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AMD Radeon RX 6600 GPU Review

| Nov 19, 2021

While we are in the age of 1440P, and 4K, there are still many people that focus on 1080P gaming. Thankfully, AMD has not neglected this range of people, releasing the new Powercolor Radeon RX 6600 GPU. Delivering great results in the latest and greatest in gaming, this is a card that delivers a solid showing across the board, while launching at a slightly more responsible price, provided you can find it on store shelves.

The Powercolor Radeon 6600 is based on the same 7nm Navi 23 that is seen on the RX 6600 XT. While the XT model may push the silicone to its limits boasting 32 RDNA2 compute units and 2,048 stream, the new RX 6600 comes with 28 out of 32 CUs enabled, which works out to 1,792 stream processors. It features the same allotment of 8 GB 128-bit wide GDDR6 memory, and also features the same 32 MD on-die Infinity Cache. Even if the RX 6600 gets 14 Gbps GDDR6 memory compared to the 16 Gbps memory of the RX 6600 XT, this still offers a solid card for people looking to get a step up in their 1080P gaming experience. The 6600 delivers a respectable 2044MHz Game Clock speed, compared to 2359MHz in the 6600 XT.

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The card is a minimal looking card that delivers one HDMI port, three Display Port connections, and takes very little room in your PC. This is a great option for people building out a new mini-PC, and manages to deliver a solid set of benchmarks, all running on a single 8-Pin PCI Express Power Connector drawing 132 Watts while it pushes the latest and greatest games. With the simple dual-fan design delivering an overall minimal look while keeping the card cool, in even the most taxing workloads.

While the RX 6600 is a fantastic performer in 1080P, due to its unique memory configuration and the use of the Infinity Cache, when you start to push things to 1440P, it will quickly hit a brick all, forcing the 6600 to rely on its traditional memory, resulting in some slightly worse scores, especially when compared to cards with traditional larger memory buses and higher overall memory bandwidth. That being said, if you don’t mind dipping below 60 FPS, the 6600 can still play with the big boys, playing the latest AAA experiences with some stunning visuals.

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Like other cards in the  RX 6000-series range, the Radeon RX 6600 supports all of RDNA 2’s features, including FidelityFX Super Resolution and Smart Access Memory to boost performance, real-time ray tracing capabilities, AV1 video decoding, DirectX 12 Ultimate, an improved version of Radeon Boost that wraps in Variable Rate Shading, Radeon Anti-Lag across all major DX APIs, FreeSync display support, AMD Link streaming as well as AMD’s robust Radeon Settings app includes both manual and automatic performance tuning to meet most gamers needs.

For the benchmarks, CGMagazine used an all-new build, featuring a Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Pro mainboard, 32GB DDR5 Corsair Vengeance 4800 RAM, Seagate FireCuda 530 1TB, an MSI MPG A850GF PSU, and an Intel 12th Gen i9-12900K. All gaming benchmarks are done on this test build, with the only thing changing being the GPU.

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla – 1080P/1440P/4K

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Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla – Ubisoft

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla since its release has stood as the mainstay for our range of benchmarks. It delivers some stunning visuals, can scale well to a large range of setups and resolutions, and has some great new features that push both AMD and Nvidia GPU cards to really see what they can manage.

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While the Radeon RX 6600 fared well at 1080P, once we started pushing things past 1440P things lagged significantly. This is not a card made for 4K gaming, and our Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla benchmarks show this reality in stark contrast. While it did well against some powerful cards at 1080P, it could simply not keep up when resolution is pushed.

Metro Exodus – 1080P/1440P/4K

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Metro: Exodus

4A Games have a fantastic offering for benchmarking. It not only looks great and uses the latest and greatest features such as DLSS and RTX, but it also pushes the GPU giving us a sense at how every card we throw at it will fare in real world testing. Exploring the wasteland of eastern europe has never looked so stunning or pushed systems quite so hard.

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Metro Exodus was a good benchmark for the Radeon RX 6600. It gave the card space to show what it could do, but also quickly demonstrated how it could not compete at higher resolutions. Compared to the GTX 1080, or even RTX 2080, the RX 6600 did very well at 1080P although started to lag when pushed to 1440P.

Cyberpunk 2077 – 1080P/1440P/4K

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Cyberpunk 2077

I love the look of Cyberpunk 2077 on the PC. While CD Projekt Red’s title is still a long way from being a polished experience, it is great to push a system, and results in some staggering visuals that put a GPU to the test.

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Cyberpunk 2077 pushed the card harder than we were expecting, resulting in only 65FPS average at 1080P. The 1440P and 4K resolution had a major drop, making it almost unusable at 12 FPS average. Compared to the RX 6600 XT or any other card on this list, the RX 6600 manages 1080P well, but anything else is basically off the table. 

Red Dead Redemption 2 – 1080P/1440P/4K

Red Dead Redemption (PS3) Review 5
Red Dead Redemption 2

The final game we put the cards through is the western masterpiece from RockStar, Red Dead Redemption 2. The game puts any card through its paces, while scaling well even to less powerful offerings. While it may not be the most demanding option on our list, it still is a great way to see how a system compares.

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While not the strongest showing, the RX 6600 did well enough with Red Dead Redemption 2. Pushing just around 60 FPS at 1080P, making it a great console-like experience. There is a drop pushing past 1440P and 4K, but even then, at 45 and 29.5 respectively are very playable, even if it is a bit less than what we would have hoped for. But with the MSRP of this card, it is a great offering, and one that mid-range builders should be more than happy with.

Now that the benchmarks are out of the way, the question still remains if you should go out and buy the new AMD Radeon RX 6600. In the age of pandemics, and crypto minders, these cards, even ones aimed at a more budget friendly audience, are far inflated past their MSRP. No one should invest over the asking price for this graphics card. While it is a great new offering from AMD, and one that keeps the mid-range in mind, it is still over inflated currently, and much like all GPUs in 2021, should be purchased only if you find it at, or near MSRP.

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AMD Radeon RX 6600

With that being said, AMD has kept most of what was good with the RX 6600 XT. While it is not as powerful and can’t reach the clock speeds of its bigger brother, the RX 6600 is a fantastic entry in the Navi 2 lineup. It brings with it all the latest and greatest at a price and feature set that is ideal for anyone looking to game at 1080P with all the bells and whistles activated.

In a rational world with GPU prices back down to earth, and supply not crunched with the countless people trying to get their hands on any graphics card possible, the $330 MSRP makes the RX 6600 a fantastic offering, that delivers features and performance and power draw that will be ideal for anyone that loves to game but has not invested in the latest and greatest monitors have to offer. From the best new AAA experiences to the top eSports titles, the RX 6600 is an innovative offering that gives some of the best 1080P gaming possible that won’t make your wallet cry for mercy.

Final Thoughts

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Company:
Powercolor
Type:
GPU
MSRP:
$330
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