ASUS TUF gaming AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition graphics card review – where to buy?

ASUS TUF gaming AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition graphics card review

Should you buy the Radeon RX 6500 XT? The 6500 XT is a solid purchase if you’re on the hunt for an affordable entry-level graphics card that delivers solid 1080p gaming performance when you dial back some eye candy. Its Axial-tech fan design features a smaller fan hub that facilitates longer blades and a slimmed down barrier ring that provides better airflow through the cooling array. Dual ball fan bearings can last up to twice as long as sleeve bearing designs. Reveal more in ASUS TUF gaming AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition graphics card review.

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Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Good for mini-PCs
  • Compact size
  • Excellent cooling
  • Low power draw
  • Fastest overclock with plenty more headroom

Cons

  • Limited output options
  • 4GB of VRAM

Specs – ASUS TUF gaming AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition graphics card

  • Graphic Engine: Radeon RX 6500 XT
  • Video Memory: 4GB GDDR6
  • Bus Standard: PCI Express 4.0
  • OpenGL: OpenGL®4.6
  • Engine Clock
  • OC mode: up to 2825 MHz(Boost Clock)/ up to 2705 MHz(Game Clock)
  • Memory Speed: 18 Gbps
  • Memory Interface: 64-bit
  • Gaming mode: up to 2825 MHz(Boost Clock)/ up to 2685MHz(Game Clock)
  • Stream Processors: 1024
  • Maximum Display Support: 2
  • NVlink/ Crossfire Support: Yes
  • Resolution: Digital Max Resolution 7680 x 4320
  • Interface: Yes x 1 (Native HDMI 2.1), Yes x 1 (Native DisplayPort 1.4a)
  • HDCP Support Yes (2.3)
  • Recommended PSU: 500W
  • Power Connectors: 1 x 6-pin
  • Accessories: 1 x Speedsetup Manual
  • Software: ASUS GPU Tweak II & Drivers: please download all software from the support site.
  • Dimensions: 250 x 147 x 54 mm, 9.76 x 5.78 x 2.12 inch
  • Slot: 2.7 Slot

Price

Although the starting price for the RX 6500 XT is set at $199, real-world pricing of the cards is closer to $300 or beyond. Given today’s market conditions, we expect this card to end up somewhere between $300 and $400.

ASUS TUF gaming AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition graphics card review

Design

The graphics card dimensions are 250mm x 147mm x 54 mm (9.76” x 5.78” x 2.12 inches). It is based on RDNA 2 with a 6nm manufacturing process, holding 5.4 billion transistors in just that small space of 107mm2. It also has 16 compute units and ray accelerators, with 1,024 stream processors, with the boost clock reaching 2,845 MHz (compared to the base clock of the card being 2,685 MHz). 

Connector

ASUS has chosen to integrate an HDMI and DP port onto its RX 6500 XT and it’s a good choice with most modern displays utilizing both of them. The display port 1.4a and HDMI 2.1 will allow plenty of bandwidth for high refresh rates ready for the esports titles most likely at 1080p.

Frame rate – ASUS TUF gaming AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition graphics card

In Dirt 5, at 1080p the card averaged 31 FPS, at 1440p it got 24 FPS, and at 4k, 17 FPS. Even the 1% and 0.1% didn’t drop too far below the average so the game runs without any real hitches. The ray-tracing performance was taxing but at 1080p it still averaged 16 FPS

In CS:GO, at 1080p it got to around 329 fps on average which means high refresh rate monitors would display the game very smoothly. Even at 1440p, the card averaged 255 fps, which when used with a 240Hz monitor will also give you a great experience to play with. 

RTX 3050RX 6500 XTRX 6600RX 580
3DMark Time Spy 6,7495,3418,0714,820
3DMark Fire Strike15,06013,660N/AN/A
Red Dead Redemption 252 fps51 fps59 fps35 fps
Fortnite79 fps70 fps98 fps56 fps
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla55 fps31 fps71 fps42 fps
Battlefield V92 fps93 fps120 fps74 fps
Cyberpunk 207747 fps29 fps46 fpsN/A
Control58 fps40 fps67 fpsN/A
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (PCIe 3.0)N/A19 fpsN/AN/A
Red Dead Redemption 2 (PCIe 3.0)N/A49 fpsN/AN/A

Memory

The 4GB of VRAM is severely limiting this GPU. The next step up from the Radeon 6500 XT is the Radeon 6600, which comes with 8GB, doubling the amount available. This was perfectly fine 10 years ago, but in 2022, 4GB of RAM on your graphics card simply won’t do with modern games, even at 1080p.

Cooling

The heat spreader on the die holds four heat pipes that distribute the heat to the 2.7 slot cooler evenly and give it plenty of dissipation area. With such a large surface area and two slim axial tech fans, the GPU is bound to stay cool throughout usage as well as remaining quiet.

Overclocking & Power consumption

 It’s rated at 2610MHz on the spec sheet, but we regularly saw GPU core frequencies hovering around 2844MHz – impressive stuff. Power usage is also extremely low given the frequency, with boards rated for a nominal TDP of 107W, compared to 160W for the RX 6600 XT. 

Should you buy this?

You should buy this if …
  • You’re building a media PC
  • You’re desperate for a GPU
You shouldn’t buy this if …

To make matters worse, it’s not just the amount of RAM, but also how fast it is with a 64-bit memory bus. This pales in comparison to the Radeon 6600, which has a 128-bit memory bus. There is no other GPU that separates these two, which makes the RX 6500 XT even more of a letdown.

But wait, there’s more. While the RX 6500 XT has a 16x connector, it only has four active PCIe 4.0 lanes, so you’re looking at about a quarter of what other RDNA 2 GPUs have in terms of bandwidth. This issue is exasperated with a PCIe 3.0 motherboard. Finally, the RX 6500 XT only has two outputs — one HDMI and one DisplayPort.

Alternate of ASUS TUF gaming AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT OC Edition graphics card

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050

The closest thing to a budget graphics card right now

SPECIFICATIONS

Stream Processors: 2,560Core Clock: 1.78 GHzMemory: 8GB GDDR6Memory Speed: 12GbpsPower Connectors: 1 x 8-pinOutputs: 3 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI

Pros

+Affordable+Excellent 1080p performance

Cons

-Expensive for a ‘budget’ card

The best graphics cards that have come out over the last couple years have had one thing in common: they’re really expensive. This has a lot to do with the graphics card shortage we’ve all been dealing with, but it’s also because Nvidia and AMD had been ignoring the budget graphics card world for too long. 

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 is more than capable of playing pretty much any game you throw at it at high settings, just as long as you keep the resolution at 1080p. And, esports gamers will love this card, as it is affordable(ish) and can run games like Overwatch and League of Legends without breaking a sweat. 

Luckily, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 is finally here. While it’s way more expensive than 50-series graphics cards from Nvidia have been in the past, this GPU is much more affordable than pretty much anything else in the current generation. Advertisement

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