Computing

AMD RX 6650 XT vs. Nvidia RTX 3060: A Comparison of Specifications

It’s time for AMD to refresh its RX 6000 series of GPUs, which were introduced over a year and a half ago. In the lower mid-range segment, AMD is replacing the RX 6600 XT with the new RX 6650 XT. Both these GPUs are targeted towards gamers playing at 1080p. Today, we’ll compare the RX 6650 XT with Nvidia’s RTX 3060.

Pricing and Availability

Three graphics cards on a gray background.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Typically, hardware refreshes come with lower prices, improved performance, or a combination of both. The RX 6650 XT is priced at $399, which is slightly higher than the RX 6600 XT’s launch price of $379. AMD considers the RTX 3060 as its competition from Team Green. However, a closer competitor would be the RTX 3060 Ti, priced at $399 when launched in December 2020.

Although the RTX 3060 Ti is not commonly sold at $399, we will focus on the RTX 3060, which is usually priced between $400 and $500. It’s worth noting that the RX 6650 XT may also be sold above its list price. During the ongoing GPU shortage, prices have been inconsistent. However, the situation has improved significantly, with availability gradually returning to normal.

Specifications

Render of the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The RX 6650 XT comes with a slightly higher boost clock of 2,635 MHz, a 4% increase over the RX 6600 XT’s boost clock of 2,539 MHz. Additionally, it features 18Gbps GDDR6 memory, an upgrade from the 16Gbps memory found in the RX 6600 XT and other RX 6000 series GPUs. Apart from these changes, the RX 6650 XT remains similar to its predecessor, with the same compute units, VRAM, and Infinity Cache.

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Higher clock speeds and memory bandwidth usually result in improved performance. However, the differences in specs between these GPUs are not significant. A higher GPU clock speed can lead to proportionally higher frame rates, but with just a 4% increase, we can expect only a marginal performance boost. On the other hand, increasing memory bandwidth can enhance performance if there was a limitation in the first place.

Performance

Performance of the AMD RX 6650 XT.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Please note that the benchmark data we have is provided by AMD, as we haven’t conducted our own tests yet. However, since this is a refresh, we expect the RX 6650 XT to outperform the RX 6600 XT slightly based on the specifications alone. We have previously compared the RX 6600 XT with the RTX 3060, allowing us to fairly judge if AMD’s benchmarks are realistic.

AMD shared 1080p benchmark scores across 16 games, highlighting the performance of the RX 6650 XT against the RTX 3060 and the RX 6600 XT. These benchmarks were carried out on a system equipped with a Ryzen 7 5800X3D CPU (considered one of the best for gaming) and 16 GB of DDR4 memory at 3600MHz. Below, we compare AMD’s data to our own.

According to AMD’s own testing, the RX 6650 XT consistently outperforms the RX 6600 XT. However, the difference is relatively small, with the RX 6650 XT being only 6.5% faster at best and typically just 1-2% faster. Therefore, both GPUs offer similar performance, indicating that AMD’s benchmarks favor their GPU, which isn’t surprising. Considering the 5% higher MSRP of the RX 6650 XT, the price-to-performance ratio remains relatively unchanged compared to the RX 6600 XT.

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Where Does the RX 6650 XT Fit In?

The RTX 3060 installed in a computer.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

With similarities to the RX 6600 XT, the RX 6650 XT doesn’t fundamentally alter the dynamic between AMD and Nvidia in the $300-400 price range. While a refresh may help improve the supply of graphics cards and potentially reduce prices, the market has been showing signs of recovery for months, even without the RX 6000 refresh.

In fact, users on the r/BuildAPCSales subreddit have reported finding the RX 6600 XT sold below the MSRP, albeit with rebates. It’s difficult to see how the RX 6650 XT will stand out in a market that is gradually regaining stability after a severe shortage.

Editors’ Recommendations
  • I’m tired of the endless AMD vs. Nvidia vs. Intel debates, and you should be too
  • This AMD GPU had the potential to outshine Nvidia, but it may never see the light of day
  • AMD might be accepting defeat, and it might be for the best
  • An upcoming AMD GPU has leaked and could pose a challenge for Nvidia
  • AMD addresses another hiccup with ray tracing support

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