If you, like the rest of the world, have been biding your time and waiting patiently for GPU prices to drop, this could be your time. AMD will be releasing the new Radeon RX 6600 XT on 11 August for a recommended price of $379 (R5,500).
At that price, AMD aims to position the new entry-level card to compete with Nvidia’s RTX 3060, aiming to provide high frame rates at 1080p. But, with an MSRP that starts at $329, AMD better make good on its claims that the RX 6600 XT offers the same increase in performance over the RTX 3060.
RX 6600 XT specs and performance
The new card will feature 32 compute units (CUs), 8GB of GDDR6 RAM, a 2359 MHz base clock, 2589 MHz boost clock (see ‘game’ clock), and has a base power draw of 160W, but expect to see a higher number here depending on the board partner’s design.
CUs can be confusing so to put that into perspective, the Xbox Series S (which also uses an AMD RDN2 chip) has 20 CUs, the Series X has 52 CUs and AMD’s top card, the RX 6900 XT has 80 CUs.
With a bit of speculation here, we think AMD wants to achieve a couple of things with the RX 6600 XT. Firstly, it knows that the majority of gamers don’t have the cash to drop on 4K systems. It cited research from IDC that stated most of the gaming monitors sold last year were 1080p panels, but that the growth high-refresh rate monitors saw was 20x higher than lower refresh rate panels. This is also backed up by Steam’s hardware survey, which says also that 70% of gamers are running 1920×1080 as their main display resolution.
That’s where the RX 6600 XT comes in, which AMD says will be able to run most AAA titles at 60+fps. This seems to be true according to its slide show, but until reviewers have the cards in hand we’d caution taking these numbers at face value.
Is that a bit of hope we see?
The other, perhaps more important, point worth noting is that this new GPU will use a different, smaller die to the rest of AMD’s lineup. This could be good news because it means that TSMC, AMD’s main fabrication partner, will be able to fit more units on the wafer meaning AMD should, in theory, be able to release more cards. That will, of course, be subject to the availability of a whole bunch of other components, but let’s hope for the best.
Unfortunately, at the time of writing, there aren’t any listings on any local websites so we can’t a concrete number for the local price but the RX 6700 XT is priced between R13,000 and R17,000 so the RX 6600 XT should be lower than that at least.