MSI Radeon RX 6650 XT GAMING X 8G Video Card Review

MSI Radeon RX 6650 XT GAMING X 8G Video Card Front View Sitting on Table Upright


It’s time for a refresh, AMD is refreshing the Radeon RX 6000 line of video cards, well three of them anyway.  Welcome to AMD’s Spring 2022 Radeon RX 6000 series update refresh.  This is a true refresh, a refined for 2022 refresh, not a re-branding, which means new GPU SKUs, and new specs.  However, take heed, that this is a mild re-refresh, not a major refresh. 

We are not seeing wide-sweeping changes here, simply GPU clock speed and memory frequency updates thanks to refined processes.  It’s the same silicon, just bumped up, and with newer faster memory.  But let’s quickly talk about what AMD is launching today, and then the specific video card we are going to review first.

AMD is launching three new video cards, the Radeon RX 6650 XT, the Radeon RX 6750 XT, and the Radeon RX 6950 XT.  The Radeon RX 6650 XT 8GB will have an MSRP of $399 and be produced and distributed by partner video cards, there will be no reference AMD card.  The Radeon RX 6750 XT 12GB and Radeon RX 6950 XT 16GB, however, will have reference AMD cards and be sold on  The Radeon RX 6750 XT will have an MSRP of $549 and the Radeon RX 6950 XT will have an MSRP of $1,099. 

The Radeon RX 6650 XT is an interesting refresh because it will be completely replacing the previous Radeon RX 6600 XT.  That’s right, the Radeon RX 6600 XT is going out of production, AMD is going to let the Radeon RX 6600 XT retire and dry up.  The Radeon RX 6650 XT will therefore be the direct replacement.  The lineup will now go, from Radeon RX 6600 to Radeon RX 6650 XT to Radeon RX 6700 XT.  The MSRP of the Radeon RX 6650 XT at $399 is exactly twenty dollars more (by MSRP) than the Radeon RX 6600 XT was with its MSRP previously at $379.  

The Radeon RX 6700 XT, Radeon RX 6800, and Radeon RX 6900 will continue full production.  The new Radeon RX 6750 XT and Radeon RX 6950 XT will sit on top of the 6700 XT and 6900 XT giving gamers more options. 

Radeon RX 6950 XTRadeon RX 6750 XTRadeon RX 6650 XT
Memory Capacity16GB12GB8GB
Game GPU Clock2100 MHz2495 MHz2410 MHz
Boost GPU Clock2310 MHz2600 MHz2635 MHz
Memory Frequency18GHz18GHz17.5GHz

AMD notes above that AMD Smart Access Memory is making a big difference in gaming performance now on AMD CPUs, and AMD Radeon Software has been enjoying performance updates over time. Note that we have had AMD SMART Acces Memory (Resizable BAR) enabled in our GPU reviews since the beginning of 2021. We made the decision a year ago to enable this forward-looking feature in all our testing. You will see Resizable BAR/Smart Access Memory represented in our benchmarks.

AMD Radeon RX 6650 XT Specs

Ok, now let’s talk about what the Radeon RX 6650 XT offers as a replacement to the Radeon RX 6600 XT.  First, remember this is just a refresh, and this card is replacing the 6600 XT, so we don’t expect huge changes.  It’s based on the same RDNA2 architecture and TSMC N7 fabrication process.  It’s a NAVI 23 GPU.  The only difference is a bumped-up GPU clock speed and faster memory.  Practically you can even think of the Radeon RX 6650 XT simply as an overclocked Radeon RX 6600 XT, in practice, that is what it represents.

The new Radeon RX 6650 XT will have a default GPU Game Clock of 2410MHz and a Boost Clock of 2635MHz.  This compares to the Radeon RX 6600 XT which had a Game Clock of 2359MHz and a Boost Clock of 2589MHz.  Therefore, the new 6650 XT GPU Game Clock is exactly 51MHz higher or 2% higher.  The new 6650 XT Boost Clock is 46MHz higher or 2% higher.  This is very minor. 

With AMD’s dynamic nature of clock frequency, the actual gaming frequency will vary, and is typically higher than the Game Clock, and can rise up to the Boost Clock, or even beyond, depending on the video card.  However, on average the 6650 XT will simply have a 2% higher GPU clock relative to the 6600 XT, but again the 6650 XT is a replacement.

The other improvement is on the memory clock speed, and this one is a little bigger.  The memory clock speed is now running at 17.5GHz on the Radeon RX 6650 XT versus 16GHz on the Radeon RX 6600 XT.  This is thanks to newer faster GDDR6 memory.  The memory capacity is still 8GB, and the memory bus is still 128-bit. This means the new Radeon RX 6650 XT has a memory bandwidth of 280GB/s while the Radeon RX 6600 XT had a memory bandwidth of 256GB/s, an increase of 9%.

Otherwise, the Radeon RX 6650 XT is exactly the same as the Radeon RX 6600 XT.  It has 32 Compute Units, 32 Ray Accelerators, 2,048 Stream Processors, 64 ROPs, 128 TMUs, and 32MB of Infinity Cache.  It operates on a PCIe 4.0 x8 bus and requires one 8-pin power connector.  The TDP is 180W, while the Radeon RX 6600 XT was 160W, so that is up to 20W or 13%.  AMD recommends a 500W PSU.  Manufacturers will have custom video cards with factory overclocks.

AMD Radeon RX 6650 XTAMD Radeon RX 6600 XT
Architecture/ProcessRDNA2/TSMC N7RDNA2/TSMC N7
Transistor Count11.1 billion11.1 billion
Die Size237 mm2237 mm2
Compute Units3232
Ray Accelerators3232
Stream Processors20482048
Infinity Cache32MB32MB
Game GPU Clock2410 MHz2359 MHz
Boost GPU Clock2635 MHz2589 MHz
Memory8GB GDDR6 / 17.5GHz /128-bit8GB GDDR6/ 16GHz / 128-bit
Memory Bandwidth280GB/s256GB/s
PCIe InterfacePCIe 4.0 x8PCIe 4.0 x8
Board Power180W160W

AMD Radeon Raise The Game Bundle and FSR 2.0

Alongside this launch, AMD is also bringing back the AMD Radeon Raise the Game Bundle. The information straight from AMD is posted below.

Gamers purchasing a qualifying Radeon product from a participating etailer beginning May 10, 2022, will receive a code that can be redeemed when the promotion launches later in the quarter, with the full offer details and additional titles to be provided at that time. AMD wanted to provide the new RAISE THE GAME bundle timed with the latest AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series graphics cards launch to ensure gamers have an opportunity to take advantage of this great offer. The new bundle will include the popular Saints Row and Sniper Elite 5 games with more being revealed leading up to the launch of the promotion (bundle offer may vary by eligible product purchased). Gamers can visit to find a list of participating partners and check back for future updates and instructions on the bundle promotion.

In addition, finally, games supporting FSR 2.0 are coming. The game list is listed below. We use Flight Sim 2020 in testing, that will be interesting to see how FSR 2.0 affects that game.

The first game to add support for FSR 2.0 is DEATHLOOP by Arkane Studios and Bethesda, which is expected to be available via an update on May 12, 2022. Additional games planning to add future support for the technology in the coming months include Asterigos, Delysium, EVE Online, Farming Simulator 22, Forspoken, Grounded, Microsoft Flight Simulator, NiShuiHan, Perfect World Remake, Swordsman Remake, and Unknown 9: Awakening.

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Brent Justice
Former managing editor of GPUs at HardOCP for 18 years, Brent Justice has been reviewing computer components since the late 90s, educated in the art and method of the computer hardware review, he brings experience, knowledge, and hands-on testing with a gamer-oriented and hardware enthusiast perspective. You can follow him on Twitter - @Brent_Justice You can sub to his YouTube channel - Justice Gaming You can check out his computer builds on KIT - @BrentJustice

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