AMD Radeon RX 7600 review: a GPU with nothing new

This AMD Radeon RX 7600 evaluation will clarify, I’d hope, a good bit in regards to the pink workforce’s latest 1080p graphics card. It will 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 assume AMD could 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 technology 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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AMD Radeon RX 7600 specs:

Stream Processors: 2048
Base clock pace: 1720MHz
Boost clock pace: 2655MHz
Power: 165W
Recommended System Power: 550W
Price: £253 / $269

There is a competent 1080p GPU right here, it have to be mentioned, and you’ll sort of see the place the intent was with its RDNA 3 structure. While the RX 7600 is one other 8GB card that packs the identical complete of 32 Compute Units (CUs) because the RX 6650 XT, RDNA 3 permits for every of those CUs to squeeze in twice as many arithmetic logic models, rising compute efficiency. Despite 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’s additionally a few cash cheaper than its major, 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 really 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 evaluation: 1440p efficiency
Still, relying on which video games you’ll be taking part in (and, I suppose, how urgently you need a new Bethesda RPG), it could possibly be price paying a little additional. At 1440p, the RX 7600 continuously equals however by no means convincingly surpasses the RTX 4060 – its largest particular person lead in these Ultra-quality assessments being a mere 4fps in Watch Dogs Legion. It’s the GeForce card that extra typically finds a double-digit benefit, particularly in Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Hitman 3.

Image credit score: Rock Paper Shotgun

Image credit score: Rock Paper 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 constantly hit 60fps. Help which is usually obtainable, and might yield spectacular outcomes: F1 22 with FSR 2 on Quality mode averaged 85fps, dashing forward of the RTX 4060’s 75fps end result with Quality-level DLSS.
The RPS take a look at PC:

CPU: Intel Core i5-11600K
RAM: 16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX
Motherboard: Asus TUF Gaming Z590-Plus WiFi
PSU: NZXT C1000 Gold

Unfortunately, there’s additionally the problem of FSR hardly ever wanting fairly as sharp because the Nvidia-exclusive DLSS does, so there’s extra of a constancy price 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 large 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 technology. Flick it on, and it jumps as much as 97fps, simply beating the RX 7600’s upscaled effort.
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 could sail alongside at 110fps, however the addition of full ray tracing sees it collapse to only 34fps. I may get that as much as 54fps with FSR on Quality, however in the meantime, working the identical results at native res on an RTX 4060 produces a completely playable 43fps. Add Quality DLSS, and it pastes the RX 7600 with 70fps.

The reference design does have a good aesthetic: compact, but chunky. | Image credit score: Rock Paper Shotgun

DLSS 3 widens the hole even additional. Cyberpunk 2077, on Ultra 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. But whereas the Radeon card can increase as much as 43fps by including FSR 2.1 on Quality mode, DLSS 3 and body technology permits the RTX 4060 to run these excessive settings at a visibly smoother 57fps. The solely price is a slight improve 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. But 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 simply a hair quicker than its RDNA 2-powered cousin, which is accessible for about 20% much less money. Could a swap to 1080p, the decision that the RX 7600 was really designed for, assist it obtain extra generational enhancements?
AMD Radeon RX 7600 evaluation: 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 effectively past 60fps, together with for powerful’uns like F1 22 and Watch Dogs Legion. Even so, Nvidia edges it in a head-to-head race, and the RX 7600 nonetheless has the RX 6650 XT respiratory 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.

Image credit score: Rock Paper Shotgun

Image credit score: Rock Paper Shotgun

At least the RTX 4060’s DLSS benefit is lessened at 1080p. Using any upscaler at this decision, even one of the best in its class, will make your video games look noticeably blurrier. Hence why – with some exceptions – the like of DLSS and FSR are primarily solely beneficial for 1440p and above. This can also be why upscaler compatibility is much less essential if you’re purchasing for a 1080p card.
Nevertheless, DLSS 3 can nonetheless be helpful. Because you don’t must activate the upscaling element to make use of the body technology characteristic, the RTX 4060 may give itself a increase that the RX 7600 merely can’t recreate, all with out skimping on decision sharpness. AMD’s card is successfully caught at 75fps on Ultra high quality, however on the RTX 4060, I may allow body technology alone to show that 72fps common into an excellent slicker 110fps.

The RX 7600’s gasoline necessities are modest, however even the RTX 4060 Ti is rated decrease for optimum energy utilization. | Image credit score: Rock Paper Shotgun

Likewise, in Cyberpunk 2077, the RX 7600 may solely run a mixture of Ultra high quality and Psycho ray tracing by enabling FSR 2.1; with this on its Quality mode, I received 43fps. The RTX 4060 may common 55fps with the identical Ultra/Psycho combo and no upscaling in any respect, simply a sprint of DLSS 3 body technology. And if you’re prepared to take the sharpness hit, the addition of Quality DLSS upscaling will push that each one the way in which to 90fps, greater than double the RX 7600’s greatest.
Cyberpunk 2077 additionally serves as a reminder of the RX 7600’s normal lack of ray tracing suitability. 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 really beats the RTX 4060 with rasterised lighting, it takes by far the worst blow as soon as RT results are within the combine.

Image credit score: Rock Paper Shotgun

You may stress that ray tracing stays a totally elective a part of fashionable recreation visuals, one which might not be foremost on the minds of anybody inexpensive GPUs. But 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 vulnerable 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 might feasibly be the most costly a part of a new PC construct.
Also, you already know 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 legitimate technique, however then if that’s what you’re doing than this previous-gen card is at the least price contemplating alongside the RX 7600. It’s less expensive but is simply narrowly slower, and once more, provides an similar 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. Exact temperatures and energy usages will range 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 constantly perched at 76°c.

The followers are fairly quiet, at the least. | Image credit score: Rock Paper Shotgun

As lengthy as temperatures aren’t dangerously excessive, a few diploma’s distinction is small taters subsequent to visually vital gaps in efficiency. On these grounds, the RTX 4060’s DLSS 3 characteristic set makes it the higher purchase, additional £15 be damned. That may nonetheless depart the RX 7600 as a worthwhile 1080p GPU, given DLSS help in video games is at all times rising however not but ubiquitous. Alas, it additionally faces competitors from inside, and the RX 6650 XT guarantees related specs and efficiency at a extra interesting worth.
The RX 7600 is due to this fact a graphics card that isn’t formidable sufficient with its upgrades to go after Nvidia’s efficiency crown, a shortcoming which concurrently permits older, cheaper GPUs to maintain tempo and relevancy. Simultaneously, it’s not taken with concentrating on funds builders particularly. One or the opposite would have been fantastic, however this? I actually can’t say who the RX 7600 is for, or certainly, why it wanted to exist within the first place.

This evaluation relies on a retail unit offered by AMD.

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