ASUS RX 6600 XT Strix OC Review
Published: 10th August 2021 | Source: ASUS | Price: |
When we first saw the AMD RDNA2 architecture in action we were blown away. Similarly to how their Ryzen CPUs suddenly took them from irrelevancy into a market dominating position, the efforts their design team put into their 6000 series of GPUs was equally a big step forwards. As with any major card the real curiousity we had was how the lower cards in the range would perform. It's easy to get a card to do well when you give it all the hardware and an unlimited price ticket, but much harder as you cut things off to hit a price point. The RX 6700 XT was still impressive, and here the ASUS Strix RX 6600 XT OC shows that the RDNA2 is just as good no matter how many shaders get trimmed from the GPU. This speaks volumes about the solidity of the underlying architecture.
We do feel it needs reiterating that well over 60% of gamers on Steam are shown to be using 1080P or lower for their gaming and so AMDs decision to aim the RX 6600 XT at these people makes perfect sense. As you saw from our results if you're using this most popular of resolutions then you'll have nothing to complain about. The RX 6600 XT gives you smooth frame rates with maximum detail in everything. In fact the only place we'd advise caution is if you wanted to see what ray-tracing brought to the party. This is AMDs first go at adding ray-tracing to their cards and the results are very similar to Nvidias first attempt, which means at this end of their card range there just isn't enough hardware to make it usable unless you compromise many other settings. Even then it's very game specific.
With smooth performance in 1080 ticked off we were curious as to how the card handled the next most popular resolution, 2560x1440. Naturally 4K is beyond any card at this price unless you're just playing Freecell or similarly undemanding titles. Whilst you need to pay a bit more attention to the game you want to run, and perhaps the settings you use, the RX 6600 XT Strix is still more than capable at this greatly increased pixel count. Particularly brutal titles - Cyberpunk 2077, Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition - are too much and you would have to compromise image quality too much to justify the resolution hike. Most titles though are either well past the 60 FPS watermark or so close to it - 53 FPS in Control, 58.7 in Microsoft Flight Simulator - that only a tiny tweak would be necessary to give you the smoothness that helps VSYNC do its thing, assuming you haven't got a Freesync compatible display.
If you want to game on the latest titles at the most popular resolution then the RX 6600 XT is all the graphics card you need. In the ASUS Strix format it's extremely cool too but that did come at a noise premium. 
So now we are finally getting closer to the actual launch Asus have given us a price of £449 (£50 less than we were told yesterday) - so the Strix while still be a good 30 to 40 above some of the others higher end cards (XFX Merc - £419 - MSI Gaming X - £419) now doesn't seem -as- bad but its still the most expensive card we have heard of so far at a very competitive and tightly packed price point. So its still more expensive ithan the other cards for the same performance but you do get more NOISE.
This does however raise a very important problem yet again, how can a company like AMD expect us to work on a review without accurate pricing in place and Asus telling us the day after launch then expecting us to run around changing everything. You should have sorted prices sooner boys.