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The 7 Biggest Complaints About the AMD Radeon RX 6600

The AMD Radeon RX 6600 launched in October 2021 as the most affordable GPU in AMD‘s RDNA2 lineup. Positioned as a 1080p gaming card, the RX 6600 arrived with a reasonable $329 MSRP. However, initial reviews were mixed, with many feeling it fell short compared to the competition.

Now that the RX 6600 has been on the market for over a year, let‘s take a closer look at the most common complaints and issues users have had with this budget GPU offering from AMD. While it does some things well, there are certainly drawbacks you should be aware of if you‘re considering picking one up in 2023.

1. Underwhelming Performance

One of the biggest gripes with the RX 6600 is that it simply doesn‘t perform as well as expected, especially considering the price. AMD touted this as a GPU capable of maxing out any game at 1080p. However, testing showed it frequently struggles to maintain a steady 60 fps in graphically demanding titles.

For example, in Red Dead Redemption 2 at 1080p high settings, the RX 6600 averages 54 fps. The competing RTX 3060 manages a smoother 64 fps. Similar results can be seen across a range of AAA games. Assassin‘s Creed Valhalla, Cyberpunk 2077, Microsoft Flight Simulator – the RX 6600 consistently falls behind the identically priced competition from Nvidia.

Even in less demanding esports titles, the RX 6600 fails to impress. It achieves 138 fps in Fortnite at 1080p epic settings, while the RTX 3060 hits 164 fps. CS:GO at 1080p high sees 287 fps from the 6600 vs 339 fps from the 3060. At every turn, the RX 6600 is outclassed by its rival.

This performance deficit is likely due to the constrained memory configuration. The RX 6600 features a small 128-bit memory bus and only 32MB of AMD‘s Infinity Cache. In contrast, the RTX 3060 has a wider 192-bit bus. This allows the Nvidia GPU to better leverage its 12GB VRAM buffer.

The limited memory bandwidth puts a firm ceiling on the RX 6600‘s performance in memory-intensive modern games. No amount of optimizing settings can overcome this hardware bottleneck. It‘s a disappointing result for a card marketed towards 1080p gamers.

2. Lackluster Ray Tracing

Another area where the RX 6600 gets some flak is in its ray tracing capabilities. AMD has generally lagged behind Nvidia when it comes to implementing this advanced lighting technique. RDNA2 aims to close the gap, but the RX 6600 still lands far behind the RTX 3060.

A big reason for this is the lack of a DLSS equivalent. Nvidia‘s AI upscaling tech provides a massive performance uplift in ray traced games. AMD‘s open source FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) aims to do the same thing. However, it‘s not yet supported in many titles.

Without FSR, the RX 6600 takes a huge performance hit with ray tracing enabled. For instance, Control averages 48 fps at 1080p with RT enabled on the RTX 3060. The RX 6600 struggles to break 30 fps. Enabling FSR provides a boost, but visual quality takes a noticeable hit.

The 6600 just doesn‘t have the RT hardware to brute force playable framerates like high-end GPUs can. Lack of dev support for FSR means you‘ll frequently have to choose between ray tracing and smooth performance. Neither is really satisfactory in an era where RT is increasingly common.

3. 1080p Limitations

The RX 6600 is very much a 1080p-oriented GPU. While great news for those still on 1080p monitors, it does limit the card‘s usefulness for higher resolutions. 1440p and 4K gaming are pretty much off the table here.

You can technically enable DSR or VSR to push the RX 6600 to 1440p or 4K in lighter games. But anything remotely demanding will quickly overwhelm the modest 8GB VRAM buffer and 128-bit bus. Expect significant drops below 60 fps in modern titles at higher resolutions.

This means the RX 6600 isn‘t a great choice for those looking to upgrade to a 1440p display in the near future. The leap in pixel count requires a much beefier GPU to drive high framerates. You‘ll likely be stuck at 1080p for the useful life of this graphics card.

That‘s not necessarily a problem – there are still plenty of great 1080p gaming monitors out there. Just be aware the RX 6600 isn‘t really designed with higher resolutions in mind. For 1440p gaming and beyond, it‘s best to step up to the RX 6700 XT or RTX 3060 Ti at minimum.

4. Poor Value at Launch

The RX 6600 launched at an MSRP of $329. That positioned it directly against the RTX 3060 and RX 5700 in terms of price. The problem is that both of those GPUs are significantly faster for the same cost.

In rasterized games, the RTX 3060 was around 15% faster at 1080p across a wide range of titles. Turn on ray tracing or enable DLSS, and that gap only increases. The RX 5700 from the previous generation also consistently outperformed the 6600 despite being two years older.

This made the RX 6600 a tough sell at launch. The only advantages it had were slightly lower power consumption and newer architecture. That‘s not really enough to justify choosing it over faster, identically priced options.

Of course, the GPU market was in a very different place in late 2021. Huge demand and limited supply meant that all graphics cards were selling well above MSRP. In that context, the RX 6600 was at least more affordable than most. But in terms of raw price/performance, it was one of the worst values of that generation.

5. Big Step Down from RX 6600 XT

The RX 6600 was always intended to be a cut-down version of the fully enabled RX 6600 XT. Some loss in performance is expected with a reduced spec GPU. What was surprising is just how much slower the RX 6600 was in practice.

At 1080p, the RX 6600 XT is typically around 20% faster on average. That‘s a significant gap, especially considering the XT model launched at just $379. For only $50 more, you could get a much more capable graphics card.

This made the vanilla RX 6600 a bit of an awkward middle child. It was too expensive to be considered a true entry-level GPU. But it also wasn‘t powerful enough to really justify its price tag compared to the higher tier options. With the 6600 XT frequently available at close to MSRP, it was usually worth paying a bit more for the faster card.

Many felt that AMD could have used a further cut-down chip for the RX 6600 to provide a larger separation from the XT model. The 6500 XT and RX 6400 would later fill that role. But at launch, the RX 6600 failed to carve out a compelling spot in the product stack.

6. VRAM Limitations

The small 8GB VRAM capacity is another common point of criticism with the RX 6600. While 8GB was plenty in the past, modern games are beginning to push beyond that at higher settings. This is especially true as more titles implement higher resolution texture packs.

For example, Far Cry 6 uses over 11GB VRAM at 1080p Ultra settings. Granted, you don‘t need to max out every option for great visuals. But the 8GB buffer does mean you‘ll have to turn down settings in some games to avoid exceeding capacity.

The RTX 3060, in contrast, comes with a much more generous 12GB of VRAM. This gives it a lot more breathing room in memory intensive titles. The RX 6600 is more likely to run into performance hitches and stutter when VRAM is maxed out.

8GB also limits the RX 6600‘s long term viability as games continue getting more demanding. Textures, in particular, are only getting more detailed as the industry shifts to 4K assets. Having to compromise on texture quality to fit within 8GB could impact visual fidelity more in the future.

To be fair, 12GB is arguably overkill for most games at 1080p. The RTX 3060 won‘t necessarily make good use of all that VRAM very often. But there‘s something to be said for having more than you currently need when buying a GPU you hope to use for several years.

7. Already Showing Its Age

Even factoring in its intended 1080p use case, the RX 6600 already felt a bit dated at launch. Many titles in late 2021 struggled to hit a consistent 60 fps at high settings. For a brand new GPU, that‘s not very reassuring for its future performance.

Months later, the situation hasn‘t improved. If anything, the RX 6600 has only fallen further behind as new games arrive with even higher demands. Titles like Elden Ring, Tiny Tina‘s Wonderlands, and Dying Light 2 all see framerates dip below 60 fps at 1080p max settings.

This puts the RX 6600 in an awkward spot for those looking to buy in 2023. It lacks the raw horsepower to brute force higher resolutions, but it‘s also starting to struggle at the resolution it was designed for. Lowering settings from ultra to high or medium helps, but then you‘re compromising on visuals in very recent games.

The previous generation RX 5600 XT, in contrast, still holds up quite well at 1080p ultra. It may not hit a locked 60 fps in every cutting edge game, but it has the headroom to keep framerates in an acceptable range. Another 2-3 years from now, one has to wonder if the RX 6600 will manage the same.

To put it bluntly, the RX 6600 just doesn‘t have the legs to be a great long term value. It launched in a state of barely keeping up with modern games. Short of a resolution downgrade to 900p or 720p, there‘s not much room for maneuvering as newer titles arrive.

The Bottom Line

The RX 6600 is ultimately a very niche product. It‘s aimed squarely at 1080p gamers looking for an affordable upgrade from integrated graphics or an older entry-level GPU. For that use case, it‘s perfectly serviceable. You‘ll be able to play most games at high settings 60 fps.

However, its appeal kind of ends there. The lackluster ray tracing performance and limited VRAM mean the RX 6600 isn‘t very future proof. Newer, more demanding games are likely to pose a real problem sooner rather than later. The card is also a poor value compared to its direct competition.

In 2023, it‘s hard to recommend the RX 6600 unless you can find one at a significant discount. The RTX 3060 is faster, has more VRAM, and much better ray tracing support for the same price. AMD‘s own RX 6600 XT is around 20% faster for only a small price premium.

If you do opt for an RX 6600, just be aware of its limitations. Don‘t expect cutting-edge ray tracing or a flawless 60 fps in the newest AAA games. It‘s best suited for those who only plan on 1080p gaming for the foreseeable future and aren‘t too fussed about maxing out every setting.

For everyone else, it‘s probably better to save up for a more capable GPU or wait for next-gen offerings. The budget GPU market is in a much better place now in terms of pricing and availability. That alone makes higher tier cards like the RX 6700 XT a lot more appealing.

Still, if you can snag an RX 6600 at the right price, it‘s a decent GPU for 1080p gaming. Just don‘t expect miracles from this modest RDNA2 graphics card. Its limited hardware and aging architecture mean you‘ll have to temper your expectations in 2023 and beyond.