XFX 308 MERC Edition RX 6600XT – The New 1080p King?

Testing the XFX 308 MERC Edition RX 6600XT

Now for some testing. The RX 6600XT ran all of my favorite games at max settings flawlessly. The end.

I’m kidding. Obviously, I’m going to give you more info than that!

Test PC info
Cougar Gaming DarkBlader X5 case
Asus Maximus XII Formula Motherboard
Intel 10900k
64 GB Viper RAM
240GB Silicon Power SSD
Silverstone ST1200 PSU
Silverstone PF-360 AIO CPU cooler
Windows 10
Acer 23” LED 1080p monitor HDMI

I wanted to see if I could replicate or even beat frame rates posted by AMD in a couple of games. For this, I chose Apex Legends and DOTA 2. For reference, I’m using the results AMD posted on their RX 6600XT landing page. https://www.amd.com/en/products/graphics/amd-radeon-rx-6600-xt

 

DOTA 2

AMD posted a max FPS in DOTA 2 of 289 on their web site. Their methods for testing, however, are not posted. I noticed some fluctuations in FPS at different parts of the game. While playing tutorials, I was able to max out at 296 FPS. The game loading screen maxed out at 284 FPS, while in game was steadily 230-240 FPS. Game video options were set to max for everything at 1080p with game loading options modified to +fps max 300.

Apex Legends

Again, video options were set to max at 1080p. AMD claims they reached a maximum of 186 FPS. Game loading options were modified to +fps_max 200. No matter what options I tried to change, or modes of game play, Apex Legends seemed to be locked at 60 FPS.

Though these results vary from AMD’s posted findings, both Apex Legends and DOTA 2 ran flawlessly with no obvious dropped frames and no visual stuttering.

Fortnite

One of our other staff reviewers suggested I should test out Fortnite. Full disclosure here. The most I know about Fortnite is that it’s a really popular game. To be fair, being in my mid 40s, I’m probably outside of the Fortnite developer’s target demographics. Once again, all game video settings were set to maximum with frames per second limits set to unlimited. AMD’s Radeon software is reporting an average of 155.5 FPS. Paying attention to a game you’re currently learning while also remembering to screen capture a maximum FPS report isn’t easy. Because of this, I was able to capture a maximum of 135 FPS in game. Side note: Fortnite is actually kind of fun. I still don’t fully understand it, aside from being a third person shooter, but I might keep it installed for a while.

 

Thermals

How hot does a video card get while gaming?  It’s something to pay attention to since heat degrades silicon over time.  The XFX RX 6600XT that we received features three 90mm fans to help keep the card cool.  Airflow in your case can also play a factor in overall heat build up.  I’m using a Cougar Gaming Dark Blader X5 case.  This case has large mesh openings at the front allowing a lot of cool outside air in and a large mesh opening at the top allowing heat to escape.  At the front of the case, I have a Silverstone PF-360 AIO cooler with the three 120mm fans pulling cool air in from the outside.  The middle fan is almost perfectly aligned with the video card.  With the system sitting idle, GPU-Z measured a low temperature of 47°C (116.6°F).  During my rounds in Fortnite, GPU-Z reported the hottest spot of the video card at 90°C (194° F) with a fan speed of 1508 RPM. Keep in mind, while 90°C is pushing the upper limits of what I’d like to see, it’s hard to tell if that was a momentary spike, or if that temperature was sustained for an extended period of time. 

While I’m sitting here working on this review, I have my Chrome browser, Photoshop, and Notepad open.  GPU-Z is now showing a low temperature of 36°C and a high of 37°C. 

Temps have to get better than that, right?  What good is a 1080p flagship card if it’s just gonna run hot?  What happens if I prefer 1440p or stress the card to its maximum supported resolution of 8K 60hz?  Jumping into the Radeon software, the default fan curve is set to conserve on noise as the fans ramp up to cool the card.  Truth be told, I care way less about fan noise than I do about the life of my PC components.  Especially a component that’s been hard to find at anything resembling a reasonable price for the better part of a year.

After making some adjustments, temps improved to a max of 74°C (165.2°F) while playing a Battle Royale game of Fortnite.  I can live with a little fan noise if that means keeping stuff cool.  The fan noise was noticeable as RPMs increased, but it was only for a few seconds and quickly decreased when the card cooled.  Props to XFX here for their cooler design allowing for quick cooling under high loads.  Notice that in the screenshot, GPU-Z is showing the current fan speed of 1538 RPM, and not the highest fan speed under load.



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