SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 Review

SAPPHIRE's new PULSE Radeon RX 6600 packs quite a 1080p gaming punch in small form, 60FPS in AAA games and 120FPS in others.

@anthony256
Published Wed, Nov 3 2021 6:43 PM CDT
Rating: 93%Manufacturer: SAPPHIRE (Pulse AMD Radeon RX 6600)

Introduction

SAPPHIRE's new custom PULSE Radeon RX 6600 is a surprise new RDNA 2 pocket rocket for 1080p gaming, instantly grabbing your eyeballs from its tiny little Nano-sized appearance.

SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 Review 508 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 59 IMAGES

AMD powers the Radeon RX 6600 with its Navi 31 XL GPU, compared to the Navi 31 XT GPU used in the slightly higher-end Radeon RX 6600 XT. We also have 8GB of GDDR6 memory with Infinity Cache, with the card bound to PCIe 4.0 x8 compared to the higher-end GPU offerings with PCIe 4.0 x16.

SAPPHIRE's new custom PULSE Radeon RX 6600 is a no-frills GPU that offers reference RX 6600 clock speeds, a compact form with dual fans, and it's virtually silent during operation. It packs quite the punch at 1080p, rocks a single 8-pin PCIe power connector, and will fit virtually anywhere.

You're looking at a price of around "$339" for the Radeon RX 6600, but who knows what price you'll find the SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 for. At the end of the day it's going to perform like virtually any other Radeon RX 6600, so whatever ridiculous alternate reality pricing we're paying right now, that's going to come down to what price you're willing to pay at the time you're willing to buy it.

Buy at Amazon

Sapphire Pulse AMD Radeon RX 6600

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$629.00$626.00$629.00
* Prices last scanned on 11/28/2021 at 7:08 pm CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Everything You Need to Know About The RX 6600

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The RDNA 2 architecture gets spread a little thinner here to make the Radeon RX 6600, with the same 11.1 billion transistors that was used on the Radeon RX 6600 XT. There's cut down 28 Compute Units here on the RX 6600, compared to 32 Compute Units on the RX 6600 XT while there's 1792 Stream Processors, down from 2048 Stream Processors.

AMD is still using 32MB of Infinity Cache on the Radeon RX 6600, with the same 8GB of GDDR6 memory on a 128-bit memory bus and PCIe 4.0 x8 connector. The board power is just 132W, down 28W from the Radeon RX 6600 XT and its 160W TBP. Not too damn bad at all there, AMD.

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1080p gaming is where AMD is aiming with the Radeon RX 6600, and when compared against the GeForce RTX 2060, the new RDNA 2-powered Radeon RX 6600 holds its own. We have 79FPS average in Assassin's Creed Valhalla, 142FPS average in Battlefield V, 95FPS average in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, 136FPS average in F1 2021, and 114FPS average in Hitman 3 -- not bad at all.

Even in something like Cyberpunk 2077 we have 70FPS average at 1080p on the Radeon RX 6600, and 145FPS average in Resident Evil Village. Very, very nice results there.

AMD marketing

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Far Cry 6 and DEATHLOOP just launched, with 91FPS average at 1080p in Far Cry 6 on the Radeon RX 6600 and 85FPS average in DEATHLOOP. Once again, that's not damn bad at all -- but do keep in mind, many of these results are with Smart Access Memory enabled.

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One of the biggest things for me is the performance-per-watt side of the Radeon RX 6600, especially if you consider how bad the performance-per-watt was with the Radeon RX Vega 64.

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Wrapping up the Radeon RX 6600: 100FPS+ average in AAA g names, 1.3x the performance-per-watt versus the GeForce RTX 3060, and 2x faster in some games with FSR enabled and on Performance Mode on the Radeon RX 6600.

Detailed Look

When the package for the SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 turned up, I didn't even think it was a graphics card the box was that small. But yep, it was... the card and box are just that small.

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The SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 graphics card is petite, from the retail packaging to when the card is in your hands and then inside of your PC.

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I do like that SAPPHIRE didn't cheap out on the back of the card, with the PULSE Radeon RX 6600 featuring the usual PULSE backplate.

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A single 8-pin PCIe power connector is all that's required, and it'll fit into a mini-ITX gaming PC easily.

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The normal display connectivity here: 3 x DisplayPort 1.4 and 1 x HDMI 2.1, all capable of 4K 120Hz and 8K 60Hz.

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.

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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.

SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 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.

SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 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

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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.

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Benchmarks - 1080p

SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 Review 4014 | TweakTown.com
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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.

SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 Review 111 | TweakTown.com
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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.

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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.

SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 Review 117 | TweakTown.com

1080p Benchmark Performance Thoughts

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Benchmarks - 1440p

SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 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.

SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 Review 110 | TweakTown.com
SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 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.

SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 Review 119 | TweakTown.com
SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 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.

SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 Review 113 | TweakTown.com
SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 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.

SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 Review 116 | TweakTown.com

1440p Benchmark Performance Thoughts

I wouldn't recommend AMD's new Radeon RX 6600 XT for 1440p gaming, but if the game is right -- like for example, Assassin's Creed: Valhalla -- then you're pulling 60FPS average at 1440p. Not too damn bad at all, AMD.

Shadow of War still cranks along at 88FPS average, while Shadow of the Tomb Raider gives you 102FPS average at 1440p. Next-gen console crushing performance, even at 1440p.

Benchmarks - 4K

SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 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.

SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 Review 109 | TweakTown.com
SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 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.

SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 Review 118 | TweakTown.com
SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 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.

SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 Review 112 | TweakTown.com
SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 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.

SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 Review 115 | TweakTown.com

4K Benchmark Performance Thoughts

Please don't buy the Radeon RX 6600 XT thinking you're going to be blazing through games at 120FPS at 4K... but hell, 33FPS average in Assassin's Creed: Valhalla at 4K? Nice.

Power Consumption & Temps

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What's Hot, What's Not

What's Hot

  • RDNA 2 scales so well, down into the RX 6600: AMD has solid footing on every level with the RDNA 2 architecture, from the lofty enthusiast flagship heights with the Radeon RX 6900 XT down to the new Radeon RX 6600. The RDNA 2 architecture shines and scales the entire way.
  • 8GB GDDR6 memory: We could've had a lower-end card with 4GB or 6GB of GDDR6, but the larger 8GB of GDDR6 ensures that you can play new AAA games at 1080p with high-resolution textures. Alternatively, you could play older games with FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) enabled on Quality, and have 8GB of GDDR6 memory at the ready.
  • Fantastic performance-per-watt: If you compare the marketing hype for the Vega GPU architecture now 5 years ago, the new RDNA 2 architecture is totally revolutionary compared to Vega. We have fantastic performance across the board against the Vega 64, with the new RX 6600 kicking some 1080p gaming ass.
  • Single PCIe power connector: AMD has a 132W TBP on the Radeon RX 6600, with the custom SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 requiring just a single 8-pin PCIe power connector

What's Not

  • GPU availability: This isn't AMD's fault and nor is it the fault of SAPPHIRE, but man does the pricing situation suck right now... and that's nothing new for 2021.

Final Thoughts

If the world of GPU prices were normal you'd be paying sub $200 for the SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600, and that would be great -- but in today's world, you're looking at nearly double that... so is it worth it? Well, yeah, it still is -- depending on what way you look at it.

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AMD has its best work in the RDNA 2 architecture, with the lowest-end offering in the Radeon RX 6000 series GPU family now here. We have 8GB of GDDR6 memory which carves through 1080p gaming without a problem... either 60FPS in AAA games or 120FPS in esports titles like Overwatch or Apex Legends.

SAPPHIRE does things well here with a really small card in the PULSE Radeon RX 6600 graphics card, with a single 8-pin PCIe power connector it'll fit anywhere and give you a great upgrade in power. If you're moving in from an older-gen Radeon RX 400 series GPU the new Radeon RX 6600 will serve you well.

There's no major RGB bling all over the SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600, so if you want a new custom Radeon RX 6600 without all the ridiculousness surrounding RGB lighting, and unnecessarily large custom coolers... the SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 6600 is a perfect upgrade.

Buy at Amazon

Performance

90%

Quality

90%

Features

100%

Value

N/A

Overall

93%

The Bottom Line

SAPPHIRE's new PULSE Radeon RX 6600 loses to the faster custom RX 6600 cards, but it does the custom RX 6600 game well. Tiny card, great performance.

TweakTown award
93%

Sapphire Pulse AMD Radeon RX 6600

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$629.00$626.00$629.00
* Prices last scanned on 11/28/2021 at 7:08 pm CST - 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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