AMD Radeon RX 6650 XT review: a last hurrah for RDNA 2

There’s absolutely nothing inherently incorrect using the AMD Radeon RX 6650 XT’s concept – faster clock rates compared to the RX 6600 XT, to raised contend with Nvidia’s RTX cards? Yeah why don’t you – but undoubtedly its timing is dubious. Any GPU establishing many months into 2022 would just ever achieve this underneath the looming shadows of Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 40 show while the AMD Radeon RX 7000 show, the latter being formally revealed in a few days’ time. Not forgetting Intel Arc Alchemist, delayed since it was.

Nevertheless. AMD’s next-gen, RDNA 3-based GPUs can be an not known volume, while the RTX 40 show will in the beginning consider high-end models like RTX 4090. Even in the event its RDNA 2 architecture is in route out, could the RX 6650 XT perhaps not find space into the pack among the most readily useful images cards for 1080p and 1440p?

To learn, I’ve been testing Sapphire’s Nitro+ Radeon RX 6650 XT, which further tunes up the utmost boost clock rate to 2694MHz – though you’re prone to see rates round the 2523MHz ‘Game Clock’ playing. That accompany 8GB of GDDR6 memory, adequate the better images settings generally in most games, as well as 17.5Gbps it is additionally somewhat nippier compared to the RX 6600 XT’s VRAM. Both old and brand new GPUs include 32 Ray Accelerator devices, which assist the conventional Compute devices whenever operating intensive ray tracing results.

AMD Radeon RX 6650 XT review: 1080p benchmarks

These improvements assist the RX 6650 XT trade punches along with its Nvidia nemesis, the RTX 3060, more favourably compared to the RX 6600 XT could. In Shadow associated with the Tomb Raider, operating at 1080p along with its best quality preset and SMAA 4x anti-aliasing, the RX 6650 XT averaged 80fps: nevertheless in short supply of the RTX 3060’s 84fps, but up from 74fps regarding RX 6600 XT. And, by adding Ultra-quality ray traced shadows, the RX 6600 XT came ultimately back to beat the RTX 3060 at 65fps to 56fps.

The RX 6650 XT additionally racked up victories in Total War: Three Kingdoms, with 78fps on Ultra quality versus the RTX 3060’s 70fps, and Final Fantasy XV, which went at 87fps on its finest preset – edging at night RTX 3060’s 85fps. In an especially impressive Metro Exodus showing, AMD’s card overcome its Nvidia rival by about 17percent, averaging 74fps on Ultra quality toward RTX 3060’s 63fps.

The Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 6650 XT graphics card, cooler-side up.

But in a reverse of Shadow associated with the Tomb Raider, incorporating Ultra-quality ray tracing results to Metro took a weightier cost regarding RX 6650 XT. In dropping to 45fps, it is nevertheless playable, nevertheless the RTX 3060 as well as its 49fps average could make for lots more constant smoothness. At sub-60fps framework prices, that 4fps huge difference is more significant than it appears.

Nevertheless, the RX 6650 XT is often the quicker GPU in which ray tracing is powered down or unavailable. It handled faster, slicker 1080p shows in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, averaging 89fps on Ultra tall; Horizon Zero Dawn, in which it produced 97fps on Ultimate quality; Forza Horizon 4, with 183fps on Ultra; and Hitman 3, in which it pumped down an excellent 161fps into the Dubai standard. In Valhalla and Hitman 3 particularly, the FPS benefit within the RTX 3060 will likely to be noticeable for those who have among the best video gaming monitors having heightened refresh price.

Making use of standard, rasterised illumination and shadow results, Watch Dogs Legion supplied another success within the RTX 3060: utilising the Ultra quality preset, the Radeon GPU averaged 74fps, besting the 3060’s 60fps. But, in addition served to re-demonstrate the RX 6650 XT’s periodic ray tracing weakness. With the exact same Ultra environment but Medium-quality ray tracing results used, the RX 6650 XT sagged up to a choppy 36fps, whereas the RTX 3060 held firmer with 41fps.

The display outputs on a Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 6650 XT graphics card.

One suspects that Nvidia’s approach of offering RTX cards more single-mindedly devoted ray tracing equipment, by means of RT Cores, continues to be settling despite having outlier outcomes like Shadow associated with the Tomb Raider. Once again, though, the RX 6650 XT frequently outpaces the RTX 3060 whenever ray tracing is either unavailable or powered down, so that it’s likely to be the quicker images card into the most of situations.

AMD Radeon RX 6650 XT review: 1440p benchmarks

The RX 6650 XT actually 3060-beater at 2560×1440, too. Not constantly, and never by solely chunky margins – in Horizon Zero Dawn, its 73fps outcome (once again on Ultimate quality) won’t look any dissimilar to the RTX 3060’s 72fps. Plus in Final Fantasy XV, i possibly could slap regarding finest preset and mosey round the plains of Duscae at 59fps regarding RX 6650 XT, nevertheless the RTX 3060 really discovered some additional structures to typical 63fps. Nvidia’s card had been additionally 5fps faster in Shadow associated with the Tomb Raider, using the RX 6650 XT averaging 51fps on finest settings.

Somewhere else, it is the Radeon which comes down ahead, regardless if it willn’t strike maximum quality/60fps in almost every game only at that quality. Here’s an example, Total War: Three Kingdoms, when the RX 6650 XT scored 46fps (on Ultra) toward RTX 3060’s 43fps. In Ultra-quality Watch Dogs Legion, the RX 6650 XT crept ahead yet again, with 54fps beating the 46fps published by the RTX 3060. Therefore handled wider leads too, particularly with outcomes like its 134fps in Forza Horizon 4 (Ultra quality), 63fps in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (Ultra good quality), and 74fps in Metro Exodus (Ultra quality).

The Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 6650 XT graphics card, sat sideways with its backplate showing, on a desk.

Hitman 3 additionally went extremely efficiently at 1440p/Ultra, averaging 107fps into the Dubai standard; the RTX 3060 ‘only’ handled 92fps. Unfortuitously, attempting to include ray tracing verified your RX 6650 XT nevertheless hasn’t shaken the RX 6600 XT’s weakness with your upgraded results. Switching on Hitman 3’s RT results murdered the framework price as completely as 47 himself could, that swish 107fps plummeting to simply 19fps.

Needless to say, ray tracing is hardly ever a vital update (regardless if it may drastically enhance the appearance of particular games, like Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered). And frequently, you’ll be able to claw some structures right back making use of Fidelity FX Super Resolution (FSR), AMD’s upscaling technology that decreases making stress with just a modest plunge in artistic quality.

Having said that, nearly every reference to FSR invites contrast along with its Nvidia equivalent, DLSS. And despite FSR’s numerous improvements within the last 12 months, DLSS continues to be better. It’s just like with the capacity of big FPS boosts as FSR, but its more smart upscaling has a tendency to create sharper, less processed-looking structures, with customized anti-aliasing that’s pretty much constantly sharper than just what also FSR 2.0 manages.

A Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 6650 XT graphics card, installed and running in a gaming PC.

Never to include gas to pointlessly tribal Nvidia vs. AMD “debates”, nevertheless the possibility of willfully passing up on DLSS does result in the RX 6650 XT’s non-upscaled standard victories appear notably less exciting. Therefore does not also get both methods – DLSS is usable on GeForce RTX images cards, but any contemporary GPU can run FSR, including Nvidia people.

And, regrettably because of this improved Radeon card, the RTX 3060 is not the sole Nvidia GPU it should contend with. At £426 / $362, this Sapphire model is among the cheaper RX 6650 XT partner cards, but at the least into the UK, such prices sets it for a collision program using the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti. The exact same RTX 3060 Ti that may break 100fps in Shadow associated with the Tomb Raider at Ultimate-quality 1080p, and might average 89fps in Horizon Zero Dawn at 1440p with Ultimate settings, and produced 65fps – that’s 20fps faster compared to the RX 660 XT – in Metro Exodus at 1080p, juggling both Ultra images settings and Ultra-quality ray tracing. Selecting involving the RX 6650 XT while the RTX 3060 boils down to just how much you appreciate rasterised performance when compared with ray tracing and DLSS help, but between this while the more effective RTX 3060 Ti? Not really a conversation.

Then there’s the problem of timing. Yes, often you’ll need a brand new GPU right this instant, maybe to change the one that went unexpectedly kaput. Therefore might, understandably, be irritating to hold back for possibly future images cards which haven’t been established yet. However the RX 6650 XT has released therefore quickly prior to the RDNA 3 generation that also AMD needs to be anticipating prospective customers to relax and play the waiting game, even though they might follow Nvidia’s instance in leading using the 4K/top-end material, less expensive GPUs tend into the works for 2023 at latest. From Nvidia, also.

A Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 6650 XT graphics card.

The RX 6650 XT, then, actually GPU that simply sort of… exists. It’s a great 1080p card plus decent 1440p option, but the one that you almost certainly shouldn’t purchase at this time, offered the incoming next-gen equipment and cost cuts regarding RTX 3060 Ti. Neither that are its very own fault, so that you can’t also rue its presence, just as in the weedy RX 6500 XT.

I’ll state that Sapphire’s customisations are excellent, blocky looks notwithstanding. This Nitro+ model is ghostly peaceful and keeps GPU conditions regarding right part of cool, never ever going above 65°c despite hours of benchmarking. This could never be the next brand new images card, but regarding power associated with the Nitro+ design, it may very well be worthwhile considering Sapphire models the Radeon RX 7000 and RTX 40 show.

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