AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT evaluation: a 1080p pure – simply don’t activate ray tracing

Within the ongoing battle between PC graphics powerhouses AMD and Nvidia, it’s usually simple to focus in on essentially the most highly effective playing cards. Which is the very best at 4K, with the whole lot cranked as much as Extremely, and ray tracing activated? And, I imply – why not, it’s enjoyable, proper? Virtually everyone would like to drive a Bugatti. However the actuality, we all know, is that lots of people are searching for that good center floor: a graphics card that’s going to supply nice gaming efficiency inside the confines of their very own setup, and with out breaking the financial institution.

It’s this class the place playing cards just like the recently-released AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT reside. That is AMD’s reply to the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 and 3060 Ti, battling it out on the entry-level level of the market – under the $400 mark at RRP. Sure, I do know it’s nonetheless extremely troublesome to get these playing cards at RRP – however we’ve got to imagine the market will finally normalize, and so we proceed to evaluation them at their commonplace value quite than the scalper-inflated prices.

So, the place does the RX 6600 XT sit amongst its rivals in that nice entry-level pantheon? Properly, it’s type of slap bang within the center, which is likely to be precisely what some need.

What I imply by that’s that in checks we’ve run, the RX 6600 XT usually simply squeaks previous the RTX 3060 – with body fee boons of wherever from 5% as much as as a lot as 15%. This comes with a number of notable caveats, nonetheless.

Initially there’s the worth – at RRP ($379/£329), the RX 6600 XT is $50 dearer than the RTX 3060 – so it’s a must to measure up if that efficiency enhance is value the additional outlay for you. Then there’s the choice of the 3060 Ti, which turns the tables again in Nvidia’s favor for an extra additional $20 or so.

The opposite main caveat is ray tracing. Nvidia has these customized ray tracing cores that it’s carried out a lot boasting about – they usually positively do make a distinction. In each ray tracing recreation we examined (Metro Exodus, Cyberpunk 2077, Management), the 6600 XT was outperformed by each of the Nvidia playing cards of the same class. Take ray tracing out of the equation, nonetheless, and AMD’s providing outperforms the RTX 3060 in lots of instances and at an absolute minimal, or a minimum of matches as much as Nvidia’s effort.

Like I stated, it’s a card of caveats. You may fortunately run issues like Gears 5 and Hitman 3 on Extremely settings and get nicely in extra of 100fps. A hop to a extra intense open-world affair like Murderer’s Creed Valhalla and I nonetheless noticed a stable 60fps. Management is within the former class, round 100fps, with out ray tracing activated – however it plummets to under 60fps with that snazzy lighting turned on. It’s there the place the hole between this card and Nvidia’s widens – and never in the fitting course.

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All of this testing was carried out at 1080p, however the same image is painted at 1440p additionally – simply slice 30% minimal off the numbers. Bumping to greater resolutions outcomes means dropping ray tracing until you’re keen to simply accept some very bumpy efficiency, too – however the identical is broadly true proper throughout this class. Make no mistake that this can be a 1080p card firstly – that’s the decision the place you possibly can take pleasure in body charges in extra of 60fps on trendy video games – however in the event you’re keen to simply accept body charges that may dip a little bit under 60, this can be a completely legitimate 1440p card, too. I’d primarily advocate it for 1080p, nonetheless.

The design of the cardboard you get will range relying on the seller, in fact, however they’re usually talking all just like the cardboard we examined, which is from XFX: three followers and a reasonably chunky design that truly feels a little bit outsized, given the ability stage of the cardboard. That signifies that cooling received’t be an issue, nonetheless – and as well as, the cardboard solely requires a 500W PSU, marking it as one of many lowest-draw choices in the marketplace for contemporary gaming.

It is a good card. It’s teetering on nice, nonetheless, relying in your means to swallow the industry-wide value creep on GPUs; this type of class entry-level was round half the worth a decade in the past. That creep is an industry-wide deal, although – and when in comparison with its friends, the Radeon RX 6600 XT is proof that AMD is lastly starting to match as much as and take the battle to Nvidia.

The place the Nvidia playing cards have the benefit is in a few of these shiny new options. Ray tracing is clearly an issue, although it additionally undoubtedly isn’t the most important precedence for any individual available in the market for an entry-level, 1080p-first card. Even in the event you put that to 1 facet, nonetheless, Nvidia can also be boasting options like its Broadcast suite and DLSS. The latter is especially essential, as in supported video games, turning DLSS on will make the 3060’s body charges streak from behind the 3600 XT to decently forward. AMD has its personal model of the latter, FidelityFX Tremendous Decision (FSR) – and it appears promisingly highly effective – although finally it’s nonetheless behind DLSS, taking part in catch-up each when it comes to supported video games and the standard of the upscaled picture it supplies.

How do you are feeling about these new-fangled bells and whistles, then? We’ve made fairly clear in previous evaluations that we do fee plenty of what Nvidia is doing with its RTX sequence GPUs – and the inexperienced is clearly forward of the purple in these phrases. However as a belt-and-braces graphics card uncooked efficiency, the RX 6600 XT is forward of the RTX 3060 – it’s a better-value card general. You’ve acquired nice 1080p efficiency and respectable 1440p efficiency. Start to think about ray tracing and DLSS and issues get ugly, nonetheless – particularly if the 3060 Ti is inside your value vary.

The RX 6600 XT appears like a stepping stone of a card, in a way. It’s a wonderfully respectable possibility, and for these whose PC gaming circumstances match its characteristic set, it’s simple to advocate as respectable worth. On the similar time, this card does have the whiff of 1 step in a bigger story – that of AMD regularly combating again and turning into aggressive with AMD as soon as once more. It’s a step in the fitting course, too. Within the present GPU market the place it’s a must to take what you will discover in inventory, I wouldn’t dissuade anyone determined for an improve from selecting up this card – but when I’m being trustworthy, what I actually wish to see is the place the AMD & Nvidia battle is at in one other era.

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