AMD Radeon RX 6650 XT graphics card review

Here’s a newcomer to the Radeon RX 6000 family that continues to grow. “Faster” version of the RX 6600 XT, does the RX 6650 XT find its place?

Radeon RX 6650XT Overview and Features

In anticipation of the new RDNA 3 generation, AMD is covering the field by launching several versions of its Radeon RX 6000, from entry-level to high-end: RX 6650XT, RX 6750XT and RX 6950XT. Here we test the 6650XT, a card made for 1080p gaming that takes over from the RX 6600XT. More specifically, we are talking about the “Gaming X 8G” model from MSI, a GPU offered at very variable prices depending on the reseller: from 542 € to 619 €. In terms of price, it is positioned against Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060.

Radeon RX6650XT Radeon RX6600XT
Memory 8GB GDDR6 2250MHz 8GB GDDR6 2000MHz
Frequency 2410MHz 2359MHz
Boost frequency 2635MHz 2589MHz
architecture RDNA2 RDNA2
units of account 32 cubic meters 32 cubic meters
Consumption 180W 160W
Price From 500€ From 389€

Buy a Radeon RX 6650XT at LDLC

Radeon RX 6650XT: what are the differences with the Radeon RX 6600?

With this new Radeon RX 6X50XT, AMD is not revolutionizing its architecture, far from it. We are still on the RDNA2 generation inaugurated last year, with a Navi 23 GPU. The fineness of the engraving remains the same (7 nm), as well as the number of transistors. There is also a similar number of ray tracing units of account (32).

The improvements are in the details, but still have their importance: the clock frequency of the 6650XT is slightly higher (2410 MHz against 2359 MHz) and the 8 GB memory in GDDR6 is slightly faster (2250 MHz versus 2000 MHz). An increase in frequency associated with a slightly higher power consumption as we go from 160W to 180W.

In terms of video decoding and encoding, we take advantage of the support of the H.264, H.265, VP9 and AV1 codecs. The thing to remember is that you won’t have a problem with videos in 4K at 180fps and 8K at 30fps. Compatibility with DirectX 12 Ultimate is also assured, and with it the ability to take advantage of DirectX Ray Tracing and VRS (Variable Rate Shading)

Design and construction: an MSI version in the great tradition of the genre

Radeon RX 6650XT graphics card review: better than a GeForce RTX 3060?

The design of this Radeon RX 6650XT Gaming X 8G has been adopting the codes established by MSI for several years now. So we find a double fan with the patented Twin Frozr 8 cooling system. The design of the card is quite angular, a bit aggressive and very “gamer”, in line with what the Taiwanese manufacturer usually offers for its GPUs. The card also benefits from RGB backlighting, at the MSI logo level. This relatively compact Radeon RX 6650XT is 28 cm long and 13 cm wide and weighs 883 g. Once installed on your motherboard, it takes up two expansion slots.

Radeon RX 6650XT graphics card review: better than a GeForce RTX 3060?Radeon RX 6650XT graphics card review: better than a GeForce RTX 3060?

This model from MSI offers classic connectivity for its category: 1 HDMI 2.1 output and 3 DisplayPort 1.4a outputs. So you will have no problem displaying 4K at 120 FPS. Power is supplied through an 8-pin connector. A power supply of at least 500W is recommended.

Radeon RX 6650XT graphics card review: better than a GeForce RTX 3060?

Note on the noise side that the vent has the good taste of stopping when you’re not playing. So the map will be completely silent. In the game, the ventilation remains completely discreet and you will not hear if you have a slightly insulating housing.

Performance: excellent at 1080p and solid at 1440p

AMD markets the Radeon RX 6650XT as a perfect card for 1080p gaming, with the ability to play well at 1440p as well. In practice, this promise seems to have been kept: if it’s generally a good tooth under an RX 6700XT, it often lags behind the GeForce RTX 3060, even if the latter regularly maintains the advantage.

We ran our tests on 9 games, at 1080p and 1440p. Our test PC consists of an AMD Ryzen 7 3800X processor, 16 GB DDR4 RAM and an SSD for installing games.

In Full HD 1080p (1920×1080 pixels), the Radeon RX 6650XT will have no trouble playing the vast majority of games at 60 FPS with a high level of detail. Here, and as often on the Radeons, it’s the ray-tracing activation that’s going to be a bit tricky: controls will struggle to exceed 40 FPS, while Cyberpunk 2077 displays an average of 45 FPS. On the latter, it will therefore be necessary to activate AMD’s upscale, FSR, to take advantage of better fluidity.

Radeon RX 6650XT graphics card review: better than a GeForce RTX 3060?

On the other hand, we appreciate that we can play at an average of 68 FPS in Red Dead Redemption 2 or at 88 FPS in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. As you can see, the Radeon RX 6700XT, on the other hand, is usually way ahead, but the gap remains small with games like Warzone or Cyberpunk 2077.

Radeon RX 6650XT graphics card review: better than a GeForce RTX 3060?

In 1440p we necessarily lose performance, but the results remain very good on many titles. Call of Duty (or Warzone or Modern Warfare tonight) stalls at over 80 FPS, Borderlands 3 exceeds 60 FS, and Doom Eternal remains an excellent student. Only the most demanding games, often with ray tracing, will have much more trouble.

On the consumption side, the surprise is quite good, as we noted 167 watts on Cyberpunk 2077, which is less than the 180 watts AMD announced.

Buy a Radeon RX 6650XT at LDLC

Conclusion

Strengths

  • Very good performance at 1080p
  • Pretty comfortable in 1440p
  • Controlled consumption
  • Fans Stopped “Offside”

Weak points

  • Still behind with ray tracing

The Radeon RX 6650XT is a very good graphics card for gaming at 1080p, and also defends well at 1440p. The MSI model we test here is well built, quiet and capable. If you find it for the advertised price, it could be a good choice to give an aging PC a boost while you wait for the next generation of GPUs to arrive.


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