AMD Radeon RX 6600M vs. RTX 3060 Laptop computer GPU Assessment

Today we finally get to testing another latest generation mobile GPU from AMD, the Radeon RX 6600M. Months ago we tested the RX 6800M, AMD's best discrete graphics option for laptop gaming, but it has been a little harder to find the RX 6600M to test so far, so it's better late than never.

The Radeon RX 6600M is part of AMD's RX 6000 mobile series, which includes just three GPUs: the 6800M and 6700M – which use AMD's Navi 22 chip, which we also saw in the desktop RX 6700XT – and the 6600M, the Navi 23 It is not easy to find these GPUs in the market, especially the Navi 22 designs. As far as we know, the 6800M is only used in the Asus ROG Strix series, the 6700M in the MSI Delta, and that's about it. For the RX 6600M we're looking at today, we've found at least a few choices from different vendors.

AMD uses the same die configuration for the 6600M as the RX 6600 on the desktop, in that we get 28 processing units for a total of 1792 stream processors. The full version of Navi 23 is used exclusively for the desktop GPU of the RX 6600 XT, so the 6600M is a slimmed-down version. However, it is clocked relatively high for a handset, with a "game clock" of 2,177 MHz – this is the frequency with which AMD expects the GPU in games at the highest performance level and a little higher than the RX 6600 desktop card.

As for the memory subsystem, AMD includes 8 GB GDDR6 at 14 Gbps over a 128-bit bus that delivers up to 224 GB / s of memory bandwidth. There is also 32MB of Infinity Cache on the GPU itself. In terms of power requirements, AMD lists this GPU at up to 100W, although all of the laptops that have been using it to date have been of a SmartShift design, with all the performance of the system between the CPU and GPU is split. So far we have seen in practice that the power will be between 75-100W in most games, although it's usually in the higher part of this range.

With the 6600M, AMD is clearly targeting Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3060 laptop GPU, with both GPUs occupying the same system class and occasionally exactly the same laptop design can be found on AMD or Nvidia GPUs. The 6600M has a larger VRAM buffer (8 GB vs. 6 GB), but it also lacks some of the RTX 3060's features, such as DLSS and more sophisticated ray tracing support.

The test system we are using today for this mobile GPU test is the Lenovo Legion 5. Our device is equipped with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor and the RX 6600M with SmartShift and 16 GB of dual-channel DDR4-3200 memory . Lenovo ships this laptop with the slower version of 8GB DIMMs you can get, so I've swapped those for the "standard" speed DDR4 memory that we've used on every laptop we test so that we can turn more apples into apples comparison.

In this review, we'll be comparing the 6600M to other laptop GPUs in general, so the data should apply to many different laptops using the same GPU configuration. However, check the performance limits before buying.

Test conditions: We test at 1080p with the internal laptop display connected via the iGPU – this is a standard configuration that runs without a mux switch. We are also testing at 1440p with an external display plugged directly into the GPU, which shows us the most GPU constrained environment. The benchmarks will break down 8 games in detail and then we'll look at a full breakdown of 16 games at the end. Let's test it.

Benchmarks

In Metro Exodus at 1080p with Ultra settings, the 6600M delivers performance between the two RTX 3060 variants that we have in our charts. The 6600M with up to 100W is 13 percent faster than the RTX 3060 with 80-95W, but 10 percent slower than the same Nvidia GPU with 115-130W, so this is about the point you'd expect from the performance limits would. AMD's performance goal is between these two configurations, as is performance. However, the 6600M is clearly not a low-tier or mainstream GPU, significantly outperforms the RTX 2060 and delivers significantly more performance than the RTX 3050 Ti laptop GPU.

At 1440p, it's more of a struggle for the 6600M. Under these conditions, the GPU can only achieve the performance of the energy-saving RTX 3060 configuration and clocks 16 percent slower than the more powerful 115-130 W variant. There's still a big buffer for the RTX 3050 configurations and you'll still get 60 FPS on average, but 1440p isn't that GPU's strong point in this game.

In Red Dead Redemption 2, the 6600M struggles a bit compared to the RTX 3060. In this title, the 6600M can only keep up with the less powerful RTX 3060 laptop configuration at 1080p and is 12 percent behind the maximum the RTX 3060 has to offer. This game really benefits from higher GPU performance limits and the performance that comes with them.

At 1440p, the 6600M can improve a bit, now easily beats the less powerful RTX 3060 configuration and sits between the two variants overall. In contrast to Metro Exodus, the 6600M doesn't lag behind the 115 W model any further in terms of the higher resolution; it is still 13% slower in this title.

We've just seen two games where the 6600M can't beat the best RTX 3060 laptop configuration, but that's not always the case. In Assassin's Creed Valhalla at 1080p, the RX 6600M is almost on par with the RTX 3070, beating the 115 W RTX 3060 by 11% and the 80 W variant by 18 percent. This title does very well on AMD GPUs in general and it's no different here, especially at 1080p.

At 1440p, the gap closes somewhat, with all RTX 3060 and RX 6600M configurations delivering roughly the same level of performance. There's not much to say here other than that there isn't a difference, although once again we see the 6600M sliding further down at a higher resolution, suggesting that 1080p is more of a sweet spot for this GPU.

Cyberpunk 2077 is a punishing game on laptop GPUs when run at Ultra settings, even at 1080p. The 6600M does pretty well here, however, delivering performance 5 percent slower than the 115W RTX 3060 and 10 percent faster than the lower-power variant.

As in other titles, 1440p is not such a strong result for AMD and drops from 5 percent slower to about 10 percent slower compared to the RTX 3060 variant with full power. Neither of these GPUs are good enough for gaming at Ultra settings at 1080p, for the best experience either drop the quality settings or, in the case of the RTX 3060, use DLSS, which is not available on the RX 6600M.

Watch Dogs Legion is a strong title for this AMD GPU configuration, which delivers a performance of 7 percent faster than the RTX 3060 with 115 W and a respectable 10 percent faster than the variant with lower power. The 6600M isn't yet on par with the RTX 3070, but it sits between the RTX 3060 and the RTX 3070, which is a pretty good result for a mid-range GPU found in affordable gaming laptops.

And at 1440p we see one of the rare examples where the 6600M can extend its lead in average performance over the RTX 3060 115W model, however the 1% low performance stays about the same, so the actual experience on the AMD GPU only is slightly faster.

At 1080p in Horizon Zero Dawn, the RX 6600M is only 3 percent slower than the RTX 3060 full-power variant, which is a pretty good result. Then the performance at 1440p is not that good: The 6600M can come pretty close to the RTX 3060 variants in terms of the 1% lows, but the Nvidia GPUs are ahead in terms of average frame rates.

In Death Stranding at 1080p, the 6600M is one of the most powerful GPUs, beating both RTX 3060 models in the table by around 5 percent. There is still a gap to the more powerful RTX 3070 models, but the 6600M once again shows its strength for 1080p gaming in the middle class.

At 1440p, as we've seen before, the RX 6600M is less impressive. At this resolution, it falls behind both RTX 3060 configurations, though the impact is mostly related to the average frame rates, as the 1% low in this title is still reasonably solid. Nevertheless, there is a huge gap between the 6600M and the much slower RTX 3050 Ti in this game.

The last game we look at in detail today is Dirt 5. Here the 6600M is 8 percent faster than the RTX 3060 configuration at full power at 1080p and a whopping 24 percent faster than the 80-95W model with the lesser Power. The 6600M is much more in line with the standard of the RTX 3070 and sits between the two performance configurations that I tested in this table.

At 1440p, however, the RX 6600M is again not as good and lies between the RTX 3060 configurations in the table. However, this is a better result than some of the other benchmarks where the 6600M is slower than the 80W model of the RTX 3060; This is not the case here as the 6600M is 6% faster than this model.

Comparison: Radeon RX 6600M vs. GeForce RTX 3060

Of those 8 games, we get a pretty good look at how performance stacks, but let's take a look at the full 16 game tests. When comparing the best configuration to the best configuration at its full performance limits, the RX 6600M is pretty similar to the RTX 3060 115W at 1080p. There's not much between the average score, with a few strong titles for AMD, a few for Nvidia, and many by a single-digit margin. Given that the 6600M runs on a lower GPU performance level, that's a decent result for AMD.

When comparing the 6600M with the 80 W variant of the RTX 3060, which can be found in some laptops, the gap increases at 1080p. The 6600M is 12 percent faster on average and in fact takes the lead in every single game we tested. However, it also achieves this advantage with a slightly higher performance.

The weaknesses of the 6600M become apparent at 1440p with an external display connected directly to the GPU. This GPU can't keep up with the more powerful RTX 3060 variant, except in a few outlier cases like Watch Dogs Legion. On average, the 6600M is six percent slower than the RTX 3060 115W.

Compared to the less powerful 80 W version, it is a mixed bag. The 6600M is only a few percent faster on average, so these two GPUs effectively provide the same performance in a number of games, with the 6600M using a little more power. As we've seen in a number of individual titles, the 6600M isn't really designed for 1440p gaming and is more suitable for the native 1080p resolution of many laptop displays.

What we learned

Overall, the AMD Radeon RX 6600M is not particularly surprising as AMD positions it against the RTX 3060 laptop GPU and cuts it by exactly this mark depending on the configuration and resolution. There's nothing bad to say about it either, which is a decent plus compared to recent generations of AMD laptop GPUs, but that won't make it a clear winner over Nvidia's offerings in terms of either performance or features.

The RX 6600M performs relatively well, especially at 1080p where it can rival the RTX 3060 laptop configuration at full power and deliver equivalent performance. The 6600M is configured to consume up to 100W of power, up from 115-130W for the RTX 3060 we tested, suggesting that AMD has the more efficient GPU design at 1080p. This is an important aspect to consider with laptops that are performance and thermal related.

At 1440p, however, the 6600M is not available. So, if you're looking for a laptop with a higher resolution display or want to use an external display, the full-performance RTX 3060 laptop GPU is a faster, better choice. At this resolution, the 6600M is more in the range of an 80-95 W RTX 3060 configuration, so that the 6600M also loses efficiency.

There is also the feature advantage that Nvidia has of this generation including DLSS. While we didn't go into ray tracing in this review, all you know is that the RTX 3060 is faster. The battle between DLSS and FSR is rapidly evolving, but right now DLSS is the superior technology and is supported in more games. Even if the 6600M is at times similar to the RTX 3060 laptop GPU in terms of raw performance, AMD still has a lot of features to do.

The 6600M has 8GB more VRAM than 6GB on the GeForce side, so we'd expect the 6600M to age better with newer games with higher memory requirements. Watch Dogs Legion is a title where the 6600M moved away from the RTX 3060 at 1440p, in a reversal of the trend in most other games, and that's likely related to the added VRAM.

In terms of pricing, there are only a few laptops out there right now. On the Lenovo side, opting for a 6600M configuration of the Legion 5 will save you about $ 150 on an otherwise identical loadout or a 9% off-sale price cut. The other option is from HP, they don't have a directly comparable Nvidia machine, but in general the 6600M models in their Omen 15 range are a bit cheaper than the RTX 3060 models. There's not much to do, but the 6600M seems more affordable, if not "tier-below" cheap – you still pay more than much slower RTX 3050 Ti laptops, which makes sense.

The price seems reasonable for what you're getting, but that doesn't make it easy to choose one GPU over another. Given Nvidia's dominance in the laptop market, we think AMD could be a little more aggressive on pricing or performance, although the positioning is fair and the GPU offering is solid.

Purchase abbreviation
  • Radeon RX 6600M Laptops at Amazon
  • Lenovo Legion 5 on Amazon
  • GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Laptops on Amazon
  • GeForce RTX 3060 Laptops on Amazon
  • GeForce RTX 3070 Laptops on Amazon
  • Ryzen 7 5800H Laptops on Amazon
  • Intel Core i7 Tiger Lake Laptops on Amazon

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