6600 XT vs 3060 Ti: Is there really any competition here?

You’ve probably been reading about the recent GPU price drops and thinking, “now is the time to buy.” Even with price drops, not everyone can afford an enthusiast card or the next best thing. Thankfully, both AMD and Nvidia have something more attainable that offers great performance nonetheless.

If you’ve narrowed your search to the 6600 XT and the 3060 Ti, you’re in the right place. I’ll run you through the differences between these two cards in my RX 6600 XT vs RTX 3060 Ti comparison so that you know exactly what you’re getting for your money.

6600 XT vs 3060 Ti – Quick Comparison

RX 6600 XTSpecsRTX 3060 Ti
Navi 23 XT (215-130000006)GPUGA104-200-A1
PCIe 4.0 x 8InterfacePCIe 4.0 x 16
2,048 (Streamline Processors)CUDA Cores4,864 (CUDA Cores)
128TMUs152
32 (Ray Tracing Accelerators)RT Cores38 (Ray Tracing Cores)
1,968 MHzBase Clock1,410 MHz
2,589 MHzBoost Clock1,670 MHz
8 GB GDDR6Memory8 GB GDDR6
2,000 MHz (16 Gbps effective)Memory Speed1,750 MHz (14 Gbps effective)
256 GB/sBandwidth448 GB/s
128-bitMemory Bus256-bit
160 WTDP
(Founders Edition)
200 W
450 WRequired PSU
(Founders Edition)
600 W
500 WRecommended PSU (Founders Edition)650 W
1x HDMI
2x DisplayPort
Outputs1x HDMI
3x DisplayPort

RX 6600 XT

RX 6600 XT
AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT

AMD, a Silicon Valley-based company with over half a century of experience, released the 6600 XT just last year. It was intended for those of us that can’t really afford 4K gaming but need a powerful GPU. While AMD is at the top of its game when it comes to CPUs, its GPUs didn’t quite compete well with the competition. The RX 6000 series changed this.

The RX 6600 XT is built on the RNDA 2 architecture and boasts hefty clock speeds, a powerful VRAM, ray tracing, and much more. What you need to know is that the 6600 XT loses in every performance test against the 3060 Ti, even the regular 3060 was hard to compete with.

Pros:

  • Higher clock speeds
  • Lower TDP
  • Better @1080p (on average)
  • Lower prices

Cons:

  • Poor performance
  • Fewer output connections

RTX 3060 Ti

3060 Ti
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti

Compared to the 6600 XT, the 3060 Ti is a monster. It blows the 6600 XT away in almost every test, whether benchmark Fps or EFps (Effective Frames per second), overclocking, or ray tracing. Nvidia, the global leader in GPU development, released this card a year and a half ago, much to our delight.

The RTX 3060 Ti comes with all the bells and whistles found in other Ampere cards, but with more modest specs. It has more than double the core count of the 6600 XT, slower clock speeds, and the same VRAM. It uses up more power but left me very satisfied with the results.

Pros:

  • Better performance
  • More output connections
  • More cores
  • Better ray tracing

Cons:

  • Higher TDP
  • Lower clock speeds

6600 XT vs 3060 Ti: Key Specifications

Architecture

Both RDNA 2 and Ampere made leaps compared to their predecessors, with RDNA 2 providing 65% more speed per Watt, and Ampere being the fastest consumer architecture available currently. Both have a lot going for them, but my opinion is that Nvidia did a better job.

RDNA 2

AMD RDNA2 Architecture
AMD’s RDNA2 Architecture

AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture introduced some fantastic features, such as AMD Infinity Cache and Smart Access Memory (Resizable BAR). RDNA 2 is what the PS5 and XBOX Series S and X gaming systems are based on as well. It supports DirectX 12 Ultimate, ray tracing (via Ray Tracing Accelerators), AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution (DLSS), and much more.

The 6600 XT is the only Radeon card with a PCI x8 interface, effectively limiting its performance as it uses only eight lanes instead of the regular 16. It’s not the best choice made by AMD, in my opinion, but this is considered a budget GPU.

Ampere

NVIDIA Ampere Architecture
NVIDIA’s Ampere Architecture

Ampere introduced real-time ray tracing to GPU architecture with its RTX cards with the 2000 series. It’s now well into its second-generation RT cores, third-generation Tensor Cores (for AI development), and DirectX 12 Ultimate support. It also supports features such as Resizable BAR, Nvidia DLSS (Deep Learning), VR (virtual reality), G-Sync, and Nvidia Broadcast, among others.

Winner: RTX 3060 Ti

Also Read: Differences between GTX and RTX Explained

Clock Speeds & Overclocking

Clock speeds are the speed at which GPU cores operate, and the faster they are, the better. Typically, AMD RX 6000 cards have higher clock speeds than Nvidia RTX 30. That said, I have to point out that the 3060 Ti has more than double the cores of the 6600 XT. Simply put, the 6600 XT may be faster, but it has fewer cores than the 3060 Ti with which to achieve those speeds.

The 6600 XT Founders Edition (FE) has a base clock of 1,968 MHz and a boost clock of 2,589 MHz. Third-party manufacturers’ cards come factory overclocked at speeds above these. How much above depends on the specific card you choose.

The RTX 3060 Ti FE has a base clock of 1,410 MHz and a boost clock speed of 1,670 MHz, well below that of the 6600 XT. Third-party variants also come pre-overclocked. You can manually overclock almost any GPU using dedicated software. Overclocking is essentially changing your GPU’s settings (core frequency, VRAM frequency, voltage, fan speeds, etc.) to achieve better results.

MSI Afterburner
MSI Afterburner

A lot of people use MSI Afterburner to overclock their cards, but I prefer using Nvidia software for their cards and AMD software for AMD cards. Whichever you use, remember to raise fan speeds first to avoid overheating. I recently crashed my card (my MHz dropped to half) by raising the frequency too high, so be careful.

Average OC Score
Average OC Score

Benchmark tests seem to point out that the 3060 Ti achieves better results when overclocked than the 6600 XT does, reaching higher Fps rates, better lighting, and much better reflection handling.

Winner: Draw

Also Read: How to Undervolt your CPU and GPU

Cores

Cores are the most important part of a GPU as they handle all of the calculations conducted by your graphics card. The more, the merrier. GPUs are parallel processors with multiple cores. And while CPUs usually have up to a dozen, modern GPUs have thousands. The 6600 XT has 2,048 Streamline Processors, to be exact, and the 3060 Ti has 4,864 CUDA Cores.

Shaders

Shaders are generic programs that leverage the GPU cores to create 3D in-game worlds and characters, their lights and shadows, and a lot more aspects critical to video game rendering. Shaders are counted equal to the core count, meaning the 3060 Ti has a clear advantage.

Ray Tracing

RTX On
RTX On

The advantages keep rolling in here, as actual Ray Tracing Cores exist only in RTX cards, including the 3060 Ti. The 6600 XT uses Ray Tracing Accelerators to achieve ray tracing, meaning that a part of the main cores is dedicated to it when it’s turned on. This is the reason why Nvidia cards are faster whenever ray tracing is turned on. The 3060 Ti also has a slight advantage in numbers (38 vs 32).

Ray tracing is the virtual simulation of how light behaves in the real world and uses a lot of computing power. RTX cards handle it very well. As more and more of this new technology is being used in games, a card that can handle ray tracing well is definitely the better choice (long-term), and that’s the 3060 Ti (of these two).

TMUs

Texture Mapping Units, or TMUs, manage textures in virtual worlds, making sure that everything is exactly where it’s intended to be. As your angle of view changes in a game, TMUs rotate, resize, and adjust textures. This is called texture mapping. The 6600 XT has 128 TMUs, while the 3060 Ti has 152, a clear advantage for Nvidia.

Winner: RTX 3060 Ti

VRAM and Memory Specs

I’m not really sure why Nvidia chose to drop from 12 GB VRAM in the base RTX 3060 model to 8 GB VRAM in the RTX 3060 Ti, but they did. I thought maybe they opted for GDDR6X (a faster VRAM), but that’s not the case. Nevertheless, the result is that the 6600 XT and the 3060 Ti have the same 8 GB of GDDR6 VRAM.

The differences are in the details. The 3060 Ti uses a 256-bit memory bus, meaning more data can pass through it (the 6600 XT uses a 128-bit bus). This gives the 3060 Ti a bandwidth of 448 GB/s, much higher than the 6600 XT’s 256 GB/s.

The 6600 XT’s VRAM uses a 2,000 MHz VRAM frequency with a slightly higher effective speed of 16 Gbps compared to the 3060 Ti’s 1,750 MHz (14 Gbps effective). All in all, these figures are pretty leveled, if not in favor of the 3060 Ti, when you take everything into account.

Winner: Draw

Also Read: VRAM vs RAM: What are the key differences?

Performance and Resolutions

As I said, the 3060 Ti is a monster compared to the 6600 XT. It has an average Fps advantage of 41% in benchmark tests and is faster at every resolution. The difference is even bigger when you turn ray tracing on.

12 Game Average FPS at 1080p
12 Game Average FPS at 1080p
RTX 3060 Ti vs RX 6600 XT Average FPS at 1080p
RTX 3060 Ti vs RX 6600 XT Average FPS at 1080p
6600 XT vs 3060 Ti Average FPS at 1440p
RTX 3060 Ti vs RX 6600 XT Average FPS at 1440p
Average FPS Score
Average FPS Score

The 6600 XT had a hard time competing with its direct rival, the RTX 3060 (only 2% faster Fps on average), so it’s not strange that the 3060 Ti blows it away so much. The 6600 XT even performs slower than some of Nvidia’s previous-generation cards, so you can bet that this generation does the trick even more.

Winner: RTX 3060 Ti

Connectivity

The 6600 XT has only three output ports — one HDMI and two DisplayPorts. The 3060 Ti has the upper hand here, as it has 1x HDMI and 3x DisplayPort outputs. Both cards use additional PSU pin connectors for power.

The 3060 Ti FE used a 12-pin connector, but third-party variants exist with 2x 6-pin and 2x 8-pin connectors. The 6600 XT FE features a 2x 8-pin connector, with third-party variants available with 2x 8-pin and 2x 6-pin connectors.

Winner: RTX 3060 Ti

TDP

Thermal Design Power, or TDP, is how much power your card is allowed to use at peak load. The 6600 XT FE requires a 450W PSU at least, but a 500W PSU is recommended for its 160W TDP. These figures change when choosing third-party cards, so mind what you’re purchasing and whether your PSU can handle the card you pick.

The RTX 3060 Ti has a TDP of 200 W, requires a 600W PSU at least, and is recommended to be plugged into a 600W PSU. As with the 6600 XT, these figures are different for third-party cards. So, if it’s electricity you’re looking to save on, the 6600 XT is the way to go.

Winner: RX 6600 XT

Design and Build

Esthetics never really come into play when choosing a graphics card, but build is important. The 6600 XT, like all the RX 6000 FE cards, has no vents on its back side. All of the heat is dissipated into your PC case, unlike with the RTX 30 series, which vents hot air out through the back of your case.

Third-party cards are built using various configurations and come in all sizes. They come with one to three fans and with varying thermal plate sizes. You can take a look at how the various 3060 Ti variants compare to each other here and how some 6600 XT variants compare here.

Winner: RTX 3060 Ti

6600 XT vs 3060 Ti: Standout Features

AMD Smart Access Memory

A Resizable BAR is a newer functionality that allows your CPU to access the entire GPU VRAM instead of the previous 256-bit blocks. Unlike Nvidia cards, which require a BIOS update (at least), AMD has made this tech ready and easy to use through AMD Smart Access Memory.

Nvidia Tensor Cores

These cores are only found in Nvidia’s high-end products and are used mostly for AI development. They adapt to calculations dynamically, achieving better and faster results.

Nvidia RT Cores

As mentioned, Nvidia brought real-time ray tracing to GPUs with the launch of the first RTX card. The RTX 30 series features second-generation RT Cores. AMD is yet to offer dedicated cores for ray tracing.

6600 XT vs 3060 Ti: Pricing & Availability

Prices are always hard to pinpoint when talking about GPUs. MSRPs are the only concrete price info out there. Due to the shortage of these cards right after release, and the many variants available for you to purchase today, prices are all over the place. Thankfully, prices are dropping (on average).

The 6600 XT launched at an MSRP of $379, but you can’t find the Founders Edition currently. The 3060 Ti launched just above, at $399. If you’re okay with buying third-party cards from less-known manufacturers, I’ve found this one at a really low price (below MSRP). There are options around the MSRP from MSI as well as far above the MSRP from GIGABYTE

It’s similar for the 3060 Ti, except that you can still find the FE version, though above the original MSRP. There are a lot of options for purchasing this card, including those from MSI, ASUS, GIGABYTE, and many others.

Conclusion

There’s no doubt in my mind that the RTX 3060 Ti wins in our 6600 XT vs 3060 Ti comparison. The only area in which I see it losing is price. If you’re budget-conscience, well, then choose the 6600 XT. It offers good performance and costs much less than the 3060 Ti.

If you’re looking for high performance at (what are) low prices (for a quality GPU), then go for the 3060 Ti. It will keep you at the top of your game without forking out over a grand for a flagship card.

The next generation of GPUs from AMD and Nvidia are expected to be released before the year’s end and will certainly bring another drop in prices for the RX 6600 XT and the RTX 3060 Ti. I’m holding out until then.

About Alex

Hello, I'm Alex and this is my website, Spacehop. I started the site as a way to talk about myself, and a few years later we're now a team of 6! I still work full time at a major PC retailer in the UK, and I'm a bit of a tech whizz (self-proclaimed, unfortunately!).

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