AMD is finally releasing its competitor to the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT.
While the new AMD graphics card will directly compete with the RTX 3060, the Radeon RX 6600 XT is a bit more expensive, coming in at a suggested price of $379, compared to the RTX 3060's $329 suggested price. Though these days, it's not like you're going to find a graphics card at that price either way.
AMD is hoping to justify that higher price tag with a GPU that's more powerful for pure rasterization performance. AMD claims that the people who will be buying these graphics cards will predominantly play esports titles, which aren't exactly going to be using the latest ray tracing technology.
As such, the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT will have 32 RDNA 2 Compute Units, a 32MB cache, 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM, and a 2,359 MHz Game Clock - the highest game clock in the RDNA 2 lineup.
If you want to get your hands on the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT, you'll be able to pick it up August 11. And while there won't be a reference version of the graphics card you can buy from AMD itself, all of the regular board partners will be creating their own versions of the GPU from that date.
Analysis: who is this for?
AMD is pitching the Radeon RX 6600 XT as a graphics card for "epic 1080p gaming", and even cited a bunch of super heavy AAA PC games that it supposedly has performance leadership in.
For example, even in Cyberpunk 2077, which in my tests heavily favors Nvidia hardware, AMD claims that the RX 6600 XT will be a bit faster than the RTX 3060. In other games though, AMD is claiming up to a 15% performance advantage of the RTX 3060 – though I'm still not sure that justifies the significantly higher price tag.
Even at 1440p, the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT should be able to stretch its legs, and that's mostly thanks to FidelityFX Super Resolution – AMD's competitor to Nvidia's DLSS. With that tech in Marvel's Avengers for example, AMD claims that the Radeon RX 6600 XT can go from 57 fps to 96 fps with the FSR performance preset.
And because most people are still using a 1080p monitor – still 68% of PC gamers according to the latest Steam Hardware Survey – the Radeon RX 6600 XT should be a great choice if you want to be sure you can run the latest and greatest games, especially if ray tracing isn't something you're super interested in.
But that's kind of the rub here. When we were briefed on this graphics card AMD didn't really talk much about ray tracing performance. So while it is an RDNA 2 card, and will support the tech, you probably shouldn't expect much. The Radeon RX 6700 XT struggles a bit with it at 1080p anyways. But if you mainly play games that don't even support ray tracing – which, let's be honest, is most PC games – you're probably not going to miss much.
We're going to have to put it through its paces before we give any kind of hard recommendation on it, and you should absolutely take what AMD claims about its own products with a grain of salt. But from what we've seen so far, it's an exciting graphics card.
Hopefully we'll start to see some graphics cards to fill in the low-end segment of the marketplace now that both AMD and Nvidia have launched mid-range 1080p cards.