AMD announces the $329 RX 7600 XT, bringing 16GB of VRAM to its lowliest RDNA 3 chip

AMD has kicked off 2024 for its Radeon line-up of graphics cards with the RX 7600 XT, sporting 16GB of GDDR6 VRAM and minor boosts to the GPU’s clock speed. It’s still using the same Navi 33 graphics chip as in the original Radeon RX 7600, so there are no additional shaders or memory controllers, though.

That means the new RX 7600 XT has 2,048 shaders and a 128-bit combined memory bus width, but AMD has upped the Game clock by 220MHz (2.25 to 2.47GHz) and the Boost clock by 100MHz (2.66 to 2.76GHz), increases of 9.8% and 3.8% respectively. The VRAM’s clocks are unchanged, though, so the transfer rate is still 18Gbps.

Unfortunately, the higher clock speeds and extra VRAM means the power demand has risen, too. Where the RX 7600 has a total board power of 165W, the RX 7600 XT pushes this to 190W. An extra 25W is nothing, to be honest, and should mean that it will only require a single 8-pin PCIe power connector.

I say ‘should’ because it’s not 100% clear in the various images of the third party models. There won’t be a reference Radeon RX 7600 XT from AMD, just the likes of Sapphire, PowerColor, etc but I think it’s safe to assume that you won’t need a secondary power cable.

With the combined higher clocks and the extra VRAM, AMD is claiming that the RX 7600 XT is anywhere between 6 and 31% faster than the standard RX 7600, at 1440p. Of course, these figures are for very specific games and the highest increases stated are for Forza Horizon 5, when using maximum ray tracing settings.

(Image credit: AMD)

When chip vendors release a new product, they typically like to highlight its performance by comparing it to a very specific model from the competition. In the case of the RX 7600 XT, AMD has bizarrely chosen Nvidia’s four-year-old GeForce RTX 2060 as the initial comparison point. The reason given for this odd choice is that 50% of the GPUs in the November 2023 Steam Hardware Survey are RTX 2060 or slower graphics cards.

The RTX 2060 is two generations old now so you’d expect a new architecture to perform a lot better, but AMD is clearly targeting PC gamers looking to do a GPU upgrade this year. However, it’s also pitching the RX 7600 XT at content creators on a budget, especially those using local generative AI systems.

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(Image credit: AMD)

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Stable Diffusion and Llama both like having access to lots of VRAM, but it’s not the primary factor behind how well such systems work. The same is true for video editing: Yes, memory is important, especially for high-resolution projects, but simply doubling the VRAM isn’t going to turn any GPU into a creation monster.

AMD is also claiming the RX 7600 XT to be a far better GPU than Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4060, particularly in games that let you enable FSR 3 upscaling and Frame Generation (or Fluid Motion Frames). Some of the performance claims are rather astonishing, such as being 45% faster in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, at 1440p with both cards using upscaling and frame gen.

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I’m not suggesting AMD is making up these figures (COD is well known for running well on Radeon graphics cards) but a broader selection of games is likely to tell a different story. We’ll let you know exactly what the RX 7600 XT is like when we get our hands on one to test.

You can expect to see all of the big Radeon vendors offering an RX 7600 XT variant or two and they should be available to buy on January 24. The SEP (aka MSRP) starts at $329: That’s $60 more than the regular RX 7600. 

Is it going to be worth paying 22% more for 8GB more VRAM and slightly higher clocks? That’s a tricky question to answer as AMD’s own benchmarks suggests that there’s no quite enough of a performance boost to justify the extra cash, it’s certainly less than Nvidia was charging for the RTX 4060 Ti with another 8GB of graphics memory. We’ll know for sure once we’ve full tested the new Radeon RX 7600XT ourselves.

PC Gamer’s CES 2024 coverage is being published in association with Asus Republic of Gamers.

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