The Radeon RX 6500 XT is aimed at gamers looking for an economical graphics card to play on a Full HD monitor. For this, AMD has developed a smaller chip than the rest of the series, so as to produce more at a lower cost.
Presentation The Radeon RX 6500 XT
Generations of graphics cards follow and resemble each other. Tirelessly, AMD like Nvidia decline their series at will, offering the fastest models first followed by various slower versions. The Radeon RX 6500 XT is part of this logic: released a little over a year after the Radeon RX 6800/XT and Radeon RX 6900 XT.
It represents the seventh version of the series and, as its nomenclature indicates. Is positioned as an entry-level graphics card at the recommended price of €210.
The technical point The Radeon RX 6500 XT
To achieve this GPU model, AMD decided to produce a new chip called Navi 24. Twice as small as the Navi 23 of the Radeon RX 6600 and Radeon RX 6600 XT, it was initially designed to take place in laptop computers. . It uses a new 6 nm engraving process (TSMC) and not 7 nm as on the higher models. The low number of on-board transistors (5.4 billion, an RX 6800 has 26.8) obviously results in a much lower number of calculation units than on the rest of the series, but also in less extensive functionalities. .
Thus, the Radeon RX 6500 XT does not embed any video encoding block. This graphics card can therefore in no way accelerate video encoding. Whether via a dedicated application such as HandBrake or Premiere or via a streaming application. AMD justifies its position by indicating that the PC processor can also perform the operation.
But this is a rather narrow view of reality. It seems obvious to us that the Radeon RX 6500 XT is one of those graphics cards which are housed alongside entry-level processors. I.e. chips whose performance reserve is not huge and which would benefit from a boost from the GPU for this type of operation.
Technical characteristics The Radeon RX 6500 XT
From a purely technical point of view, the Radeon RX 6500 XT’s Navi 24 chip has 1024 calculation units. 64 units dedicated to textures, 32 rendering units and 16 specific blocks for accelerating raytracing effects (Ray Accelerators ). The GPU is given for a maximum frequency of 2825 MHz and an average gaming frequency of 2236 MHz.
AMD has also economized on memory, limiting this graphics card to 4GB of GDDR6. This low capacity will limit those of the card in an increasing number of games, including titles run with a low level of detail. The whole is completed by a low memory interface – 64 bits only – which, coupled with a frequency of 2250 MHz, gives rise to a starving bandwidth of 144 GB / s. Finally, the power consumption of the graphics card is given for 107 W.
Noise The Radeon RX 6500 XT
The power consumption of the graphics card is in line with the data provided by AMD. We thus measured an average of 105 W with a few rare peaks at 110 W. It is therefore a fairly energy-efficient graphics card, which is a lesser evil given its technical characteristics.
Performance in gaming
Our Asus TUF Radeon RX 6500 XT O4G posted an average effective frequency of 2885 MHz during our tests. This very high value confirms the ability of the RDNA 2 architecture to operate at high frequency. It’s actually quite exhilarating to see a graphics card running at a frequency so close to 3 GHz, but that’s the only playful side of this model.
Because in practice, the performances are low, very low even. In Full HD – the only definition really exploitable by this model. The performance is 68% lower than that of the superior model. The Radeon RX 6600. In practice, this translates into the need to limit games to a level of detail graphics set to medium at best. Minimum most often to achieve a frame rate of more than 50 fps. The GeForce RTX 3050 is twice as fast on average on our test protocol.
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This great disparity in results has its source in our protocol. Which uses the most advanced graphics settings of the cards we test. In this context, the 4 GB of graphics memory of the Radeon RX 6500 XT are very often saturated, which leads to an exponential drop in results. By moving the sliders to less aggressive settings (medium/low). The performance difference would be smoothed out: the GeForce RTX 3050 is then “only” 29% faster.
Finally, a point on raytracing : if it is possible to run games with these effects. The performance is such that it is an unusable option, the FSR activated or not changing nothing.
Finally The Radeon RX 6500 XT
The Radeon RX 6500 XT isn’t exciting, that’s a fact. Launched at €210 – but more often sold between €300 and €350 at the time of writing these lines – it is far too limited to position itself as a real alternative to the GeForce RTX 3050 . Admittedly, this model is announced at a 30% higher price, but the Nvidia card is also 30% faster.
While its 8 GB of video memory is much more flexible and adapted to the progress of video games over the next few years. months (and years).
Conclusion The Graphich Card
The Radeon RX 6500 XT is an entry-level graphics card with performance limited by the technical choices made by AMD. Its graphics memory hogs performance too quickly on recent games, which need more than 4GB. A technical requirement that will intensify over time. Add to that an ultra-restricted video engine and you get a card that is certainly less expensive than the competition, but really less shimmering.
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