As with the Sapphire RX 6600 XT Pulse review, our test hardware remains unchanged other than using the public 21.8.1 AMD drivers. We have the same 13 games, tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K using 'ultra' settings. Technically, we use the ultra preset on most of the games, but a few (like Final Fantasy XIV, Horizon Zero Dawn, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider) use a different name or don't have presets. The important bit is that we use the same settings in each game, then we test each resolution three times, discard the first result, and take the higher of the second two runs (after checking for anomalous results). Here are the galleries of all three resolutions, with comments on the results below.
1080p Gaming Performance
1440p Gaming Performance
4K Gaming Performance
There's very little to discuss here. Technically, the Gigabyte Eagle came in as the slowest of the three RX 6600 XT cards, which makes sense considering it has the lowest boost clock. The individual test results do vary a bit between runs, though, and so it didn't place last in every single test of every single game. Similarly, the ASRock Phantom delivered the best performance overall, but the actual cumulative advantage over the other cards was miniscule — it was 0.3% faster than the Eagle at 1080p, 0.6% faster at 1440p, and 0.5% faster at 4K. The largest margin of victory was 3%, which definitely isn't something you'd notice in normal use.
When you consider that the ASRock card has 3% higher clocks and uses about 10% more power (that's on the next page), the tightly clustered results are even more telling. Eschewing bling and larger fans likely keeps power requirements a bit lower on the Gigabyte and Sapphire cards, and the RX 6600 XT runs cool enough that it really doesn't require a massive heatsink. In short, you're better off shopping for an RX 6600 XT card based on price, features (i.e., RGB lighting), and availability rather than worrying about how much faster one card might be compared to another.
Of course there's always overclocking, and better cooling might help eke out a few extra MHz and fps if you're pushing the GPU to its limit. We haven't done in-depth testing of overclocking on these GPUs, largely because it requires quite a bit of time for a relatively small payoff in terms of performance. Most GPUs can run about 5–10% faster than factory stock with a bit of effort, but that also means pushing up power use and fan speeds. We'd rather focus on the out-of-box experience instead of quibbling about final performance figures that are all still within 2% of each other.
MORE: Best Graphics Cards
MORE: All Graphics Content