AMD Radeon RX 7600 XT Review: 1080p PC Gaming With PowerColor And XFX

XFX And PowerColor Radeon RX 7600 XT: Overclocking, Power, Noise And The Verdict

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We spent a little time overclocking the XFX QICK 309 Radeon RX 7600 XT using the various performance and tuning tools built into AMD's Adrenaline Edition drivers.

Similar to previous-gen Radeons, when the GPU powering these cards is boosting, frequencies and voltages dynamically scale up or down based on the GPU's workload and temperatures at the time. That frequency and voltage curve, however, can be altered to increase performance, save power, or sometimes both if you tune the correct settings.

The tuning options built into AMD's driver suite give users the ability to manually alter frequencies, voltages, fan speeds, and the max power target -- using percentages or finer-grained numerical sliders. Users can also opt to use various preset modes or auto-tune a number of characteristics, including GPU and memory frequencies, and the GPU voltage, including under-volting, which can actually increase performance due to reduced thermals and power consumption.

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 XFX QICK 309 Radeon RX 7600 XT Stock Hardware Health Data

With older Radeons, a single sensor had been used to determine the GPU temperature, and data from that lone sensor was used to control the card's thermal profile. With newer RDNA 2 and RDNA 3 based AMD GPUs, like the Navi 33 powering the XFX QICK 309 Radeon RX 7600 XT, AMD has incorporated a network of multiple thermal sensors at strategic locations across the die. Data gathered from the sensors is used to determine what AMD calls the "Junction Temperature," and it's the Junction Temperature that is used to tune the card's power and thermal profiles (the Junction Temperature is effectively the hottest part of the GPU die at any given time).

The tuning options built into AMD's Radeon Software suite offer manual controls, along with automatic under-volting and automatic GPU and memory overclocking. Finding the highest stable memory and GPU clocks, at the lowest voltage possible, while simultaneously increasing the max power target and keeping temperatures low, is what will yield the best overall overclocking results on a card like the XFX QICK 309 Radeon RX 7600 XT. If you'd rather not mess around though, you could simply hit one of the auto-overclock options, or turn up the max power target for some smaller gains.

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 XFX QICK 309 Radeon RX 7600 XT Manually Overclocked, Running 3DMark

At its stock settings, we saw the XFX QICK 309 Radeon RX 7600 XT's GPU clock typically hovering in the 2,700 - 2,750MHz range while gaming (give or take) with our particular sample, with a junction temperature below 80°C. With some tweaking we found that we could easily increase the memory clock on our card to 2,390MHz (19.1Gbps, effective). With an undervolt to 1.175mV and max frequency of 2,860MHz for the GPU, and a +20% power target, we typically saw a wider range of real-world game clocks, commonly in the 2,790MHz - 2,840MHz range. The junction temperature while overclocked peaked in the low-80°C range with these settings, without modifying the default fan curve. The cooling setup on this card does a great job keeping temperatures in check without making much noise so we didn't mess with it, but bumping up the fan speed would obviously bring that junction temperature down a bit.

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While we had the card overclocked, we re-ran a couple of tests and saw some decent performance gains. In both 3DMark Speedway and Returnal (using RT), overclocking the XFX QICK 309 Radeon RX 7600 XT increased performance by about 10% and brought the card closer to the GeForce RTX 4060 in these two tests.

Total System Power Consumption Tests

We'd also like to cover a couple of final data points regarding power consumption and acoustics before we wrap up. Throughout all of our benchmarking and testing, we monitored noise output and tracked how much power the test system was consuming using a power meter. Our goal was to give you an idea as to how much power each GPU used while idle and also while under a heavy workload. These power numbers were captured during Luxmark and an F1 23 benchmark run with ray tracing enabled...

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Our power consumption tests don't reveal any surprises. Due to their additional memory and higher GPU clocks, the XFX And PowerColor Radeon RX 7600 XT cards consume somewhat more power than their 8GB counterpart, but the delta isn't anything major. The GeForce RTX 4060 series cards sip power in comparison, however, which is a testament to the power efficiency of NVIDIA's Ada Lovelace architecture.

In terms of noise output, the XFX And PowerColor Radeon RX 7600 XT cards are both relatively quiet. The cards' fans are dead silent at idle, because they spin down completely when temperatures are below 60°C. Under load, the fans typically hovered around 1,600 RPM under long sustained loads, which produced a dull whir that wasn't particularly noticeable over our test system's PSU fans and CPU cooler. Overall, we'd consider both of these cards quiet in comparison to many other GPUs, so noise shouldn't be an issue for most users, especially in a closed chassis.

AMD Radeon RX 7600 XT Performance And Review Summary

Unless you’re running a game that requires more than 8GB of video memory, the new Radeon RX 7600 XT is only a few percentage points faster than the original Radeon RX 7600 that debuted back in May of last year. As the numbers have shown, the card isn’t a barn-burner by any means, but in comparison to previous-generation GPUs, the Radeon RX 7600 XT offers a more advanced architecture that brings with it support for AV1 video encoding and the latest high-resolution, high-refresh displays.

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If you’ve already got a Radeon RX 6600 or GeForce RTX 3060 class-GPU, the Radeon RX 7600 XT isn’t likely to inspire an upgrade. However, if your current GPU is a couple of generations old, and lacks support for technologies like ray tracing, the Radeon RX 7600 XT is an affordable, low-power option.

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AMD has set the MSRP of the 16GB Radeon RX 7600 XT at $329. Pricing for the hot-clocked XFX and PowerColor cards will be somewhat higher, but we expect them to be in the same ballpark. That MSRP is approximately a $70 premium over the 8GB model. While the additional memory is a welcome upgrade that helps “future-proof” the card somewhat, bumping the price by over 20% seems kind of steep in our humble opinion. If NVIDIA took some heat for the similar premium it charged for the 16GB GeForce RTX 4060 Ti, AMD should too. A $299-ish price point would have been preferable here, but we’ll see how things actually shake out in terms of street pricing in the coming weeks as availability ramps up.

Radeon RX 7600 XT cards should be hitting store shelves today. If you’ve got strict budget, a 1080p monitor, and the Radeon RX 7600 XT’s performance will due, it’s a competent mainstream GPU. If you could save up another $80-$100 though, there’s a ton of additional performance to be had with a higher-end card like the Radeon RX 7700 XT or GeForce RTX 4060 Ti.

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