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Sapphire RX 6600 XT Pulse Review

Rating: 7.5.

Following on from our first RX 6600 XT review yesterday, today we are back with a look at the Sapphire RX 6600 XT Pulse. Having reviewed plenty of Sapphire's Nitro+ cards this generation, this is our first look at a Pulse model since the launch of the RX 5600 XT. With just a $20 price premium over AMD's baseline MSRP, what does the Pulse have to offer potential customers?

The Sapphire Pulse series has garnered a lot of praise over the years, with the cards designed to offer a ‘no frills' experience, for those who just want solid build quality, strong cooling performance and a capable VRM. If you like a few extra features, such as on-board ARGB headers, dual-BIOS and quick connect fans – Sapphire will point you towards its more expensive Nitro+ series.

With the RX 6600 XT Pulse, Sapphire is offering a factory-overclocked core, an emphasis on low noise levels and a clean design aesthetic. Let's see if they have got it right.

 RX 6900 XT RX 6800 XT RX 6800  RX 6700 XT RX 6600 XT
Architecture RDNA 2 RDNA 2 RDNA 2 RDNA 2 RDNA 2
Manufacturing Process 7nm 7nm 7nm 7nm 7nm
Transistor Count 26.8 billion 26.8 billion 26.8 billion 17.2 billion 11.1 billion
Die Size  519 mm² 519 mm² 519 mm² 336 mm² 237 mm²
Ray Accelerators 80 72 60 40 32
Compute Units  80 72 60 40 32
Stream Processors  5120 4608 3840 2560 2048
Game GPU Clock Up to 2015MHz Up to 2015MHz Up to 1815MHz Up to 2424MHz Up to 2359MHz
Boost GPU Clock Up to 2250MHz Up to 2250MHz Up to 2105MHz Up to 2581MHz Up to 2589MHz
Peak SP Performance Up to 23.04 TFLOPS Up to 20.74 TFLOPS Up to 16.17 TFLOPS Up to 13.21 TFLOPS Up to 10.6 TFLOPS
Peak Half Precision Performance Up to 46.08 TFLOPS Up to 41.47 TFLOPS Up to 32.33 TFLOPS Up to 26.43 TFLOPS Up to 21.21 TFLOPS
Peak Texture Fill-Rate Up to 720 GT/s Up to 648.0 GT/s Up to 505.2 GT/s Up to 413.0 GT/s Up to 331.4 GT/s
ROPs 128 128 96 64 64
Peak Pixel Fill-Rate Up to 288.0 GP/s Up to 288.0 GP/s Up to 202.1 GP/s Up to 165.2 GP/s Up to 165.7 GP/s
AMD Infinity Cache 128MB 128MB 128MB 96MB 32MB
Memory Bandwidth 512 GB/s 512 GB/s 512 GB/s 384 GB/s 256 GB/s
Memory Interface  256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 192-bit 128-bit
Board Power  300W 300W 250W 230W 160W

As a spec recap, RX 6700 XT is built using the new Navi 23 GPU, a physically small die, measuring just 237 mm². It houses 32 Compute Units (CUs), with 64 stream processors per CU, giving a total of 2048. RX 6600 XT features a fully populated Navi 23 GPU, but we can expect a cut-down version to appear with the rumoured RX 6600.

RDNA 2 houses one ray accelerator per CU, so there’s a total of 32 with the RX 6600 XT. Four texture units per CU gives a total of 128, while there’s also 64 ROPs. Clock speed remains at the lofty heights that we saw from the RX 6700 XT, as the 6600 XT's rated game clock of 2589MHz is 8MHz above that of the RX 6700 XT. Sapphire has added a factory overclock, but the boost clock is only 2593MHz, so it's not much of an increase over reference spec.

As for the memory configuration, AMD has opted to use a 128-bit memory interface paired with 8GB of GDDR6 memory. Using 16Gbps modules, total memory bandwidth hits 256 GB/s, lower than even the last-generation RX 5600 XT . RDNA 2 GPUs, however, have the benefit of AMD’s Infinity Cache, but even that is reduced, with just a 32MB cache used here.

Lastly, total board power (TBP) is rated at 160W, a reduction of 70W, or almost 30%, compared to the RX 6700 XT. 

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