The RX 6600 XT has been on the shelves for over a month now. The Navi 23 GPU was aimed at the midrange sector for 1080p gaming and even though it was not exactly “competitive” against the likes of the RTX 3060 and 3060 Ti, it was a notable release for AMD. The rumors surrounding a non-XT version of the 6600 XT have been making the rounds for a while now, but today it looks like we finally have confirmation.
Why Navi 23 Matters
Despite being a unanimously terrible value, it plays an important part in the current landscape of the graphics card market. Unlike every current-gen RTX 30 and RX 6000-series card, the RX 6600 XT uses 16Gbps GDDR6 memory chips instead of 8Gbps. On top of that, it also has a severely reduced die size of only 237mm² as compared to the 6700 XT (336mm²). And, when compared to the RX 6800 XT (520mm²), the die size of 6600 XT is only half.
This made it so that the card does not have to compete directly with Nvidia, who uses 8Gbps chips, for supply. But, this does put the 6600 XT up against the current-gen consoles, Xbox Series and PS5. However, AMD manufacturers the chips for both of them so they have ultimate control over the stock allocation. Moreover, using a smaller die allows AMD to put more GPUs on one wafer which is instrumental for better supply as, where you can get only one 6800 XT GPU, you can get two 6600 XTs in the same die size.
Now that you understand why the 6600 XT is important for the current state of the market, it only makes sense that AMD would want to further capitalize on this and release a non-XT variant. A new SKU that’s slightly less powerful and cheaper as compared to its bigger brother. Perhaps, this could be the real midrange champion that AMD wanted the 6600 XT to be.
RX 6600 Leaked
Back in late July, Coreteks revealed that AMD was working on a non-XT model of the RX 6600 that was supposed to launch in September to October. Today, a source close to Videocardz has everything but confirmed that claim. However, it’s still a rumor and not an official announcement so I want to preface everything you’re about to read with a grain of salt.
➡️ 6600 Non-XT September/October
➡️ Navi24 end of this year
— coreteks (@coreteks) July 20, 2021
Videocardz was able to obtain the renders of the upcoming Gigabyte Eagle variant of the RX 6600 and it looks eerily similar to the XT variant. Apart from featuring a slightly smaller PCB, the design is exactly the same with no changes. The box also looks quite literally identical, to the point where one could make the argument that it’s just a 6600 XT box with the “XT” moniker photoshopped out.
As for the on-paper specs, the card will reportedly have 1792 Streaming Processors (SP) and 28 compute units, all powered by the Navi 23 XL GPU. We also know that the card will feature 8 GB of GDDR6 memory (most likely 16Gbps chips once again) on a 128-bit bus interface, which makes the memory bandwidth clock in at 256 GB/s, just like the 6600 XT. The card will also feature 32 MB of Infinity Cache. This spec-sheet puts the card neck-in-neck with the AMD W6600 Pro which shares much of the same specifications.
We can see an 8-pin power connector on the card similar to the 6600 XT which means the power requirements will be in same lane. The TDP was not revealed to Videocardz but judging by the 8-pin connector and similarities with the 6600 XT, it should not be more than 160W. No information on the clock speeds were surfaced so our best guess can only point to, once again, resemblance with the 6600 XT. The I/O of the card features four display outputs, two being HDMI and the other two DisplayPort.
Design and Cooling
The 6600 XT did not have a founder’s edition reference design from AMD which means there was no stock benchmark for the card. The units sent to reviewers were factory-overclocked SKUs from different AIBs. So, expect a similar rollout here. As you can see in the photo below, the Gigabyte Eagle variant of the 6600 non-XT has a slightly shorter PCB length and the card’s shroud/heatsink extend far beyond that.
Whatever the thermal output of this card may be, we can be certain that the Gigabyte Eagle’s heatsink will be able to keep up. The heatsink looks almost the same as the one present on the 6600 XT, which is to say to a dense fin-stack array with copper heat pipes running across to dissipate heat effectively. The card is a double-slot, triple-fan beast and, once again, is reminiscent of the 6600 XT. That also puts this variant on the upper echelon of the AIB spectrum.
The RX 6600 non-XT is supposed to compete with Nvidia‘s RTX 3050-series of desktop GPUs which have not been revealed yet despite its mobile version being shipped with laptops for a few months now. Keeping in that light, the price should be around $300. That’s $30 cheaper than the RTX 3060, $80 cheaper than the RX 6600 XT, and will be in the same bracket as the RTX 3050 if that were to launch. If launched at around the $300 mark, this would make the RX 6600 non-XT the cheapest current-gen graphics card on the market.
Release is planned for late-September to October according to on-going speculation. That would position the card comfortably ahead of Intel‘s Alchemist release and a potential Nvidia announcement as well. As we know, Intel is in the middle of marketing its upcoming series of Arc Alchemist GPUs and RX 6600’s release, if done right can take away the conversation from Intel for the time being.