PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review

PowerColor's custom Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB graphics card is here, but do you need to even know about it at this point?

@anthony256
Published Tue, Mar 1 2022 9:41 AM CST
Rating: 42%Manufacturer: PowerColor (AXRX-6500XT-4GBD6-DH/OC)

Introduction

AMD didn't really plan out its Radeon RX 6500 XT at all, with the Navi 24 inside being a GPU made for laptops and then kinda ported over to the desktop... and it shows.

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 501 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 62 IMAGES

I've already reviewed the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition, but now it's time for the PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter. Both of these cards are identical for the most part: Navi 24 on the 6nm process node by TSMC, joined by a not-good-enough-in-2022 amount of VRAM: 4GB GDDR6.

PowerColor does what it can with Navi 24 + 4GB GDDR6 with its custom PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter, offered in a much smaller mini-ITX form factor. The company uses two-ball bearing technology in its cooling fans, as well as "Mute Fan Technology" that will see the fans turning off if GPU temps are under 60C.

You know the situation when it comes to price: it's a mess... so it's not worth discussing. It's getting annoying typing this in every review, but that's just my life now. Let's get on with the review of PowerColor's custom Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter graphics card.

Buy at Amazon

PowerColor Red Devil AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$468.99$583.00$389.95
* Prices last scanned on 6/26/2022 at 1:44 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

PowerColor Marketing

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 901 | TweakTown.com
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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.

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 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.

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 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.

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 810 | TweakTown.com
PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 811 | TweakTown.com

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

Detailed Look

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 510 | TweakTown.comPowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 511 | TweakTown.com

The retail packaging on the PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter isn't the best, but this is a lower-end entry-level card... not surprised there.

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 501 | TweakTown.com
PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 504 | TweakTown.com

The card itself doesn't look like much of a fighter, but it does have a dual-fan cooler and no RGB lighting if that's what you're after.

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It's a thin dual-slot card, packing a single 6-pin PCIe power connector.

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A single DP + HDMI display connector... in 2022... the hell.

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.

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 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.

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 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.

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 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

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 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.

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 101 | TweakTown.comPowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 102 | TweakTown.com
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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.

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Benchmarks - 1080p

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 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.

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 109 | TweakTown.com
PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 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.

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 118 | TweakTown.com
PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 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.

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 112 | TweakTown.com
PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 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.

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 115 | TweakTown.com

1080p Benchmark Performance Thoughts

Performance is just not good at all at all resolutions on the Radeon RX 6500 XT, but it doesn't fair too badly at 1080p. But if you compare it against NVIDIA's competitor in the GeForce RTX 3050, the Navi 24-based GPU just doesn't hold up.

Benchmarks - 1440p

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 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.

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 110 | TweakTown.com
PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 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.

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 119 | TweakTown.com
PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 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.

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 113 | TweakTown.com
PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 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.

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 116 | TweakTown.com

1440p Benchmark Performance Thoughts

Yeah, no... 1440p isn't good for the Radeon RX 6500 XT either... but again, you can get 30FPS+ out of AAA titles without an issue if you adjust some in-game visuals.

Benchmarks - 4K

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 4014 | TweakTown.com
PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 309 | TweakTown.comPowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 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.

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 111 | TweakTown.com
PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 4006 | TweakTown.com
PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 304 | TweakTown.comPowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 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.

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 120 | TweakTown.com
PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 4013 | TweakTown.com
PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 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.

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 114 | TweakTown.com
PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 4002 | TweakTown.com
PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 302 | TweakTown.comPowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 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.

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 117 | TweakTown.com

4K Benchmark Performance Thoughts

Nope, no, don't do it.

Power Consumption & Temps

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 906 | TweakTown.com

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.
PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 501 | TweakTown.com

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
PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 508 | TweakTown.com
  • 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

PowerColor can't impress here with the Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter, as AMD under-cooked the Navi 24 GPU as it was... gimped it with 4GB of GDDR6... gimped it in multiple ways. The final product is a big, fat, meh.

PowerColor Radeon RX 6500 XT Fighter 4GB Review 509 | TweakTown.com

I have the same issues that I had with the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition 4GB graphics card, it is just a sucky card for 2022. The new Navi 24 GPU is impressive in one part: it's the world's first 6nm GPU, but it was made for mobile and ported to desktop... and man, does it show.

There are only 4GB of GDDR6 in a world when NVIDIA is giving gamers 8GB of GDDR6 memory on its GeForce RTX 3050, which is superior in many other ways. PowerColor can't help this, so they can't be blamed for the bad product... AMD can... but ultimately it's your money.

If you find value in the card, then great -- but I wouldn't recommend it. I would buy the ASUS TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6500 XT over this, if I was forced to buy a Radeon RX 6500 XT at all.

Performance

50%

Quality

25%

Features

50%

Value

N/A

Overall

42%

The Bottom Line

PowerColor has to suffer to wrath of AMD's crappy Navi 24 GPU, its new Radeon RX 6500 XT Figher... is no Fighter at all.

42%

PowerColor Red Devil AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$468.99$583.00$389.95
* Prices last scanned on 6/26/2022 at 1:44 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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