AMD Radeon RX 7600 Review – More Performance, More Power Draw
AMD took a bit of an unusual product release strategy to skip over high-end GPUs, and launches the mid-range Radeon RX 7600 after the RX 7900 duo. Is there anything that stands out giving Team Red a reason to release it sooner than its high-end siblings?
+ Small chassis footprint
+ DisplayPort 2.1 support
+ Low fan noise
- Performance-per-watt isn't spectacular
- VRAM gets toasty under heavy load
- Significantly increased power draw
Despite we’re already more than half a year into of RDNA3’s release, this is still only AMD’s third product of this GPU generation. The company has skipped over the high-end from the flagship RX 7900 series to bring you this – the AMD Radeon RX 7600. Can AMD strike a gap in NVIDIA’s mid-range goalpost?
Staying with the common design theme of RDNA3 lineup – the AMD Radeon RX 7600 features the same flip-open box packaging much like models that come before it. That said, since this is a midrange card coming at a much smaller size, the box is naturally smaller as a result.
Flip open the box reveals the GPU and GPU only. You do get another two leaflet stuffed below the card, but that’s about it – the only use for the box is pretty much making it a showpiece.
The RX 7600 essentially looks like a RX 7900 XT with some subtly different design lines, but are pretty much the same thing – except with one fan chopped off. It’s also significantly lighter, weighing at just 749 grams.
This is the same fan that’s used in all RDNA3 cards so far, with the closed-ring design that’s more commonly seen in higher end GPU designs. That said, AMD’s fan isn’t exactly the largest of the bunch, which helps in keeping its dimensions relatively sane at a small cost of requiring higher fan speeds to deliver the same amount of cooling capacity.
From the top side, it’s “Honey, I shrunk the 7900 XT!” in a nutshell. That said, the heatsink fins isn’t quite as busy in the 7900XT given it’s relatively low power output. You also get a single PCIe 8-pin connector on the top-right corner to feed this 165W card. Worth noting is that no lighting is present here, so you won’t be seeing illuminated RADEON logo.
Bottom side reveals the same less-dense fin stacks as well as a small cutout on the right side to accommodate the fan header.
Behind the card it’s a whole lot of nothing – aside from the same futuristic industry look that runs across the RDNA3 lineup. On the bottom right there’s a small cutout to fit the 8-pin connector which is not seen in both of the RX 7900 models.
Here’s a key difference that separates the big RDNA3 cards and the RX 7600: this card does away with the USB-C port designed for VR devices such as Meta Quest. Instead, it reverts back to the more conventional 3x DisplayPort + 1x HDMI combo, the former of which of course supports up to 8K165 displays that is still yet to have a monitor to match. It’s good for futureproofing when you eventually get there though (not anytime soon, at least).
AMD Radeon RX 7600
|GPU Core & VRAM:
|GPU Core Variant
|Navi 33 XL (monolithic)
|32MB L3 (Infinity Cache)
|8GB GDDR6 128-bit
|18Gbps, 288GB/s peak
|2250 / 2655 MHz
|Dual BIOS Mode
|3x DisplayPort 2.1
1x HDMI 2.1
*Max output resolution: 7680×4320 (8K) @165Hz, 12-bit HDR
|1x 8-pin PCIe connector
|PCIe 4.0 x8
|2-slot, 204mm length
|Intel Core i9-13900K
|ASUS ROG Ryujin II 360 AIO
Cooler Master MasterGel Maker
|ASUS ROG Maximus Z790 HERO
|AMD Radeon RX 7600
|Kingston FURY RENEGADE RGB DDR5-6400 CL32 (2x16GB)
|Samsung SSD 980 PRO 256GB (Boot)
Kingston NV1 1TB
|Cooler Master MWE Gold 1250 V2 Full Modular 1250W
|VECTOR Bench Case (Open-air chassis)
|Windows 11 Pro 22H2
All benchmarks are done in out-of-the-box settings, unless otherwise specified. Games are tested under these settings (upscaling features such as NVIDIA DLSS, AMD FSR or Intel XeSS are turned off):
- Forza Horizon 5 (RT ON)
Maximum settings (all settings maxed out to EXTREME preset when available, Ray Tracing set to EXTREME).
- Forza Horizon 5 (RT OFF)
Ultra High preset – Ray Tracing turned off.
- Red Dead Redemption 2
All settings set to ULTRA – slightly higher quality over ‘Favor Quality’ from the in-game settings slider.
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider (RT ON)
HIGHEST preset. RT Shadows set to ULTRA (which overrides default Shadow settings).
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider (RT OFF)
Same as the previous run – with the exception of RT Shadows turned OFF, with Shadow settings set to ULTRA instead.
- F1 2022 (RT ON)
ULTRA HIGH preset. Ray Tracing is set to HIGH under this preset.
For the benchmarks we picked both of its nearest competitors – the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 12GB as well as Intel’s Arc A750 Limited Edition GPU. When it comes to pure synthetic numbers, the AMD Radeon RX 7600 gets a lead against last-gen NVIDIA card but ended up behind Intel’s offering. RTX 4060 is likely to surpass on this metric, and possibly matching Intel’s numbers – but we’ve yet to got ahold of that GPU, so stay tuned for that.
Gaming – 4K (3840 x 2160)
First off, 4K – and for the most part is this impractical for all of the mid-range cards involved here. For the RX 7600, it’s a bit of hit-or-miss, in cases like RDR2 where it gets overall win, but gets left behind in SOTTR instead. Anything involves ray tracing will still hand the win to NVIDIA, and that’s still a last-gen card. That being said, many people chose not to enable RT given mid-range card’s performance expectations, so take this as a bit of a “thought experiment”.
Gaming – 1440p (2560 x 1440)
Dropping down to 1440p sees most games reaches some degree of playability across the board, with the exception of F1 2022 where all three GPUs gets their life sucked out for the sheer compute power it’s asking for. The RX 7600 gets a convincing win in Forza Horizon 5 without RT involved, managed to keep it level with RT and all settings cranked to max, and scored another victory in RDR2 as usual. SOTTR once again is brutal against this card, though the non-RT run has seen RX 7600 gained back some considerable ground.
Gaming – 1080p (1920 x 1080)
Finally, 1080p – which is what this card is ultimately marketed for. 60FPS shouldn’t be a problem in most games even if you crank your graphics settings high to maximum, however exceptions always apply, as demonstrated by F1 2022 here. Oddly, Radeon has caught back up in that game overtaking Intel A750 while nearing RTX 3060’s performance. I’d still recommend turning off RT for smoother gameplay regardless of whichever card of the three you own, though.
Onto thermals. While the RX 7600 gets increased TDP over its predecessor, the RX 6600 – it also gets a second fan to keep that extra heat away. Which it technically did, but not greatly. VRAM temperatures are very much a hair away from water’s boiling point, so anything hotter than an open-air, 25°C environment is likely to see VRAM thermal throttling, though you can work around that by introducing manual fan curves in AMD Software should you wish.
Fans are reasonably quiet at a bit over 1,700RPM that the card settled after 10 minutes of stress test, but as mentioned, you’re probably better off cranking that fan speed numbers just a bit higher to keep thermals at bay.
That said, Time Spy Extreme tells a less problematic story. While thermals remained high on VRAM, it’s slightly lower than the one in Furmark run but we’re still talking 94°C here. That said, the GPU itself is relatively cool at 76°C, so this could just be down to the way VRAM is cooled under the heatsink or simply the less efficient thermal interface material involved.
The mid-range segment has been somewhat revitalized thanks to recent new releases, and with the introduction of Intel as the new player in the space, this segment is more competitive than ever. Did the AMD Radeon RX 7600 proven itself worthy of your next mid-range GPU purchase? As always: it depends.
Performance wise, it’s not exactly a great showing for AMD – the last-gen NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 for the most part has equaled in performance despite being introduced more than two years ago. And it gets the benefit of more VRAM, a metric that gamers has been increasingly aware of thanks to new games occupying even more VRAM due to larger texture sizes.
The price. AMD is asking RM1,399 – which is a significant jump over the market price of its predecessor at around RM1,100 or less; and worse yet – the very competitor from Team Green we just talked about? It’s also occupying the same price range which RX 7600 currently sits in. That pretty much forces these two cards to be in a one-on-one comparison which AMD has no clear, distinct advantage to speak of, not even power draw (RTX 3060 only takes 5 more watts) which the company has puts its focus on in recent years.
So that eventually leaves very little for AMD to compete in this mid-range market with the RX 7600. Until the price drops enough to offer better value against both the new and older cards, it’s probably going to be a hard one to sell for now.
Special thanks to AMD Malaysia for providing the Radeon RX 7600 for this review.