reader comments 115 with 77 posters participating
In a traditional PC hardware cycle, AMD’s new RX 6600XT could have been a welcome stopgap for a budget audience. Over the years, we’ve regularly seen this kind of GPU from both major GPU manufacturers. Those companies regularly turn down some specs, repurpose sub-optimal chips, and get a moderately priced option to follow their biggest kahunas for anybody tiptoeing into solid 1080p or 1440p gaming options on PC.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing traditional about the latest traditional PC hardware cycle. Today’s supply-and-demand ecosystem of computer GPUs looks like something out of a terrifying Dario Argento film. The horrors that lurk in every shadow include chip shortages and bot-fueled scalper waves.
And that context really helps us frame the $379 RX 6600XT—an underpowered, overpriced, and downright disappointing GPU whose primary sales pitch is 1080p gaming. That category is famously CPU-limited, not GPU-limited, so this GPU’s mileage will truly vary based on your rig. In general, Nvidia’s RTX 3060 Ti (at only $20 more MSRP) wins handily, while Nvidia’s RTX 2060 Super (which launched for $399 in July 2019) is within shouting distance of this brand-new card. That latter yardstick in particular makes AMD’s newest product a hard GPU to recommend.
Any changes in cabin pressure yet?
This is arguably the loudest example yet of GPU manufacturers getting in on the sector’s recent price inflation, as opposed to letting the market do so. A $379 price tag is not a great cost for the 6600XT, but it’s not clear that a more appropriate MSRP, like $299 or $319, would lead to a fairer price reaching average customers. “Street value” is a real thing. When calculating actual market prices, for example, we’re closer to the $500 range for both aforementioned Nvidia GPUs.
Nvidia’s RTX 3060 (MSRP: $329). Its charts include tests run on a Ryzen 5 5600X system, where the RX 6600 beat the cheaper Nvidia card with games set to 1080p resolution and identical “maxed out” visual settings at anything from 5 percent to 30 percent.
my own negative review of the RTX 3060, I understand why AMD might be tempted to have the press directly compare the RX 6800 to that card. However, that card’s MSRP is roughly 15 percent cheaper—and AMD’s list of 1080p results for that card are, whaddya know, roughly 15 percent worse.