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AMD Radeon RX 6600 review: the Digital Foundry verdict

We expected better from a $329 graphics card.

Based on our testing, the RX 6600 doesn't quite deliver the level of performance that we expected. It occasionally eclipses the RTX 3060, another $329 graphics card, winning its matchup in four of the 11 rasterised games we tested. However, in two of those games the margin was just one percent, with only Borderlands 3 and ACO showing around an eight percent lead for Team Red. In the remaining seven games, the RTX 3060 was anywhere from two to 14 percent faster, with the average around seven percent.

The RX 6600 normally outgunned the RTX 2060, but more often than not fell behind cards like the RTX 2060 Super and RTX 2070 - and this is at 1080p, where we expect AMD to perform well. At 1440p, or in games with ray tracing enabled, the RX 6600 really struggles. The combination of both 1440p and RT is absolutely brutal for the RX 6600; in our tests, the RTX 3060 was anywhere from 43 percent to 69 percent faster.

There is the prospect of FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) to boost performance in supported titles, and this does work well enough in a few games. However, as we've covered before, without a temporal component - that is, without taking into account multiple frames of data - FSR struggles to achieve the level of graphical fidelity that DLSS can. This is especially true when scaling from lower input resolutions, where FSR's quality degradation tends to become quite noticeable. Hopefully we'll see FSR continue to improve, as developer adoption has been rapid and the RX 6600 desperately needs the extra performance that a good upscaling solution can provide. It's also good to see PCIe 4.0 and Smart Access Memory (aka Resizable BAR) support throughout the product stack, as these can also provide a small performance boost on supported systems.

In terms of strengths, the RX 6600 does at least provide a good media solution, with an HDMI 2.1 port and three DisplayPort 1.4 ports plus AV1 decode, all in a relatively inexpensive, compact and efficient design. Running a card at 2400MHz at a 132W TDP is impressive, even if we're beyond the 75W barrier that requires supplemental PCIe power. The PowerColor Fighter model we tested looks good for what we assume is an entry-level SKU too, and never posed any problems in terms of noise or heat during our hours of benchmarking.

Ultimately though, the RX 6600 is a hard sell. Yes, it can outperform the RTX 2060 Super and RTX 2070 - but only sometimes. Yes, it can beat the RTX 3060 - but only in a handful of games, and more often than not falls 10 percent behind. Yes, it can stretch to 1440p gaming, but other cards from both AMD and Nvidia scale much better. Yes, it can play games with ray tracing, but pretty much every Nvidia RTX graphics card is way faster here. Yes, it has HDMI 2.1 and AV1 decode, but so do all current-gen graphics cards. If your choice is the RX 6600 at RRP or nothing, then sure, get the RX 6600! It's a modern graphics card, and modern graphics cards are pretty good! But if you have the choice of the RX 6600 and another current-gen graphics card... in most cases, you'd be better off going for the other option.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 analysis

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About the author

Will Judd

Will Judd

Senior Staff Writer, Digital Foundry  |  wsjudd

A bizarre British-American hybrid, Will turns caffeine into technology articles through a little-known process called 'writing'. His favourite games are Counter-Strike, StarCraft and Fallout 2. Will also tweets the latest tech deals at @DealsFoundry.

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