AMD Radeon RX 7600 assessment: a GPU with nothing new

This AMD Radeon RX 7600 assessment will clarify, I’d hope, a good bit in regards to the crimson staff’s latest 1080p graphics card. It’ll let you know how briskly it runs video games, how sizzling it will get, the way it compares to Nvidia’s RTX 4060 and suchlike. What I can’t clarify with it, admittedly, is why the RX 7600 exists.

You’d suppose AMD can be gnashing at Nvidia’s throats proper now: the GeForce RTX 40 sequence has some good playing cards and a cool trick in DLSS 3, however is blemished by extreme pricing on its higher-end fashions and merely incremental efficiency enhancements on its extra attainable playing cards. It’s been the least thrilling GeForce era in donkey’s years, and but AMD’s solely try and capitalise on the sub-£300 market is… one thing that hardly outruns the last-gen Radeon RX 6650 XT.

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There’s a competent 1080p GPU right here, it should be stated, and you’ll form of see the place the intent was with its RDNA 3 structure. Whereas the RX 7600 is one other 8GB card that packs the identical complete of 32 Compute Items (CUs) because the RX 6650 XT, RDNA 3 permits for every of those CUs to squeeze in twice as many arithmetic logic items, growing compute efficiency. Regardless of this, the RX 7600 is extra environment friendly too – AMD charges its most, full-board energy draw at 165W, down from 180W on the RX 6650 XT. I recorded my take a look at unit, an AMD reference card, pulling between 161W and 163W, so it’s an correct spec.

It is also a number of cash cheaper than its principal, green-eyed rival, the RTX 4060. The latter begins from about £285, whereas it’s straightforward to seek out associate variations of the RX 7600 from round £270. AMD truly lists this very reference design on their very own retailer for £253 / $269, chucking in a free copy of Starfield, although it’s presently out of inventory within the UK.

AMD Radeon RX 7600 assessment: 1440p efficiency

Nonetheless, relying on which video games you’ll be taking part in (and, I suppose, how urgently you need a new Bethesda RPG), it may very well be value paying slightly additional. At 1440p, the RX 7600 often equals however by no means convincingly surpasses the RTX 4060 – its greatest particular person lead in these Extremely-quality assessments being a mere 4fps in Watch Canines Legion. It’s the GeForce card that extra typically finds a double-digit benefit, particularly in Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Hitman 3.

Picture credit score: docemas Shotgun
A bar chart showing how the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 and AMD Radeon RX 7600 perform in various gaming benchmarks at 1440p.
Picture credit score: docemas Shotgun

Clearly, neither are a match for the RTX 4060 Ti at this decision, and the RX 7600 would wish upscaling assist from FSR or Intel XeSS to extra persistently hit 60fps. Assist which is usually obtainable, and may yield spectacular outcomes: F1 22 with FSR 2 on High quality mode averaged 85fps, rushing forward of the RTX 4060’s 75fps end result with High quality-level DLSS.

Sadly, there’s additionally the difficulty of FSR hardly ever wanting fairly as sharp because the Nvidia-exclusive DLSS does, so there’s extra of a constancy value to be paid even at 1440p. And with FSR 3.0 nonetheless nowhere to be seen, AMD graphics playing cards lack a solution to the huge framerate boosts afforded by the RTX 40 sequence’ DLSS 3 improve. That 75fps end result on the RTX 4060? That was with out DLSS 3’s AI body era. Flick it on, and it jumps as much as 97fps, simply beating the RX 7600’s upscaled effort.

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The absence of a DLSS 3 equal additionally makes it tougher for the RX 7600 to cover one other disappointment: weak ray tracing efficiency. Hitman 3 with totally rasterised lighting results might sail alongside at 110fps, however the addition of full ray tracing sees it collapse to only 34fps. I might get that as much as 54fps with FSR on High quality, however in the meantime, operating the identical results at native res on an RTX 4060 produces a superbly playable 43fps. Add High quality DLSS, and it pastes the RX 7600 with 70fps.

The backplate on an AMD Radeon RX 7600 reference card.
The reference design does have a pleasant aesthetic: compact, but chunky. | Picture credit score: docemas Shotgun

DLSS 3 widens the hole even additional. Cyberpunk 2077, on Extremely with Psycho-quality ray tracing, is an excessive amount of for each these GPUs at native 1440p: 16fps on the RX 7600 and 20fps on the RTX 4060. However whereas the Radeon card can enhance as much as 43fps by including FSR 2.1 on High quality mode, DLSS 3 and body era permits the RTX 4060 to run these excessive settings at a visibly smoother 57fps. The one value is a slight enhance in enter lag, however I discover this barely perceptible in most DLSS 3-compatible video games I’ve tried.

If you need a funds 1440p card, then, the RTX 4060’s additional flexibility and efficiency wins out. However even on native, purely non-RT settings, the RX 7600 is repeatedly buzzed by one other GPU: the RX 6650 XT. For all of RDNA 3’s architectural enhancements, it’s onerous to disregard that the RX 7600 is usually only a hair sooner than its RDNA 2-powered cousin, which is out there for about 20% much less money. Might a swap to 1080p, the decision that the RX 7600 was truly designed for, assist it obtain extra generational enhancements?

AMD Radeon RX 7600 assessment: 1080p efficiency

No, is that reply to that. At Full HD the RX 7600 does handle to show round its deficit in Hitman 3, however continues to be primarily drawing with the RTX 4060 and shedding when it isn’t.

In equity, each this and the RTX 4060 appear to be a lot better propositions at their meant decision, even coming near the pricier RTX 4060 Ti in a number of video games. They by no means fail to succeed in properly past 60fps, together with for powerful’uns like F1 22 and Watch Canines Legion. Even so, Nvidia edges it in a head-to-head race, and the RX 7600 nonetheless has the RX 6650 XT respiration down its neck. A 5fps distinction in Metro Exodus, 8fps distinction in Hitman 3 and a lifeless even(!) Shadow of the Tomb Raider end result make it onerous to see the RX 7600 as a worthwhile replace.

A bar chart showing how the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 and AMD Radeon RX 7600 perform in various gaming benchmarks at 1080p.
Picture credit score: docemas Shotgun
A bar chart showing how the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 and AMD Radeon RX 7600 perform in various gaming benchmarks at 1080p.
Picture credit score: docemas Shotgun

At the least the RTX 4060’s DLSS benefit is lessened at 1080p. Utilizing any upscaler at this decision, even one of the best in its class, will make your video games look noticeably blurrier. Therefore why – with some exceptions – the like of DLSS and FSR are primarily solely advisable for 1440p and above. That is additionally why upscaler compatibility is much less necessary whenever you’re purchasing for a 1080p card.

Nonetheless, DLSS 3 can nonetheless be helpful. Since you don’t must activate the upscaling part to make use of the body era characteristic, the RTX 4060 may give itself a lift that the RX 7600 merely can’t recreate, all with out skimping on decision sharpness. AMD’s card is successfully caught at 75fps on Extremely high quality, however on the RTX 4060, I might allow body era alone to show that 72fps common into an excellent slicker 110fps.

The 8-pin power connector on the AMD Radeon RX 7600 reference card.
The RX 7600’s gas necessities are modest, however even the RTX 4060 Ti is rated decrease for optimum energy utilization. | Picture credit score: docemas Shotgun

Likewise, in Cyberpunk 2077, the RX 7600 might solely run a mix of Extremely high quality and Psycho ray tracing by enabling FSR 2.1; with this on its High quality mode, I obtained 43fps. The RTX 4060 might common 55fps with the identical Extremely/Psycho combo and no upscaling in any respect, only a sprint of DLSS 3 body era. And in case you are prepared to take the sharpness hit, the addition of High quality DLSS upscaling will push that each one the best way to 90fps, greater than double the RX 7600’s finest.

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Cyberpunk 2077 additionally serves as a reminder of the RX 7600’s normal lack of ray tracing suitability. Right here’s how the RTX 4060 Ti, RTX 4060, and RX 7600 all carry out earlier than and after including Psycho ray tracing at 1080p; though the Radeon truly beats the RTX 4060 with rasterised lighting, it takes by far the worst blow as soon as RT results are within the combine.

A bar graph showing how the RTX 4060 Ti, RTX 4060, and Radeon RX 7600 compare in Cyberpunk 2077 benchmarks.
Picture credit score: docemas Shotgun

You might stress that ray tracing stays a totally non-compulsory a part of fashionable recreation visuals, one which will not be foremost on the minds of anybody reasonably priced GPUs. However at this level, it’s fairly deeply entrenched in PC gaming tech, with over 100 video games both presently supporting ray tracing or being confirmed to incorporate it at launch. It does appear untoward {that a} new, particularly gaming-focused graphics card in 2023 continues to be so liable to crumbling earlier than these upgraded shadows and reflections. It’s not just like the RX 7600 is a few £180 entry-level mannequin, both – it’s cheaper than common, however nonetheless a mid-ranger that would feasibly be the most costly a part of a brand new PC construct.

Additionally, what else struggled with ray tracing? The RX 6650 XT. Making the acutely aware choice to disregard cutting-edge results in favour of worth is, in fact, a sound technique, however then if that’s what you’re doing than this previous-gen card is at the least value contemplating alongside the RX 7600. It’s less expensive but is just narrowly slower, and once more, gives an equivalent 8GB of VRAM.

The newer GPU’s effectivity financial savings aren’t all that spectacular both, particularly when in comparison with fellow new child the RTX 4060. Actual temperatures and energy usages will fluctuate by particular fashions, however this AMD-build RX 7600 slurped up extra electrical energy than my MSI-customised RTX 4060 (the latter solely consuming 111-113W whereas gaming, with a seemingly one-off peak of 126W). It ran barely hotter too: the RTX 4060 moved across the 69-74°c vary underneath heavy load, whereas the RX 7600 was extra persistently perched at 76°c.

A side view of the AMD Radeon RX 7600.
The followers are fairly quiet, at the least. | Picture credit score: docemas Shotgun

So long as temperatures aren’t dangerously

The RX 7600 is subsequently a graphics card that isn’t bold sufficient with its upgrades to go after Nvidia’s efficiency crown, a shortcoming which concurrently permits older, cheaper GPUs to maintain tempo and relevancy. Concurrently, it’s not eager about focusing on funds builders particularly. One or the opposite would have been positive, however this? I truthfully can’t say who the RX 7600 is for, or certainly, why it wanted to exist within the first place.

This assessment relies on a retail unit supplied by AMD.

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