AMD’s latest lower-end graphics card, the RX 6600, is its sixth RDNA 2 offering in the past 12 months—a fact that might lead you to believe the company is making a killing in the world of PC GPUs these days. But the little public-facing data we have doesn’t bear that out.
Both AMD and Nvidia are in similar chip-shortage boats—all leaky and going down the same hellish supply chain creek without a paddle. Yet, Steam hardware surveys have told a tale of Nvidia enjoying a noticeable installation lead with its current-day RTX 3000 series of GPUs (5.76 percent of all registered GPUs on Steam in September 2021, excluding laptop variants) over AMD’s RDNA 2 (0.16 percent in the form of a single GPU, and that’s not a decimal-point typo). You might assume this would compel AMD to try something drastic with its latest GPU.
That’s not the case this month. AMD’s RX 6600, which goes on sale at some point today, is nowhere near the drastic card that AMD arguably needs right now. It’s loudly positioned as a “1080p” resolution card… just like its older sibling, the RX 6600XT, which came and went in August. In fact, both cards involve AMD’s Navi 23 die, with the 6600 either copying or slashing specs while also dropping in MSRP from $379 to $329.
If you’re looking for a smaller, modern GPU with low power draw, you may be tempted by the RX 6600’s compromises. But I currently struggle to recommend it.
132 W can only deliver so much
The biggest issue is that AMD has positioned the 6600 to compare directly to Nvidia’s superior RTX 3060 in terms of size, low power draw, and MSRP. In most respects, Nvidia’s identically priced RTX 3060 wins handily.
AMD’s best exception in this showdown is power draw: the RX 6600 is the gentlest wattage-sipper of either the AMD RDNA 2 line or Nvidia’s RTX 3000 series. At 132 W, that’s 22.4 percent less than the 3060. Like that card, the RX 6600 measures a reduced 8.125 inches (20.64 cm) long—enough space for two standard-size ventilation fans. Yet, sadly, AMD didn’t take this opportunity to beat Nvidia in terms of thickness; you’ll still need two slots in your PC’s case.
As a direct MSRP faceoff, I have to be frank: AMD can only get away with such a bold move in a marketplace where MSRP has often been meaningless. You’re picking this over the RTX 3060 for two reasons: you can actually find an RX 6600 in stock, and you want a smaller, modern GPU that might fit into a packed case with lower power draw as a massive priority.
Otherwise, as far as the superior card at that price point, the stats speak for themselves.