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AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT review: ray-tracing performance

Control, Metro Exodus, Battlefield 5.

Here it is: RT performance. This is an area that AMD hasn't yet mastered, but its first-gen efforts do at least make RT possible on Big Navi, something that wasn't true for its predecessor. We expect better results in future generations, but for now let's see the state of play.

Note that, like our previous reviews, we're using native 1440p resolution for these tests, which is about as high as you can push even on high-end GPUs without using something like DLSS or FidelityFX Super Resolution to make up for RT's heavy performance penalty. Given that the RX 6600 XT is pitched as a 1080p graphics card, we've also tested these games at 1080p resolution, just to see if we could get a more playable frame-rate at this resolution without dropping quality settings, although sadly we haven't had time to retest all of our cards at 1080p on this occasion.


As we mentioned in our previous review, Control is basically AMD's worst nightmare - a game that their cards do poorly in even in purely rasterised rendering and one that supports ray tracing. Our jaunt through the Corridor of Doom, one of the hardest RT loads in the game, drops the 6600 XT to 20.6fps at 1440p, while the RTX 3060 manages an average of 29fps - 41 percent faster. The RTX 3060 Ti records a 39fps average in the same scene, making it 89 percent faster. We did try a few things to see if we could make the game more playable on the RX 6600 XT. With PS5 equivalent settings (basically the low preset with a few tweaks), the RX 6600 XT manages to get to 32fps, making the game more or less playable at this resolution. And if we keep the settings at high, but drop the resolution to 1080p, we get a decent 34fps. So Control is playable in RT on the RX 6600 XT, but it's simply not competitive with Nvidia cards of almost any flavour - even the old RTX 2070 manages a 27fps average here with first-gen RT cores.

Control: DX12, High, High RT, TAA

Metro Exodus

Metro Exodus isn't as hostile to AMD cards as Control, but the 3060 still leads the RX 6600 XT by 18 percent, while the 3060 Ti is 64 percent faster. Again, we can drop the resolution to 1080p to gain 50 percent more performance, but this is still nearly 10 percent slower than the 3060 Ti running at 1440p.

Metro Exodus: DX12, Ultra, Ultra RT, TAA

Battlefield 5

We conclude our ray tracing testing with Battlefield 5, an early demonstration of RT tech that uses just one part of the RT toolbox, reflections. That means it doesn't impose such a heavy RT performance penalty, which should give AMD a fighting chance. Unfortunately, the RX 6600 XT's result of 34fps is the worst we've ever recorded, with the RTX 3060 being 58 percent faster and the RTX 3060 Ti being a whopping 108 percent faster. If we drop the resolution to 1080p, we gain 40 percent more performance on the 6600 XT but it's still the second-lowest score we've ever recorded, with every other card running at 1440p. The RX 6700 XT is 51 percent faster in the same test, so I think we're again looking at some kind of memory limitation as performance ought not to be this bad in a game that doesn't use much RT, comparatively.

Battlefield 5: DX12, Ultra, Ultra RT, TAA

All of the benchmarks have been completed, so now it's time to light the candles at the Crysis shrine, chant the secret frame-rate boosting incantations and summon the Digital Foundry verdict.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT analysis