The AMD RX 6600 launched in 2021 to a somewhat mixed reception. Users and professional reviewers seem rather frosty on the budget GPU from AMD. While it is priced at a reasonable MSRP, it does beg the question of why someone wouldn’t just grab an RTX 3060 from NVIDIA. With all the recent releases for GPUs, it makes for a curious place for the RX 6600.
So, let’s take a closer look at some common complaints surrounding this particular GPU. The AMD RX 6600 has been more contentious than its counterpart in the 6600 XT. Here are seven of the biggest complaints surrounding the GPU.
AMD RX 6600 Overview
The AMD RX 6600 saw a 2021 release and fits within the budget niche for gaming GPUs. It is the cheaper counterpart to the RX 6600 XT, equivalent to the RTX 3060 Ti in terms of intended use case and pricing. The RX 6600 is available from manufacturers like Gigabyte, ASUS, and other AMD partners.
It is the lowest price GPU in the RDNA2 line, which has had noted problems measuring up to the performance set by the RTX 3000 series from NVIDIA.
|AMX RX 6600|
|Boost Frequency||2491 MHz|
|Power Draw||132 watts|
|Infinity Cache Size||32 MB|
|Amount of VRAM||8 GB|
|Memory Bandwidth||Up to 224 GB/s|
The AMD RX 6600 Has Weak Performance
Despite its intended use case, the AMD RX 6600 doesn’t have enough grunt behind it to drive today’s games at 1080p. Older games like Red Dead Redemption 2 struggled to maintain 60 frames per second. RDR2 is a demanding game, but AMD touted the RX 6600 as a GPU capable of handling any workload at 1080p. Less demanding games like Fortnite also saw some middling performance, netting 98 frames per second compared to the RTX 3060, pulling 132 frames per second.
This is probably thanks in part to the smaller memory bus. The comparable RTX 3060 has a 192-bit memory bus, which starkly contrasts with the RX 6600’s 128-bit memory bus. This effectively means that while the resources might be there, the GPU can’t access them quickly enough to address them. Even its more expensive counterpart, the RX 6600 XT, is a much better performer for modern games. It doesn’t make sense for the price point of the RX 6600.
Poor Raytracing Support
Raytracing has been a great way to put a new coat of paint and make your favorite games immersive. Sadly, the AMD RX 6600 has a relatively poor ray tracing implementation. AMD doesn’t have access to the proprietary DLSS technology used by NVIDIA. DLSS does help to offset the heavy computation cost needed for ray tracing. AMD has its version of DLSS, FSR, but that isn’t a widely supported technology across all games on the market.
Massive titles might have support for FSR, but that might come at the cost of not being able to use ray tracing. While you can run raytracing without this support, it will be a disappointing and subpar experience depending on the game. This isn’t necessarily a fault of the 6600 for lack of software support, but the anemic specs leave it without the raw horsepower to overcome the FSR hurdle.
The AMD RX 6600 is 1080p Only
The AMD RX 6600 doesn’t have the raw power to drive games to 1440p, let alone the 4K resolution it supports. Now, you could certainly use it for office work and have it power a pair of monitors at 4K resolution. For gaming, you’re going to have to spend a bit more. It comes back to the limited memory bus and the smaller pool of VRAM. There are certainly 4K monsters on the market. Look at the recent RTX 4080 and RTX 4090 releases for further proof.
8GB of VRAM doesn’t leave the RX 6600 with enough memory bandwidth to handle streaming high-resolution textures. This, coupled with the limited memory bus and smaller cache size, means you’re probably best using the RX 6600 at 1080p.
The RX 6600 launched with a suggested retail price of $329, placing it within reach of the RTX 3060. Given the somewhat poorer performance of the GPU compared to its more expensive counterpart in the 6600 XT, it comes off as overpriced for its niche. AMD GPUs generally sell for less on the second-hand market, as has been the trend for some years. In the intervening two years since its release, the RX 6600 still costs more than a comparable GPU from NVIDIA.
You can find the RTX 3060 for the same price a the GPU drought seems to have ended. If you’re looking for an upgrade without spending on a new power supply, it only makes sense to go with the competition.
It is Significantly Slower Than the 6600 XT
The RX 6600 will naturally be the lesser GPU when stacked against the 6600 XT. This has been standard industry practice for several years. AMD claimed the RX 6600 would be 10 to 15% slower in most games than the RX 6600 XT. However, testing and benchmarks show this number is closer to 20%, a huge performance loss. Looking at RX 6600 XT’s suggested retail price, you might wonder where AMD was trying to position this GPU.
Sure, it is an older GPU now, but it is still widely available new in retail spaces. You might as well get the better GPU and a little futureproofing for a few more years.
- DirectX ray tracing enhances gaming realism
- High performance with low-noise
- Strong backplate with cooling features
- Solid build quality TORX FAN 4.0 cooling system
- Tailored PCB Design enhances reliability
Small Amount of VRAM
8GB of VRAM is enough to finish most tasks at 1080p. 1440p and 4K monitors are becoming more commonplace and far cheaper. As such, it isn’t easy to consider sticking with a GPU intended for 1080p usage. Now, the AMD RX 6600 can certainly hit 1440p for older games. But unless you plan to play Minecraft for the next five years, it doesn’t make sense to hinder performance by snagging a lesser GPU.
Ideally, the RX 6600 should have shipped 12GB of VRAM with a 192-bit memory bus. Instead, it has a memory bus more akin to the RTX 1650 Ti but with an RTX 3060 price tag.
The AMD RX 6600 had trouble running two-year-old games when released two years ago. Games rarely lighten up their demands on computer hardware, so naturally, the RX 6600 has been left in the dust. For comparison, an RTX 2060 Super, which you can purchase for less on the second-hand market, does better in newer games. Sure, you might be dropping detail levels down, but you’re still regularly hitting a consistent 60 frames per second for most recent games.
Its more expensive counterpart, the RX 6600 XT, is doing just fine. Depending on your settings, you can expect to run games like Modern Warfare 2 with 80 to 100 frames per second,
The RX 6600 fits an odd niche as far as a gaming GPU goes. The complaints surrounding it are undoubtedly valid, especially at the launch date. AMD has made great strides in capturing the market for CPUs, but a lot of work is needed before the GPUs are competitive.
Is it worth buying an RX 6600 in 2023? It depends. You can grab one for well below what most retailers charge. If you want a brand-new GPU, you’re better off with a more recent NVIDIA GPU like the freshly announced RTX 4060.
|Weak Performance||Struggles to maintain 60 FPS in some games at 1080p|
|Poor Raytracing Support||Limited support for FSR and lacks raw horsepower for ray tracing|
|1080p Only||Not powerful enough for 1440p or 4K gaming|
|Pricing||Overpriced compared to the competition (RTX 3060)|
|Slower Than 6600 XT||20% slower than the RX 6600 XT, contrary to AMD’s claim of 10-15%|
|Small Amount of VRAM||8GB of VRAM limits performance at higher resolutions|
|Already Outdated||Struggled with older games at launch and has been left behind by newer titles|
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Jack Skeens/Shutterstock.com.