A few weeks ago AMD announced Radeon RX 6600 XT, the 1080p card for the budget conscious gamers, and to everybody's surprise they increased the retail price up to 379 USD. We did our first-look video about the XFX version of this card last week and after publishing the video - we saw an incredible amount of people being furious at AMD for this price, but after running some tests and looking closely at the market, I feel the price is actually justified, let me explain why.
Let's start at the very beginning: over the past year due to demand and shortages on the market the raw ingredients such as copper, aluminium and even plastic have gone up in price significantly. Copper is up by 50%, aluminium is up 51% and plastic is up by 45%. These are just a few examples excluding the actual chips that everybody is craving so badly.
On top of this - both NVIDIA and AMD have been selling graphics cards as fast as they could make them and even the recent crypto crash seems to be recovering and gaining momentum.
In the meantime resale value of the new cards does seem to be trending down, but looking at the recent sales of the competitive cards such as RTX 3060 and 3060 Ti on eBay we see that demand is high and prices are all over the place with the average price going about double the MSRP and some are even willing to pay almost triple for the RTX 3060 Ti. A quick reminder - RTX 3060 is supposed to be 329 USD and 3060 Ti has MSRP of 399 USD.
With all of this in mind, let's check out AMD’s latest offering - the RX 6600 XT and how it performs when compared to a full range of cards from AMD and NVIDIA, these go back all the way to GTX 1060.
First up is Horizon Zero Dawn: at 1080p we have very similar performance between RX 6600 XT and RTX 3060. If you are using a 1060 class card on a 1080p display, then you may actually be better off looking for a used RTX 2060.
Moving to 1440p, we find RTX 3060 is now performing marginally better but it is too close to call a clear winner. Here RTX 2060 would be playable but not great.
In Shadow of the Tomb Raider we yet again see very similar results. Both RX 6600 XT and RTX 3060 are battling it out within a margin of error, and even RTX 2060 is delivering solid results.
When we up the resolution to 1440p we see exactly the same trend as before.
Next we have Total War Three Kingdoms and here RTX 3060 is certainly a better performer.
When we swap to 1440p, we immediately see that all of these cards struggle here. Have a look at the 1 percentile results on the RTX cards - it is almost half of the average frame rate.
Moving away from the triple A games to Doom Eternal (for GTX 1060 and RTX 2060 - video settings were reduced due to VRAM limitations) - you can play this game basically on anything these days, including GTX 1060 at 1080p.
What you gain from upgrading is great 1440p performance on RX 6600 XT as well as RTX 3060.
But when we up the resolution to 4k - here NVIDIA performs better and is still within playable frame rates.
Lastly we have two games with Ray Tracing enabled. You can play Godfall at 1080p on both of these cards, but I would recommend turning down the details on the AMD card as the 1 percentiles are suffering.
On the other hand, in Riftbreaker you can turn up the eye-candy settings and enjoy the game in 1080p as well as 1440p with Ray Tracing enabled.
These are just a few games that we tested, and it is clear that AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT trades blows with NVIDIA RTX 3060. Do note, all of these games were run on our AMD Ryzen 9 5950X testbench with Smart access memory and Resizable bar disabled so there is no special sauce used in any of the tests.
For those who may be interested in getting this RX 6600 XT by XFX, here is a quick test on thermals and acoustics. During the test our room temperature was 27.5 degrees Celsius and the distance from the testbench is around 50 cm. We turned on Furmark stress test to get them to full speed and found RX 6600XT performed the quietest but to be honest there is not much difference between all of these cards.
The new AMD cards run much higher frequencies than the NVIDIA counterparts, which in turn makes them run warmer, at the same time there is still some overhead before hitting thermal limits. AMD rates these chips to withstand junction temperatures of up to 110 degrees Celsius which leaves some room to play for those who want to tinker with fan speeds and do some sort of overclocking.
To sum this up: RX 6600 XT is not a bargain card that everyone wanted and were hoping for. It is a competitor to the NVIDIA RTX 3060 aimed at a similar market price rather than recommended retail price. If you are somehow able to find any of these cards at retail price - then grab it.
If in the future you have an option to choose between RTX 3060 and RX 6600 XT at their retail price, then get the 3060, otherwise get whichever is cheaper, unless you need the extra features that NVIDIA provides such as superior video encoder and Shadow Play.
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