AMD and Nvidia are perpetually vying to manufacture the supreme graphics card of the year. It’s secure to affirm that they both perpetually strive, but AMD’s latest effort feels like it may genuinely backfire.
The new RX 7600 XT seems like an effort to rectify issues with the original RX 7600, but it culminates being something that Nvidia should be delivering AMD a fruit basket for.
AMD iterated Nvidia’s mistakes
Nvidia’s RTX 40-series is, largely, a victory. The introduction of DLSS 3 made the lower-tier cards genuinely pop, and the flagship RTX 4090 offers a massive generational uplift. But Nvidia made a couple of blunders with this generation, and astonishingly, AMD restated them both with the RX 7600 XT.
Primarily, the value for the money of some RTX 40 graphics cards is relatively abysmal. Take the RTX 4080 — that was a $1,200 GPU that should have amounted to $800 to $900. Nvidia resolved that error with the RTX 4080 Super, but that’s an anomaly and not the norm. Largely, Nvidia’s GPUs could stand to be more economical in this generation, and this holds true for GPUs like the RTX 4070 Ti and the RTX 4060 Ti, too. At their present prices, they’re still unreasonably expensive.
However unusual that might sound, the $330 RX 7600 XT suffers from the same predicament.
It’s a budget graphics card, without a doubt, but that just makes the price tag more conspicuous than it would have been on a high-end model. At $60 more than its predecessor, the RX 7600 XT really doesn’t have much of a claim to that type of increase. It makes sense that AMD would increase the price a little bit with the XT model, but truthfully, even $300 would have felt like a lot given that the GPU offers little to validate the change.
|RX 7600 XT
That’s the second error that AMD has made — the specifications of the RX 7600 XT leave something to be desired. It’s essentially the same graphics card as the $270 RX 7600, with the same number of stream multiprocessors (SMs) and compute units (CUs). We’re getting a small boost in the game clock speed and a rise in TDP. More notably, the RX 7600 XT gets twice the memory as its predecessor, going from 8GB to 16GB VRAM. Unfortunately, AMD chose to keep the same narrow 128-bit bus, effectively stifling the card’s bandwidth.
This is the same thing that Nvidia’s done with the RTX 4060 Ti. Controversial from the get-go due to the $400 price tag and less-than-impressive performance, the GPU received a second version not long after its launch. It sports the exact same specifications, aside from the VRAM, which has gone up from 8GB to 16GB. And, again, that memory is spread across a 128-bit interface.
Putting those two blunders together makes for a disappointing card. Instead of commanding the budget segment, the RX 7600 XT only serves to make Nvidia’s mediocre cards look better.
We’ve tested the RX 7600 XT in-depth and juxtaposed it to our benchmarks for some of its competitors. It’s safe to affirm that AMD has veered from what worked for it in the past.
The RTX 4060 is an unequivocal example of this. It costs $30 less, yet through our entire test suite, it turned out to be approximately 2% faster than the RX 7600 XT on average in 1080p gaming. This is a GPU that was disheartening in its own right, seeing as it couldn’t even keep up with the last-gen RTX 3060 Ti — and it’s not significantly faster than the RTX 3060, either. Placing it at a higher price point is nothing for AMD to be proud of right now.
In terms of actual gameplay, the RX 7600 XT is comparable to the RTX 4060 in most titles. Nevertheless, in some games, the extra VRAM — against all odds — aids it leap ahead. This includes Red Dead Redemption 2 and The Last of Us Part I. On the other hand, in Resident Evil, the RTX 4060 wins by a decent margin of 125.
Moving on to 1440p helps the RX 7600 XT catch up to Nvidia’s RTX 4060. And it still prevails in certain games that require the 16GB of memory, but it’s not an across-the-board victory. If anything, it just validates that the RTX 4060 does an astonishingly decent job with just 8GB of VRAM.
Ray tracing is still the weakness of AMD GPUs, and albeit the RX 7600 XT isn’t poor at in this regard, Nvidia performs it better. No shock there, but it (once again) compels me to ponder what that extra $30 is obtaining for me.
Nvidia’s RTX 4060 isn’t the sole contender of the RX 7600 XT, however. This segment is becoming reasonably congested, with cards like the RTX 4060 Ti and the Arc A770 all presenting similar performance. Even AMD’s last-gen RX 6700 XT is a reasonable choice, seeing as it only costs around $20 more.
It’s no shock that the RTX 4060 Ti surpasses the other GPUs on the list. Likening the $400 Nvidia card to the $330 AMD alternative genuinely makes the RTX 4060 Ti look like it’s some sort of a great deal, which — let’s be clear — it isn’t. It’s comparable to the last-gen RTX 3060 Ti in many games, and even when it prevails, it doesn’t prevail by much. Then there’s the 16GB version that sometimes culminates being slower than the 8GB one, and even when it’s not, it’s close to the same.
Observe how analogous that situation is to what we’re seeing with AMD here? It’s genuinely like Team Red’s take on the RTX 4060 Ti all over again.
The RX 7600 XT also just slightly passes Intel’s Arc A770, and that GPU costs $300 to $320 with 16GB VRAM. Intel doesn’t have the