MSI Radeon RX 6600 XT Gaming X 8 GB GDDR6 Graphics Card Review – A Pricey RX 5600 XT Upgrade

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PRODUCT INFO

MSI Radeon RX 6600 XT Gaming X

August, 2021
Type Graphics Card
Price $559 US

AMD showcased some impressive performance uplifts with its first outing of the RDNA 2 graphics architecture in the form of Big Navi but those cards are aimed at the ultra-enthusiast segment. It's time now that AMD focuses its efforts on the sub-$400 US segment with its second RDNA 2 Navi-based GPU, the Navi 23.

The 2nd Generation RDNA 2 architecture delivers an impressive leap in performance per watt while offering a range of new features. Now, these features and the same performance uplift are coming to the mainstream segment in the form of the Radeon RX 6600 series graphics cards which we will be testing today.

MSI Rolls Out AMD AGESA 1.2.0.4 BIOS Firmware To Even More X570, B550, X470, B450 & A520 Motherboards

The AMD RDNA 2 architecture for its Big Navi Radeon RX 6800/RX 6900 & mainstream Radeon RX 6700/RX 6600 series graphics cards have a lot to offer. In addition to architectural enhancements, you can expect hardware-accelerated ray tracing, smart access memory, Infinity Cache, and a lot more features on-deck which make the lineup one of the most competitive enthusiast families that AMD has ever positioned against NVIDIA.

Some of the main features for the AMD Radeon RX 6000 series graphics cards include:

  • AMD FidelityFX – Now supported by 50 titles and game engines, AMD FidelityFX is an open-source toolkit of visual enhancement effects for game developers available at AMD GPUOpen. Offering broad support on more than 100 AMD processors and GPUs, as well as on competitor GPUs, the new AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution upscaling technology delivers 2.4X higher performance on average in “Performance” mode at 4K across select titles compared to native resolution.
  • AMD Smart Access Memory – Unlocks higher performance when pairing AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series graphics with AMD Ryzen 5000 or select Ryzen 3000 Series Desktop Processors and AMD 500-series motherboards. Providing AMD Ryzen processors with access to the entire AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT high-speed 8 GB GDDR6 graphics memory can deliver a performance uplift of up to 11 percent on average in select titles.
  • AMD Infinity Cache – 32 MB of last-level data cache integrated on the GPU die reduces latency and power consumption to enable higher gaming performance than traditional architectural designs.
  • DirectX 12 Ultimate Support – Enables games to deliver mind-blowing visuals with real-time DirectX Raytracing (DXR), Variable Rate Shading, and other advanced features, elevating games to a new level of realism.
  • AMD Radeon Anti-Lag – Helps decrease input-to-display response times, making games more responsive and offering a competitive edge in gameplay.
  • AMD Radeon Boost – AMD Radeon Boost with support for Variable Rate Shading can provide up to a 48-percent performance increase in Warframe during fast-motion gaming scenarios by dynamically reducing image resolution or by varying shading rates for different regions of a frame, increasing framerates and fluidity, and bolstering responsiveness with virtually no perceptual impact on image quality.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT "Navi 23 XT" GPU Powered 8 GB Graphics Card Specifications

The AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics card will be powered by the Navi 23 XT GPU which features 11.06 Billion transistors packed within a 237mm2 die. The GPU is not however the smallest chip in the RDNA 2 family as that title should belong to Navi 24 which should launch sometime later.

The Navi 23 GPU features 32 Compute Units with a total of 2048 stream processors which will be clocked at up to 2589 MHz. The card also rocks 32 MB Infinity Cache and features an 8 GB GDDR6 memory capacity running across a 128-bit wide bus interface at pin speeds of 16 Gbps for a total bandwidth of 256 GB/s.

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The RX 6600 XT graphics card is powered by a single 8-pin power connector though that will vary depending on the custom model. The TBP for the card is rated at 160W which is 10W higher than the Radeon RX 5600 XT and 65W lower than the Radeon RX 5700 XT. Here you get to see the huge efficiency uplift that RDNA 2 architecture is able to deliver. Both the higher clocks and architecture-specific enhancements deliver a nice jump in performance while keeping the power draw lower vs RDNA 1.

 

AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series "RDNA 2" Graphics Card Lineup:

Graphics CardAMD Radeon RX 6600AMD Radeon RX 6600 XTAMD Radeon RX 6700AMD Radeon RX 6700 XTAMD Radeon RX 6800AMD Radeon RX 6800 XTAMD Radeon RX 6900 XTAMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Liquid CooledAMD Radeon RX 6900 XTX
GPUNavi 23 (XL?)Navi 23 (XT)Navi 22 (XL?)Navi 22 (XT?)Navi 21 XLNavi 21 XTNavi 21 XTXNavi 21 XTXHNavi 21 XTXH
Process Node7nm7nm7nm7nm7nm7nm7nm7nm7nm
Die Size237mm2237mm2336mm2336mm2520mm2520mm2520mm2520mm2520mm2
Transistors11.06 Billion11.06 Billion17.2 Billion17.2 Billion26.8 Billion26.8 Billion26.8 Billion26.8 Billion26.8 Billion
Compute Units283236406072808080
Stream Processors179220482304256038404608512051205120
TMUs/ROPsTBA128/64TBA160/64240 / 96288 / 128320 / 128320 / 128320 / 128
Game ClockTBA2359 MHzTBA2424 MHz1815 MHz2015 MHz2015 MHz2250 MHzTBA
Boost ClockTBA2589 MHzTBA2581 MHz2105 MHz2250 MHz2250 MHz2345 MHz2435 MHz
FP32 TFLOPsTBA10.6 TFLOPsTBA13.21 TFLOPs16.17 TFLOPs20.74 TFLOPs23.04 TFLOPs24.01 TFLOPs24.93 TFLOPs
Memory Size8 GB GDDR6 + 32 MB Infinity Cache?8 GB GDDR6 + 32 MB Infinity Cache12 GB GDDR6 + 96 MB Infinity Cache?12 GB GDDR6 + 96 MB Infinity Cache16 GB GDDR6 +128 MB Infinity Cache16 GB GDDR6 +128 MB Infinity Cache16 GB GDDR6 +128 MB Infinity Cache16 GB GDDR6 +128 MB Infinity Cache16 GB GDDR6 +128 MB Infinity Cache
Memory Bus128-bit128-bit192-bit192-bit256-bit256-bit256-bit256-bit256-bit
Memory Clock16 Gbps?16 Gbps16 Gbps?16 Gbps16 Gbps16 Gbps16 Gbps18 Gbps18 Gbps
Bandwidth256 GB/s?256 GB/s384 GB/s384 GB/s512 GB/s512 GB/s512 GB/s576 GB/s576 GB/s
TDPTBA160WTBA230W250W300W300W330W330W
Price$299-$329 ?$379 USTBA$479 US$579 US$649 US$999 US~$1199 US~$1199 US

AMD RX 6600 XT Graphics Card Pricing & Performance - Is It Worth it?

So coming to the value proposition of the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics card, we now know that the card is indeed priced at $379 US which is $20 US cheaper than the RX 5700 XT's MSRP & $100 US higher than the Radeon RX 5600 XT's MSRP. It is clear that AMD is charging a very high premium for its RDNA 2 cards. This is a bigger price bump than AMD's RX 6700 XT which saw a $79 US jump over its predecessor (the RX 5700 XT).

AMD has shown the card to be faster than the GeForce RTX 3060 in several titles but we are talking about the non-Ti variant which is priced at $329 US (or $50 US cheaper than the RX 6600 XT), packs 12 GB GDDR6 VRAM, and has better ray-tracing capabilities along with an extended DLSS suite. The RTX 3060 could remain a strong offering in its price segment despite the launch of the RX 6600 XT & the RTX 3060 Ti should retain faster performance because the RX 6600 XT is 15% faster than the RTX 3060 on average whereas the RTX 3060 Ti is up to 25% faster on average. The performance is scaled as below:

  • RX 6600 XT - 15% Faster Than RTX 3060 For 15% Higher Price
  • RTX 3060 Ti - 25% Faster Than RTX 3060 For 20% Higher Price

It looks like in overall performance, the RTX 3060 Ti will be a better value as it would not only offer better raster performance but also better ray-tracing capabilities. AMD does keep the advantage in power efficiency as the RTX 3060 Ti is rated at 200W. Those currently running an RX 5600 XT or an older or lower performance graphics card should find the RX 6600 XT as a decent upgrade option but it's still a hard buy with two RTX 3060 series options in the market countering it.

AMD Radeon GPU Segment/Tier Prices

Graphics Segment2014-20162016-20172017-20182018-20192020-2021
Ultra Enthusiast TierRadeon R9 295X2Radeon Pro DuoN/AN/ARadeon RX 6900 XT
Price$1499 US$1499 USN/AN/A$999 US
Enthusiast TierRadeon R9 290XRadeon R9 Fury X
Radeon R9 Fury
Radeon RX Vega 64Radeon VIIRadeon RX 6800 XT
Radeon RX 6800
Price$549 US$649 US
$549 US
$499 US$699 US$649 US
$579 US
High-End TierRadeon R9 290Radeon R9 390XRadeon RX Vega 56Radeon RX 5700 XTRadeon RX 6700 XT
Price$399 US$399 US$399 US$399 US$479 US
Mainstream TierRadeon R9 280X
Radeon R9 280
Radeon R9 390
Radeon R9 380
Radeon RX 480Radeon RX 5700
Radeon RX 5600 XT
Radeon RX 6600 XT
Price$299 US
$279 US
$329 US
$229 US
$229 US$349 US
$299 US
$379 US
Mid-Tier PerformanceRadeon R9 270X
Radeon R9 270
Radeon R9 370X
Radeon R9 370
Radeon RX 470Radeon RX 5500 XTRadeon RX 6500 XT?
Price$199 US
$179 US
$199 US
$179 US
$179 US$169 US$279 US?
Entry-TierRadeon R7 260X
Radeon R7 260
Radeon R7 360Radeon RX 460N/AN/A
Price$139 US
$109 US
$109 US$99 USN/AN/A

So for this review, I will be taking a look at the MSI Radeon RX 6600 XT Gaming X. The MSI Gaming X comes is said to feature an MSRP of around $559 US so that's a $180 US premium over the 379 US reference MSRP. At this price, you get a dual-fan cooling solution and a factory overclock out of the box.

AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series "RDNA 2" Graphics Card Lineup:

Graphics CardAMD Radeon RX 6600AMD Radeon RX 6600 XTAMD Radeon RX 6700AMD Radeon RX 6700 XTAMD Radeon RX 6800AMD Radeon RX 6800 XTAMD Radeon RX 6900 XTAMD Radeon RX 6900 XT Liquid CooledAMD Radeon RX 6900 XTX
GPUNavi 23 (XL?)Navi 23 (XT)Navi 22 (XL?)Navi 22 (XT?)Navi 21 XLNavi 21 XTNavi 21 XTXNavi 21 XTXHNavi 21 XTXH
Process Node7nm7nm7nm7nm7nm7nm7nm7nm7nm
Die Size237mm2237mm2336mm2336mm2520mm2520mm2520mm2520mm2520mm2
Transistors11.06 Billion11.06 Billion17.2 Billion17.2 Billion26.8 Billion26.8 Billion26.8 Billion26.8 Billion26.8 Billion
Compute Units283236406072808080
Stream Processors179220482304256038404608512051205120
TMUs/ROPsTBA128/64TBA160/64240 / 96288 / 128320 / 128320 / 128320 / 128
Game ClockTBA2359 MHzTBA2424 MHz1815 MHz2015 MHz2015 MHz2250 MHzTBA
Boost ClockTBA2589 MHzTBA2581 MHz2105 MHz2250 MHz2250 MHz2345 MHz2435 MHz
FP32 TFLOPsTBA10.6 TFLOPsTBA13.21 TFLOPs16.17 TFLOPs20.74 TFLOPs23.04 TFLOPs24.01 TFLOPs24.93 TFLOPs
Memory Size8 GB GDDR6 + 32 MB Infinity Cache?8 GB GDDR6 + 32 MB Infinity Cache12 GB GDDR6 + 96 MB Infinity Cache?12 GB GDDR6 + 96 MB Infinity Cache16 GB GDDR6 +128 MB Infinity Cache16 GB GDDR6 +128 MB Infinity Cache16 GB GDDR6 +128 MB Infinity Cache16 GB GDDR6 +128 MB Infinity Cache16 GB GDDR6 +128 MB Infinity Cache
Memory Bus128-bit128-bit192-bit192-bit256-bit256-bit256-bit256-bit256-bit
Memory Clock16 Gbps?16 Gbps16 Gbps?16 Gbps16 Gbps16 Gbps16 Gbps18 Gbps18 Gbps
Bandwidth256 GB/s?256 GB/s384 GB/s384 GB/s512 GB/s512 GB/s512 GB/s576 GB/s576 GB/s
TDPTBA160WTBA230W250W300W300W330W330W
Price$299-$329 ?$379 USTBA$479 US$579 US$649 US$999 US~$1199 US~$1199 US

In case you want to read our full AMD RDNA 2 GPU architecture deep dive, head over to this link.

Products mentioned in this post

AMD Radeon RX 6600
AMD Radeon RX 6600
USD 739.99
AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT
AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT
USD 749.99
AMD Radeon RX 6800
AMD Radeon RX 6800
 

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