After making a return to the mid-range with its RX 6700 XT GPU, AMD has launched its 1080p flagship, the RX 6600 XT. A successor to the excellent and popular RX 5600 XT card, the new model has considerably more power on tap with 9.6 teraflops of RDNA 2 performance, compared to 7.19 teraflops for the last model. Not only that, but it offers 8GB of GDDR6 RAM, compared to 6GB for its predecessor.
In fact, the RX 6600 XT seems to deliver about the same amount of performance as the RX 5700 XT (9.75 teraflops) and just slightly less than the GPU in the PS5, at least on paper. Since the RX 5700 XT was offered as a 1440p-capable card (and the PS5 can handle 4K), it doesn't seem a stretch to say that the new model will at least be decent at 1440p gaming.
However, AMD is marketing this card as a "new standard for 1080p," saying that it has up to a 1.7 times uplift over the last generation for games like Doom Eternal for 1080p gaming. AMD noted that around two-third of monitors shipped are still 1080p, so that's still the norm for PC gaming.
Other specs include 32 compute units (compared to 40 on the RX 6700 XT), a 2359 MHz game clock and 160W power consumption with a single 8 pin power connector. AMD also touts custom features like Radeon Boost for higher frame rates and Radeon Anti-Lag for improved latency.
The main new feature with the 6000-series GPUs, however, is ray-tracing. That feature allows for higher resolutions (1440p and 4K) while still maintaining decent frame rates and allowing for more realistic images. Don't expect too much from the RX 6600 XT, however, as the RX 6700 XT struggled in ray-tracing tests compared to NVIDIA rivals in our review — and the RX 6600 XT has lower specs all around.
Still, it looks pretty impressive otherwise for a budget-level 1080p card. We'll soon see a raft of RX 6600 XT models from ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI (above), ASRock and others, with MSRP starting at $379 and shipping set for August 11th. Take it as a miracle if you get one at that price, though — the RX 5600 XT had a suggested retail of $300, but street prices were often double that and more thanks to the cryptomining and the global GPU shortage.