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)

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The RX 6650 XT generally targets 1080p gaming, though it can often handle more than that, depending on the game. At 1080p ultra, the RX 6650 XT Hellhound averaged 86 fps, and was above 60 fps in every game except Total War: Warhammer 3. That's a good start, though comparing the 6650 XT with other GPUs puts a damper on things.

Overall, the factory overclocked 6650 XT was only 2% faster than the factory overclocked 6600 XT. Other card models might perform a bit better than the Hellhound, especially if they raise the power limit beyond 180W, but there's little difference between the old and new AMD GPUs. AMD's newcomer also outperformed the RTX 3060 by 15%, but the RTX 3060 Ti was 13% faster overall.

There's no real need to drop settings down to medium, at least with our current gaming suite, but it's interesting to see how performance changes. Our standard suite averaged 150 fps, and while the RX 6650 XT was only 1% faster than the RX 6600 XT, its standing relative to Nvidia's GPUs improved slightly. It was 19% faster than the RTX 3060, and this time the RTX 3060 Ti was only 6% faster.

That's thanks to the 32MB Infinity Cache, which has higher hit rates as the amount of unique data requests decreases, boosting the effective bandwidth. Conversely, running at a higher resolution and settings will reduce the cache's efficacy, which happens at 1440p ultra.

The RX 6650 XT still averaged just a hair more than 60 fps at 1440p ultra, but half of the games fell below that mark. The gap between the 6650 XT and the 6600 XT remained the same 2% as at 1080p ultra, but the lead over the RTX 3060 shrank to 9%, while the RTX 3060 Ti increased its lead to 22%.

As long as you're not using ray tracing, 1440p gaming is still viable on the RX 6650 XT. Games with FSR 2.0 will also be quite playable, not that there are many of those right now, though more are coming. You could even play some games at 4K ultra, provided you're okay with mostly targeting 30 fps instead of 60 fps. 

Jarred Walton

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.

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