AMD Launches Radeon RX 6600 XT With 8GB GDDR6 For 1080p Gaming Domination
AMD just did what we all knew was coming—it went and unveiled the newest member of its second generation Radeon DNA (RDNA 2) stack, the Radeon RX 6600 XT, thereby confirming specifications that have been muttered in the wild for some time now. Armed with 32 compute units and 8GB of GDDR6 memory, the Radeon RX 6600 XT has 1080p gaming squarely in its sights.
That works out to 2,048 stream processors, which is precisely the number that has been floated about in the latest crop of rumors. Now that the card is official, we can finally say the specs are 100 percent confirmed. This also gives us an idea of where the performance will land. Plus for good measure, AMD supplied some of its own internally run benchmark figures. More on those in a moment, but lets run down the rest of the notable specs.
In addition to having 32 compute units, 2,048 stream processors, and 8GB of GDDR6 memory, AMD confirmed the reference blueprint calls for a 2,359MHz 'Game' clock. The card also features 32MB of Infinity Cache, a 128-bit wide memory bus, and 256GB/s of memory bandwidth. This all comes wrapped in a 160W TDP, with AMD recommending a 500W power supply unit.
To put those figures into perspective, the Radeon RX 6700 XT sports 40 compute units, 2,560 stream processors, 12GB of GDDR6 memory, 96MB of Infinity Cache, a 192-bit wide memory bus, 384GB/s of memory bandwidth, and a 230W TDP. AMD recommends pairing it with a 650W PSU.
The gap in specs between the Radeon RX 6700 XT and Radeon RX 6600 XT leaves room for a Radeon RX 6700 (non-XT), should AMD decide to wedge one into the lineup at some point. No such announcement was made today, however, and the same goes for the oft-rumored Radeon RX 6600 (non-XT as well). If either is in the works, an announcement will come at another date.
What about the Radeon RX 6600 XT, though?
AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT Performance Targets
AMD is positioning the Radeon RX 6600 XT as an "epic 1080p gaming" card first and foremost. That is where most gamers land, according to the most recent Steam Hardware Survey data. Over two-thirds of gamers pinged on Steam (68.37 percent) play at 1920x1080, by far the dominant selection. After that, 8.24 percent play at 2560x1440 (1440p) and just 2.14 percent at 3840x2160 (4K).
Steam's data is not a completely accurate representation of the PC gaming landscape, but it does provide a rough snapshot of where the market is trending at the moment. The data also indicates that the bulk of gamers gravitate towards cards at lower price tags, compared to flagship and near-flagship offerings.
Now, about those internal benchmarks...
Playing triple-A games at 1080p, AMD claims the Radeon RX 6600 XT generally outpaces rival NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 3060, which is supposed to start at $329. That is, if we lived in normal times where GPUs and other silicon were plentiful. They're not, of course, but MSRPs still give us reference points for comparison.
At max settings, AMD says the Radeon RX 6600 XT can deliver triple-digit frame rates, such as 188 frames per second in Hitman 3 and 155 frames per second in Doom Eternal, to call out just a couple of examples. Again, these are AMD's own figures—we'll have figures of our own to share when we get an opportunity to review the card.
Across the board, AMD claims the Radeon RX 6600 XT delivers up to 15 percent better performance than the GeForce RTX 3060. That's based on results that come from enabling Smart Access Memory (AMD) and Resizable Bar (NVIDIA), so we'll have to wait and see how performance compares in different configurations that don't allow enabling those features (SAM only works when pairing a Radeon card with a Ryzen platform, whereas NVIDIA's solution is platform agnostic).
AMD also says the Radeon RX 6600 XT can drive extremely high frame rates in competitive esports games like Valorant (553 frames per second), Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege (441 frames per second), and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (425 frames per second).
FidelityFX Super Resolution Support Baked In
That means you could pair AMD's newest graphics card with a high refresh rate monitor, some of which push 360Hz (like the ASUS ROG Swift 360), and take full advantage of the refresh rate. We've even seen rumors of 480Hz refresh rate monitors being in the pipeline, though it could be another year or so before those materialize. Regardless, the Radeon RX 6600 XT can push some seriously fast frame rates, according to AMD's benchmarks.
AMD also says the Radeon RX 6600 XT delivers impressive performance in ray-traced gaming while utilizing its FidelityFX Super Resolution upscaling technology. At 1080p, AMD highlights gains of 61 percent in Godfall (Epic preset), 14 percent in Resident Evil: Village (RT preset), and over 117 percent in The Riftbreaker (Ultra preset).
Similar gains can be seen in both 1440p and 4K gaming, according to AMD's benchmarks. In Evil Genius 2, for example, AMD says the Radeon RX 6600 XT delivers 67 frames per second natively with the Ultra preset, while enabling FSR bumps that up to 99 frames per second at the Ultra Quality setting, and 174 frames per second at the Performance setting.
You do lose some visual fidelity with upscaling, but as we recently highlighted, gamers do themselves a disservice when pixel peeking, or taking a snapshot of a single frame and then zooming in to compare the image with and without FidelityFX enabled. But obviously that is for every gamer to decide for themselves.
AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT Lands At Retail August 11th Starting At $379
In any event, the Radeon RX 6600 XT will be out on August 11, priced at $379. That is both higher and lower than some of the rumored price points that were floated around prior to today's announcement. Speaking strictly to the MSRP (not street pricing or actual availability), the Radeon RX 6600 XT costs around 15 percent more than the GeForce RTX 3060, with the promise of delivering performance that is up to 15 percent better.
Meanwhile, the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti has a $399 MSRP. It remains to be seen how performance compares. That said, it would have been nice if AMD came out with more aggressive pricing, to really lay the hammer down. As it stands, there is only a $20 price difference between the Radeon RX 6600 XT and GeForce RTX 3060 Ti. Time will tell if that was the right decision on AMD's part.
One final note—there will not be any reference models direct from AMD. Instead, cards based on stock specs as well as factory overclocked models will all come from AMD's add-in board partners, such as ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, PowerColor, and the rest. It looks like at least one manufacturer (ASRock) is planning to release a shortened variant for small form factor builds, though the bulk of cards will sport custom coolers with two or three fans.