On October 13, AMD presented the Radeon RX 6600 , a graphics card that emerged as a mid-range model aimed, especially, at filling an important gap that we have been dragging for a long time in that range. Indeed, this was a necessary generational renewal, although unfortunately, it has not been able to escape the inflation that currently affects the market, and its sale price has doubled with respect to the recommended value which, I remind you, is 339 euros.
At the time of writing this article, the cheapest Radeon RX 6600 I could find cost 596 euros, a figure that puts it in a much more “economical” position than NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3060, a model with which it competes directly and whose Recommended price is 335 euros, although its sale price in the current market is between 750 and 950 euros, depending on the model we choose.
What am I going to tell you that you don’t already know. Those of you who read us regularly are aware of the problems that the graphics sector has been going through for a long time, and you know that the situation has not only not improved, but could also get worse in the coming months. This makes, in the end, very difficult to decide what price-performance value a graphics card really offers, since this will depend on the price we take into account: the one recommended by the manufacturer, or the real market price.
In my case it is quite clear to me, and as I have been doing in previous analyzes, I am going to stay true to the principles that I have been following. Therefore, I will focus the analysis of the Radeon RX 6600 around its recommended retail price , and will not take into account those absurd prices that it has reached as a result of inflation, and speculation.
Due to an editorial agenda issue, I was forced to delay the analysis of the Radeon RX 6600. I have had it complicated because these dates are very intense and we are going full, but in the end I have been able to take advantage of small gaps to advance little by little, And today, finally, I have finished it and I am ready to share it with you. Before starting, I want to thank AMD Spain for lending us a Radeon RX 6600. Now, let’s go with the analysis. Make yourself comfortable.
Radeon RX 6600 first look
The model we have received is the PowerColor «Fighter», one of the simplest, and most economical, that we can currently find on the market. However, the fact that it is simple and inexpensive does not mean that it has a low build quality.
In order to illustrate this question, I have believed it necessary to take a point as a reference, and for this I have included the image that you will find just below this paragraph, where the Radeon RX 6600 by PowerColor that we have analyzed appears, together with a Radeon RX 460 by Sapphire, a model, the latter, that was a benchmark in its generation for its good value for money.
Look at all the details of both graphics cards, and especially the cooling system. The Radeon RX 6600 by PowerColor mounts a clearly superior cooling system, it already has three copper pipes to accelerate, and improve, the distribution of heat in the radiator fins (compared to the two of the Sapphire model). The radiator also has thermal pads in key areas to passively cool the memory chips and VRM , something the Radeon RX 460 lacks.
I know that this comparison uses two graphics cards from different generations, but it fulfills its objective perfectly: to show you that even the most economical and adjusted designs of the current models surpass, without problem, others of previous generations that we would have considered, at naked eye, as better. And yes, this implies that a simple and inexpensive design does not always equate to a bad design.
The radiator mounted on the Radeon RX 6600, and its two 90 mm fans , are more than enough to keep the working temperatures of this graphics card fully under control, whose TBP is 132 watts . As we will see later, when we go deeper into the analysis, this value is not equivalent to the real consumption of the graphics card, which, in all scenarios, has ended up being lower.
The Radeon RX 6600 from PowerColor is quite compact and light. This, together with its low TBP, makes integrating a metal plate at the back unnecessary and merely aesthetic. Given that we are facing a model that seeks simplicity, and cost savings to lower the price, we are not surprised that it comes without said plate. Obviously it is not a problem, but it is a detail to take into account if we are one of those who look a lot at the aesthetics and design of the components.
Otherwise, the PowerColor Radeon RX 6600 Fighter comes without RGB LED lighting, and uses a single additional eight-pin power connector , which is located on the side. On the back it has an HDMI 2.1 output and three DisplayPort 1.4 connectors.
Radeon RX 6600: Specifications and Architecture
- Navi 23 XL core at 7 nm.
- RDNA architecture 2.
- 1,792 shaders at 2,044 MHz-2,491 MHz, normal and turbo mode.
- 28 units to speed up ray tracing.
- 112 texturing units.
- 64 raster units.
- 28 units to speed up ray tracing.
- 128-bit bus.
- 32MB infinite cache.
- 8 GB of GDDR6 at 14 GHz.
- Power in FP32: 8.92 TFLOPs.
- It occupies two expansion slots.
- It is 8 inches long, so it fits even in small boxes.
- You need a 500 watt power supply, and an additional 8-pin power connector.
- 132 watt TBP.
The Radeon RX 6600 the Navi 23 XL GPU, a chip that is built on TSMC’s 7nm node and features all the innovations of the RDNA 2 architecture . We already gave you an in-depth look at this question when we analyzed the Radeon RX 6600 XT , so I am not going to extend too much, I know, in the end, it is repeating things that we have already said.
Since the Radeon RX 6600 is a slightly trimmed version of the Radeon RX 6600 XT, everything we said about it can be translated directly to it, both in terms of technologies and advanced features as well as architecture. The Radeon RX 6600 is therefore compatible with the most advanced technologies in the sector, including DirectX 12 Ultimate, SAM and AMD FSR , has dedicated hardware to accelerate ray tracing, and has infinite cache memory to multiply the width of band.
The basis of the Radeon RX 6600 is the computing unit. Under the RDNA 2 architecture, each computing unit equates to one ray tracing acceleration unit, and is divided into 64 shaders and four texture units . However, when faced with a ray tracing-centric workload, the texture units cannot work simultaneously as they adopt a shared resource design.
On the other hand, it should be borne in mind that, when working with ray tracing, dedicated cores can accelerate ray-triangle intersections and frame delimiters , the most demanding and resource-consuming, but BVH cross intersections, which They are a previous step to those, they continue to be executed in the shaders, with all that this implies. To this we must add that they cannot work asynchronously , so they must wait for the shaders to take action.
The Radeon RX 6600 has a design and specifications that confirm very clearly that it is designed to play 1080p optimally . Its 128-bit bus, and its 32 MB of infinite cache are, in this sense, quite a declaration of intentions, and thanks to its 8 GB of graphic memory you will have no problem working with maximum qualities in that resolution. With this I do not mean that it is not a model capable of moving games in 1440p, in fact it is, but by increasing the pixel count its lower bandwidth, and the fact of having only 32 MB of infinite cache, it begins to take its toll.
All in all, since the Radeon RX 6600 supports FSR , AMD’s well-known spatial rescaling, we have an ace up our sleeves to improve performance in compatible games without having to make too many sacrifices in graphics quality. However, keep in mind that if we move to 1440p and activate the FSR, the ideal is not to go down from ultra quality mode, since, otherwise, the loss of definition will begin to be too marked.
SAM technology, which allows the processor to access all graphics memory directly, is also another value to consider, since in some cases it improves performance considerably. However, we can only use it if we accompany the Radeon RX 6600 with a Ryzen 3000 processor or higher (it cannot be an APU), and if we have a B550 or X570 motherboard. It is curious that, in this case, AMD is more restrictive than NVIDIA, since Resizable BAR works with AMD’s 400 series motherboard, and with 10th generation Intel Core processors and higher.
As we have already told you on previous occasions, AMD has been able to greatly increase the performance ratio per watt with the RDNA 2 architecture, and the Radeon RX 6600 is another good example, since despite its TBP of just 132 watts reaches a peak power in FP32 of 8.92 TFLOPs, and can reach 2,491 MHz in turbo mode.
When playing in 1080p, performance will largely depend on the CPU used . In order for the Radeon RX 6600 to develop its full potential, we have used state-of-the-art equipment, equipped with the following components:
- Windows 11 as the operating system.
- Intel Core i5-12600K processor.
- Gigabyte Aorus Master Z690 motherboard.
- Corsair VENGEANCE DDR5 4,400 MHz RAM with dual channel CL36 latencies (64 GB).
- Crucial 480GB SATA III SSD.
- 2TB WD Black SN850 PCIE Gen4 x4 SSD.
- Radeon RX 6600 graphics card with 8 GB.
- Corsair iCUE H150i Elite LCD liquid cooling system.
- Corsair RM1000x certified 80 Plus Gold 1,000 watt power supply.
With this configuration we have not been able to activate SAM (Smart Access Memory), but we found it more interesting to use that platform to see how the high IPC of the Intel Core i5-12600K affects the performance of the Radeon RX 6600. The conductor has been Windows 11 because this is the operating system that is best adapted to the hybrid design used by Alder Lake-S.
To avoid potential performance issues, all analysis was carried out on a clean install of Windows 11, as we would have previously tested with an NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti.
Radeon RX 6600 Gaming Performance: Rasterization
In rasterization, the Radeon RX 6600 proves to be a much more powerful solution than the Radeon RX 5600 XT. On average, I can confirm that, based on the results I have obtained in my tests, the Radeon RX 6600 is, at 1080p, in the league of the Radeon RX 5700 . Said graphics card is almost on the same level as an NVIDIA RTX 2070, so it’s pretty clear at what level it ranks the newest from AMD.
What does all this mean for the user? Well, very simple, that the Radeon RX 6600 is capable of offering a totally optimal experience in 1080p , and that with it we can achieve a performance good enough to maintain a stable 60 FPS with maximum quality even in the most demanding games, and less optimized , From the market. However, in some cases it may be advisable to reduce the graphic quality a bit to completely stabilize those 60 FPS. Halo Infinite is the best example we can see in this review.
On the contrary, in games that have a good optimization, like DOOM Eternal for example, we have such a good performance with the Radeon RX 6600 that we could easily take advantage of a monitor with a high refresh rate . The same goes for other titles like Resident Evil Village, for example, and others like Horizon Zero Dawn and Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
It is clear that the Radeon RX 6600 is a graphics card capable of moving any current game with all the guarantees in 1080p, but what happens if we raise the resolution to 1440p? Well, the same thing we saw when we analyzed the Radeon RX 6600 XT, which produces a considerable performance reduction .
This has an explanation, and it is in the architecture used by the Radeon RX 6600. As we anticipated when talking about its specifications, the Radeon RX 6600 uses a 128-bit bus and GDDR6 memory at 14 GHz, which translates into a width of band 224 GB / s. To improve the situation, AMD has mounted a total of 32MB of infinite cache on the Radeon RX 6600. This memory is used to generate a much higher peak bandwidth. In it, elements are stored that do not remain static for a long time, such as lighting and shadows.
The idea is very good, and in fact AMD has shown that that infinite cache can work wonders. However, its effectiveness depends on many factors, the most important of which are the amount of onboard memory and the resolution used . For example, the Radeon RX 6900 XT has 128MB of infinite cache, while the Radeon RX 6600 only has 32MB. This means that the first can offer greater performance with higher resolutions, while the second begins to have limitations when we go from 1080p.
It is very easy to understand. In 1080p fewer pixels are used than in 1440p, and therefore the infinite cache consumption is lower. Despite everything, it must be recognized that the Radeon RX 6600 can move current games in maximum quality and smoothly in 1440p . The results that I have obtained in my tests place the Radeon RX 6600 slightly below the RX 5700 in 1440p, although the difference is minimal, and that it uses a 256-bit bus. I wanted to make this comparison because it is important to check how well the infinite cache works, despite its limitations.
In conclusion, the Radeon RX 6600 marks a clear and important generational leap compared to the Radeon RX 5600 XT , especially in 1080p, and it is a graphics solution that will allow us to play fluently in both 1080p and 1440p, although it is undeniable that gives the best of itself when we move in FullHD.
Radeon RX 6600 Gaming Performance – Ray Tracing
We said, in the previous section, that the Radeon RX 6600 represents a clear generational leap compared to the Radeon RX 5600 XT, and when we introduce ray tracing into the equation we realize that this leap is bigger than it seemed to With the naked eye, and it is clear that the Radeon RX 6600 is a much more advanced graphics solution than the previous one.
I know that, for some, ray tracing is something “secondary”, but as I have already mentioned on other occasions, this technology is no longer the future to become the present . The list of games that support ray tracing is growing, and this technology has shown that it can dramatically improve the graphics quality in video games, provided it is implemented properly. However, he has also made it clear that he is very demanding.
One of the most important advances that AMD made with the RDNA 2 architecture was precisely the introduction of specialized hardware to accelerate ray tracing . The Radeon RX 6600 has such hardware, while the Radeon RX 5600 XT lacks it, a reality that marks a huge distance between the two when such technology comes into play. To put it simply, this makes the former able to move ray traced games fluently in most cases, as long as we stick to 1080p, while the Radeon RX 5600 XT is unable to deliver performance acceptable when ray tracing comes into play.
Taking a look at the performance that the Radeon RX 6600 offers in ray tracing, we find one of lime and another of sand . In DOOM Eternal, this graphics card is able to maintain just perfect fluidity, and in Resident Evil Village the performance is also very good, although we have to resort to FSR. This technology, configured in “ultra quality” mode, is capable of maintaining a good level of detail, and gives us that extra performance we need so that the 60 FPS remains stable.
In other titles, such as Control and Watch Dogs Legion, we can achieve an average of 30 FPS with active ray tracing if we reduce the graphic quality a little . However, Cyberpunk 2077 with ultra ray tracing is too much for the Radeon RX 6600, as it only achieves 17 FPS on average.
If we raise the resolution to 1440p, and keep the ray tracing activated, we realize that DOOM Eternal and Resident Evil Village are still perfectly playable, but not the rest of the titles that we have tested. Taking an average balance of everything we have seen, we can conclude that, in ray tracing, the Radeon RX 6600 is, approximately, at the level of an RTX 2060.
Consumption, overclock and temperatures
The Radeon RX 6600 XT already stood out for having a very good consumption for the performance it was capable of offering, and with the Radeon RX 6600 we find a very similar situation. This graphics card offers significantly better performance per watt than the Radeon RX 5600 XT , and also clearly outperforms all previous generation models in this regard. This only confirms that AMD has made a huge improvement in efficiency with the RDNA 2 architecture.
To give you a reference, I remind you that the RX 5700, which is the closest model to the Radeon RX 6600, in terms of raw performance, of the previous generation, is around 180 watts of consumption in gaming, while the new from AMD stands at 124 watts. The numbers speak for themselves, we have practically the same performance in rasterization but with 56 watts less consumption.
When it comes to temperatures, the PowerColor Radeon RX 6600 Fighter has, as we anticipated, a simple, but functional design. Its cooling system is very quiet , and the values it registered in my tests were very good, especially considering that the fans always worked below 50% . In the attached graph you can see the results at rest, under the well-known FurMark stress test and the average recorded in games.
Now it’s time to talk about overclocking. In order to overclock the Radeon RX 6600 we have to overcome the power limiter and establish, through the AMD Radeon software, the frequency values we want, that is, the minimum and the maximum. The graphics card will move between those two levels that we set, which means that it will adjust the speed based on factors such as consumption, for example. By this I mean that if we do not increase the maximum consumption threshold , overclocking will not have a real effect.
At its stock frequencies, the PowerColor Radeon RX 6600 Fighter moved, in games, between 2,019 MHz and 2,422 MHz . We can overclock it without problem, always taking into account what we have said in the previous paragraph. In this unit, I have been able to apply a 200 MHz increase in maximum speed on the GPU and 150 MHz on the memory (from 1,750 to 1,900 MHz, 15,200 MHz effective ). The average performance gain, with those frequency increases, was almost 7%.
The Radeon RX 6600 is a graphics card that meets one of the great premises that we have seen in all generational leaps: offering a performance typical of the high-end, or medium-high, of the previous generation, but at a price of the mid-range . This is fulfilled without problem if we start from the recommended price of the Radeon RX 6600, since it is in the range of 339 euros and performs, as we anticipated, at the level of a RX 5700.
Unfortunately, the Radeon RX 6600 has also not been able to escape the huge inflation currently plaguing the graphics industry, and this has seen its retail price double. All in all, the situation is so bad that, curiously, it makes the Radeon RX 6600 one of the most “economical” graphics cards that we can find , and therefore one of the best options if we need a graphics card urgently, but do not want to get into four-figure prices.
Its performance falls, in general, within the level that I expected. It’s a bit less powerful than the RTX 3060, and its ray tracing performance is not on par with that, but it performs very well in 1080p , is very cool and efficient, and is capable of very good ray tracing performance. in games like DOOM Eternal and Resident Evil Village. All these keys make it an option to consider for certain configurations, and for certain assemblies.
Thus, for example, if we want to update a PC that has a 450 watt power supply , and we are not willing to change this component, the Radeon RX 6600 would be a perfectly viable option since, as we saw, its consumption barely exceeds 120 watts , even under full load. On the other hand, we will not need a huge chassis or with a great air flow to work without problems, since it registers very good temperatures.
The model we tested, the PowerColor Radeon RX 6600 Fighter, has a modest design, but maintains a good build quality, and has shown that its cooling system scores at a high level, not only because it keeps the temperatures of work, but also because it can do it without the fans reaching 50% rotation speed.
Like its older sister, the Radeon RX 6600 XT, the Radeon RX 6600 loses a lot of performance at 1440p , and if we plug it into a PCIE Gen3 x16 slot it will reduce its bandwidth, since it is designed to work optimally with PCIE slots. Gen4 x8. When connected to a Gen3 x16 interface, it will only work in x8 mode , which in certain cases reduces performance.
In general, my conclusions are very similar to what I had with the Radeon RX 6600 XT. I think the Radeon RX 6600 is a good choice for 1080p gaming. It is true that it is not the most powerful, but it is a graphics card to the last, and it is also placed as one of the freshest and most efficient solutions in its range, and in its price range.Final assessment8.4NOTEWE LIKE1080p performance under rasterization.
Simple but effective design.
Ray tracing performance.
Loses performance under PCIE Gen3.RESUMEThe Radeon RX 6600 is a graphics card that meets one of the great premises that we have seen in all generational leaps: offering a performance typical of the high-end, or medium-high, of the previous generation, but at a price of the mid-range. This is fulfilled without problem if we start from the recommended price of the Radeon RX 6600, since it is in the range of 339 euros and performs, as we anticipated, at the level of a RX 5700. In general, my conclusions are very similar to those that I had with the Radeon RX 6600 XT. I think the Radeon RX 6600 is a good choice for 1080p gaming. It is true that it is not the most powerful, but it is a graphics card to the last, and it is also placed as one of the freshest and most efficient solutions in its range, and in its price range.
Design and build: 8