There's a new mid-range graphics card in town in the AMD Radeon RX 6600. A step-down from the RX 6600 XT released several months ago, the RX 6600 competes with Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3060. I took the PowerColour Fighter RX6600 for a spin, and while it runs cool and quiet, it did not blow me away with its performance. In any case, buyers are probably more concerned about availability and pricing. AMD says there will be stock for the RX 6600, which launches at US$329 (~S$450) compared to US$379 for the XT. But there's no telling what the actual street price will settle at. Case in point: The RTX 3060 is going for around S$900 now, despite its US$329 launch price. I did find a local Lazada listing for the PowerColor Fighter RX6600 at S$759, but it's also listed as out of stock.
- Mute fan technology (fan off when below 60 degrees Celsius)
- 3x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x HDMI 2.1 (VRR)
- 8GB GDDR6 video memory
- Minimum 500W or greater power supply
Designed for 1080p gaming, the RX 6600 is said to produce over 100 frames per second (fps) on average at this resolution in select AAA games, such as Battlefield 5, Hitman 3 and Death Stranding. In less graphically-demanding esports titles, the RX 6600 will reach even higher frame rates. AMD says you can get over 400fps in evergreen favourites like CounterStrike: Global Offensive. While I don't play CS: GO, I did try Apex Legends, which was comfortably handled by the PowerColor RX6600. The frame rate counter rarely dipped below 100, except during the most intense gunfights.
Like the Asus Dual GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, the PowerColor RX6600 will turn off its two cooling fans when the graphics chip is idling. The cutoff is 60 degrees Celsius, which means my desktop PC can perform light computing tasks almost silently. The temperature spikes to over 80 degrees Celsius in games, but the fan remains relatively quiet, spinning at around 1,500rpm. Probably due to its fewer processing units and lower clock speed, the RX 6600 draws less power than the XT version. It has a total board power (TBP) of 132W compared to 160W for the XT and 200W for the RTX 3060. AMD also says you'll typically need a PSU of at least 450W for the RX 6600. However, PowerColor says you'll need a 500W PSU.
The PowerColor performs as advertised — it's very playable at 1080p resolution, but 1440p will be more iffy. For instance, the card managed a solid 55fps on average in Watch Dogs: Legion at Ultra setting. However, this dropped to 38fps at 1440p. Turning on ray tracing also causes a huge performance hit, even at 1080p. It was basically unplayable at less than 10fps. It was a similar story in Cyberpunk 2077. While the game was a smooth 55fps at 1080p at Ultra, the performance halved to 25fps with ray tracing enabled.
AMD does have a solution for those wishing to game at a higher resolution — its FidelityFX Super Resolution upscaling feature. This feature is tied to the game and not dependent on hardware. Hence, it works for Nvidia graphics cards, too. But it is currently available only for select games, like the recently-released Far Cry 6. The performance in Far Cry 6 at 1440p Ultra increased from 57fps to 72fps after enabling FidelityFX Super Resolution. I could immediately feel the difference in smoothness. Images, such as the clouds, do look slightly soft, but you can hardly tell the difference while playing. In short, it seems like a no-brainer to use FidelityFX Super Resolution if available, regardless of the graphics card you have.
Note: Review unit provided by AMD.
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Available at Lazada