ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review

The ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB graphics card... gimped as all hell, but it's not a total disaster.

@anthony256
Published Thu, Feb 17 2022 9:16 AM CST
Rating: 50%Manufacturer: ASUS (TUF-RX6500XT-O4G-GAMING)

Introduction

AMD launched its new mid-range Radeon RX 6500 XT 4GB graphics card to massive controversy, which I read all about before and after the launch -- but disclaimer: my mother has been deathly ill for many weeks, which is why I'm behind on reviews -- but now that I'm back for now, let's dive into the Radeon RX 6500 XT.

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VIEW GALLERY - 65 IMAGES

I've got the ASUS Radeon RX 6500 XT 4GB, which is a tiny mini-ITX graphics card for SFF gaming PCs... normally I'd like to say HTPCs for smaller GPUs, but that's not the case here with the Radeon RX 6500 XT. It's quite possibly the worst GPU launch in many years for AMD, and definitely the worst RDNA 2-based GPU of them all.

Inside, we have AMD's new Navi 24 GPU made on the newer 6nm TSMC process node, debuting with the new Radeon RX 6500 XT... not that it helps. Navi 24 has 16 compute units, with 1024 stream processors -- with 4GB of GDDR6 memory on a 64-bit memory bus offering up to 231.6GB/sec of memory bandwidth -- oh, and it's joined by 16MB of Infinity Cache memory.

  • Axial-tech fan design features a smaller fan hub that facilitates longer blades and a slimmed down barrier ring that provides better airflow through the cooling array.
  • Dual ball fan bearings can last up to twice as long as sleeve bearing designs.
  • A 2.7-slot design expands cooling surface area to make the most of the powerful Axial-tech fans.
  • An all-aluminum shroud and metal backplate enhance durability.
  • A 144-hour validation program puts cards through a series of stringent tests to ensure compatibility with the latest games.
  • A vented backplate prevents hot air from recirculating through the cooling array.
Buy at Amazon

ASUS Dual AMD Radeon™ RX 6600 8GB

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$319.60$329.94$349.99
* Prices last scanned on 6/27/2022 at 12:19 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

ASUS Marketing

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RX 6500 XT 4GB Tech Specs

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AMD's new Navi 24 GPU is the world's first 6nm discrete GPU, with a 107mm2 die size and 5.4 billion transistors, made by TSMC.

ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 806 | TweakTown.com

The Radeon RX 6500 XT might not be an impressive graphics card for gaming, but for an RDNA 2-based graphics card the new Navi 24 has the fastest GPU clocks yet -- over 2.6GHz.

ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 807 | TweakTown.com

Now, the nitty-gritty -- 16 compute units, 2610MHz GPU Game Clocks (reference), 4GB of GDDR6 @ 18Gbps on a 64-bit memory interface that has 231.6GB/sec memory bandwidth -- as well as some Infinity Cache lovin', too, while the TBP starts at 107W.

ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 810 | TweakTown.com
ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 811 | TweakTown.com

If you've been waiting to upgrade, it could be your chance... maybe.

Detailed Look

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AMD might not be impressing inside of the Radeon RX 6500 XT, but ASUS keeps things looking cool with some fantastic retail packaging for the Navi 24-powered TUF Gaming GPU.

ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 503 | TweakTown.com

From the front, the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT 4GB OC Edition looks like other TUF Gaming graphics cards, with a dual-fan cooler keeping things cool under gaming and benchmarking loads.

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There's a backplate, too.

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I don't think this should be anything larger than a dual-slot card.

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A single 6-pin PCIe power connector is all that's required.

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AMD really screwed up the display connectivity on the Radeon RX 6500 XT, and ASUS can't do anything about it.

Test System Specs

Latest upgrade:

Sabrent sent over their huge Rocket Q 8TB NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 SSD, which will be my new Games install SSD inside of my main test bed.

ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 1166 | TweakTown.com

I've got a new upgrade inside of my GPU test bed before my change to a next-gen test bed, where I will be preparing for NVIDIA's next-gen Ampere graphics cards and AMD's next-gen RDNA 2 graphics cards.

ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 1162 | TweakTown.com

Sabrent helped out with some new storage for my GPU test beds, sending over a slew of crazy-fast Rocket NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 SSDs. I've got this installed into my GPU test bed as the new Games Storage drive, since games are so damn big now. Thanks to Sabrent, I've got 2TB of super-fast M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD storage now.

ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 1165 | TweakTown.com

Anthony's GPU Test System Specifications

I've recently upgraded my GPU test bed -- at least for now, until AMD's new Ryzen 9 5950X processor is unleashed then the final update for 2020 will happen and we'll be all good for RDNA 2 and future Ampere GPU releases. You can read my article here: TweakTown GPU Test Bed Upgrade for 2021, But Then Zen 3 Was Announced.

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Benchmarks - Synthetic

3DMark Fire Strike

ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 4000 | TweakTown.com

3DMark has been a staple benchmark for years now, all the way back to when The Matrix was released and Futuremark had bullet time inspired benchmarks. 3DMark is the perfect tool to see if your system - most important, your CPU and GPU - is performing as it should. You can search results for your GPU, to see if it falls in line with other systems based on similar hardware.

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3DMark TimeSpy

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Heaven - 1080p

Heaven benchmark

Heaven is an intensive GPU benchmark that really pushes your silicon to its limits. It's another favorite of ours as it has some great scaling for multi-GPU testing, and it's great for getting your GPU to 100% for power and noise testing.

ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 108 | TweakTown.comASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 107 | TweakTown.com
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Benchmarks - 1080p

ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 4014 | TweakTown.com

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla is the latest game to be inserted into our benchmark suite, with Ubisoft Montreal using its AnvilNext engine to power the game. It scales really well across the cards, and has some surprising performance benefits with AMD's new Big Navi GPUs.

You can buy Assassins Creed: Valhalla at Amazon.

ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 109 | TweakTown.com
ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 4006 | TweakTown.com

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is a sequel to the popular Shadow of Mordor, which was powered by the Lithtech engine. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of War at Amazon.

ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 118 | TweakTown.com
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Metro Exodus is one of the hardest tests that our graphics cards have to go through, with 4A Games' latest creation being one of the best looking games on the market. It is a serious test that pushes GPUs to their limits, and also features RTX technologies like DLSS.

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Shadow of the Tomb Raider is one of the latest games to join our graphics card benchmark lineup, with the game built using the Foundation engine as a base, the same engine in Rise of the Tomb Raider. Eidos Montreal R&D department made lots of changes to the engine during the development of Shadow of the Tomb Raider to make it one of the best-looking games out right now.

ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 115 | TweakTown.com

1080p Benchmark Performance Thoughts

1080p gaming is what the Radeon RX 6500 XT is good at, and that's about it... 42FPS average in Assassin's Creed: Valhalla... means it loses to the GeForce GTX 1060. The new GeForce RTX 3050 is smashing 60FPS+ here.

Benchmarks - 1440p

ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 4014 | TweakTown.com

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla is the latest game to be inserted into our benchmark suite, with Ubisoft Montreal using its AnvilNext engine to power the game. It scales really well across the cards, and has some surprising performance benefits with AMD's new Big Navi GPUs.

You can buy Assassins Creed: Valhalla at Amazon.

ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 110 | TweakTown.com
ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 4006 | TweakTown.com

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is a sequel to the popular Shadow of Mordor, which was powered by the Lithtech engine. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of War at Amazon.

ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 119 | TweakTown.com
ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 4013 | TweakTown.com

Metro Exodus is one of the hardest tests that our graphics cards have to go through, with 4A Games' latest creation being one of the best looking games on the market. It is a serious test that pushes GPUs to their limits, and also features RTX technologies like DLSS.

ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 113 | TweakTown.com
ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 4002 | TweakTown.com

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is one of the latest games to join our graphics card benchmark lineup, with the game built using the Foundation engine as a base, the same engine in Rise of the Tomb Raider. Eidos Montreal R&D department made lots of changes to the engine during the development of Shadow of the Tomb Raider to make it one of the best-looking games out right now.

ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 116 | TweakTown.com

1440p Benchmark Performance Thoughts

1440p performance is not great at all... losing to the GTX 1060 all over the place. If you want 30-60FPS with some detail adjustments, I mean it's not that bad, but it's not anything you'd want to write home about.

Benchmarks - 4K

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ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 309 | TweakTown.comASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 310 | TweakTown.com

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla is the latest game to be inserted into our benchmark suite, with Ubisoft Montreal using its AnvilNext engine to power the game. It scales really well across the cards, and has some surprising performance benefits with AMD's new Big Navi GPUs.

You can buy Assassins Creed: Valhalla at Amazon.

ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 111 | TweakTown.com
ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 4006 | TweakTown.com
ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 304 | TweakTown.comASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 305 | TweakTown.com

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is a sequel to the popular Shadow of Mordor, which was powered by the Lithtech engine. When cranked up to maximum detail, it will chew through your GPU and its VRAM like it's nothing.

You can buy Middle-earth: Shadow of War at Amazon.

ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 120 | TweakTown.com
ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 4013 | TweakTown.com
ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 303 | TweakTown.com

Metro Exodus is one of the hardest tests that our graphics cards have to go through, with 4A Games' latest creation being one of the best looking games on the market. It is a serious test that pushes GPUs to their limits, and also features RTX technologies like DLSS.

ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 114 | TweakTown.com
ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 4002 | TweakTown.com
ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 302 | TweakTown.comASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 301 | TweakTown.com

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is one of the latest games to join our graphics card benchmark lineup, with the game built using the Foundation engine as a base, the same engine in Rise of the Tomb Raider. Eidos Montreal R&D department made lots of changes to the engine during the development of Shadow of the Tomb Raider to make it one of the best-looking games out right now.

ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 117 | TweakTown.com

4K Benchmark Performance Thoughts

Please no... it's already a bad enough card and it doesn't need to get any worse.

Power Consumption & Temps

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ASUS keeps things nice and cool with the TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT 4GB OC Edition, with the Navi 24 GPU running at just 51C with the fans spooling at 1577RPM (43% or so). The total GPU chip power draw was 90W.

What's Hot, What's Not

What's Hot

  • The world's first 6nm GPU: Alright, so that's kinda cool... but it doesn't mean much at the end of the day.
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What's Not

  • A complete mess: Say no more.
  • RTX 3050 beats the RX 6500 XT, easily: You're better off buying NVIDIA's latest GeForce RTX 3050, which has 8GB of GDDR6 memory and is a superior card in its "price point".
  • Only 4GB of RAM... WTF, AMD: 4GB of RAM... meanwhile, the Radeon RX 480 launched over 5 years ago now with 4GB of VRAM. Now, AMD's very latest GPU has just 4GB of GDDR6 -- it's not good enough in 2022 -- especially without an 8GB variant on offer.
  • Limited to PCIe 4.0 x4 bandwidth: xxxxxx
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  • Only dual display outputs, another WTF, AMD: DisplayPort and HDMI... and that's it... that really sucks in 2022.
  • No AV1, H264, and H265 video encoding support, another WTF: Seriously, what the fresh fork is that, AMD?!
  • There's just nothing really new: Like, at all... just a 6nm GPU with newer, faster GDDR memory.

Final Thoughts

Where do I even begin... AMD is in a real spot right now with the Radeon RX 6500 XT, I could spend the rest of this review shitting on it. As I said at the start of my review, my mother has been deathly ill and I've been MIA for a couple of weeks... and, well, I didn't miss much with Navi 24.

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4GB of VRAM in 2022 is just wrong, plain wrong -- more so when there's no 8GB version on offer -- but that isn't even the worst part. The real shit sandwich begins with no hardware encoding, so you can't even use Radeon ReLive to record your gameplay... what the actual hell, AMD.

Navi 24 was originally designed to be used in laptops, but it has been thrown onto a desktop GPU just because -- AMD can release it, claim the first 6nm GPU -- and have something, just something to combat NVIDIA's new GeForce RTX 3050 which has 8GB of GDDR6 memory.

But then there's the price... AMD says the price is "$199" but that's total BS. You're not going to find this card for anything less than $250 and more like $300+ for the foreseeable future. The first waves will most likely be found at highly inflated costs, but who knows where we go from there.

ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB Review 503 | TweakTown.com

If you've been waiting for a graphics card upgrade, the Radeon RX 6500 XT doesn't fit any upgrade path or recommendation from me. NVIDIA has superior offerings at every level, in previous generations, and even many generations ago. Hell, so does AMD... you'd be better off getting an older Radeon RX 580 or RX 570 (both with 8GB of VRAM).

Unfortunately, AMD looks bad here -- and by proxy, ASUS looks bad -- the TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT isn't a total heap of crap. ASUS does what it can here with the Navi 24 + 4GB GDDR6 combo, with some great temps and a slick TUF Gaming style.

But that's about it.

Performance

50%

Quality

50%

Features

50%

Value

N/A

Overall

50%

The Bottom Line

ASUS can't help the dumpster fire that is the Radeon RX 6500 XT... although if you had to buy it, the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition is a 'better' RX 6500 XT. Still, pass.

50%

ASUS Dual AMD Radeon™ RX 6600 8GB

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$319.60$329.94$349.99
* Prices last scanned on 6/27/2022 at 12:19 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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