AMD Radeon RX 6600 review

The latest RDNA 2 budget gaming GPU has a tempting price, and it holds up well in Assassin's Creed Valhalla, but its ray tracing performance is poor.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 review: Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 6600 graphics card

The AMD Radeon RX 6600 is AMD’s latest RDNA2 desktop GPU, taking the same Navi 23 die used in the Radeon RX 6600 XT and cutting down the spec. It has 28 compute units enabled, compared to 32 on the XT model, giving it 1,792 stream processors and 28 Ray Accelerators.

Meanwhile, the 8GB of GDDR6 memory runs at 1750MHz (14GHz effective), compared to 2GHz (16GHz effective) on the XT model. It’s connected to a 128-bit wide memory interface, giving it a total memory bandwidth of 224GB/s, although AMD has also equipped the GPU with 32MB of Infinity Cache.

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

The standard Radeon RX 6600 also has much lower clock speeds than the XT model, with a quoted game clock of 2044MHz, compared to 2359MHz for the Radeon RX 6600 XT – a deficit of over 300MHz. You can find overclocked cards that push this higher, but the stock spec is pretty lowly. These cuts have a significant impact on performance.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 review: Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 6600 graphics card

Radeon RX 6600 gaming frame rates

For example, in Metro Exodus at 1,920 x 1,080, the Radeon RX 6600 averages 66fps with a 39fps 99th percentile result, compared to 78fps and 44fps on the XT card – a drop of over 15 percent on average, although the Radeon RX 6600 still beats the GeForce RTX 3060 in this test. The average dropped similarly in Cyberpunk 2077, going from a respectable 59fps with a 47fps 99th percentile result to 50fps and 41fps respectively.

On the plus side, this GPU’s performance in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is superb, even beating the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, with a storming average frame rate of 76fps backed up by a 56fps 99th percentile. If you enable Resizable BAR, you can even get it running at 83fps.

However, the Radeon RX 6600’s Doom Eternal performance shows its comparable lack of shader power. Its average of 221fps is fast enough, but it’s a fair way behind the 260fps of the 6600 XT or the 332fps of the RTX 3060 Ti. You’ll be able to run undemanding games smoothly on a 120Hz monitor, but you’ll need more power if you want to play at 200Hz.

Not surprisingly, the Radeon RX 6600’s ray-tracing capabilities are largely redundant on this GPU. It could only average 22fps in Cyberpunk 2077 at 1,920 x 1,080, and 47fps in Metro Exodus. The latter figure isn’t disastrous, and to be fair, the RX 6600 does beat the aging GeForce RTX 2060 in these tests, but none of the frame rates is smoothly playable. Then again, you really need to step up to the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti if you want to enable ray tracing anyway.

With the market in its current bizarre state, the GeForce RTX 2060 is the Radeon RX 6600’s main competitor at the moment. The RTX 2060 occasionally edges in front of the Radeon RX 6600 by 1fps, but the latter is otherwise quicker, plus its extra 2GB of memory means you can run games at higher settings. The Radeon RX 6600 is also extraordinarily power-efficient, with our system drawing just 258W from the mains at load during games.

Radeon RX 6600 pros and cons

Pros

  • Beats GeForce RTX 2060
  • Cheaper than many GPUs at the moment
  • 8GB of memory

Cons

  • Can’t get smooth frame rates in all tests
  • Poor ray tracing
  • Overpriced for performance on offer

Radeon RX 6600 specs

The AMD Radeon RX 6600 specs list is:

Stream processors 1,792
RT cores 28
ROPs 64
Game clock 2044 MHz
Max boost clock 2491 MHz
Memory 8 GB GDDR6
Memory clock 1750 MHz (14 GHz effective)
Memory bandwidth 224 GB/s
Memory interface 128-bit
L3 cache 32 MB
Card interface 8x PCIe 4
Power connectors 1 x 8-pin

Radeon RX 6600 price

The Radeon RX 6600 price is too expensive for the performance on offer, particularly with the current GPU shortage.

Price: Expect to pay $399 (£390).

Radeon RX 6600 review conclusion

With a sub-$400 price, the Radeon RX 6600 is mightily tempting in these times. It might be overpriced for a 1080p gaming GPU, but it’s more powerful than the bizarrely similarly priced GeForce RTX 2060. If you can’t afford to go above $400, this is the card to buy, but you’ll need to drop down from top settings to get smooth frame rates. If you can afford it, we advise stepping up to the XT model if you can.

Since we reviewed the Radeon RX 6600 in 2021, stock has improved enormously, meaning you can pick one up for under $200 now. AMD has also launched the RDNA 3 architecture, with GPUs such as the Radeon RX 7600, which is a great option for $269 (£259). If you’re thinking of buying a new GPU, make sure you read our guide to the best graphics card, where we take you through all the best options at a range of prices.