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AMD Radeon RX 6600 Review: RDNA2 Goes Mainstream at $329

AMD's RX 6600 takes on Nvidia's RTX 3060

XFX Radeon RX 6600 Speedster SWFT 210
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Radeon RX 6600 4K Gaming Performance

The RX 6600 really isn't intended for 4K gaming, at least not in the more demanding games like many of the titles we use for our benchmarks. But we ran the numbers, since we include these scores in our GPU benchmarks hierarchy and best graphics cards guides, so we're including the charts in this review with very limited commentary.

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Radeon RX 6600 review 4K charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 4K charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 4K charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 4K charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 4K charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 4K charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 4K charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 4K charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 4K charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 4K charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 4K charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 4K charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 4K charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 4K charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 4K charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 4K charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 4K charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 4K charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 4K charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 4K charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 4K charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 4K charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 4K charts

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Radeon RX 6600 review 4K charts

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For most GPUs, going from 1440p to 4K at the same settings will cut framerates in half… unless you exceed a card's VRAM capacity, in which case performance can plummet. The smaller Infinity Cache also provides less benefit at 4K, since a lot of it ends up being used by the various 4K buffers — each of which requires 32MB of storage. Spatial locality means there will still be plenty of cache hits, but there's far less room for other data (like textures) to stay in the cache.

The RTX 3060 was only slightly faster than the RX 6600 at 1080p and 1440p, but once we get to 4K the added memory and bandwidth become more important. In our legacy suite, the RTX 3060 was 17% faster, and that same margin of victory holds at 4K ultra as well.The RTX 3060 came out ahead in all of the games in our legacy suite using 4K medium, while Dirt 5 was the only game that favored the 6600 at 4K ultra. But considering both cards fall well short of 60 fps in most games at 4K, it's a bit of a pyrrhic victory.

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.

  • Zarax
    Hi Jarred, would you suggest this card as an upgrade from a RX590 in an older PC (i7-3770k)?

    Thanks!
    Reply
  • kal326
    Says these launch the 21st. Newegg shuffle hit early today and lists 8 rx6600 cards from ASRock, XFX, Gigabyte, MSI, Powercolor and Sapphire. They seems lower priced at the $329 level and I noticed they were non XT with first listing day of today.
    Reply
  • King_V
    Zarax said:
    Hi Jarred, would you suggest this card as an upgrade from a RX590 in an older PC (i7-3770k)?

    Thanks!
    Not that I want to speak for Jarred, but the RX 6600, being somewhere in the same performance range as the RX 5600 XT or the RX 5700, would be a very noticeable jump from the RX 590, while also consuming a lot less power.

    That said, on that old i7, I think the only real problem would be possibly the motherboard. Sometimes, older motherboards are very finicky and won't work with newer video cards, most particularly when they're part of OEM systems like Dell and HP.
    Reply
  • Yuka
    Ah, another "meh" release of a GPU. Only saving grace is going to be the real street pricing vs MSRP. So sad... So sad...

    Anyway, thanks a lot for the review; much appreciated as always.

    King_V said:
    Not that I want to speak for Jarred, but the RX 6600, being somewhere in the same performance range as the RX 5600 XT or the RX 5700, would be a very noticeable jump from the RX 590, while also consuming a lot less power.

    That said, on that old i7, I think the only real problem would be possibly the motherboard. Sometimes, older motherboards are very finicky and won't work with newer video cards, most particularly when they're part of OEM systems like Dell and HP.
    Wasn't the Z77 chipset PCIe2.0? It would make the 6600 siblings run in X8 of PCIe2, so I'd imagine they won't perform as in these charts? Maybe close, but I wonder how badly they'll be constrained.

    EDIT: yep, 2.0 indeed: https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/64024/intel-z77-express-chipset.htmlEDIT2: Z77 with the 3770 does run in PCIe3.0; just want to clear that up just in case. It was pointed out later in the thread.

    Regards.
    Reply
  • Zarax
    King_V said:
    Not that I want to speak for Jarred, but the RX 6600, being somewhere in the same performance range as the RX 5600 XT or the RX 5700, would be a very noticeable jump from the RX 590, while also consuming a lot less power.

    That said, on that old i7, I think the only real problem would be possibly the motherboard. Sometimes, older motherboards are very finicky and won't work with newer video cards, most particularly when they're part of OEM systems like Dell and HP.

    Luckily it's not a branded PC but a custom build.
    In my case I would use the RX590 to replace my wife's HD7970 and get the RX6600 for myself IF I can get it at MSRP. If not, I will keep playing lottery at AMD's website in the hope of getting something realistically priced.
    Reply
  • PiranhaTech
    When AMD misses the mark, they often have price adjustments and/or sales eventually... but they probably don't need to in this climate.
    Reply
  • King_V
    @Yuka 's post does bring up a good point, though. That the 6600 is constrained to x8 PCIe, and that early era board you have is running PCIe 2.0, could make the 6600 a little slower than expected.

    I still imagine it'll do far better than the RX 590, though.
    Reply
  • r7litepro
    4 chips of ram... this is a 150 gpu ...Mainstream ? lol ok
    Reply
  • Makaveli
    Zarax said:
    Hi Jarred, would you suggest this card as an upgrade from a RX590 in an older PC (i7-3770k)?

    Thanks!

    As someone who is on a RX580 I think it would be better to go with the 6600XT model, but as other have suggested if you don't have a PCIe 4.0 motherboard makes this a more difficult decision.
    Reply
  • King_V
    Yeah . . I think even on PCIe 3.0, you'd still be okay. PCIe 2.0, on the other hand, is kind of an unknown in terms of how much of a choke-point that will be.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    Yuka said:
    Wasn't the Z77 chipset PCIe2.0?
    Doesn't matter what the chipset is: the x16 slot is fed directly by the CPU and Ivy Bridge (3000-series) does support PCIe 3.0. Most 60-series boards with a hard-wired x16 slot (no x8x8/x8x4x4 bifurcation since 2.0 switches can't do 3.0) also got a free upgrade to 3.0x16 with an Ivy Bridge CPU installed.

    Kind of the reverse of how a lot of 300/400-series AM4 motherboard could do PCIe 4.0 when using a Zen 2 CPU until AMD pushed an AGESA update to block it.

    As for the review/RX6600 itself, basically feels like overpriced tech from years ago. MSRP is about $100 more than it would have any right to in a remotely sane economy.
    Reply