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AMD Radeon RX 6600 Review: RDNA2 Goes Mainstream at $329

AMD's RX 6600 takes on Nvidia's RTX 3060

XFX Radeon RX 6600 Speedster SWFT 210
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Radeon RX 6600 1440p Gaming Performance

Stepping up to 1440p might be asking a bit too much of the RX 6600, depending on the game and settings used. As before, we'll start with our legacy test suite running at medium quality (which is one of the inputs used for the GPU benchmarks hierarchy), and then we'll move on to the expanded test suite and 1440p ultra settings, and wrap up with some ray tracing charts.

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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1440p at medium quality often ends up performing about the same as 1080p at ultra quality, which means the games in our slightly older test suite still run quite well. Better than that, really, as the RX 6600 averaged 106 fps, 15% behind the RX 6600 XT and 9% slower than the RTX 3060. Also, none of the games tested here fell below 60 fps.

The smaller Infinity Cache size generally means less benefit at higher resolutions, but even at 1440p the Infinity Cache clearly helps a lot. Considering the RTX 3060 has 50% more memory and memory bandwidth, the fact that the RX 6600 is even in the same ballpark shows how beneficial that large L3 cache is.

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Using the RX 6600 at 1440p ultra wasn't nearly as compelling. All of the games were still playable, provided you think 30 fps or more is "playable," but multiple games came in far short of 60 fps. You can probably get by with high quality settings, or some mix of medium and high settings, and 1440p will still run fine, but don't be surprised if more games arrive in the next few years where 1080p is a far better choice for the RX 6600.

The RX 6600 again loses to the RTX 3060 by about 9%, though flipping through the individual games shows some variation. Far Cry 5 and Strange Brigade favor the RTX 3060 at 1440p ultra, even though they're formerly AMD promotional games, while newer releases like Valhalla are strongly in AMD's camp, and most Nvidia-promoted games still favor Nvidia hardware years after release. Considering the added memory and generally faster performance, it's only the street price of the RTX 3060 that keeps it from being a clear victor.

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 1440p charts

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There's really nothing good to say about 1440p ultra with ray tracing enabled on the RX 6600. Dirt 5 was the sole bright point, averaging 56 fps — but that's largely because the visual difference between the ray traced shadows and rasterized shadow mapping techniques just isn't all that meaningful. Godfall also had issues at 1440p ultra with ray tracing, and performance fluctuated a lot between runs — that's a problem we've noticed on multiple GPUs with less than 12GB VRAM.

We also saw some pretty significant fluctuations in Cyberpunk 2077, though when you're getting under 10 fps it really doesn't matter. Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Metro Exodus also barely managed to stay above 30 fps, but again, that's because they're only using one RT effect and they're both first generation ray tracing games — more recent RT games perform quite a bit worse.

Jarred Walton

Jarred Walton's (Senior Editor) love of computers dates back to the dark ages, when his dad brought home a DOS 2.3 PC and he left his C-64 behind. He eventually built his first custom PC in 1990 with a 286 12MHz, only to discover it was already woefully outdated when Wing Commander released a few months later. He holds a BS in Computer Science from Brigham Young University and has been working as a tech journalist since 2004, writing for AnandTech, Maximum PC, and PC Gamer. From the first S3 Virge '3D decelerators' to today's GPUs, Jarred keeps up with all the latest graphics trends and is the one to ask about game performance.

  • Zarax
    Hi Jarred, would you suggest this card as an upgrade from a RX590 in an older PC (i7-3770k)?

    Thanks!
    Reply
  • kal326
    Says these launch the 21st. Newegg shuffle hit early today and lists 8 rx6600 cards from ASRock, XFX, Gigabyte, MSI, Powercolor and Sapphire. They seems lower priced at the $329 level and I noticed they were non XT with first listing day of today.
    Reply
  • King_V
    Zarax said:
    Hi Jarred, would you suggest this card as an upgrade from a RX590 in an older PC (i7-3770k)?

    Thanks!
    Not that I want to speak for Jarred, but the RX 6600, being somewhere in the same performance range as the RX 5600 XT or the RX 5700, would be a very noticeable jump from the RX 590, while also consuming a lot less power.

    That said, on that old i7, I think the only real problem would be possibly the motherboard. Sometimes, older motherboards are very finicky and won't work with newer video cards, most particularly when they're part of OEM systems like Dell and HP.
    Reply
  • Yuka
    Ah, another "meh" release of a GPU. Only saving grace is going to be the real street pricing vs MSRP. So sad... So sad...

    Anyway, thanks a lot for the review; much appreciated as always.

    King_V said:
    Not that I want to speak for Jarred, but the RX 6600, being somewhere in the same performance range as the RX 5600 XT or the RX 5700, would be a very noticeable jump from the RX 590, while also consuming a lot less power.

    That said, on that old i7, I think the only real problem would be possibly the motherboard. Sometimes, older motherboards are very finicky and won't work with newer video cards, most particularly when they're part of OEM systems like Dell and HP.
    Wasn't the Z77 chipset PCIe2.0? It would make the 6600 siblings run in X8 of PCIe2, so I'd imagine they won't perform as in these charts? Maybe close, but I wonder how badly they'll be constrained.

    EDIT: yep, 2.0 indeed: https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/64024/intel-z77-express-chipset.htmlEDIT2: Z77 with the 3770 does run in PCIe3.0; just want to clear that up just in case. It was pointed out later in the thread.

    Regards.
    Reply
  • Zarax
    King_V said:
    Not that I want to speak for Jarred, but the RX 6600, being somewhere in the same performance range as the RX 5600 XT or the RX 5700, would be a very noticeable jump from the RX 590, while also consuming a lot less power.

    That said, on that old i7, I think the only real problem would be possibly the motherboard. Sometimes, older motherboards are very finicky and won't work with newer video cards, most particularly when they're part of OEM systems like Dell and HP.

    Luckily it's not a branded PC but a custom build.
    In my case I would use the RX590 to replace my wife's HD7970 and get the RX6600 for myself IF I can get it at MSRP. If not, I will keep playing lottery at AMD's website in the hope of getting something realistically priced.
    Reply
  • PiranhaTech
    When AMD misses the mark, they often have price adjustments and/or sales eventually... but they probably don't need to in this climate.
    Reply
  • King_V
    @Yuka 's post does bring up a good point, though. That the 6600 is constrained to x8 PCIe, and that early era board you have is running PCIe 2.0, could make the 6600 a little slower than expected.

    I still imagine it'll do far better than the RX 590, though.
    Reply
  • r7litepro
    4 chips of ram... this is a 150 gpu ...Mainstream ? lol ok
    Reply
  • Makaveli
    Zarax said:
    Hi Jarred, would you suggest this card as an upgrade from a RX590 in an older PC (i7-3770k)?

    Thanks!

    As someone who is on a RX580 I think it would be better to go with the 6600XT model, but as other have suggested if you don't have a PCIe 4.0 motherboard makes this a more difficult decision.
    Reply
  • King_V
    Yeah . . I think even on PCIe 3.0, you'd still be okay. PCIe 2.0, on the other hand, is kind of an unknown in terms of how much of a choke-point that will be.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    Yuka said:
    Wasn't the Z77 chipset PCIe2.0?
    Doesn't matter what the chipset is: the x16 slot is fed directly by the CPU and Ivy Bridge (3000-series) does support PCIe 3.0. Most 60-series boards with a hard-wired x16 slot (no x8x8/x8x4x4 bifurcation since 2.0 switches can't do 3.0) also got a free upgrade to 3.0x16 with an Ivy Bridge CPU installed.

    Kind of the reverse of how a lot of 300/400-series AM4 motherboard could do PCIe 4.0 when using a Zen 2 CPU until AMD pushed an AGESA update to block it.

    As for the review/RX6600 itself, basically feels like overpriced tech from years ago. MSRP is about $100 more than it would have any right to in a remotely sane economy.
    Reply