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Home » Reviews » Graphics Card » MSI Radeon RX 6600 XT GAMING X 8G Review

MSI Radeon RX 6600 XT GAMING X 8G Review

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Today we are going to check out MSI’s Radeon RX 6600 XT Gaming X 8G graphics card. It’s a nice dual-fan graphics card with Twin Frozr 8 cooling solution and overall nice solid build quality. By now, we already know how AMD’s RX 6600 XT performs based on our XFX RX 6600 XT Merc 308 review. If you’re still rocking a 1080p monitor and need an upgrade, continue reading our review and find out if the MSI RX 6600 XT Gaming X 8G is your next graphics card for your gaming machine.

msi radeon rx 6600 xt gaming x review

MSI Radeon RX 6600 XT GAMING X 8G Graphics Card Review

AMD released the Radeon RX 6600 XT for 1080p gaming last month. It features 32 compute units, 8GB of GDDR6 memory, 32MB of infinity cache, and a game clock speed of 2359MHz. It requires a single 8-pin PCIe power connector and AMD’s reference RX 6600 XT has a TPCE of 130 watts. However, MSI’s card has a higher power delivery of 160 watts. Will it convert to more performance? Let’s find out very soon.

The RX 6600 XT also comes with 2048 Stream Processors, 32 Ray accelerators, 64 ROPs, and 128 texture units. It’s capable of 10.6 TFLOPS of peak single-precision compute performance or 21.21 TFLOPS of peak half precision compute performance. Below are more features that the RX 6600 XT offers.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT Features

  • AMD FidelityFX – Now supported by 50 titles and game engines, AMD FidelityFX is an open-source toolkit of visual enhancement effects for game developers available at AMD GPUOpen. Offering broad support on more than 100 AMD processors and GPUs, as well as on competitor GPUs, the new AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution upscaling technology delivers 2.4X higher performance on average in “Performance” mode at 4K across select titles compared to native resolution5.
  • Smart Access Memory – Unlocks higher performance when pairing AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series graphics with AMD Ryzen™ 5000 or select Ryzen 3000 Series Desktop Processors and AMD 500-series motherboards. Providing AMD Ryzen processors with access to the entire AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT high-speed 8 GB GDDR6 graphics memory can deliver a performance uplift of up to 11 percent on average in select titles6.
  • Infinity Cache – 32 MB of last-level data cache integrated on the GPU die reduces latency and power consumption to enable higher gaming performance than traditional architectural designs.
  • Radeon Anti-Lag – Helps decrease input-to-display response times, making games more responsive and offering a competitive edge in gameplay.
  • Radeon Boost – AMD Radeon Boost with support for Variable Rate Shading can provide up to a 48-percent performance increase in Warframe7 during fast-motion gaming scenarios by dynamically reducing image resolution or by varying shading rates for different regions of a frame, increasing framerates and fluidity, and bolstering responsiveness with virtually no perceptual impact on image quality.
  • DirectX® 12 Ultimate Support – Enables games to deliver mind-blowing visuals with real-time DirectX Raytracing (DXR), Variable Rate Shading, and other advanced features, elevating games to a new level of realism.

MSI Radeon RX 6600 XT Specifications

Model nameRX 6600 XT GAMING X 8GRX 6600 XT GAMING 8GRX 6600 XT MECH 2X 8G OCRX 6600 XT MECH 2X 8G
GPUAMD Navi 23AMD Navi 23AMD Navi 23AMD Navi 23
InterfacePCIE Gen4PCIE Gen4PCIE Gen4PCIE Gen4
Compute units32323232
Memory speed16 Gbps16 Gbps16 Gbps16 Gbps
Memory8GB GDDR68GB GDDR68GB GDDR68GB GDDR6
Memory bus128-bit128-bit128-bit128-bit
OutputDisplayPort x 3 (v1.4)
HDMI x 1 (Supports 4K@120Hz/8K@60Hz and VRR as specified in HDMI 2.1)
DisplayPort x 3 (v1.4)
HDMI x 1 (Supports 4K@120Hz/8K@60Hz and VRR as specified in HDMI 2.1)
DisplayPort x 3 (v1.4)
HDMI x 1 (Supports 4K@120Hz/8K@60Hz and VRR as specified in HDMI 2.1)
DisplayPort x 3 (v1.4)
HDMI x 1 (Supports 4K@120Hz/8K@60Hz and VRR as specified in HDMI 2.1)
HDCP supportYYYY
Power consumption160W160W160W160W
Power connectors8-pin x 18-pin x 18-pin x 18-pin x 1
Recommended PSU500 W or greater500 W or greater500W or greater500W or greater
Card dimension (mm)277 x 130 x 51 mm277 x 130 x 51 mm235 x 125 x 46 mm235 x 125 x 46 mm
Weight (card / package)886g / 1,473g886g / 1,473g721g / 1,188g721g / 1,188g
DirectX version support12 API12 API12 API12 API
OpenGL version support4.64.64.64.6
Maximum displays4444
Digital maximum resolution7680 x 43207680 x 43207680 x 43207680 x 4320

MSI Radeon RX 6600 XT available on Amazon.com here

Graphics Card Design and Features

MSI has two primary variants of the RX 6600 XT, the Gaming series and the Mech series. The Gaming X and Mech 2X OC are overclocked versions, while the Gaming and Mech 2X has a slightly lower clock speed. However, I don’t think the performance difference would be that huge though. Not to mention, some retailers do not sell the non-overclock version. People tend to prefer the OC version instead of the non-OC.

AMD’s reference model offers a boost clock speed of up to 2589 MHz and a game clock speed of 2359MHz. Meanwhile, MSI’s Radeon RX 6600 XT Gaming X offers a boost clock speed of 2607 MHz and a game clock speed of 2428 MHz. So, there is a slight factory overclock going on with MSI’s card.

This graphics card features MSI’s Twin Frozr 8 cooling solution. It has two Torx Fan 4.0, a core pipe design, and a fin with an airflow control heatsink design. This is similar to what we saw on the MSI RTX 3060 Gaming X Trio, only this time it has two fans instead of three.

The good thing here is that the backplate is metal. I don’t like the Graphene backplate MSI used on its RTX 3060 because it scratches easily. The RGB lighting on this graphics card is also very minimal. Only the MSI logo on the front-side portion has RGB lighting.

If I am not mistaken, MSI is using an 8+2 power phase design; 8 for the GPU and 2 for the VRAM. They are also using Samsung GDDR6 memory rated to run at 16Gbps. The Navi 23 GPU on the RX 6600 XT is quite small, only 237mm² in the die area. Thus, most of the RX 6600 XT in the market are small since they have a smaller PCB.

As for the output ports, the MSI Radeon RX 6600 XT Gaming X has the same ports as the other RX 6600 XT in the market. It has three DisplayPort 1.4 ports. and one HDMI 2.1 port. The graphics card measures 277mm in length, 130mm in width, and 51mm in depth. It draws power from a single 8-pin PCIe power connector and requires at least a 500 W PSU.

Time to check out how MSI’s RX 6600 XT graphics card performs.

Test Setup for RX 6600 XT

msi radeon rx 6600 xt gaming x review test setup

I am using a different test system this time. I’m planning to update all soon and will be migrating from the Intel platform to AMD’s. I’m using a Gigabyte X570s Aorus Master powered with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800X. It is paired with a Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR4-3200 16GB memory. Below are the rest of the specifications of the system:

Operating SystemWindows 10 Pro 64bit
ProcessorAMD Ryzen 7 5800X
MotherboardGigabyte X570s Aorus Master
MemoryCorsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR4-3200 16GB
Graphics CardMSI Radeon RX 6600 XT Gaming X 8G
OS DriveSabrent Rocket 4 Plus NVMe Gen4 SSD
Game DriveSanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD V2 and Extreme Portable SSD V2
Power SupplySilverStone SX1000 Platinum SFX-L 1000W PSU
ChassisLian Li O11 Dynamic Mini

For this test, I used AMD’s Adrenalin 21.7.1 driver. The graphics card was tested at 1920×1080 FHD, and 2560×1440 WQHD resolutions.

For synthetic benchmarks, I used 3DMark’s benchmark suite. I also used the following games to test the graphics card: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Cyberpunk 2077, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Gears 5, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Horizon Zero Dawn, Monster Hunter World, Red Dead Redemption 2, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, The Division 2, The Witcher 3 and Watch Dogs Legion.

 Below is the GPU-Z screenshot of the MSI RX 6600 XT Gaming X.

msi rx 6600 xt gaming x gpuz

Noise and Temperature

msi rx 6600 xt gaming x light load temperature

Just like MSI’s other Gaming X graphics cards, this one features a fan-stop solution as well. This means that the fans will not spin unless the GPU hits a certain temperature, usually around 60 or 65° Celsius. Well, most of the graphics cards nowadays do have a fan stop feature.

As you can see from the screenshot above, its idle to light load temperature plays from 52° Celsius to 61° Celsius. It’s a bit hotter compared to XFX’s RX 6600 XT. Perhaps because MSI has a higher TDP than XFX’s card.

I was running a couple of 4K videos in the background, nevertheless, the fans didn’t spin at all; and the graphics card didn’t make any noise during this state.

msi rx 6600 xt gaming x full load temperature

After running FurMark for more than 10 minutes, its temperature went up to 56° Celsius with a hotspot temperature of 64° Celsius. That’s pretty impressive. Since I have tested MSI’s other Gaming X and SUPRIM X graphics cards, I am confident with their cooling solution. It would have been disappointing if the temps were high.

The graphics card’s fan was running at around 1100RPM or around 30% of its fan speed. It’s running silently and inaudible, as expected, and I didn’t observe any coil whine as well.

MSI Radeon RX 6600 XT Gaming X Benchmarks

Before you proceed to check out the results, I’d like to emphasize that I am using a different system to test the RX 6600 XT cards. All the other graphics cards on the charts were tested on an Intel platform, powered with an Intel Core i7-10700K CPU. I don’t have enough time to redo everything, but I will test these graphics cards on the new test system soon.

Smart Access Memory is disabled also since I wasn’t using the resizable bar when I benchmarked the NVIDIA graphics cards. So, there might be a slight improvement in performance if you enable Smart Access Memory.

With that out of the way, let’s check out some synthetic benchmarks first. Some of you might not be interested in synthetic benchmarks, but others would like to see them. It also gives us an idea of the “general performance” of this graphics card.

For the synthetic benchmark results, I used 3DMark’s graphics benchmark tests. On the left-hand side are graphics scores, while on the right-hand side are the average frames per second (FPS).

Based on the results I got, it looks like the RX 6600 XT performs somewhere in between the RTX 3060 and RTX 3060 Ti. It’s faster than the RTX 3060 and slightly falls behind the RTX 3060 Ti. MSI’s RX 6600 XT is also performing a hairline better than XFX’s.

When I tested the graphics card using the 3DMark Port Royal test, it got a poor ray tracing performance. The Radeon RX 6000 series is the first to feature ray tracing support. AMD GPUs are quite new to ray tracing, so I am not expecting them to perform well in this area. As you can see from the Port Royal test, the RX 6600 XT falls behind and is only on par with the RTX 2060 when it comes to ray tracing.

1080p Game Benchmark Results

Like I mentioned earlier, the Radeon RX 6600 XT is targeted towards 1080p gaming. Let’s see how it fares in modern-day AAA game titles in this resolution. Below are the results I got for the MSI Radeon RX 6600 XT Gaming X.

As you can see from the graphs above, the RX 6600 XT is performing quite well in a 1920x1080p resolution. I wasn’t expecting that the RX 6600 XT will perform this well. My initial estimate is that it would only be on par with the RTX 3060. But as you can see from the results above, it is performing faster than the RTX 3060.

1440p Game Benchmark Results

Let’s see if the MSI RX 6600 XT Gaming X can also perform well on a 1440p resolution, despite being a graphics card designed for 1080p gaming.

The MSI RX 6600 XT is still “slightly ahead” of the XFX RX 6600 XT in 1440p. But the performance difference is negligible. Since its 1080p performance was impressive, I was expecting a substantial improvement in the 1440p resolution as well. But it turns out I was wrong.

It seems that the RX 6600 XT is, a little bit, struggling in this resolution. Notice that the performance difference between the RTX 3060 and RX 6600 XT is reduced. Both of them are now performing similarly and sometimes the RTX 3060 would outperform the RX 6600 XT, especially when the game is an NVIDIA-sponsored title. I’m not quite sure why it’s not scaling well at higher resolutions.

That is it for now, time to wrap up this review.

MSI Radeon RX 6600 XT Gaming X Review Conclusion

msi radeon rx 6600 xt gaming x review conclusion

The RX 6600 XT is the first RDNA2 GPU I got and I wasn’t able to test the other RX 6000 series GPUs. Perhaps, the reports are true and there are only a very limited number of these GPUs in the market. Nevertheless, the results I got for the RX 6600 XT were quite impressive for the 1080p resolution.

However, it was somehow struggling at 1440p. I’m not sure why it wasn’t performing or scaling well at 1440p, but I can also assume that AMD doesn’t want the RX 6600 XT to outshine its Radeon RX 6700 XT that is designed for 1440p gaming.

Pricing Matters

This is where it gets a little bit upsetting. It seems that you will need to shell out more for a “1080p graphics card”. In my opinion, 1080p is an outgoing resolution and will be obsolete soon. It is unfortunate that we still need to spend quite a substantial amount of money just to play smoothly on a 1080p monitor.

The MSI Radeon RX 6600 XT comes with an MSRP of $570 USD. And depending on the retail store, the actual retail price could be higher. AMD’s MSRP for the RX 6600 XT starts at $379, but I guess it’s no longer followed due to shortage issues. Well, that’s not new anymore and I hope it will be resolved soon.

Price (and availability) will be the primary deciding factor here. If it sells cheaper than an RTX 3060, then it will be the better option. However, if it is priced close or similar to an RTX 3060 Ti, then the obvious choice would be the RTX 3060 Ti.

Update: MSI Radeon RX 6600 XT available on Amazon.com here

Finally…

The MSI Radeon RX 6600 XT Gaming X is a solid graphics card. It’s great for 1080p gaming, build quality is top-notch and it has a fantastic cooling solution. The only (real) downside to it is its pricing. Perhaps in the (near) future, pricing would change for the better. If you can spot one for a reasonable price, I don’t have any qualms recommending this graphics card.

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I love computers since I was a kid. I’m always fascinated with new technology, especially in the PC world. Many years ago, I was curious if the reviews I read were true and real. So, why not test them myself and share my first-hand experience? And thus, here we are. Thanks for reading!

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