In the market for a cheaper graphics card? The RX 6600 and RX 6600 XT from AMD both have a lot to offer. Here’s a closer look at both of them!
The Radeon RX 6600 and RX 6600 XT are two of AMD‘s most affordable PC gaming GPUs, but which one is ultimately worth buying? While top-of-the-line graphics cards are a lot of fun to talk about, the reality is that most people aren’t buying them. The vast majority of gamers are relying on low and mid-range cards to power their rigs. They may not be capable of the best graphics or highest frame rates, but budget GPUs are getting better every year.
Along with affordable options from Nvidia, AMD also understands the need for these types of GPUs. AMD launched the Radeon RX 6600 XT in July 2021. At the time, AMD was hailing it as its cheapest GPU launched during the year. A few months later in October, however, AMD one-upped itself with the even lower-priced RX 6600. Both graphics cards are compelling options for budget-minded gamers, but which is the best overall choice? Here’s what you need to know.
As the nearly identical names imply, the RX 6600 and RX 6600 XT are very similar graphics cards. Both are powered by the same Navi 23 chipset, albeit with a couple of tweaks mentioned below. Each card also has the same 32MB infinity cache and 8GB of GDDR6 RAM. At the end of the day, both cards should be able to run most games at 1080p with very high graphics enabled (and even max graphics in some cases).
Why The RX 6600 XT Is The Better GPU To Buy
Looking a bit deeper, there are some clear advantages of the more expensive RX 6600 XT. The Navi 23 chip may be the same across both cards, but the RX 6600 XT delivers 32 compute units compared to the 28 of the RX 6600. It also has better clock speeds across the board, with the RX 6600 XT kicking out a 2359MHz game frequency and up to 2589MHz boost frequency. The RX 6600 clocks in at 2044MHz and up to 2491MHz, respectively. Gamers are also treated to faster RAM with the RX 6600 XT. It’s capable of 16Gbps speeds and has a memory bandwidth of up to 256 GB/s, compared to 14Gbps and up to 224 GB/s on the RX 6600.
What does all of this mean for real-world use? In general, AMD says to expect a difference between 10 and 15 percent for the two cards. Running in 1080p at max settings, AMD shows the RX 6600 XT achieving 83fps in Cyberpunk 2077 while the RX 6600 gets 70fps. Forza Horizon 4 pulls in 137fps on the RX 6600 XT, but moving to the RX 6600, it goes down to 120fps. In a newer title like Resident Evil Village, the RX 6600 XT has 176fps compared to 145fps for the RX 6600.
Other GPUs To Get Instead Of The RX 6600 & 6600 XT
Of course, the RX 6600 and 6600 XT aren’t the only two GPUs available today. For $479 ($100 more than the MSRP of the RX 6600 XT), another option to consider is the RX 6700 XT. The 6700 XT is a more capable card across the board. It has 40 compute units, a 2424MHz game frequency, and memory bandwidth up to 384 GB/s. That means you can play a game like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla in 1440p and with Ultra High graphics and still get up to 82fps. Competitive games like Overwatch run even better, with the RX 6700 XT churning out up to 212fps on Epic graphic settings at 1440.
If you’re comfortable looking at Nvidia cards instead of AMD ones, another solid pick is the RTX 3060 Ti. Available for a retail price of $399, the RTX 3060 Ti features Nvidia’s excellent Ampere Architecture, second-generation ray tracing, and DLSS to squeeze higher frame rates out of lower-end machines. Playing Control in 1080p at the highest graphics settings (with RTX on), the 3060 Ti scored over 140 fps.
Buying A GPU At MSRP Is Still Very Difficult
Then there’s the price. At normal retail pricing, the RX 6600 XT costs $379 and the RX 6600 is a bit cheaper at $329. Based on the retail cost, it probably makes sense for most gamers to spend a little bit more for the RX 6600 XT. It has a more powerful chip, faster RAM, and delivers a better gaming experience across the board. And if you have even more to spend, the RX 6700 XT and RTX 3060 Ti are solid options, too.
Of course, this all assumes you can find any of the above GPUs available for purchase at those retail prices. The ongoing chip shortage means most graphics cards are still extremely difficult to find. And if you do come across one, chances are it’s selling for hundreds of dollars more than it should. It’s something that should get better as the year goes on, but at least right now, you may have to wait a while to buy a GPU after deciding which one you want.
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