Last month, we were introduced to the new AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics card, which is positioned to be a choice for gaming at 1080p resolution. However, in our review of the MSI AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT Gaming 8G graphics card, we found out that the Radeon RX 6600 XT was probably too well-equipped. Also, at the price point which it was offered at, it didn’t appear to us as an obvious choice for gamers who just want a simple 1080p capable graphics card.
What surprised us was the introduction of the AMD Radeon RX 6600 graphics card today. The new Radeon RX 6600 is known to be the little brother of the RX 6600 XT, and is priced at an SEP of USD$329. This seems to us a much more compelling product than the RX 6600 XT, especially when what we are concerned with is gaming at 1080p.
Of course, to validate the claims, we will put the AMD Radeon RX 6600 to the test, and find out if this card performs up to the expectations of someone who just wants a simple 1080p gaming PC setup.
The Sapphire Pulse AMD Radeon RX 6600 Gaming 8GB
Thanks to the support of AMD, we managed to get our hands on the Sapphire Pulse AMD Radeon RX 6600 Gaming 8GB for review.
|RX 6600||RX 6600 XT||RX 6700 XT|
|GPU||Navi 23 XL||Navi 23 XT||Navi 22|
|Interface||PCI Express 4.0||PCI Express 4.0||PCI Express 4.0|
|GPU cores||1792 stream processors||2,048 stream processors||2,560 stream processors|
|Ray tracing cores||28||32||40|
|Game clock||2044MHz||2359 MHz||2,424 MHz|
|Boost clock||2491MHz||2,589MHz||2,581 MHz|
|Memory||8GB GDDR6 + 32MB Infinity Cache||8GB GDDR6 + 32MB Infinity Cache||12GB GDDR6 + 96MB Infinity Cache|
|TDP||132W||160 watts||230 watts|
It’s clear that the AMD Radeon RX 6600 was designed and built with efficiency in mind. Its overall TDP is rated at 132W, 28W lower than the 160W on the RX 6600 XT. The RX 6600 is also slightly scaled down with 4 less Compute Units, which are also clocked at lower rates than what was on the RX 6600 XT.
With such a design in place, the AMD Radeon RX 6600 only required a single 8-pin power connector. AMD mentions that a 450W power supply should be able to power up an entire desktop PC system built with the Radeon RX 6600 included. For PC builders who are looking for an upgrade, it’s less likely that you will need to upgrade your power supply. It’s one less area to worry about.
In terms of cooling, the Sapphire Pulse AMD Radeon RX 6600 Gaming 8GB comes with two fans to keep the components below it cool. There is also a considerably large heatsink under the shroud, which is said to properly cool the RX 6600 GPU and its other components. There is also a heat pipe that connects two areas of the heatsinks together, ensuring proper heat dissipation throughout the graphics card.
The whole graphics card is also quite short. This maximizes its compatibility with PC cases of all sizes. At the back of the card, we also spotted a metal backplate. This gives the card its rigidity to ensure that it can perform reliably throughout its lifespan. It also makes the card look much better aesthetically, rather than just looking at a plain boring PCB and its components.
As for display outputs, the Sapphire Pulse AMD Radeon RX 6600 Gaming 8GB is equipped with 3 x Display Ports and 1 x HDMI port. It’s a great card that can help you support multiple displays as well.
Dust covers are also provided with the Sapphire Pulse AMD Radeon RX 6600 Gaming 8GB too.
Testing Objectives and Setup
We will test the Sapphire Pulse AMD Radeon RX 6600 Gaming 8GB against the RX 6600 XT and find out if the reduction in compute units and clock speeds will affect the performance drastically. While it’s clear that the RX 6600 XT performs superbly for gaming at 1080p, we need to also determine if its little brother, the RX 6600, meets the mark.
|3DMark Time Spy||Default||DirextX12|
|3DMark Fire Strike||Default||DirectX11|
|3DMark Port Royal||Default||–|
|3DMark Ray Tracing Feature Test||Default||–|
|Far Cry New Dawn||High||DirectX11|
|Deus Ex Mankind Divided||High||DirectX12|
|Total War Warhammer 2 (Battle)||High||DirectX11|
|Tom Clancy Division 2||High||DirectX12|
|Assassins Creed Odyssey||High||DirectX11|
|DOTA 2||Best Looking||DirectX11|
|Final Fantasy XV Benchmark||High||DirectX11|
|World of Tanks enCore||Ultra||DirectX11|
|F1 2018 Australia||High||Direct X11|
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider||(1) High
(2) High with Ray Tracing
|Middle Earth Shadow of War||High||DirectX11|
|Metro – Exodus||High||DirectX12|
|Metro – Exodus (RTX)||(1) Ray Tracing w DLSS
(2) Ray Tracing only
|World War Z||Ultra||Vulkan|
|Dirt 5||High(Ray Tracing Enabled)||DirectX12|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 9 5900X|
|RAM||G.Skill Sniper X 3600MHz, 2 x 8GB DDR4 Kit|
|Main Storage||Transcend PCIe SSD MTE110S 512GB (OS)|
|GPU||Sapphire Pulse AMD Radeon RX 6600 Gaming 8GB
MSI AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT Gaming 8G
|Motherboard||ASRock X570 Steel Legend|
|CPU Cooler||AMD Wraith Spire RGB Cooler|
|OS||Windows 10 Pro 64 bit|
Much to our surprise, it seems like the Sapphire Pulse AMD Radeon RX 6600 Gaming 8GB performed even better than the Radeon RX 5700 graphics card in both synthetic graphics benchmarks. It has really shown how much AMD has improved their graphics architecture to bring even more performance to the graphics card at a lower performance tier within the 6000 series graphics card lineup.
Can’t imagine that the Radeon RX 5700 was even marketed as a 1440p graphics card in the past as well! Now, the lower tier RX 6600 with even better performance is only positioned for the 1080p gamers. Are gamers really seeking for more performance than what is actually required?
Generally speaking, the Sapphire Pulse AMD Radeon RX 6600 Gaming 8GB comes in second in terms of performance. When compared to the GTX 1660 SUPER, which is considered our baseline for 1080p gaming, the Radeon RX 6600 Gaming 8GB has certainly got a lot more to offer.
There is no doubt that this graphics card will be able play all the games tested above without any hiccups, giving gamers the experience that they want.
Temperature and Power Consumption
The Sapphire Pulse AMD Radeon RX 6600 Gaming 8GB idles at about 39 °C and reaches a maximum recorded temperature of 85°C. The heat is well maintained, judging that during our tests, the graphics card’s fan didn’t speed up too much in order to maintain its noise output.
As for power consumption, at idle, the whole system consumed 63.7W. In the FurMark test, the maximum power consumption was recorded at 198W. Certainly, the AMD Radeon RX 6600 is very efficient!
The Sapphire Pulse AMD Radeon RX 6600 has got much to offer, and it has shown to us that it is definitely capable of gaming at 1080p resolution. It’s power efficiency and low power rating also make it a simpler choice for many, as you probably don’t need to upgrade your power supply to support this card.
Back to the question – Is the AMD Radeon RX 6600 a more sensible 1080p graphics card? I would most certainly agree. If all I’m looking out for is decent frame rates when playing games at 1080p resolution, and that the RX 6600 is 50USD cheaper, I would choose the cheaper option. (Of course, some may also argue otherwise.) However, it still seems that the AMD Radeon RX 6600 is still a very powerful card for what it is made for. We’ll be looking forward to the Radeon RX 6500 series (if any) and see if it can truly take up the title of the most affordable 1080p graphics card.