AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT review: A killer 1080p graphics card with pandemic pricing

AMD tuned the Radeon RX 6600 XT for ultra-fast 1080p gaming and it shines in that regard, but slower 1440p performance and a sky-high price hold it back from full praise.

Credit: Brad Chacos/IDG

Total War: Troy

The latest game in the popular Total War saga, Troy was given away free for its first 24 hours on the Epic Games Store, moving over 7.5 million copies before it went on proper sale. Total War: Troy is built using a modified version of the Total War: Warhammer 2 engine, and this DX11 title looks stunning for a turn-based strategy game. We test the more intensive battle benchmark.

total war troy Brad Chacos/IDG

F1 2020

The latest in a long line of successful racing games, F1 2020 is a gem to test, supplying a wide array of both graphical and benchmarking options, making it a much more reliable (and fun) option that the Forza series. It’s built on the latest version of Codemasters’ buttery-smooth Ego game engine, complete with support for DX12 and Nvidia’s DLSS technology. We test two laps on the Australia course, with clear skies on and DLSS off.

f1 2020 Brad Chacos/IDG

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Shadow of the Tomb Raider concludes the reboot trilogy, and it’s still utterly gorgeous a couple of years after its debut. Square Enix optimized this game for DX12 and recommends DX11 only if you’re using older hardware or Windows 7, so we test with DX12. Shadow of the Tomb Raider uses an enhanced version of the Foundation engine that also powered Rise of the Tomb Raider and includes optional real-time ray tracing and DLSS features.

sotr Brad Chacos/IDG

Rainbow Six Siege

Rainbow Six Siege still dominates the Steam charts years after its launch, and Ubisoft supports it with frequent updates and events. The developers have poured a ton of work into the game’s AnvilNext engine over the years, eventually rolling out a Vulkan version of the game that we use to test. By default, the game lowers the render scaling to increase frame rates, but we set it to 100 percent to benchmark native rendering performance on graphics cards. Even still, frame rates soar.

rb6 Brad Chacos/IDG

Ray tracing performance

We also tested ray tracing performance in Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Metro Exodus, two games in our suite that support the cutting-edge technology. The tests were conducted without Nvidia’s AI-enhance DLSS technology enabled.

Image upsampling technologies like DLSS and AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution are key to clawing back frames lost to cutting-edge ray tracing effects, increasing performance by rendering visuals internally at a lower resolution before using various tricks to increase the final resolution. The software techniques work in very different ways, however, so testing with them disabled is the only way for an apples-to-apples benchmark except in the ultra-rare games that support both DLSS and FSR, like Marvel’s Avengers.

sotr rt Brad Chacos/IDG
metro exodus rt Brad Chacos/IDG

This largely confirms what we already knew from higher-end Radeon and GeForce GPUs. Nvidia’s second-generation implementation of ray tracing hardware performs better than AMD’s first stab at the technology, though both enable you to play ray-traced games after making some graphics option tweaks (or enabling DLSS/FSR). We hope to test ray tracing performance more in-depth with a wider array of games soon.

Next page: Power, thermals, and noise

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Brad Chacos

Brad Chacos

PC World (US online)
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