Recently, as you know, I built a new PC named pr0metheus. It ended up being powered by a Ryzen 5800X and a Radeon RX 6800XT. Well this naturally made my buddy Dan jealous and not willing to be outdone by myself he also built a new computer. 

This is a terrible time to build a new PC. GPUs exist at prices double or triple their proper MSRPs making it really hard to justify building anything. Well not too long ago Lisa Su said to Dan and I that she has us covered with the launch of the RX 6600XT. Okay, she didn’t talk to us directly but instead indirectly through the press as RedBlueGreen isn’t nearly big enough to warrant any attention to be sampled.

Dan and I watched the launch. And then watched it go by. Well actually Dan did snag one on Best Buy’s marketplace but the order was cancelled. We did eventually track down a MSI Radeon RX 6600XT Gaming X and, through circumstances too complicated to list here, we also ended up with a Sapphire RX 6600XT Pulse. Well more specifically Dan ended up with both. He was going to cancel the order for the MSI because the Sapphire was cheaper but I said I’d take it so I could spread the love to the nerds out there with benchmarks.

I have several benches synthetic and otherwise to throw at you guys. I included my RX 6800XT of which I re-ran the benchmarks because of Windows Updates and Radeon driver updates. I also included my fantastic MSI GTX 1070 Ti Gaming X Titanium though this time in it’s stock configuration rather than overclocked (where it outperforms GTX 1080s all day). And as a look back to the past I also included one of my two ASUS RX 480 8GB reference cards.

radeon_rx_6800_xt_midnight_black_01
Background: AMD Radeon RX 6800XT Foreground: AMD Radeon RX 6800XT Midnight Black

The 6800XT is really not important to this comparison as it really doesn’t compete in this category. The other three are potential cards to upgrade from as in today’s reality people could still be using an RX 480 or a GTX 1070 Ti. I sure was up until a couple months ago.

Let’s look at the specs for the MSI Radeon RX 6600XT Gaming X:

Model Name  Radeon™ RX 6600 XT GAMING X 8G 
Cores 2048 Units 
Memory 8GB GDDR6
Interface PCI Express 4.0 x8 
Memory Interface  128-bit 
Core Clock Speed Boost: Up to 2607 MHz 

Game: Up to 2428 MHz

Power Consumption 160 W 

Now that we have the vitals out of the way let’s take a look at the card itself. It has all the MSI Gaming traits that go back years on their graphics cards. The Twin Frozr design and the Torx fans. They just give me the fizz. And over the years the Gaming design has evolved tastefully too I might add. product_16276145384f72605604657c0600d0d7f64c676778

Some differences to my GTX 1070 Ti include an multi-zone RGB logo on the 6600XT model instead of the static colour on my 1070 Ti. Basically everything else is here though that was on my retired 1070 Ti including an aluminum backplate. product_1627614537db559510b3b519be9312a65eebf508c4

The 6600XT also boasts three DisplayPorts and one HDMI port capable of 8K/60Hz. I do which manufacturers would swap that third DisplayPort for a second HDMI port. product_1627614540a68689645c5a866ef0f7313c5e1a1b4f

This card is incredibly quiet. Under no load it doesn’t run it’s fans at all but even under full load the Torx fans are barely audible.

Benchmarks. Here they are. Most are pretty self explanatory but I’ll pop in here and there to bring a little perspective. Let’s first look at my system specs used for testing.

  • AMD Ryzen 7 5800X OC’d to 4.6GHz all cores
  • Fractal Design Celsius S36 CPU Cooler
  • MSI X570 Tomahawk Motherboard
  • 32GB of Team Group 3200MHz memory
  • Phanteks ReVolt 1000W PSU

For testing methodology I ran every benchmark three times and took the middle score of all tests. I don’t average as that can vary quite a bit and prefer to give you exact numbers from my testing. In every case in 3DMark I used the default settings. In all other benchmarks I set them to their absolute maximum detail and 1080P.

First up we have the synthetic benches.

3DMark Fire StrikeFire Strike Ultra Score

I did both regular Fire Strike and Ultra as it shows the difference between 1080P and 4K rendering performance. You can see from both that the MSI Radeon RX 6600XT Gaming X performs great at 1080P and even outperforms my MSI GTX 1070 Ti by a good margin at 4K. You also see here that the previous 1080P value king, the Radeon RX 480 8GB, is starting to show it’s age though in my opinion is still good enough for Esports gaming and otherwise considering the current shortage on GPUs.

3DMark Time Spy Score

Time Spy is a 1440P benchmark and so fits between Fire Strike and Fire Strike Ultra. It’s also important to note that this is also DirectX 12 benchmark and as such uses resources a bit differently than the DirectX 11 Fire Strike benchmarks. The scores land pretty much where you’d expect though and the MSI Radeon RX 6600XT Gaming X more than doubles the performance of the Radeon RX 480 8GB. No surprise there as the RX 480 was designed for 1440P gaming. And the story continues for the RX 6600XT beating down the MSI GTX 1070 Ti. I am curious as to what this graph would look like with the GTX 1070 Ti overclocked.

3DMark Port Royal Score

Port Royal is a 1440P DirectX Raytracing benchmark. This automatically precludes the AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB as it does not support raytracing in any matter at this point and likely never will. Nvidia did unlock this for the GTX 1070 Ti do demo it to those that owned older cards and hopefully convince them to upgrade to a 20 series card back in the day. And you can see here it’s score is pretty dismal. That score translates to less than 2FPS in reality. The MSI Radeon RX 6600XT Gaming X performs pretty decently here though still not at a playable rate. At 1080P with AMD’s FidelityFX enabled I think you could eke out some raytracing fun if you wanted to. As a comparison the AMD Radon RX6800XT slightly more than doubles performance and it will put out enough FPS to play a game at 1440P at 35+ FPS.

3DMark DirectX Raytracing

You can see here that we have no results for the MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Gaming X Titanium or the AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB. Neither of these have DirectX raytracing compatibility and as such cannot run the benchmark.

Unigine Valley DX11 1080P Ultra AAx8 AVG FPS

I prefer to run this Unigine DX11 benchmark as I like the subject matter. I am aware that their Heaven benchmark can be harder on GPUs but it’s a personal preference thing. Anyway we see here that the MSI Radeon RX 6600XT does a fantastic job of pushing out frames. Though in this case the MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Gaming X Titanium is hot on it’s heels. The AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB does an admirable job keeping up at nearly 60FPS considering it is a five year old GPU. Here you can see though that many older cards can keep up where it counts at 1080P where most people game at right now.

Unigine Superposition DX12 1080P Extreme

This DirectX 12 benchmark pushes the old hardware much harder and you really don’t get to a playable framerate until you are running the MSi GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Gaming X Titanium. Things get better with the MSI Radeon RX6600 XT and if one turned down the details a bit it would be easily pushing 60FPS. I chose Extreme here because I really wanted to push these GPUs. And it shows.

And now we have in-game benchmarks.

Ashes of the Singularity Escalation 1080P Crazy AVG FPS

Ashes has made a comeback for benchmarking lately. This is run using DirectX 12 here and the MSI Radeon RX 6600XT Gaming X has no problem keeping the FPS gauge above 60.

Rise of the Tomb Raider _Geothermal Valley_ DX12 1080P Very High

Here we see the MSI Radeon Rx 6600XT pushing just above that hallowed 60FPS mark.

Deus Ex Mankind Divided DX2 1080P Ultra (Average FPS)

I included Deus Ex Mankind Divided again so see if we would see weird results again. And we do. Only my AMD Radeon RX 6800XT could push almost to 60FPS. The other cards including the MSI Radeon RX 6600XT Gaming X have trouble reaching just above 20FPS.

Forza Horizon 4 GPU AVG FPS 1080P Ultra

My favourite racing game, Forza Horizon 4 has a benchmark built in to automatically set up the user’s system for the best experience. I naturally always ignore this and go full blast on everything as Forza is incredible well optimized and spits out all kinds of frames. Here we see that even the AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB has no problem revving up to over 80FPS. It is interesting to see how close the MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Ti and the MSI Radeon RX 6600XT are on the chart.

Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker 1080P Maximum

I ended up with the latest Final Fantasy XIV benchmark as this MMO has become incredibly popular. I can understand why. It’s a great game. All of these cards except the AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB got the best result here.

So I think AMD is right to call the RX 6600XT a performance 1080P graphics card. I do however think if you turned details down a bit and ran the games that support FidelityFX you’d have a great 1440P card here.

This is a heck of an upgrade for those that are still running RX 480s and other cards from that era in most cases. That said, getting these cards at MSRP ($379.99 US, $480 CAD) is not really possible. As such the MSI Radeon RX 6600XT Gaming X that I bought is the same price or more right now retail as my MSI GeForce GTX 1070Ti Gaming X Titanium ($659.99 CAD which is what I paid for the 6600XT as well) which itself was a special edition of the regular Gaming X card.

It’s hard to recommend the MSI Radeon RX 6600XT at current prices considering I was able to buy my AMD Radeon RX 6800XT Midnight Black edition for just over $800 CAD. I can’t deny the performance of the MSI Radeon RX 6600XT Gaming X considering it’s basically a high performance mobile part but it’s not worth $659.99 CAD. It just isn’t.