Today we will be reviewing an add-in-board partner card based on AMD RX 6600 XT graphics. XFX was the first to come to us to sample a video card. We also have a video card from MSI as well that arrived just before launch. This is already a good sign and indication of Radeon RX 6600 XT video card availability being better than previous GPUs this generation.
Today’s review will focus on XFX’s top-of-the-line, highest SKU, XFX SPEEDSTER MERC 308 Radeon RX 6600 XT Black Edition video card. This video card represents the best of the best of XFX’s Radeon RX 6600 XT lineup. We are quite excited to dive into it and find out how it performs, and how it overclocks. If you haven’t yet, check out our Radeon RX 6600 XT Introduction article where we show and talk about all the specifications of the new GPU. We are not going to re-hash it here, check out that article for the low-down on what the Radeon RX 6600 XT offers and what the specs are.
XFX SPEEDSTER MERC 308 RX 6600 XT Black
The official name of the video card we are reviewing today is the XFX Speedster MERC 308 AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT Black Gaming Graphics Card with 8GB GDDR6, AMD RDNA 2. That is one long name, XFX has a short description of the video card as well: XFX SPEEDSTER MERC308 RADEON RX 6600 XT BLACK Gaming Graphics Card. Though that is still quite long. The official Model Number/Part Number is RX-66XT8TBDQ and Model Number RX-66XT8T. You can also find the video card described as: XFX SPEEDSTER MERC308 RADEON RX 6600 XT BLACK 8G D6 HDMI 3xDP. Basically, the naming breaks down as such below.
XFX has three distinct levels of Radeon RX 6600 XT GPU-based video cards available, and the naming schemes can seem overwhelming at first glance. Let’s first break down the naming and how that works. The series name for all of these video cards is the SPEEDSTER Series, so you will see Speedster before the product name, it just means this is XFX’s Speedster series of video cards. You can leave that off as it is not as descriptive. The next bit of information is what is called the Edition name. XFX will have the MERC 308 Black Edition, QICK 308 Black Edition, and SWFT 210 Core Edition. This is what will denote the major differences between all three graphics cards.
The SWFT 210 Core Gaming video card will be XFX’s base model for the Radeon RX 6600 XT. It will be clocked at the AMD reference clock speeds, dual-fan design, and sell at the MSRP of $379. Next up the scale is the QICK 308 Black Gaming video card. This one has a factory overclock, triple-fan design, and a higher MSRP of $399. Finally, at the top of the SKU is the MERC 308 Black Gaming video card. It also has the same factory overclock as the QICK version, the same triple-fan design but adds LED lighting and a silver trim aesthetic flair along with a higher MSRP of around $409-$419.
The QICK 308 and MERC 308 are very similar, they are the same card and specifications, just that the MERC has LED lighting and a silver trim aesthetic flair. The QICK 308 has the flair taken out with just a black shroud. Basically, if you want the specs of the MERC 308, and can’t get ahold of the MERC 308 the QICK will offer the same specs, just without LED lighting and the flair. It should give you more options if one or the other isn’t available.
XFX MERC 308 Black Radeon RX 6600 XT Specs
We are reviewing the MERC 308 Black Edition. It has a factory overclock of up to 2428MHz game clock and 2607MHz boost clock. This compares with the reference game clock of 2359MHz and boost clock of 2589MHz. That is therefore a 69MHz game clock increase and an 18MHz boost clock increase. The clock speed does run dynamically, and we will see what it actually runs at in this review. Otherwise, it has the standard 8GB of GDDR6 on board at 16GHz. The GPU TDP on this video card is 145W according to XFX.
The XFX MERC 308 Radeon RX 6600 XT Black video card measures 10.79 inches long, 4.49 inches wide, and 1.97 inches in height. It is considered a 2.5 slot card profile. The Minimum Power Supply Requirement is 650W.
This video card is using XFX’s iconic Ghost Thermal Design. XFX has put a triple-fan design on this video card with a heatsink and shroud that extends past the length of the PCB. It uses 9 blade high-efficiency sleeve fans that are 80mm each. It uses a rigid cast aluminum backplate to give the card rigidity and it is well ventilated so it doesn’t trap heat. This video card uses a passthrough exhaust design to let air pass through the heatsink and heat pipes to keep it cool.
The video card has custom BIOS thermal fan profile performance set. The default fan profile is set so that the Junction Temperature fan target is the primary determining factor in fan speed. The fan target Junction Temperature is set at 89c and targets 1200RPM fan speed for quiet operation. If the Junction Temp rises above 89c then fans will increase in RPM and if it remains below 89c the fans will reduce RPMs.
The heatsink is made of aluminum and uses a Nickle plated copper cold plate to the GPU and memory. There are 4 6mm Nickel-plated copper heat pipes that have direct contact with the cold plate.
XFX is using custom hardware components and PCB with a fully digital PWM delivery system. The video card uses a 6×2 phase design and the default BIOS delivers 145W of power. It requires one standard 8-pin PCI-Express power connector. Beside the power connector is a BIOS switch as this video card supports a dual-BIOS. Right now, the BIOS is the same in both positions, but this is a great safety measure.
Onboard you will find three DisplayPorts 1.4 with DSC and one HDMI 2.1 with VRR and FRL.
The MERC 308 Black Edition offers an LED XFX logo and Radeon branding on the top of the video card. It’s nice and crisp, but it is just an LED, no RGB.