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AMD Radeon RX 6600 review: the typical performance upgrade spectrum

Death Stranding, Far Cry 5, Hitman 2, Assassin's Creed Odyssey.

Next up we have two Ubi open world games, Far Cry 5 and Assassin's Creed Odyssey, plus two other relatively recent releases: Death Stranding and Hitman 2. Note that we have an even split between DX11 and DX12 representation here, with Far Cry and Assassin's Creed on the older API and the remainder on the latest DirectX.

As we mentioned earlier, we're using our 2021 test rig for these benchmarks. The heart of the system is a Core i9 10900K locked to an all-core turbo frequency of 5.0GHz on a ultra premium Asus Maximus 13 Hero Z590 motherboard. This is cooled with a Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 240mm AiO and backed with 16GB of dual-channel G.Skill Trident Z Royal at DDR4-3600 CL16. To keep our entire test suite installed on a single drive, we're relying on a 2TB Samsung 970 Evo Plus NVMe SSD. All of this is powered by a 1000W Corsair RM1000X PSU, a recent upgrade to our test rig supplied by Infinite Computing.

Death Stranding

The Decima Engine tends to favour AMD hardware, so this should give us one of the best chances for the RX 6600 to face off against its $329 counterpart, the RTX 3060. The RX 6600 does win the head-to-head, but the margin is much tighter than we expected: we recorded just a 1.3 percent lead for the AMD card, well within run-to-run variance. Scarily for AMD, the RTX 3060 is faster than the 6600 at 1440p, by four percent, a lead that extends to 11 percent at 4K. It's a game where the AMD card should ideally be performing better - but for whatever reason, it's not quite where it needs to be, but all hope is not yet lost. On to the next game!

Death Stranding: Max, DX12, TAA

Far Cry 5

Far Cry 5 tends to be quite CPU-bottlenecked at 1080p resolution, and it takes quite a slow card to come outside the usual 145-165fps range of our 1080p test. The RX 6600 is one of those outliers, but thankfully so is the RTX 3060, with both cards sitting around the 130fps mark with only a few percentage points of difference between them. By comparison, the RX 6600 XT manages just nine percent faster in the same test - so you'd definitely take the cheaper card given the small performance differential. At 1440p, our GPUs have more of a chance to stretch their legs, and the RX 6660 XT's lead extends to a more familiar 20 percent. Sadly, the RTX 3060 also gains considerably at 1440p, with a six percent advantage over the RX 6600.

Far Cry 5: Ultra, DX11, TAA

Hitman 2

Hitman 2 is even more strongly CPU-bound, so the 1080p results are pretty meaningless - pretty much everyone is able to hit around 150fps, from the top of the field to the bottom. Once again, a minor exception is made for the RX 6600 and RTX 3060, who on either side of the 122fps mark. It's the RTX 3060 that wins the head-to-head yet again, with the Nvidia card recorded as being seven percent faster. The more usual-looking hierarchy appears at 1440p, but the new AMD card's performance remains uncompetitive - here, the RTX 3060 holds a 13 percent lead. Still, the game is at least a runner on the 6600, with an average frame-rate comfortably over 60fps.

Hitman 2: Ultra, DX12, TAA

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

AC Odyssey's built-in benchmark has various foibles, like occasional clouds that tank frame-rates on runs where they appear, plus heavy CPU and GPU utilisation that makes it difficult to find meaningful performance advantages - especially at the Ultra High preset we're operating under here. That allows the RX 6600 to record some of the best results against the RTX 3060 that we've seen so far, with a solid nine percent lead at 1080p. The RX 6600 also manages wins against the GTX 1080 Ti, RTX 2070 and 2070 Super - great stuff! Unfortunately, the roles reverse at 1440p, where the 3060 takes a slim lead, and extend further at 4K where the 3060 is 11 percent faster.

AC Odyssey: Ultra High, DX11, TAA

Next, let's look at our final set of rasterised game benchmarks - including one of our favourite games to benchmark of all time.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 analysis

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Will Judd

Deputy Editor, Digital Foundry

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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