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Radeon RX 6600 XT May Be the New De Facto GPU for Mining

AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT
AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT (Image credit: AMD)

AMD's Radeon RX 6600 XT launched earlier today and has already found its place on the list of best graphics cards. While the Navi 23-powered graphics card is a solid performer, it's also quite efficient at Ethereum mining — especially once you optimize your GPU for Ethereum mining.

Clock speeds for the Radeon RX 6600 XT vary from one model to the other, depending on the manufacturer. However, the graphics cards should perform more or less the same before and after optimization. Out of the box, our ASRock RX 6600 XT Phantom Gaming OC pumped out 28 MH/s in Ethash while using 120W of power. That's not that great, but with a bit of tuning — overclocking the GDDR6 memory and limiting the GPU core clocks — we got the hash rate up to 32 MH/s and cut power requirements quite a bit.

If we just concentrate solely on the hash rate, the Radeon RX 6600 XT doesn't look very impressive at all, considering we can squeeze out similar mining performance on a Radeon RX 570 or RX 580 with some fine-tuning. However, the Polaris-based graphics card does draw more power, and that's the area where the Radeon RX 6600 XT really excels. While the Radeon RX 570 or RX 580 can pull over 130W, the Radeon RX 6600 XT kept its power consumption within the 75W range.

Radeon RX 6600 XT Mining Performance (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The ASRock RX 6600 XT Phantom Gaming OC we used for these tests averaged between 74W and 75W as you can see from our Powenetics equipment, which gives real-time power data. (Look at the bottom-left window, in the bottom-left box where it shows current power draw.) Software-based tools, such as HWiNFO64 or MSI Afterburner typically underreport power consumption. The first exhibited at least 12W to 14W lower values, while the latter's measurements varied by around 15W.

At 32 MH/s, the Radeon RX 6600 XT would sport a performance per watt rating of 0.43. If you look at our list of best mining GPUs, you'll find that the Radeon RX 6600 XT ended up being more efficient than other RDNA2 and Ampere GPUs, such as the Radeon RX 6800 or the GeForce RTX 3060 prior to Nvidia nerfing the Ethereum mining performance of its GeForce RTX 30-series (Ampere) lineup.

The Radeon RX 6600 XT, like any other graphics card launched during the pandemic and global semiconductor shortage, will likely suffer from scalping and limited stock. The Navi 23 graphics card was out of stock at major online retailers, including Newegg and Amazon. Micro Center, on the other hand, had around 2,000 units spread across 25 different locations around the country. That's helpful for those near a Micro Center, and miners will have a difficult time buying sufficient quantities of GPUs through Micro Center, but 2,000 GPUs across the U.S. won't go very far.

Of course, we still need to see how the availability and pricing changes over time. Getting a few thousand GPUs into gamers' hands at launch is a good start, but will AMD and its partners continue to ship thousands of GPUs per week to Micro Center, or will supply slow down to a trickle? If the latter happens, we expect prices will also start to climb.

  • mitch074
    whelp, last hope gone. I'll have to keep my RX480 another couple of years.
    Reply
  • escksu
    Hmm...... may or may not be. Although power efficiency is important, hashrate and cost of cards are also important, esp. breakeven.

    At 32MH/s, you will be earning around USD2.35 a day. Assuming you managed to get it at USD400. Even with free power, you will still need 170 days to breakeven.

    Right now, I am not sure if it makes sense to buy new cards to mine since the difficulty bomb is coming in dec 2021.
    Reply
  • salgado18
    salgado18 said:
    I like the decision to lower memory bus width to 128 bits. It lowers mining performance without affecting gaming performance, and can't be undone like Nvidia's software-based solution.
    I guess I was wrong... :/

    Well, we can only hope for a difficulty spike, a market crash, strict regulations etc., just to upgrade our gaming toys.
    Reply
  • kyzarvs
    Toms: "Mining is terrible and destroying the GPU market"
    Next day "Lookie this amazing card for mining"

    Pick a side or be neutral. Don't pretend to pick a side for the likes but then be neutral.
    Reply
  • VforV
    The Radeon RX 6600 XT, like any other graphics card launched during the pandemic and global semiconductor shortage, suffers from scalping and limited stock.
    As a general statement of the GPU market today, yes it's true, but contextual the launch of RX 6600 XT was the best AMD GPU launch of the 6000 series yet, considering availability and street/actual shop price (not MSRP).

    In EU we had lots of shops for an entire day (yesterday) having these GPUs in stock with prices ranging from 460 euro to 530 euro. Considering the 3060 which is supposed to be cheaper has a 600+ euro price and the 3060 Ti which is supposed to be the best deal vs RX 6600 XT is 700+ euro, in the same shops that sell the AMD GPUs at 460-530, yeah, this paints a very different picture when you take into account reality and not just PR pieces and MSRP fairy tales seen in all the articles and youtube (influencer) videos...

    All of these prices are still too much, too expensive, but the markup on RX 6600 XT is actually much less than on nvidia GPUs, so in reality it is the better deal, in a paradoxal kind of way, if you really need/want a GPU now and you can't wait any longer.
    Reply
  • JarredWaltonGPU
    kyzarvs said:
    Toms: "Mining is terrible and destroying the GPU market"
    Next day "Lookie this amazing card for mining"

    Pick a side or be neutral. Don't pretend to pick a side for the likes but then be neutral.
    We are neutral, and we are reporting the news. Mining is burning power and making it virtually impossible for gamers to buy GPUs. The RX 6600 XT also offers relatively impressive efficiency. I don't think miners are going to use it as the new standard, though, because building rigs with six or eight GPUs has a lot of in-built costs, and you want to maximize overall performance and efficiency. Eight RX 6600 XT cards would do about 240-250 MH/s and use ~700W of power for the entire PC. Or you could do two RTX 3090 cards and get about the same performance and efficiency, except with the ability to add six more cards. (Yes, the RX 6600 XT would cost less -- maybe $4000 vs. $4800.)

    This is why RTX 3060 Ti/3070 (and the RX 6800/6800 XT/6900 XT, if you can find them) are the most popular mining cards. They're not as expensive as the RTX 3080/3090, deliver good efficiency, and can go into a rig with eight GPUs doing 480~490 MH/s. Such a rig would in theory cost around $8000. Two rigs built around RX 6600 XT would also cost around $8000 and deliver similar performance, but take twice the work to get set up and running.
    Reply
  • JarredWaltonGPU
    VforV said:
    As a general statement of the GPU market today, yes it's true, but contextual the launch of RX 6600 XT was the best AMD GPU launch of the 6000 series yet, considering availability and street/actual shop price (not MSRP).

    In EU we had lots of shops for an entire day (yesterday) having these GPUs in stock with prices ranging from 460 euro to 530 euro. Considering the 3060 which is supposed to be cheaper has a 600+ euro price and the 3060 Ti which is supposed to be the best deal vs RX 6600 XT is 700+ euro, in the same shops that sell the AMD GPUs at 460-530, yeah, this paints a very different picture when you take into account reality and not just PR pieces and MSRP fairy tales seen in all the articles and youtube (influencer) videos...

    All of these prices are still too much, too expensive, but the markup on RX 6600 XT is actually much less than on nvidia GPUs, so in reality it is the better deal, in a paradoxical kind of way, if you really need/want a GPU now and you can't wait any longer.
    Give it some time, though. We still need to see if the initial availability and pricing was more of a publicity stunt, or if AMD can maintain that supply. It feels like AMD maybe delayed the launch by a month or two to build up a large inventory, which it then released all at once. Initial supply looked great, but in two weeks it could be in the same exact spot as all the other GPUs. Pretty sure that will end up being the case, as TSMC production is still tapped out and will be for the next couple of years it seems.
    Reply
  • Krotow
    RX 6600 XT actually is not big performance gain in comparing with RX 5700 XT. As mining cart with a possibility to play games? Whatever.
    Reply
  • VforV
    JarredWaltonGPU said:
    Give it some time, though. We still need to see if the initial availability and pricing was more of a publicity stunt, or if AMD can maintain that supply. It feels like AMD maybe delayed the launch by a month or two to build up a large inventory, which it then released all at once. Initial supply looked great, but in two weeks it could be in the same exact spot as all the other GPUs. Pretty sure that will end up being the case, as TSMC production is still tapped out and will be for the next couple of years it seems.
    Oh, on this we agree. I don't expect this "good launch price and availability" (compared to others) to last long, exactly because of what you said above.
    AMD does not have nvidia levels of supply and production for GPUs, they (nvidia) could do it if they really cared for gamers and the best prices for gamers. But we all know nvidia is the opposite of that...

    Still this does not diminish the fact that it is better than other launches and more people had/have a chance of buying the least gouged up GPU now... At least AMD tried something.
    Reply
  • JarredWaltonGPU
    VforV said:
    Oh, on this we agree. I don't expect this "good launch price and availability" (compared to others) to last long, exactly because of what you said above.
    AMD does not have nvidia levels of supply and production for GPUs, they (nvidia) could do it if they really cared for gamers and the best prices for gamers. But we all know nvidia is the opposite of that...

    Still this does not diminish the fact that it is better than other launches and more people had/have a chance of buying the least gouged up GPU now... At least AMD tried something.
    What exactly makes you think Nvidia isn't manufacturing as many GPUs as it can right now? Sure, Samsung Foundry doesn't have as many companies using it's built-for-Nvidia 8N (but really just 10nm+) process as TSMC N7, but I don't think SF has tons of untapped wafer starts sitting around. Also, the RTX 3060 launch was delayed several weeks to build up a larger inventory... which still sold out quickly. Current indications are that Nvidia's Ampere GPUs are outselling AMD's RDNA2 GPUs by at least a 10 to 1 ratio. Maybe that would be 20 to 1 if miners weren't snagging half of the GPUs produced? When you can sell every GPU you produce, though, you're not going to hold back inventory. Especially since the Eth2.0 proof-of-stake transition is only a few months away (not that some other coin won't end up gaining popularity with GPU miners once Eth goes PoS).

    I do think Nvidia could order more GPUs from Samsung, but would it be able to get enough RAM, PCBs, and everything else to make working graphics cards? And Nvidia doesn't want to end up with a glut of unsold GPUs, either. But it restarted Turing GPU production (different process, so it wouldn't directly interfere with Ampere GPU production), most of those going into CMP cards for miners. Which are overpriced, naturally, so the miners still go after the consumer gaming cards. Anyway, it's better for Nvidia to sell all it can and incrementally ramp production rather than to order the absolute maximum number of wafers and GPUs possible, only to end up with a bunch of excess inventory no one wants when crypto inevitably crashes again. (#RX570)
    Reply