MSI Radeon RX 6650 XT GAMING X Review

MSI continues to fill out its Radeon RX 6000 series GAMING X range with the RX 6650 XT GAMING X: 8GB GDDR6, now at 17.5Gbps.

@anthony256
Published Wed, May 18 2022 10:32 AM CDT
Rating: 83%Manufacturer: MSI (RX 6650 XT GAMING X)

Introduction

AMD launched its new RDNA 2 refresh GPUs last week with the new flagship Radeon RX 6950 XT, the new mid-range Radeon RX 6750 XT and the lower-end Radeon RX 6650 XT... the latter of which, we're looking at today with the custom MSI Radeon RX 6650 XT GAMING X graphics card.

MSI Radeon RX 6650 XT GAMING X Review 503 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 53 IMAGES

We're talking just a couple of FPS higher here and there over the Radeon RX 6600, with AMD tweaking the GPU clocks, GDDR6 memory is now at 17.5Gbps (up from 16Gbps) and the TBP has been boosted by 13% now hitting 180W in "reference" form.

What you've got in the end is a refreshed Radeon RX 6600 XT now called the Radeon RX 6650 XT, tweaked GPU + GDDR6 clocks + higher TDP and getting 5-10% (sometimes more) performance over the RX 6600 XT. That's not a bad thing, but it's not a revolution over the RX 6600 XT. I hope you aren't expecting as much, and I'm here to show you the card in its bare form.

There's no pricing on the MSI Radeon RX 6650 XT GAMING X just yet, which is just another notch in the "how are we here" belt during the RDNA 2 refresh. Hopefully, things are much, much clearer when the RDNA 3-powered Radeon RX 7000 series GPUs launch later this year, and into 2023.

Let's Talk Price

AMD initially started the RDNA 2 refresh GPU party with higher "starting from" $1299 pricing on the new flagship Radeon RX 6950 XT... but that was quickly changed to "starting from" $1099. This is $100 more than the $999 launch price of the Radeon RX 6900 XT.

  • AMD Radeon RX 6650 XT (8GB): starting from $399
  • AMD Radeon RX 6750 XT (12GB): starting from $549
  • AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT (16GB): starting from $1099

The company is lucking out with the stars aligning for GPU prices to drop just as they're refreshing their RDNA 2-based GPUs.

Buy at Amazon

MSI Gaming Radeon RX 6800 XT

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$999.99$999.89$972.13
* Prices last scanned on 7/1/2022 at 8:29 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

AMD Software Updates

MSI Radeon RX 6650 XT GAMING X Review 918 | TweakTown.com

AMD is pushing out a great set of performance improvements, new technologies, and more into its new Radeon GPU drivers. I was using the Adrenalin v22.10 beta drivers for the review, but there will be new drivers out that will include these updates shortly.

AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) 2.0

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AMD reiterates that there are 80+ games with FSR 1.0 support so far.

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Inside, you'll get support for FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) 2.0 technology, where the first game out of the gate to support FSR 2.0 being DEATHLOOP by Arkane Studios and Bethesda. The update for that will drop on May 12, while FSR 2.0 is coming to other games in the near future.

FSR 2.0 is coming soon to Asterigos, Delysium, EVE Online, Farming Simulator 22, Forspoken, Grounded, Microsoft Flight Simulator, NiShuiHan, Perfect World Remake, Swordsman Remake, and Unknown 9: Awakening.

AMD Radeon Super Resolution (RSR)

The introduction of AMD's new Radeon Super Resolution (RSR) technology is here with the latest drivers, coinciding with the launch of the new RDNA 2 refresh GPUs. RSR uses all of the abilities that AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) is capable of, and puts it into the driver to offer free performance uplifts across thousands and thousands of games.

RX 6650 XT Tech Specs

The reference specs of the Radeon RX 6650 XT have it packing the Navi 23 GPU with 11.1 billion transistors, with higher GPU clocks than the flagship Radeon RX 6950 XT. We're looking at "reference" Game GPU clocks of up to 2410MHz and Boost GPU clocks of up to 2635MHz -- but there's a decent OC squeeze out of the MSI Radeon RX 6650 XT GAMING X.

  • Radeon RX 6950 XT: 16GB of GDDR6 memory @ 18Gbps on a 256-bit memory interface + 128MB of Infinity Cache (335W)
  • Radeon RX 6750 XT: 12GB of GDDR6 memory @ 18Gbps on a 192-bit memory interface + 96MB of Infinity Cache (250W)
  • Radeon RX 6650 XT: 8GB of GDDR6 memory @ 17.5Gbps on a 128-bit memory interface + 32MB of Infinity Cache (180W)

AMD Radeon RX 6650 XT Tech Specs (Reference):

  • Transistors: 11.1 billion transistors
  • Die Size: 237mm2
  • Compute Units: 32
  • Ray Accelerators: 32
  • Stream Processors: 2048
  • Game GPU Clock: up to 2410MHz
  • Boost GPU Clock: up to 2635MHz
  • Peak Single Precision Performance: 10.79 TFLOPs
  • Peak Half Precision Performance: 21.59 TFLOPs
  • Peak Texture Fill-Rate: up to 337.3 GT/s
  • ROPs: 64
  • Peak Pixel Fill-Rate: 168.6 GP/s
  • AMD Infinity Cache: 32MB
  • Memory: 8GB GDDR6
  • Effective Memory Bandwidth w/AMD Infinity Cache (up to): 468.9GB/sec
  • Memory Interface: 128-bit
  • PCIe Interface: PCIe 4.0 x8
  • Board Power: 180W

Detailed Look

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MSI is keeping up with appearances here, with no changes to the new Radeon RX 6650 XT GAMING X box, the same as the other GAMING X family retail packaging.

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The same goes for the front of the card, but no complaints here as I'm a big fan of the GAMING X (and GAMING X TRIO) look.

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I don't think this card needs to be any thicker than a dual-slot card, but here we are again...

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A single 8-pin PCIe power connector is required.

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The usual display connectivity: 1 x HDMI 2.1 and 3 x DP 1.4 connectors, all capable of 4K 120Hz+.

Test System Specs

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Anthony's GPU Test System Specifications

The biggest upgrade to the GPU testbed is the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X processor, offering 12 cores and 24 threads of Zen 3-powered CPU grunt at up to 4.8GHz.

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That's plenty of CPU power and offers a great upgrade over the Ryzen 7 3800X that I was using previously.

I will be upgrading this system in a few months, and maybe running it side-by-side with the new Alder Lake-powered Intel Core i9-12900K processor. I'm using one inside of the Allied M.O.A.B.-I gaming PC that I reviewed a few months ago, and man the 12900K is like the Godzilla of CPUs.

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Sabrent is the most recent partner of mine to help build out my systems, sending me oodles of the fastest NVMe M.2 SSDs on the planet. I'm using Sabrent's flagship Rocket 4 Plus 4TB M.2 SSDs which offers 7GB/sec+ reads and writes with a huge 4TB of capacity.

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ASUS has been a tight partner of mine for a few years now, providing their huge 43-inch 4K 120Hz gaming monitors for my benchmarking and gaming needs. I'm using two of them at the moment, the ROG Strix XG438Q and the ROG Swift PG43UQ gaming monitors.

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Benchmarks - Synthetic

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Benchmarks - 1080p

Note: All games run on Ultra/Maxed Out visual settings, motion blur disabled, V-Sync disabled.

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Performance Thoughts

This is the best spot for the new Radeon RX 6650 XT: at 1080p gaming.

The new Radeon RX 6650 XT spits out a respectable 72FPS average at 1080p in a gorgeous game like Cyberpunk 2077, adding on another 4FPS (so... not much at all) over the Radeon RX 6600 XT. Interestingly, the mobile-focused NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU is 5FPS faster here.

Moving onto Forza Horizon 5, we've got 81FPS average... just 5FPS over the RX 6600 XT. Assassin's Creed Valhalla is friendly towards Radeon, with another 6FPS (93FPS vs 87FPS) over the RX 6600 XT.

If you've got a high refresh rate monitor and play esports-type games like Overwatch, CS:GO, League of Legends, and more then you're in good hands here if you wanted the cheapest of the new RDNA 2 graphics cards. Not bad, but not great... not in 2022, and not with a mid-kicker refresh GPU.

Benchmarks - 1440p

Note: All games run on Ultra/Maxed Out visual settings, motion blur disabled, V-Sync disabled.

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Performance Thoughts

I wouldn't recommend the Radeon RX 6650 XT for 1440p gaming, but it's not totally useless at 2560 x 1440 either. You can still play games like Cyberpunk 2077 better than consoles... 1440p at 43FPS is pretty damn good. If you put it up against the previous-gen Radeon VII, which is identical: 43FPS.

Interestingly, the new lower-end Radeon RX 6650 XT vs the Radeon VII is a battle the new lower-end Navi 23 wins. Great job there, AMD!

Forza Horizon 5 can be enjoyed at over 60FPS at 1440p on the Radeon RX 6650 XT, another 5FPS over the RX 6600 XT... while Shadow of the Tomb Raider can be enjoyed at over 100FPS average at 1440p (107FPS) versus the 95FPS on the RX 6600 XT.

Benchmarks - 4K

Note: All games run on Ultra/Maxed Out visual settings, motion blur disabled, V-Sync disabled.

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Performance Thoughts

I definitely do NOT recommend the Radeon RX 6650 XT for 4K gaming, but like 1440p... it's not useless at 4K, either.

Cyberpunk 2077 drops into the deep, dark depths of 18FPS average... but Forza Horizon 5 can be sped through at 47FPS average at 4K. That's a fair effort, so too is Shadow of the Tomb Raider very close to 60FPS average (53FPS average) up from the 46FPS on the RX 6600 XT.

Power Consumption & Temps

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What's Hot, What's Not

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What's Hot

  • 5-10% faster than Radeon RX 6600 XT: I mean you can't complain, but you also can't brag... there's not much to do here in terms of performance. AMD is adding 5-10% more performance to its Radeon RX 6650 XT over the RX 6600 XT, better than nothing.
  • Fantastic thermals: MSI deploys its TWIN FROZR 8 cooling system on the Radeon RX 6650 XT GAMING X, keeping the GPU temps on the card at 64C during gaming and benchmark loads. THis is with the fans operating virtually silent at 38% (1350RPM or so).
  • 1080p gaming: AMD's new Radeon RX 6650 XT is destined for 1080p gaming, where you'll enjoy most AAA titles at 60FPS+ with some adjustments to visual detail, and 120FPS+ in esports titles for high refresh rate gaming monitors and TVs.
  • Higher GPU clocks: It's cool to see the Radeon RX 6650 XT GAMING X hitting 2700MHz GPU clocks, with some room to move when it comes to overclocking, too.
  • 8GB GDDR6 memory, now @ 17.5Gbps: AMD has equipped the refreshed Radeon RX 6650 XT with the same 8GB of GDDR6, but now it's faster: at 17.5Gbps.

What's Not

  • Weird release: It has been a weird release, to say the least. Not MSI's fault at all, that's on AMD.

Final Thoughts

AMD's new Radeon RX 6650 XT is here, and so is the custom MSI Radeon RX 6650 XT GAMING X. It's not a huge upgrade over the RX 6600 XT, but it's enough: 5-10% faster or so depending on the game and resolution.

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As usual, MSI keeps things cool with its TWIN FROZR 8 cooling system with GPU temps of 64C under load. For 1080p gaming you'll have no problems, with 60FPS+ in AAA games and 120FPS+ for esports games. I was cranking through Overwatch (Mercy main) and the new Overwatch 2 PvP beta at 120FPS+ with just a few detail adjustments on the Radeon RX 6650 XT.

It's a weird time for GPU releases, with AMD setting a "starting price" of $400 on the RX 6650 XT... MSI's new custom Radeon RX 6650 XT GAMING X should sell for over $500 or more on shelves (or online) when you find it. Is it worth it? That's always up to you, but if you're wanting to go Radeon and wanting to spend "around $500" then you're in safe hands here with the MSI RX 6650 XT GAMING X.

NVIDIA only has the GeForce RTX 3060 (with lower performance) and the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti (higher performance but much more expensive) to answer the Radeon RX 6650 XT. AMD has that market nailed down for now, but again... it's not a game-changer. AMD is filling a price range here ($400-$500) that its competitor isn't, and can't.

Performance

85%

Quality

75%

Features

90%

Value

N/A

Overall

83%

The Bottom Line

MSI's new Radeon RX 6650 XT GAMING X is here, for your 1080p and even some 1440p gaming needs.

83%

MSI Gaming Radeon RX 6800 XT

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$999.99$999.89$972.13
* Prices last scanned on 7/1/2022 at 8:29 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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