Overall and Final Verdict
With today's launch, AMD is filling in an important portion of their GPU lineup with the Radeon RX 6600 XT. Up until now, the 6000 series cards have been focused on 4k and 1440p and this is the first with 1080p in mind and that is an important step. I know everyone gets excited about the latest and greatest GPUs. But as things get stepped down and focused on 1080p, it is getting focused on the mainstream gamers. While the current market might say different, there are a LOT of people who can’t afford to spend a fortune on a video card to upgrade their PC, even when gaming is a big focus. The 6600 XT falls in a nice spot performance wise because it can handle 1080p with a focus on high refresh rates but at least from my experience, there is a little wiggle room for 60 FPS 1440p gaming as well. So if you upgrade to 1440p later or aren’t looking to gaming at 1440p 144Hz you can pull off the 6600 XT there as well. In the end, in our testing, it came in a little faster than the always popular RTX 3060 and behind the 3060 Ti at 1440p and 1080p.
I’m also digging what XFX has going with the XFX MERC 308 RX 6600 XT. This card is much smaller than their MERC 6700 XT and 6800 XT which were just huge. That isn’t to say that the XFX MERC 308 RX 6600 XT is small, but it is more in line with what you would expect a video card to be size-wise just a few years ago before things started getting crazy. It has the same styling that their other MERC lineup has with the black with silver trim, subtle dimples for styling, and the actual model name up on top. In a perfect world, I think I might drop the silver trim like the QICK model does, but still, keep the lighting. But overall it’s a good looking card and XFX isn’t trying to make it look like every other card out there with a generic angular design and dark grey. Going with a blacked-out PCI bracket would be a nice touch as well if I could make any changes.
As for performance, the overclocked card did well in our testing. This was especially true in the noise testing where it was very quiet when under load. The card is capable of being noisy if you crank the fans up, but the current stock fan profile will keep things quiet. Of course, they do trade off on the cooling for that as it does run warmer with the stock fan profile. But there is a lot of headroom left in the cooler if you would prefer to make your own fan profile.
Now I do have to mention the current market situation because it plays a big role in pricing and card availability. Things have calmed down slightly from the wild west that scalping and card sales were. But availability is still an issue and while I’m writing this before launch we have to expect that the XFX MERC 308 RX 6600 XT and really all 6600 XT’s are going to be snatched up instantly when they list up for sale. AMD has the MSRP of the 6600 XT starting at $379 which in a perfect world where every card is available and easy to get would be a touch high. The 3060 had a launch MSRP of $329 and the 3060 Ti was at $399 and is a step above the 6600 XT. That said, frankly, I’m more worried that right now even the $379 price point will be hard to find with there not being a reference card available directly from AMD this time around. XFX isn’t going too crazy with their pricing, however, though it remains to be seen if retails will end up doing it. I’m told the XFX MERC 308 RX 6600 XT should be hitting retailers between $409 and $419. Which isn’t bad at all.
Live Pricing: HERE