Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 6600 XT review: Simple is better

Aided by performance-enhancing Trixx.

Credit: Brad Chacos/IDG

Our test system

Our AMD Ryzen 5000-series test rig can benchmark the effect of PCIe 4.0 support on modern GPUs, as well as the performance-boosting AMD Smart Access Memory and Nvidia Resizable BAR features (which are both based on the same underlying PCIe standard). Currently, we’re testing it on an open bench with AMD’s Wraith Max air cooler; in the future, we’ll add an NZXT Kraken liquid cooler to the mix. Most of the hardware was provided by the manufacturers, but we purchased the storage ourselves.

  • AMD Ryzen 5900X, stock settings
  • AMD Wraith Max cooler
  • MSI Godlike X570 motherboard
  • 32GB G.Skill Trident Z Neo DDR4 3800 memory
  • EVGA 1200W SuperNova P2 power supply
  • 1TB SK Hynix Gold S31 SSD

We’re comparing the US$399 Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 6600 XT against the various cards it’s replacing either spiritually or practically: The US$279 Radeon RX 5600 XT, the US$350 Radeon RX 5700, and the US$400 Radeon RX 5700 XT, as well as Asus’s spin on this GPU, the US$550 ROG Strix RX 6600 XT, and the US$419 XFX Speedster Merc 308 Radeon RX 6600 XT. On the Nvidia front, we’ve included results for the reference-spec’d US$330 EVGA RTX 3060 XC Black Gaming as well as EVGA’s fearsome GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FTW3 Ultra, because this card hovers in the same general price range as the Ti models. All of these suggested prices are a fraction of what you’ll pay for these GPUs in the real world right now, of course, but using suggested pricing helps evaluate graphics cards as they were intended.

We test a variety of games spanning various engines, genres, vendor sponsorships (Nvidia, AMD, and Intel), and graphics APIs (DirectX 11, DX12, and Vulkan). Each game is tested using its in-game benchmark at the highest possible graphics presets unless otherwise noted, with VSync, frame rate caps, real-time ray tracing or DLSS effects, and FreeSync/G-Sync disabled, along with any other vendor-specific technologies like FidelityFX tools or Nvidia Reflex. We’ve also enabled temporal anti-aliasing (TAA) to push these cards to their limits. We run each benchmark at least three times and list the average result for each test.

As mentioned in the prior section, we’ve also included benchmark results with Trixx Boost active at 90 percent scaling of the native cited resolutions, paired with Radeon Image Sharpening. We don’t do that for Nvidia DLSS or AMD’s FSR, but Trixx Boost works in virtually every game available, and it’s worth highlighting what it can do, especially since the Radeon RX 6600 XT can sometimes struggle at 1440p resolution due to its configuration. Trixx Boost can really help there.

Be sure to check out our original Radeon RX 6600 XT review for much deeper conversation about the GPU’s technical prowess and capabilities. We’ll be presenting the data without comment here until the end of the review. Keep an eye on those Trixx Boost results.

Gaming performance benchmarks

Watch Dogs: Legion

Watch Dogs: Legion is one of the first games to debut on next-gen consoles. Ubisoft upgraded its Disrupt engine to include cutting-edge features like real-time ray tracing and Nvidia’s DLSS. We disable those effects for this testing, but Legion remains a strenuous game even on high-end hardware with its optional high-resolution texture pack installed. The game allocates more than 8GB of memory even at 1440p. Oof.

wdl Brad Chacos/IDG

Horizon Zero Dawn

Yep, PlayStation exclusives are coming to the PC now. Horizon Zero Dawn runs on Guerrilla Games’ Decima engine, the same engine that powers Death Stranding.

hzd Brad Chacos/IDG

Next page: gaming benchmarks continue

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Brad Chacos

Brad Chacos

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?