AMD has upgraded the Radeon RX 6650 XT, which is a simplified 6600 XT with improved memory. The cores are capped 2% higher, and the GDDR6 memory is 9% faster, both of which have increased the board power rating by 13% to 180 watts.
Even if the 6600 XT is only 5% faster, it isn''t a bad thing. However, the 6600 XT is about a year old and it was a long-distance release in the cycle. We''re hoping that the RDNA3-based products will arrive before the end of this year. That means that an effective 6600 XT replacement will be within 12 months of time.
Despite the sharp fall in graphics card pricing (back to normalcy), AMD decided to revamp some of its existing RDNA2 lineup while lowering pricing in the process.
The RX 6650 XT is going from $380 to $400, but the 6750 XT and 6950 XT price increases are even worse, yet we''ll cover those items later on.
You might think that a company that is struggling to win over competitors to the Radeon brand would prefer to retain some degree of trust by honoring the original MSRP and don''t tell me they can''t as they''re basically doing it already with the 6600 XT now available for $380.
For the time being, we''ll look into pricing more before the review concludes. For now let''s check out performance to see if the Radeon RX 6650 XT has any problems. We''ve used the Spectral White and Sapphire Nitro+ models to demonstrate 6650 XT performance.
All AMD and Nvidia GPUs have been tested at the official clock specifications, so no factory overclocking. All data in this review is fresh and was collected in the past week using the Ryzen 7 5800X3D with a 32-bit dual-channel DDR4-3200 CL14 memory on the Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Extreme using the latest BIOS supporting the AGESA 1207 microcode. We''ve tested ten games at 1080p and 1440p, so let''s get into
The 6650 XT was compared to the 6600 XT, but the 6650 XT was not just an exciting rise, and if it were not free we''d take it.
The RTX 3060 has maintained its modest lead at 1440p, this time we''re looking at a 7% increase for the 6650 XT over the original 6600 XT.
Here''s a 4% rise for the 6650 XT over the 6600 XT, though it made it 13% faster than the RTX 3060, which I believe is a surprise.
The 1440p gains are significantly different, with 5% rise this year, making it 8% faster than the RTX 3060.
Watch Dogs: Legion: The 6600 XT owns the RTX 3060, delivering a massive 22% performance increase, thus the 6650 XT just blows it out further to a 34% margin. This is also the greatest gain we''ve seen over the 6600 XT as the 6650 XT was 10% faster.
That margin was comparatively reduced at 1440p to 7%, but it was still 22 percent faster than the RTX 3060, which is a great success for AMD.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider will be released next week, with an 88% increase for the 6650 XT at 1080p higher than the original model, making it 10% faster than the RTX 3060.
The 6600 XT and 6650 XT gain a 7% increase, allowing the refreshed version to defeat the RTX 3060 by 6%.
Hitman 3 sees a 8% rise for the 6650 XT over the 6600 XT, resulting in a massive 21% rise in speed than the RTX 3060. Another great victory for AMD, even if the 6650 XT is belowwhelming compared to the original model.
Then at 1440p, we''re seeing an 8% jump, ranging from 83 percent on average to 90 percent, and the 6650 XT was now 22 percent faster than the RTX 3060 and just 8% slower than the RTX 3060 Ti.
Moving on to Far Cry 6, we notice a consistent 1080p performance as a result of the high quality preset. The 6650 XT was only 4% faster than the original model, but it measured 157 frames, and that''s a 30% increase over the RTX 3060.
The margin remained unchanged at 1440p, where the 6650 XT was 27% faster than the RTX 3060, although the gap to the 6600 XT did increase, now 9%, which is quite a substantial increase compared to what was discovered at 1080p.
The results from the F1-2021 are interesting as we found no difference in performance between the 6650 XT and 6600 XT. We''re not sure if this is due to the use of ray tracing, which creates a bottleneck that the 6650 XT cannot overcome, but we did double check these results.
The same situation is seen at 1440p, but the 6650 XT is really no faster than the 6600 XT.
Next we have Cyberpunk 2077 and we''re back to extremely mild gains at 1080p, making the 6650 XT 18% faster than the RTX 3060.
The same is observed at 1440p, with a 7% increase for the 6650 XT above the 6600 XT, making it 14% faster than the RTX 3060.
Dying Light 2 is coming to an end, and thankfully, this benchmark session is approaching, as we see a 7% rise for the 6650 XT, which means it''s 17% faster than the RTX 3060.
At 1440p, the margins were unchanged, with an 8 percent jump over the 6600 XT, and a 20% jump over the RTX 3060.
Finally, we have Halo Infinite, where we see a 6% increase for the 6650 XT more than the 6600 XT, which meant it was 9% faster than the RTX 3060 at 1080p.
The 6650 XT was 8% faster than the original model and 10% faster than the RTX 3060 at 1440p.
When it comes to power consumption, the 6650 XT is quite efficient, with only reducing total system usage by 2% from the 6600 XT, which means power usage was 5% lower than the RTX 3060. This is not a significant difference when it comes to the GeForce competition, but the 6650 XT was faster while using less power.
The Radeon RX 6650 XT was comparable to the RTX 3060 across the 10 games tested, but it wasn''t exactly spectacular sitting next to the 6600 XT. Before going into the cost per frame analysis, here''s a look at the 10 game average.
The 6650 XT was on average 6% faster than the 6600 XT, which we expected to see based on the specs. Given the MSRP has increased by 5%, this makes this a pointless release in our view.
The Radeon GPU, which is a major improvement in our recent 50 game head-to-head comparison between the 6600 XT and RTX 3060, was 3% faster at 1080p, yet there is still a 10% increase. There are several reasons for this disparity.
First, Nvidia does a better job of improving performance across a wide variety of games, owing to a significantly increased operating budget. Most of the 50 game test included a few ray tracing enabled tests, especially Metro Exodus Enhanced and Resident Evil Village, where the 6600 XT was more likely. There were also 17 games where the margin was 3% or less, thus reducing the significance of big wins in titles such as Watch Dogs Legion.
Ideally, we''d have collected the 50 game statistics before we upgraded all our testing with the 5800X3D so we could have selected the 10 titles more neutrally. For the time being, consider that AMD is a bit lower than the big 50 game benchmarks.
The 6600 XT is 5% faster than the RTX 3060 at 1440p, and the 6650 XT has increased that margin to 12%, making it a decent performance advantage, particularly given the Radeon GPUs are cheaper right now. So let''s take a look at that...
Cost Per Frame
It''s time to look into current pricing and define the cost per frame. We''ve included the 6650 XT at the $400 MSRP, but since the 6600 XT is currently selling for $400, the 6650 XT is expected to be $20 more, it makes sense to compare the new GPU at a $20 premium, therefore $420...
Assuming the 6650 XT comes in at $420, this would make it almost identical to the 6600 XT in terms of cost per frame. This is because it is meant to be a 5% price increase, and this makes sense for an average 6% increase, according to our findings.
This is because it is comparable to the 6700 XT price per frame, which is currently $500 and is a few percent more expensive than the RX 6600 per frame.
The 6650 XT looks fantastic when it comes to Nvidia''s offerings, which is partially explained by a recent increase in price for the RTX 3060. Fortunately, the RTX 3060 was cheaper than $400, but those GPUs aren''t quite readily available all of a sudden, reducing their costs in a single frame mode. However, this will certainly vary from country to country.
Moving to 1440p, depicts a prettier picture for the 6650 XT, which is 9% faster than the 6600 XT on average, and this reduced the cost per frame at $420 to $6.66. That''s a 3% decrease from the original 6600 XT... right?
The 6650 XT is similar to the 6700 XT and 6600, but it''s higher value than the RTX 3060, which is a 25% decrease when it comes to cost per frame.
We received two Radeon 6650 XT models and wanted to briefly discuss their thermal performance beginning with the PowerColor Hellhound Spectral White. This model was only impressive given the fans only spun at 1150 RPM, resulting in a virtually silent graphics card that couldn''t be heard over our case fans.
The cores were clocked at 2715 MHz on average, with the memory at 2178 MHz, which represents a 17.42 Gbps transfer rate.
The Sapphire Nitro+, a physical a much larger card, was similarly high at 62C, although it did so with a fan speed of only 750 RPM, and this is about as close to silent as you''ll get with an active cooling graphics card.
The cores were averaged at 2715 MHz, with the memory being 2178 MHz, bringing the same transfer speed to 17.42 Gbps.
What We Learned
The Radeon RX 6650 XT is a non-event. It is a little faster, which is nice, but it also costs a little more, so ultimately who cares? AMD''s position is barely strong in terms of price per frame, but realistically what the 6650 XT offers was only a mild overclock away with the 6600 XT.
An official price increase for Navi 23 silicon seems a bit daff considering what AMD has been working with GPUs over the past two years. This isn''t how AMD wins gamers over to the Radeon brand. If anything, it''s a turn off. It''s not just that AMD can or should follow this pattern. Personally, it''s yet another mess in the RDNA2 series.
The only benefit is that the RX 6600 and 6700 series have remained unchanged in terms of price and are currently in good position for the RTX 3060 and 3070 range. For example, a month ago we compared the 6700 XT at $600 and the RTX 3070 at $750, today the GeForce GPU has decreased by just $20, while the 6700 XT has been reduced for $100.
The 6700 XT became 20% cheaper than the RTX 3070 in a month, but that''s a significant price increase for AMD. Before we had said "go with the 6700 XT," we''d now purchase the 6700 XT over the RTX 3070. Conversely, we''d purchase the new 6650 XT over the RTX 3060 if that''s the pricing difference you see in your area.
The release of the Radeon 6650 XT doesn''t make any difference, but it''s just more of the same.
The RX 6600 series is below the MSRP, but it''s not surprising for a year-old product, given what PC gamers have looked at over the last 12 months.
- Radeon RX 6650 XT on Amazon
- Radeon RX 6600 XT on Amazon
- GeForce RTX 3060 on Amazon
- Radeon RX 6800 on Amazon
- GeForce RTX 3060 Ti on Amazon
- GeForce RTX 3080 on Amazon
- Ryzen 9 5900X on Amazon
- Ryzen 5 5600X on Amazon