The AMD Radeon RX 7000 series of GPUs, based on the new RDNA 3 architecture, debuted in December of 2022 with the Radeon RX 7900 XTX $999 video card and Radeon RX 7900 XT $899 video card in the high-end ultimate enthusiast segments. After a long wait, AMD has finally released a new video card in the family, but this time toward the other end of the pricing spectrum, and is launching the AMD Radeon RX 7600 for a suggested retail price of $269. It is a bit unorthodox to release the highest-end SKU, then turn around and hit the lowest-end, with a black hole in the middle where the previous generation GPUs currently occupy.
The new AMD Radeon RX 7600 is geared toward the mainstream segment, and geared for the 1080p gameplay experience. It is properly equipped at its price point to deliver a good 1080p gameplay experience. AMD Radeon RX 7600 has 32 Compute Units, 32 Ray Accelerators, 64 AI Accelerators, 64 ROPs, and 2,048 Stream Processors. It has 32MB of 2nd Gen AMD Infinity Cache. The Game GPU Clock is 2250MHz and the Boost GPU Clock can go up to 2625MHz. It has 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM capacity at 18GHz on a 128-bit memory bus providing 288GB/s of actual memory bandwidth. The Total Board Power is 165W.
In our AMD Radeon RX 7600 review, we have put into perspective the price point of this new video card at $269. At this price point, the Radeon RX 7600 is actually 18% ($60) cheaper than the previous generation Radeon RX 6600 video card released at the end of 2021. Though there was a Radeon RX 6650 XT refresh last year in 2022, that video card launched at an MSRP of $399. The only two differences in the Radeon RX 6650 XT versus the Radeon RX 6600 are a GPU frequency and memory frequency increase.
Therefore if we want to see what the real “gen-to-gen” performance upgrade and uplift is from the previous generation it makes sense to compare the new Radeon RX 7600 to the Radeon RX 6600 which was at a higher price of $329 at launch. It is simply the closest comparison, at this price point, looking back on the AMD side. In this way, we were able to see what the Radeon RX 7600 offers in terms of 1080p gameplay performance and Ray Tracing performance, as well as FSR, compared to the previous generation if you are shopping at this same price point.
RX 7600 vs RX 6600
We have created a simple table below, that summarizes the 1080p Raster performance uplift we experienced with the Radeon RX 7600 versus the Radeon RX 6600 as well as Ray Tracing. Therefore if you were shopping for a video card in the last generation in this market segment of around $300, you will be able to see what you will now be able to get in 2023 with the Radeon RX 7600, at a cheaper price.
|RX 7600 Performance Increase vs RX 6600||1080p Raster||1080p w/Ray Tracing|
|The Callisto Protocol||10%||36%|
|Call of Duty Modern Warfare II||39%||N/A|
|Chernobylite Enhanced Edition||34%||3%|
|Dying Light 2||31%||29%|
|AVERAGE RX 7600 Perf Increase Gen-to-Gen||28.5%||27%|
Overall, the gains in performance were very positive in regards to what the new AMD Radeon RX 7600 offers over the previous generation Radeon RX 6600. For a cheaper price, you get a pretty solid performance upgrade that is over 30% in several games. There were a couple of games in the mid-20% range, and then one outlier. That outlier, The Callisto Protocol, may have been attributed to running it at the highest texture settings, where VRAM capacity could potentially be rearing its head. We do not know this for sure, more testing will need to be done.
When it comes to Ray Tracing performance, we saw an equal average uplift. Forspoken took the cake with the highest performance advantage, and most games were in the high 20% range, with one over 30% and another outlier of performance with Chernobylite Enhanced Edition. Once again, this could be related to two things, either the game was having VRAM issues at the Ultra settings and Ultra Ray Tracing or the graphically intense nature of the use of Global Illumination Ray Tracing is too much for even RDNA 3. This will need more exploration as well.
RX 7600 vs RTX 3060 12GB
We only had access to the 12GB model of the GeForce RTX 3060 at the time of testing. The GeForce RTX 3060 12GB was launched in 2021 at an MSRP of $329. Therefore this price point also compares with the above Radeon RX 6600 we tested with as well. Both video cards were launched at $329, and using the 12GB RTX 3060 instead of the 8GB model gives the Radeon RX 7600 a bigger challenge. Just keep in mind again that the Radeon RX 7600 is 18% ($60) cheaper than the launch MSRP of the GeForce RTX 3060 12GB as you look at the summary table below.
|RX 7600 Performance Difference vs RTX 3060 12GB||1080p Raster|
|The Callisto Protocol||+3%|
|Call of Duty Modern Warfare II||+42%|
|Chernobylite Enhanced Edition||+0.4%|
|Dying Light 2||+15%|
|AVERAGE RX 7600 Perf Difference||+12.6%|
The Radeon RX 7600 mostly outperforms the GeForce RTX 3060 12GB. It was faster by a good bit in Returnal, Dying Light 2, and Cyberpunk 2077 and especially faster in Call of Duty Modern Warfare II. These are games that really push graphics, so it is impressive that the cheaper Radeon RX 7600 is doing so well. There were some outliers and even one game that the GeForce RTX 3060 12GB did much better in.
In Chernobylite Enhanced Edition performance was equal, so it at least wasn’t worse, and in The Callisto Protocol, the RX 7600 was just slightly faster but very close. The outlier was Forspoken, where the GeForce RTX 3060 12GB was definitely faster. Once again, we do run this game with the “Ultra High” texture setting, and it is very possible the larger 12GB famebuffer is advantageous here. This would need further testing to drill it down.
On average, with the low outliers in play, the Radeon RX 7600 offered a 12.6% combined average advantage, over the 12GB GeForce RTX 3060 at a much cheaper price point. The real test for the Radeon RX 7600 is naturally going to be the GeForce RTX 4060 when it is released in July. We will just have to wait to see how that shapes up. One thing is certain now though, when it comes to Ray Tracing performance, the RTX 3060 still has the advantage in performance, and we expect this to widen with the GeForce RTX 4060.
The Pros and Cons
Talking about the pros and cons, the Radeon RX 7600 has some strong pros and really very few cons. On the pro side, the Radeon RX 7600 is priced appropriately for the resolution, gameplay experience, and framebuffer capacity provided. The price point actually makes it exciting. It is priced right for an 8GB framebuffer, 128-bit memory bus video card. You wouldn’t want it any more expensive than this with these specifications.
Another pro is that there is a respectable performance uplift from the previous generation, it isn’t small, and that translates to ray tracing and FSR as well. Finally, it has new technologies such as AV1 encoding, and AI Accelerators on board that will hopefully get utilized in the future, FSR 3 perhaps?
A con we can find with the Radeon RX 7600 is once again down to the overall ray tracing performance compared to the competition. While ray tracing performance has improved, it didn’t improve as much as we were hoping. In fact, it could be pretty bad in some scenarios and circumstances. The GeForce RTX 3060 from two years ago still beats it in ray tracing performance, and we fear that the upcoming GeForce RTX 4060 will give it even harder smacking in ray tracing. That said, it does have some usable ray tracing at 1080p depending on the game, it is very game dependent. There is also FSR to help along the way.
The final con is simply the fact that FSR does not look great at 1080p overall. You are having to upsample from such a low resolution at 1080p, that FSR just cannot compete with DLSS on image quality right now. So while FSR can give you that performance boost you desire, it can also potentially make things look worse. It isn’t as bad at 1440p, but it isn’t on the same quality level as DLSS either. Hopefully, we will continue to see FSR improve over time. Already AMD is releasing FSR 2.2 with improved quality, we just need to see it actually used and implemented in games more.
The AMD Radeon RX 7600 is one of the best price-to-performance upgrades we’ve seen this entire year-end-2022-2023 of next-generation GPUs thus far. The Radeon RX 7600 gives you a respectable performance uplift from the previous generation, in raster and ray tracing, and it does so at a cheaper price than the previous generation at launch. It will give you new features such as AV1 encoding and supports FSR upscaling which would help games to even be playable at 1440p on this video card depending on the game.
Street pricing on last-generation GPUs has fallen, but that is a recent event. When those video cards were launched, they were not so cheap. Therefore, the Radeon RX 7600 is launching now, at a cheaper price, and over time the Radeon RX 7600 itself may drop a bit in price, and that will only make it even more appealing. If you are looking for a new GPU in 2023, you want to be looking at the latest generation, why settle for video cards from two years ago? AMD has done the right thing with the Radeon RX 7600 and priced it appropriately for an 8GB 128-bit video card in the mainstream or entry-level for 2023. The $269 price point makes sense for a video card aimed at a 1080p gameplay experience.
If you are looking for an entry-level to mainstream video card in 2023, and want the latest features and support, and your budget is sub-$300, then the Radeon RX 7600 seems to offer a great value.