In case you haven't noticed, GPU's, even for 1080p resolution, are in high demand, and not exactly in stock. By using a new, and smaller GPU die, AMD is able to get a lot more GPU from the same size chip wafer. You still get 2048 stream processors, 32 compute units, 32 ray accelerators and an insane amount of FPS in most battle royale/FPS/competitive games, and with RDNA2, you can even activate AMD's Fidelity FX SuperResolution to increase performance, with a minimum of fidelity lost visually, at least in theory. However, it also supports Smart Access Memory, meaning free performance gains if you have an AMD CPU as well.
The result is the RX6600XT, here in a variant from MSI, built for high refresh rate, 1080p Ultra gaming. The idea is to make a card that is both interesting to many consumers, yet small enough to ensure more supply, and combined with the fully scalable RDNA2 platform, performance should still be at a high level.
This is a double-edged sword, and AMD has had an interesting approach to all of this. First off, there are no AMD branded cards. All are from 3rd party suppliers such as MSI. Why is the question, and while we at Gamereactor have several theories, no one will confirm nor deny anything. The next is performance vs. price. This card isn't cheap, with an MSRP of around 474 Euro, making it very expensive for 1080p gaming.
However, there are two things to consider.
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1: The main competitor, the RTX3060TI is 650+ Euro, and really difficult to get hold of. The other main competitor is the RTX3060 - which easily crawls about the 700 Euro line where I live, and it is just as rare to find in stores.
2. You can actually but an RX6600XT card. Not only was it in stock when it released, my go-to web shop has 63 in stock right now, and they are actually sold at MSRP, and not 700+ Euro as others do. It's insane that this must be taken into consideration, but on the other hand I find it just as unfair as comparing it with cards you can't get or are not available in the same price bracket. Not even close.
So, after my ranting on the current state of affairs, let's take a look at what MSI has produced.
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As the name suggests, it sports 8GB of GDDR6 memory, connects with one 8-pin connector, and uses 160 watts. Well, in reality its usually around 145 watts, but the point is, you won't need a 1500-watt PSU to run this card. And, the RGB lightning is tastefully done in the form of a logo with back-lightning.
Cooling comes from the Twin Frozr system, currently in its 8th generation. This means paired Torx Fans, which makes the airflow much more directional, square shaped heat pipes for maximum contact, and curved fin edges to avoid air turbulence. This is combined with thermal pads, a massive metal back plate and even 2oz copper PCB and extra fuses in case you are playing New World. It works really well, perhaps too well. Noise only reaches 31 dB, with temperatures running around 49 in normal use and at temperatures of 63 degrees during maximum load.
The card has a build-in anti-bending bracket, but at only 886 grams, and a very decent size, I don't think it's strictly necessary. The card uses 4x PCIe 4.0 slots, sports a slight overclock compared with AMD default, a boost clock of 2607Mhz, with a game/core clock at 2428Mhz. Despite only having a 128-bit memory bus, it is still able to display 120Hz 4K via HDMI 2.1, although most will use one of the three Display 1.4 ports. At only 27.7x12x5.1cm the card is normal sized, but for the current generation feels small and compact.
So, what can it do? The main aim of the card is 1080p high-refresh gaming at ultra-settings, but in many cases, it is actually a viable 1440p option. So here are the Benchmarks.
Time Spy: 9749
Time Spy Extreme: 4647
Fire Strike: 25080
Fire Strike Extreme: 12504
Fire Strike Ultra: 6619
Port Royal: 4401
In-game, FPS, maximum settings
Total War: Warhammer II
Red Dead Redemption II
Assassin's Creed Valhalla
The Division 2
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Is completely unplayable with Ray Tracing, so these numbers are with all Ray Tracing switched off as even in 1080p it provided just 20 FPS.
Total War Saga: Troy
Forza Horizon 4
Horizon: Zero Dawn
So, in short. It can do 1080p from here to the moon, it can even do 1440p. Yes, we have tested with CS:GO and the like, and it hit 343 FPS in 1080p 144Hz. Its low power usage will make for great ITX builds, but 1440p is not over the moon due to the memory limitation, and Ray Tracing is a theoretical option at best.
The card is a lot more expensive than we are used to when it comes to 1080p cards, and the offering from the competition is in theory cheaper and slightly better, but in reality, are extremely rare, and are offered at 50% more than the RX6600XT if you manage to get hold of one. So, its currently the only card you can actually get, and without paying insane over-the-top prices, so a high MSRP seems to be a fair trade off. As the chip crisis doesn't seem to end this year, it might not be optimal, but it may very well be one of your only solutions if you are very desperate to get a card in the very near future.