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Radeon RX 6500 XT review: The next-gen card for the older generation

Radeon RX 6500 XT review, Radeon RX 6500 XT price

We were able to make Radeon RX 6500 XT review, a new generation graphics card at a low price, in principle, which targets Full HD screens.

Radeon RX 6500 XT review: The next-gen card for the older generation

The AMD RDNA 2 and Nvidia Ampere generation of graphics cards are entering their second year and possibly the last before moving to RDNA 3 and Lovelace. This is therefore an opportunity for the two manufacturers to finish declining their architecture with products at a lower price. The Radeon RX 6500 XT promises to run games in Full HD. We’ll see that.

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Technical characteristics

The Radeon RX 6500 XT uses an AMD Navi 24 GPU which is also found on the Radeon RX 6400 and RX 6500M.

  • AMD Navi 24
  • TSMC 7nm
  • 16 Compute Units
  • Game clock frequency: 2610 MHz
  • “Boost” frequency: 2815 MHz
  • Memory: 4 GB GDDR6
  • Memory bus: 64 bit
  • Infinity Cache: 16 MB
  • Consumption: 107W

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Note that the connection with the motherboard is via a PCI Express 4.0 4x interface (on a 16X port). If you have a PCI Express 4.0 motherboard, no problem. On the other hand, if you have an older motherboard with a PCIe 2.0 or 3.0 port, the port speed might become insufficient to take advantage of the card’s best performance.

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Radeon RX 6500 XT review: Configuration used

We tested this graphics card with a latest generation configuration, AMD Ryzen 5000 with Smart Access Memory enabled.

  • Motherboard : X570 Asus ROG Crosshair VIII HERO (Wi-Fi)
  • Processor : AMD Ryzen 7 5800X (3.8/4.7 GHz, 8 cores, 16 threads)
  • Memory : 32 GB DDR4 2666 MHz RAM (two Corsair Vengeance CMK16GX4M2Z2666C16 kits)
  • SSD: Samsung 970 1TB NVMe
  • Food : Corsair RM1000X
  • Case: In Win 303
  • Software : Windows 10 20H2 (with AMD Radeon 22.1.1 drivers)

Benchmark performance and results

3DMark

We begin our tests with 3DMark which makes a complete evaluation of the graphics card’s capabilities in the Time Spy Extreme test with the DirectX 12 API used in many PC games.

Radeon RX 6500 XT review: The next-gen card for the older generation

As we can see, the Radeon RX 6500 XT falls sharply compared to other graphics cards on the market. In our tests, we go from a score of 3811 points obtained with the Radeon RX 6600 to only 2475 points with the Radeon RX 6500 XT.

3DMark DirectX Ray Tracing

We also pass the DirectX Ray Tracing test to all next-generation graphics cards capable of, in theory, real-time ray tracing in video games. This is a particularly demanding test where even a GeForce RTX 3080 Ti painfully reaches 54.61 frames per second. Unsurprisingly, on such a difficult test the Radeon RX 6500 XT achieves a very weak result of 5.91 frames per second on average.

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With the RDNA 2 architecture, we saw that AMD did not offer competition-level performance with ray tracing enabled. AMD’s graphics cards are much better with more classic rasterization. It is not surprising that an entry-level version of RDNA 2 is put even more in difficulty by ray tracing.

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Red Dead Redemption 2

Synthetic tests allow you to get a first idea of ​​the performance of a graphics card, but nothing like concrete tests of popular games to specify. Usually we run our tests at 4K, but that wouldn’t make sense for a card that’s only aimed at Full HD gaming.

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Radeon RX 6500 XT review: The next-gen card for the older generation

So we ran Red Dead Redemption 2 in Full HD with the graphics settings maxed out. Under these conditions, the game runs at 45 frames per second on average. It’s better than on older consoles, but not enough for an excellent quality of experience. By adjusting the graphics settings to a medium setting, the game goes to 60 frames per second on average and becomes much smoother.

god of war

Sony launched God of War very recently on PC. One of the best PlayStation 4 games has been pretty well optimized on PC. With the settings at maximum, the Radeon RX 6500 XT does not allow the game to run with good fluidity.

Radeon RX 6500 XT review: The next-gen card for the older generation

Once again, you have to see the settings down to run a latest generation game in Full HD at 60 frames per second. More precisely, we obtain an average of 63.7 FPS for a game set to the medium options.

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Resident Evil Village

Same story for Resident Evil Village, the latest installment in Capcom’s horror game series. Here we are talking about a next-gen game that offers a ray tracing option. Unsurprisingly, a simple activation of the function brings the PC to its knees. The integration of ray tracing in the Radeon RX 6500 XT is something very theoretical. It’s hard to find a game in practice that allows it to be used in Full HD with this graphics card.

Radeon RX 6500 XT review: The next-gen card for the older generation

Without ray tracing and in Full HD, the game runs at 60 frames per second with visually pleasing high graphics settings. The Radeon RX 6500 XT confirms that it can, with a few adjustments, run the latest games of the moment in Full HD.

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Doom Eternal

The Doom Eternal game is a very well optimized title which allows to have a good idea of ​​the capabilities of the card on very nervous games. Here we run the title in Full HD with the graphics settings on “ultra nightmare”, the maximum level.

Radeon RX 6500 XT review: The next-gen card for the older generation

Under these conditions, no problem shooting at 60 frames per second on average. It should be noted that we still had to reduce the storage capacity of the textures, the graphics card being limited by its 4 GB of VRAM. It’s not a big compromise and the game remains very fluid and dynamic. By playing on the options, it would undoubtedly be possible to shoot at 120 frames per second.

Consumption and cooling

Not too surprising for a card at this level of performance: power consumption is low and the cooling system is quite efficient. We do not measure a temperature above 65 degrees, even when the card is pushed to its maximum and above all, Gigabyte’s Windforce ventilation has never been heard.

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Power consumption also remains below 120W and a single PCI Express pin is enough to power the graphics card. In other words, no need to change the power supply to use this card.

AMD ignores encoding

A graphics card is not only characterized by its ability to display 3D on the screen. It is also necessary to take into account the functions integrated in hardware, and offered through software drivers. For many years, most graphics cards have, for example, been perfectly capable of on-the-fly video decoding and encoding.

For the Radeon RX 6500 XT, AMD has chosen to bet everything on decoding. The card supports VP9 up to 8K24, H.264 up to 4K180 and H.265 up to 8K24. On the other hand, impossible to encode video with the card.

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In other words, it is impossible to stream remotely or record the best moments of your games with this card.

Related:

Nvidia: special God of War driver on PC, here’s what’s new

AMD’s recommended price

AMD announces a recommended price of 210 euros for the Radeon RX 6500 XT in France. As for all the other cards, the price should quickly fly away at the distributors.

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Difficult to know at what price this graphics card is worth, but it can be a solution while waiting for a possible lull in the market. Failing that, we have other solutions for playing the latest games with an aging PC.

What do you think about Radeon RX 6500 XT review ? Let us know in the comments.

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