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Gigabyte Radeon RX 6600 XT Eagle Review: Clipped Wings

Soaring With the Turkeys

Gigabyte Radeon RX 6600 XT Eagle
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Superficially, the Gigabyte Eagle looks like it should be just as capable as any other midrange GPU. It has three fans and a dual-slot configuration, and with a TDP of only 160W we would expect it to run cool and quiet. Performance ended up being nearly identical to the other two cards, though technically it did come in last place out of the three RX 6600 XT models we've tested, but the fans tell a different story. They work harder, and as a result generate more noise.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

If you can't find any other RX 6600 XT cards in stock, the Gigabyte Eagle should still do fine. We also haven't tested every one of the dozen or more RX 6600 XT cards that are presently launched in the U.S. market, and some might be even worse than the Eagle when it comes to fan noise. But if you have the choice between something like the Sapphire Pulse and the Eagle, we'd pick the Pulse every time.

It feels like Gigabyte just cut a few too many corners on the RX 6600 XT Eagle. Slightly larger fans could move more air and generate less noise. Integrating a rim like the Sapphire Pulse would also improve static pressure and cooling. Gigabyte makes a point of having the middle fan spin clockwise while the two outside fans spin counterclockwise, saying this reduces turbulence, but the net effect on cooling wasn't better than competing designs. What's more, Gigabyte appears to use the exact same "3x80mm Windforce 3X cooling system" on its higher-end Gaming and Gaming Pro models. Those do add a bit of RGB bling to the package, but I can't help but question using these same fans with higher GPU clocks on "premium" models.

The Gigabyte Eagle isn't a bad card, but it does seem uninspired. It will get the job done, just like other budget RX 6600 XT models. Will it do so in a better fashion than the competition? Probably not. It's time to update the fans and heatsink to get back to parity with the competition, because right now, the dual-fan Sapphire Pulse comes out ahead and doesn't cost anything extra.

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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.

  • watzupken
    I am glad at least it doesn't explode. In any case, I feel the cutback is to be expected given that the Eagle series is Gigabyte's entry level model.
    Reply
  • artk2219
    watzupken said:
    I am glad at least it doesn't explode. In any case, I feel the cutback is to be expected given that the Eagle series is Gigabyte's entry level model.

    I agree some compromises are expected with entry level models, but the crazy thing is they didn't have to. I can't see the build cost on that longer triple fan model being any cheaper than some of the shorter dual fans models that are available. Eh who knows maybe they had a bunch of those fans, or could source them super cheaply, still doesn't explain the long heatsink or extra plastic etc on the card.
    Reply
  • Sleepy_Hollowed
    Something about JD and Turk screaming “Eagle”.

    in all seriousness, wow, this is truly budget in every sense of the word, it could be worse, but wow.

    reminds me of my first blower card, GTX 660, and how loud and hot it ran (this was an oem design on an Alienware system).
    Reply
  • Findecanor
    watzupken said:
    I am glad at least it doesn't explode.
    Every large computer brand produces faulty hardware or software sooner or later.
    The difference, which matters is in how they treat the issue — and the customers affected by it.
    This was Gigabyte's biggest failure with the PSU.
    Reply
  • watzupken
    Findecanor said:
    Every large computer brand produces faulty hardware or software sooner or later.
    The difference, which matters is in how they treat the issue — and the customers affected by it.
    This was Gigabyte's biggest failure with the PSU.
    This I totally agree. I am not upset with failing products from Gigabyte. I am upset with the way they handle the issue. And considering this may be a potential fire hazard, or may end up killing something in the computer (where warranty gets void), it is highly irresponsible of Gigabyte to delay a recall and try to blame it on reviewers. Worst of all, they are bundling these PSU with GPUs despite knowing almost a year back of the issue. This just shows they don't care. Anyway, no more Gigabyte products for me after 2 decades of supporting them by buying their motherboards.

    Back to the topic of this GPU.
    Reply