers decent 1080p frame rates. Ry tracing performance is poor, but it’s otherwise the best 1080p entry point.

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