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AMD Radeon RX 6600 review: the typical performance upgrade spectrum

Metro Exodus, Dirt Rally 2, Assassin's Creed Unity.

We conclude our testing of traditional, rasterised game performance with AC Unity, released in 2014 and currently enjoying a new lease of life on Xbox Series X's back-compat catalogue - plus two fresher titles, Metro Exodus (note: not the Enhanced Edition!) and Dirt Rally 2.0.

In order to deliver precise results, our performance data is more than just a readout of an average frame-rate at the end of a test. Instead, we use the FCAT tool built into Rivatuner Statistics Server (RTSS), which overlays a coloured border to the left side of the screen. Each new frame is represented by another coloured box in the sequence - and its height signifies the time it took to generate. We capture a direct feed of the game footage and border from the graphics card we're testing, analysing the resultant video file with our own tools to essentially write down the frame-time for each frame. This metadata is uploaded to the Eurogamer site, then rendered by the server into the live widgets you see below, allowing us to choose the comparisons you'll find most interesting - while giving you the power to make your own selections too.

Metro Exodus

The Metro Exodus benchmark is a convenient way to test different cards or find the right balance of settings; you can find it as a standalone program ('Benchmark.exe') in the game's install directory. From here, you can choose from a wide range of presets, settings and resolutions, plus run the game several times in a row to guarantee accurate results - you even get a nice frame-time graph at the end. We're using the Ultra preset here, if you want to play along, and we have RT results on the next page.

The RTX 3060 holds a narrow lead here, but it's just three percent - so both cards are viable options for delivering a 60fps or better experience on average. The 6600 XT is 21 percent faster than the vanilla 6600, while the RTX 3060 Ti is a whopping 43 percent faster - all of these at 1080p. As you may have gathered by now, the RX 6600 falls away faster than its competition at 1440p, with the RTX 3060 winning the duel by 11 percent as averages slip below the 60fps threshold.

Metro Exodus: Ultra, DX12, TAA

Dirt Rally 2.0

Dirt Rally 2.0's benchmark is hard to set up, but runs a treat once you've got the XML files figured out. It's also plenty long, encompassing an a full section of a point-to-point rally race, making it one of the longest repeatable stretches of actual gameplay in an integrated benchmark. We saw great results here for the RX 6600 XT against the RTX 3060, so how does the 6600 fare? Well, it's a win, if not an emphatic one - just one percent separates our 1080p results, well within run-to-run variance once again. The 6600 XT is 21 percent faster than the 6600, while the RTX 3060 Ti is 35 percent faster than the new Radeon card. There are no prizes for guessing what happens to the RX 6600 at 1440p or 4K - but I promise you it ain't pretty.

Dirt Rally 2.0: DX12, Ultra, TAA+8x MSAA

Assassin's Creed Unity

AC Unity made its DF reputation by showcasing CPU limitations and highlighting issues with driver limitations, and this venerable member of the 2021 GPU test suite still has the power to trip up modern graphics hardware. The RX 6600 acquits itself decently here, with a 130fps result at the high preset we're using, but the RTX 3060 is marginally faster at 136fps. Meanwhile, the RX 6600 XT is 158fps on average in the Full HD test; a familiar 21 percent faster.

AC Unity: High, DX11

So that's the standard benchmark suite out of the way. Now, let's see how the 6600 performs in RT workloads - maybe avert your eyes?

AMD Radeon RX 6600 analysis

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About the Author

Will Judd avatar

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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