AMD is launching the Radeon RX 6600 XT today, though it has already been announced. The AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT was announced on July 29th at ChinaJoy 2021. The official press release reveals the specifications and pricing, the official MSRP is $379.
The trend seems to be, announce first, then launch hardware later. However, the availability of that hardware has been a problem in today’s crazy silicon shortage atmosphere and high prices. Today, on August 10th, we can talk about the GPU, but we cannot post our full review of the add-in-board partner board we have, until tomorrow, August 11th. On August 11th, we will reveal our benchmarks.
This launch is a bit unique, this is a partner-only launch. What this means is that AMD will not be releasing a made by AMD reference card this time, nor sampling reference cards for review at “launch.” This is a bit of a different step AMD is taking, as the Radeon RX 6900 XT, 6800 XT, 6800, and 6700 XT all had made by AMD video cards directly for sale on AMD’s website directly.
This gave AMD somewhat control over the MSRP and pricing manufacturers would charge. When cards are available direct on AMD.com it sets a sort of benchmark for pricing. Now that Radeon RX 6600 XT won’t be available directly on AMD.com manufacturers are free to really charge whatever they want.
AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT
The AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT is set up to market to a specific segment of gamers. AMD is positioning this video card to squarely occupy the 1080p gaming experience. This video card is engineered to perform best at 1080p, not necessarily 1440p. That fact is made clear with the cutting down of the Infinity Cache to 32MB on this 128-bit bus video card.
As you can see above, the Radeon RX 6600 XT sits in the 1080p bracket of performance, while it is up to the Radeon RX 6700 XT to provide gamers a good experience at 1440p. The only issue with that is that $379 is a high price point for the 1080p gaming space. Typically, this has been a sub-$300 market in the past. The Radeon RX 5600 XT, for example, was launched with an MSRP of $279 and it was positioned as a 1080p video card in early 2020.
In terms of upgradability, AMD is stating it is time to upgrade from your GeForce GTX 1060 video card. The GeForce GTX 1060 was released in 2016, but its MSRP was only $249. Kind of odd comparing to a 5-year old video card, you would hope the Radeon RX 6600 XT is faster than a 5-year old video card. So it is a bit odd to say it’s time to upgrade to a video card that is $130 more expensive five years later. That’s a very different price segment.
At any rate, AMD is claiming that the Radeon RX 6600 XT should be in the realm of 2.2x to 2.5x faster than a GeForce GTX 1060. For $130 more, we sure hope it would. Not really sure that is enough to justify the price difference, however. AMD also claims the Radeon RX 6600 XT is 1.4x to 1.7x the performance of the Radeon RX 5600 XT. Again, these are also $100 apart in pricing, so not sure that really is that impressive considering the price difference?
We should see better availability of the Radeon RX 6600 XT, and it should be available from many popular add-in-board partners shown above, as well as leading OEMs.