Skip to main content

AMD Radeon RX 6650 XT Review: Increasing the Speed Limit

PowerColor's Hellhound Spectral White delivers a small bump in performance

AMD Radeon RX 6650 XT
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Tom's Hardware Verdict

The PowerColor RX 6650 XT Hellhound Spectral White offers a minor upgrade over the existing RX 6600 XT, at a slightly higher price. The bump in memory speed from 16Gbps to 18Gbps helps a bit, but this feels more like AMD building more of a separation between the RX 6600 and the next step up rather than a card that was really necessary.

Pros

  • +

    Uncommon white design

  • +

    Decent price to performance ratio

  • +

    Cards are in stock

Cons

  • -

    Minor upgrade from 6600 XT

  • -

    Increased cost at the wrong time

  • -

    No RGB lighting, only white LEDs

The AMD Radeon RX 6650 XT rounds out our trifecta of refreshed RX 6000-series cards, joining the Radeon RX 6950 XT and Radeon RX 6750 XT. So does the RX 6650 XT rank among the best graphics cards, and where does it land in our GPU benchmarks hierarchy? Let's find out.

Our test card comes courtesy of PowerColor, which sent its RX 6650 XT Hellhound Spectral White. There's also a 'normal' Hellhound in the more traditional black/gray motif. Like the other 6x50 XT third-party cards we've looked at, the Hellhound comes with a factory overclock. Here's the specs sheet for the PowerColor model alongside the reference designs from other competing GPUs. 

GPU Specifications
Graphics CardRX 6650 XT PowerColorRX 6650 XTRX 6600 XTRTX 3060 TiRTX 3060
ArchitectureNavi 23Navi 23Navi 23GA104GA106
Process TechnologyTSMC N7TSMC N7TSMC N7Samsung 8NSamsung 8N
Transistors (Billion)11.111.111.117.412
Die size (mm^2)237237237392.5276
SMs / CUs3232323828
GPU Cores20482048204848643584
Tensor CoresN/AN/AN/A152112
RT Cores3232323828
Boost Clock (MHz)26892635258916651777
VRAM Speed (Gbps)1818161415
VRAM (GB)888812
VRAM Bus Width128128128256192
ROPs6464648048
TMUs128128128152112
TFLOPS FP32 (Boost)1110.810.616.212.7
TFLOPS FP16 (Tensor)N/AN/AN/A65 (130)51 (102)
Bandwidth (GBps)288288256448360
TDP (watts)180180160220170
Launch DateMay-22May-22Aug-21Dec-20Feb-21
Launch Price$439 $399 $379 $399 $329
Online Price$439 (opens in new tab)$384 (opens in new tab)$359 (opens in new tab)$524 (opens in new tab)$399 (opens in new tab)

Thanks to the factory overclock and the color scheme, the PowerColor RX 6650 XT costs a bit more than the reference model. The GPU boost clock is 54 MHz higher and 100 MHz higher than the RX 6600 XT, but that's really about it. However, we don't have a reference RX 6600 XT, and in our gaming test, the XFX RX 6600 XT we used averaged higher GPU clocks than the RX 6650 XT. But the higher clocked GDDR6 memory does come into play, at least.

Unlike the 6950 XT and 6750 XT, which will coexist alongside the 6900 XT and 6700 XT, AMD has stated that it's phasing out the RX 6600 XT and replacing it with the RX 6650 XT. Right now, there's about a $25 price premium for the new GPU, which is basically in line with AMD's official MSRP, except you can find both the 6600 XT and 6650 XT for less than the recommended price.

Graphics card pricing and availability have also improved a lot since 2021, and you can find links to online resellers for the above GPUs. The AMD cards are selling at or below MSRP, while the competing Nvidia GPUs are still marked up by 20–30%. Prices continue to drop, however, and we wouldn't be surprised to see most if not all current-generation GPUs selling below their official MSRPs this fall — just in time for new cards to arrive.

We should also see RDNA 3 GPUs from AMD by the end of the year, but we expect both those and Nvidia's upcoming Ada GPUs to target gaming enthusiasts and extreme performance first. Unfortunately, that means we likely won't see an RX 7600 XT or RTX 4060 (or whatever they end up being called) until some time in 2023.

Jarred Walton is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on everything GPU. He 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.