The AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT launched on August 11, 2021, and today we have the Gigabyte RX 6600 XT Eagle. My mom had a saying that she used to quote to me whenever I stayed up late playing computer games: You can't expect to soar with the eagles if you run around all night with the turkeys. Never mind that turkeys sleep at night, and I usually responded with a joke about aspiring to be more like an owl than an eagle. Gigabyte's Eagle GPUs on the other hand are oddly placed at the value end of the spectrum, which is not what I normally think of when people reference the majestic birds, but let's see how it compares to the competition. Will it be one of the best graphics cards, or will it hang out with the turkeys?
The Gigabyte RX 6600 XT Eagle comes with AMD's reference clocks, which I find rather surprising for a triple-fan cooler. If you want the factory overclocked models with some extra bling, that would be the Gaming and Gaming Pro line, which have substantially higher MSRPs. I picked up the base model Gigabyte card at Micro Center on launch day for $380 (plus tax), opting to save my pennies rather than splurging on the Gigabyte Gaming OC ($470 MSRP) or Gigabyte Gaming Pro OC ($500). Initial stock was good, at least by 2021 metrics, but most places are now back to being sold out and waiting for additional shipments, which often amounts to a few hundred cards a week for a larger chain. (That's what a Micro Center employee suggested, at least, saying they typically got about two dozen cards per week — and there are 25 locations nationwide.)
|Graphics Card||Gigabyte RX 6600 XT Eagle||ASRock RX 6600 XT Phantom||Sapphire RX 6600 XT Pulse|
|Architecture||Navi 23||Navi 23||Navi 23|
|Process Technology||TSMC N7||TSMC N7||TSMC N7|
|Die size (mm^2)||237||237||237|
|Infinity Cache (MB)||32||32||32|
|Game Clock (MHz)||2359||2428||2382|
|VRAM Speed (Gbps)||16||16||16|
|VRAM Bus Width||128||128||128|
|TFLOPS FP32 (Boost)||9.66||9.95||9.76|
|PCIe Slot Interface||x8 Gen4||x8 Gen4||x8 Gen4|
Here are the specs for the three different RX 6600 XT cards we've tested. The Gigabyte Eagle sticks with AMD's reference clocks, the Sapphire RX 6600 XT Pulse comes with a minor 23 MHz factory overclock, and the ASRock RX 6600 XT Phantom Gaming OC (which AMD provided for the launch review) has a slightly higher 69 MHz factory overclock. That should mean at best about a 3% difference in performance, though there's more to a graphics card than just pure performance — at least for some people. If you want a quieter card, or something with a bit more flash, the Eagle falls short.
Getting those extras can cost quite a bit, however. The Phantom Gaming is priced over 30% higher than the Eagle and Pulse cards, and blinged out models from Gigabyte and Sapphire (e.g., the Gaming Pro OC and Nitro+) carry similarly high prices. Honestly, I find it difficult to justify the expense on what is ostensibly a mainstream card. In a normal market, we'd be looking at RX 6700 XT cards for $500 — something the RX 6600 XT can't hope to compete with in performance. But of course, the market remains anything but normal right now.
Over the past two weeks since it launched, the Radeon RX 6600 XT has followed the well trodden path of other recent GPUs in our GPU price index, selling out quickly and then showing up on eBay at inflated prices. While there are a few retail models that start at AMD's base $380 asking price, most are listed at $450–$550. Checking sold listings at eBay, the average price for the RX 6600 XT right now sits at $637, and that includes plenty of minimum spec models like the Gigabyte Eagle. More desirable GPUs like the RX 6700 XT and RTX 3060 Ti average $835 and $935, respectively. The theoretically direct competition comes in the form of Nvidia's RTX 3060, which has an average price on eBay of $715. That's to AMD's advantage right now, as the RX 6600 XT generally beats the RTX 3060 (even though it has less VRAM and memory bandwidth), though Nvidia takes the lead if you factor in ray tracing and DLSS performance.
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