AMD announced their latest Radeon RX 6600 XT GPU just a couple of weeks ago. AMD is marketing it towards 1080p gaming, and it is also the company’s answer to NVIDIA’s RTX 3060. We have the XFX Radeon RX 6600 XT MERC 308 Black Gaming graphics card to check out and review. It’s XFX’s top-of-the-line RX 6600 XT model under its Speedster series. Stick around, and let’s find out how the RX 6600 XT performs in our review below.
XFX Speedster MERC 308 RX 6600 XT Black Gaming Review
The Radeon RX 6600 XT is AMD’s solution for 1080p gaming. 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. But the card that we have here has a higher power delivery of 145 watts.
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.
- AMD 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.
- AMD 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.
- 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.
- AMD Radeon Anti-Lag – Helps decrease input-to-display response times, making games more responsive and offering a competitive edge in gameplay.
- AMD 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.
XFX Radeon RX 6600 XT MERC 308 Black Specifications
XFX Radeon RX 6600 XT QICK 308 available on Amazon.com here
Graphics Card Design and Features
XFX has three RX 6600 XT models under its Speedster series. The XFX MERC 308 RX 6600 XT, the one that we have here, the QICK 308 and SWFT 210. Both the MERC 308 and QICK 308 features a triple fan design, while the SWFT 210 features a dual-fan design.
Both the MERC 308 RX 6600 XT and QICK 308 models share identical PCB, power delivery, BIOS tuning, heatsink, and fans. The only difference is that the MERC 308 features LED lighting on the XFX, and Radeon branding; and silver highlights. Although the QICK 308 looks plain with an all-black color scheme, it’s slightly cheaper compared to the MERC 308.
When it comes to power design, the XFX MERC 308 RX 6600 XT features a 6+2 phase and full digital PWM power design. It has three 80mm fans with 9 blades on each fan and a passthrough exhaust at the rear end portion.
Its aluminum heatsink isn’t that big since the GPU die is smaller compared to the other RX 6000 GPUs. But it is enough to cool the RX 6600 XT’s GPU. The GPU and VRAM are in direct contact with a Nickel-plated Copper base; and a 4-piece, 6mm thick, Nickel-plated Copper heat pipe distributes the heat to the heatsink.
Finally, the back is protected by an aluminum backplate. But the silver highlights are made of plastic. By the way, despite having a triple-fan cooler design, the graphics card is a little bit smaller compared to other graphics cards with a triple-fan design. It measures only 274mm x 114mm x 50mm, or 10.79″ x 4.49″ x 1.97″.
Time to check out how this RX 6600 XT graphics card performs.
Test Setup for RX 6600 XT
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 System||Windows 10 Pro 64bit|
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 7 5800X|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte X570s Aorus Master|
|Memory||Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR4-3200 16GB|
|Graphics Card||XFX Merc 308 Radeon RX 6600 XT Black Gaming|
|OS Drive||Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus NVMe Gen4 SSD|
|Game Drive||SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD V2 and Extreme Portable SSD V2|
|Power Supply||SilverStone SX1000 Platinum SFX-L 1000W PSU|
|Chassis||Lian 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 XFX MERC 308 RX 6600 XT Black Gaming.
Noise and Temperature
The XFX RX 6600 XT MERC 308 has a fan-stop feature. This means that the fans will not spin unless the GPU hits the temperature threshold. During idle to light load situations, the graphics card’s temp plays from ~46° Celsius to around ~59° Celsius. The fans do not spin in idle to lightly. And obviously, the graphics card doesn’t make any sound at this point.
I ran FurMark for several minutes and its temperature went up to 71° Celsius; while the hotspot went up to 81° Celsius. Its fan speed was just around 800+RPM or 25%. I think the GPU’s temperature can be lower with a more aggressive fan curve. However, it may become more audible with the fans running at higher speeds. Nevertheless, at 25% fan speed, the graphics card was running silently.
XFX MERC 308 RX 6600 XT Black Gaming 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. 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.
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.
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. As you can see from the Port Royal test, the RX 6600 XT falls behind and is 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.
I wasn’t expecting that the RX 6600 XT will perform quite well in 1080p. 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 RX 6600 XT can also perform well on a 1440p resolution, despite being a graphics card designed for 1080p gaming.
Again, I was not expecting the numbers that I got. But this time, somewhat in a negative way. The XFX Radeon RX 6600 XT was performing well on 1080p resolution. However, it seems to be struggling at 1440p. 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.
That is it for now, time to wrap up this review.
XFX Radeon RX 6600 XT MERC 308 Black Review Conclusion
I wasn’t able to test or review the other Radeon RX 6000 series card and the RX 6600 XT is the first RDNA2 GPU I got. So, I didn’t have any idea how this GPU will perform, at first. Nevertheless, the results were quite impressive for the 1080p resolution. Although, it was somehow struggling at 1440p. I’m not sure why it wasn’t performing well at 1440p, but I can also assume that AMD doesn’t want the 6600 XT to outshine the 6700 XT for 1440p, being the cheaper card.
Speaking of the price, 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.
I was also informed that the XFX RX 6600 XT Merc 308 will retail for around $420-$480 USD depending on the retail partner. Meanwhile, the QICK retails for $399 and the SWFT will retail for $379, which is AMD’s recommended starting price for the RX 6600 XT. Of course, expect the actual retail price to be higher due very low to no supply.
Price (and availability) will be the primary deciding factor here. Assuming that you are open to using an AMD GPU. 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: XFX Radeon RX 6600 XT QICK 308 listed on Amazon.com here
At the end of the day, the XFX MERC 308 RX 6600 XT Black Gaming is an excellent card. It features a triple-fan design but the card itself is quite compact and not bulky. The design is sleek-looking and not too aggressive. And the lighting on the front-side portion is a nice touch as well. If you like how the graphics card looks and if you can spot this card for a reasonable price, then I have no problem recommending this graphics card at all.