Today we're going to compare the new Radeon RX 6600 XT head-to-head against the GeForce RTX 3060 in 30 games. This gives us a good idea of how these two GPUs compare, and also gives us a second chance to re-examine the 6600 XT at real retail prices, which is pretty nice considering the first day the check was based on assumptions was manufactured a week before the 6600 XT hit shelves, so pricing and availability were largely unknown.
When talking to retailers, it sounded like the offer was getting better. Based on the markup we saw on eBay for the 6700 XT, we expected the 6600 XT to cost around $ 570, and three weeks later, the real value is close to that at $ 605. At the time, the average retail price for the RTX 3060 was $ 720, which is unchanged. So the Radeon RX 6600 XT is slightly worse than we estimated before it was released, but it's still cheaper than the RTX 3060, based at least on the 12-game sample used for the day one test.
Today we're taking real price data and comparing it to a much larger sample of 30 games to see which GPU offers the most value to gamers. We'll also look at ray tracing performance in the new F1 2021, along with Metro Exodus Enhanced, a sequel to the results of Cyberpunk 2077, Doom Eternal, Resident Evil Village, and Watch Dogs Legion, which were featured in the original review.
For all these tests we used our Ryzen 9 5950X test system with 32 GB DDR4-3200 CL14 dual-rank, dual-channel memory. Both GPUs were tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K. Of the 30 games tested, we'll discuss some of the most relevant results, then take a look at how these two GPUs compare all of the games on a single graph to finish off.
Starting with Borderlands 3, we have a rare example of an Unreal Engine 4 game that runs exceptionally well on Radeon GPUs. Here the 6600 XT was a massive 28% faster at 1080p and delivered an average of 92 fps with the ultra quality settings, which are actually the second highest quality preset in the game. The 6600 XT was also good for an average of 65 fps at 1440p and was still 27% faster than the RTX 3060, so an easy win here for AMD.
Next up we have Total War Warhammer II and here the 6600 XT is actually a little slower than the RTX 3060. In fact, a little slower at 1440p where the GeForce had a 15% performance advantage. For those of you who play at 1080p, the RTX 3060 was only 6% faster, but still not a good title for the 6600 XT.
The 6600 XT jumps back to the top when tested with Death Stranding, though it has to be said that both GPUs performed superbly with the highest in-game quality preset. Even though the Radeon was 20% faster at 1080p, the RTX 3060 was still good at 132 fps on average. The margin was slightly reduced to 18% in favor of the 6600XT at 1440p, but the GeForce GPU was still good for almost 100 fps on average.
The 6600 XT storms forward in Forza Horizon 4, delivering 17% better performance at 1080p at an incredible 180 fps. The margin was reduced very slightly at 1440p.
Days Gone, like Warhammer, is another example where the 6600 XT lags behind the RTX 3060, and while the margin isn't huge, we saw very few examples of this in the first test. Here we see 5% less performance for the Radeon GPU at 1080p and 8% less at 1440p.
F1 2021 is the latest title to add to the huge list of games we benchmark against, and this one allows ray tracing on supported hardware by default when the ultra high quality preset is used. In this case we left it activated. The 6600 XT performs surprisingly well compared to the RTX 3060, as both GPUs delivered comparable performance in all three tested resolutions.
Metro Exodus Enhanced requires hardware accelerated ray tracing support, and without that you'll have to play the original version of the game, which honestly isn't a big deal, but since these two GPUs support ray tracing it makes sense to compare it to the & # 39; enhanced & # 39; ; Version. Again, the performance is pretty similar in all three resolutions tested, the RTX 3060 was only 4% faster at 1080p, whereas we saw identical performance at 1440p.
Next up we have Red Dead Redemption 2. We use "high" quality settings that have to be set manually as this game doesn't have any fixed presets, which is very annoying. Anyway, at 1080p the 6600 XT was 9% faster than the RTX 3060, so a decent little gain, but at 1440p the performance is pretty much the same and then exactly the same at 4K.
CS: GO is really a CPU benchmark at this point, with any halfway decent GPU leading to heavily CPU-bound testing, but it's always in hot demand so we feel compelled to include it and don't mind doing so if there are any so many other games to balance out the results. As expected, we see similar performance between these two GPUs at the three resolutions we tested.
The performance in Apex Legends is very competitive, but this title isn't CPU-limited, at least not with these GPUs using the maximum quality settings in the game. Both GPUs enabled solid 144Hz gaming at 1080p and even at 1440p you will still see a high refresh rate experience.
Again, in Outriders, we're looking at very similar performance with both GPUs in use. The RX 6600 XT was slightly faster at 1080p, while we expect the same performance at 1440p.
With our updated Cyberpunk 2077 benchmark pass we can find close results in this very demanding title. Please note that ray tracing has not been activated and that we do not use the highest quality standard, but are satisfied with the second highest option.
In our first test of the Radeon RX 6600 XT, the new AMD GPU was ~ 10% faster than the RTX 3060 at 1080p and only 5% faster at 1440p. So it will be interesting to see how these margins compare to what we find when testing 30 games, so let's find out …
At 1080p we see that the margin has dropped from 10% in favor of the Radeon GPU to just 6%, not a massive change, but certainly less favorable for AMD. The decline is largely due to the inclusion of titles like PUBG, Days Gone, Flight Simulator 2020, Warhammer II, Biomutant and F1 2021.
Then the margin is even narrower at 1440p, going from 5% in the original 6600 XT test to just 3% over the 30-game sample, which is basically a tie. The 6600 XT achieved the best results in Valorant, Borderlands 3, World War Z, Death Stranding and Assassin's Creed Valhalla.
What we learned
Overall, the Radeon RX 6600 XT is the faster GPU that we knew from previous tests, but the margin is lower than initially assumed. The delta between the two GPUs always depends on the games used for testing – or, in your case, the games that are actually important to you. Ray tracing performance seems pretty even across the few titles we tested, although we'd say the RTX 3060 currently offers better overall support.
The GeForce RTX 3060 also benefits from DLSS support, which is far more common than FSR and, in our opinion, works much better at lower resolutions such as 1080p.
The Nvidia encoder, often referred to as the Nvenc, is also often touted as a big plus for GeForce graphics cards, but we haven't seen much of a difference between ShadowPlay and ReLive for capturing gameplay lately. AMD's solution now seems to be working very well, so Nvenc may no longer be a differentiating advantage.
In terms of price and availability, the Radeon RX 6600 XT seems to offer the biggest advantage here. To best illustrate this, here are a few cost-per-frame diagrams.
Prices can fluctuate greatly depending on where you live. In Australia, the situation is pretty extreme, the 6600 XT is available for $ 730 when looking at in-stock and out-of-the-box models, while the RTX 3060 is priced at $ 1100, which is a massive 51% premium for the GeForce GPU is. In terms of cost per frame, the RTX 3060 is 61% more expensive than the 6600 XT at 1080p and 54% at 1440p in this market.
In the US the situation is far less radical. Looking at eBay listings, the RTX 3060 is 19% more expensive. That still means the RTX 3060 is 27% more expensive per frame than the Radeon at 1080p and 22% at 1440p. Even at Newegg, the RTX 3060 will reset you 28% more per frame, and with the 6600 XT, you can get an MSI B550 Tomahawk motherboard on eBay.
The bottom line is that the Radeon RX 6600 XT currently offers gamers significantly more value than the GeForce RTX 3060 and should therefore be the first choice for those looking for this level of performance. Unless you play certain games that are preferred by DLSS / RT extensions, this is our clear recommendation.
This situation is unlikely to change for Nvidia GPUs once the company states that delivery issues for the RTX 3060 series will persist through September. It is therefore unclear whether the supply will improve before the end of 2021. We will of course continue to monitor prices and availability with monthly updates.