During the last months, AMD launched a couple of new graphics cards based on the RDNA2 architecture, with fairly good retail recommended prices. In an attempt to match Nvidia’s propositions, the current AMD gaming GPUs sometimes amaze with their specs, while sometimes not so much. One of the newest AMD graphics cards is the Radeon RX 6650 XT, which comes with slightly higher clocks than the RX 6600 XT, obviously for a higher price too. I’ve had the chance to test a rather premium implementation of AMD’s said GPU from ASUS, namely the ASUS ROG Strix RX 6650 XT Gaming 8GB OC Edition. Read this review to see what I found:
This graphics card is an excellent choice if:
- You’re a gamer who wants top-notch performance when using the 1080p resolution
- You want to build a reasonably-priced gaming PC
- You’re looking for an AMD graphics card that’s similar to an Nvidia Geforce RTX 3060
There are a lot of good things to say about the ASUS ROG Strix RX 6650 XT OC:
- It offers excellent performance for gaming in 1080p
- Can decently handle high visual settings even in 1440p resolutions
- It includes ray tracing accelerators
- It has 8GB of fast GDDR6 RAM
- Its cooling system is efficient, keeping the temperatures low
Unfortunately, there are also some downsides to consider:
- Its price is higher than the one of the standard AMD Radeon RX 6650
- It doesn’t look like it’s significantly better than the AMD Radeon RX 6600
The ASUS ROG Strix RX 6650 XT Gaming 8GB OC Edition is a sound graphics card that can run any game in high or ultra visual settings. Obviously, it fares much better in 1080p, but it doesn’t fall short in 1440p either. I generally like ASUS’ choices regarding the design and the premium quality materials used for its Republic of Gamers components and devices. And I found that to be true when it comes to the ASUS ROG Strix RX 6650 XT Gaming 8GB OC Edition graphics card. This graphics card can be a solid choice if you’re OK with spending 15% more for ASUS’ touch on an otherwise good entry to mid-range GPU.
The ASUS ROG Strix RX 6650 XT OC is quite a big graphics card, and it comes in a large box. On the package, you can see images of the GPU, as well as more than just a few details about its technical specs and features.
Inside the box, you get the graphics card, a ROG velcro tie, a collection card, the user manual, and warranty documents.
By making a beautiful box, as well as including a thank you card and a velcro tie, ASUS manages to offer a nice unboxing experience for the ROG Strix AMD Radeon RX 6650 XT OC.
Lately, AMD has diversified its portfolio of graphics cards, and the RX 6650 XT is one of its latest models in the entry to mid-level sector. ASUS didn’t waste any time and made an overclocked edition of the GPU, with slightly higher clocks and an excellent cooling system. The company calls it the ASUS ROG Strix RX 6650 XT OC.
Designed to offer good amounts of performance, especially in 1080p resolutions, this graphics card is built on the RDNA2 architecture and packs just over 11 billion transistors, 32 compute units, 64 render output units, 128 texture units, and 2048 stream processors. In OC (overclock) mode, its boost clock runs at up to 2694 MHz, while its game clock goes up to 2543 MHz. In addition, the graphics card features 8 GB of GDDR6 on a 128-bit bus width and runs on PCI Express 4.0.
In an attempt to respond to Nvidia’s ray tracing performance, AMD has started to include ray accelerators on its graphics cards as well. The RX 6650 XT is equipped with 32 such ray accelerators. However, don’t expect too much as we’re still talking about an entry to mid-level graphics card. Still, it’s worth noting that it offers four ray accelerators more compared to the 28 RT cores you get on the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, for instance.
AMD’s recommended retail price for the RX 6650 XT is 399 USD. However, the ASUS ROG Strix RX 6650 XT OC is not the standard model but an improved one, so it comes at a higher cost. I found it listed on online stores at about $460, so the price increase sits somewhere at about 15%.
The ROG Strix RX 6650 XT OC occupies three PCIe slots. In other words, make sure that you don’t mount another card right under it, as it will definitely hinder the airflow. On the other hand, you can understand the thickness of the card if you look at its coolers. There are two of them, both featuring an axial fan design. ASUS says that they have smaller fan hubs that allow for longer blades and that they use dual-ball bearings, which can last up to twice as regular sleeve bearing ones. So efficiency and durability are what ASUS promises.
The card measures 11.1 x 5.3 x 2.3 inches (281 x 135 x 59 millimeters) in length, width, and thickness. Also, its weight is significant - 925 grams (2.04 pounds), - which is why I’ve also used a ROG Herculx GPU holder to sustain the card, as you can see in the image below. By the way, the card also has an RGB area on its side, illuminating the ROG Strix logo.
To withstand its weight but also protect it and make it more beautiful, ASUS mounted a good-looking backplate on the GPU as well. It’s not RGB lit though.
The ASUS ROG Strix RX 6650 XT OC can display a maximum resolution of 7680 x 4320 pixels and includes one HDMI (2.1) port and three DisplayPort (1.4a) ports.
The RX 6650 XT OC graphics card draws its additional power via an 8-pin connector, and ASUS recommends using a 650 Watts power supply for the computer you mount it on.
For all the details about this graphics card’s technical specs and features, visit this webpage: ASUS ROG Strix RX 6650 XT OC Tech Specs.
To get a better idea of what the ASUS ROG Strix RX 6650 XT OC graphics card has to offer, I ran a couple of benchmarks. Before getting to the results, here’s the test PC I used:
- Processor: Intel Core i9-12900K (16 cores, 24 threads, up to 5.2 GHz)
- Motherboard: Gigabyte Z690 Aorus Master
- RAM: Kingston Fury Beast DDR5-6000 32 GB
- Storage: Kingston Fury Renegade SSD (2 TB, PCI-Express 4.0)
- Power Supply Unit: ASUS ROG Thor 850 W Platinum
- Operating System: Windows 11 Pro Version 21H2 Build 22000.675
Note that I’ve used the ultra-high graphics settings for the games, both in 1080p and 1440p resolutions. Also, I chose to compare the GPU with AMD’s Radeon RX 5700 card from the previous generation. To be fair, the RX 5700 and the RX 5700 XT were superseded by the RX 6700 XT. However, the launch price for the RX 6650 XT is close to the one AMD asked for the RX 5700 in 2019. So, I thought it would be interesting to see how much more performance you get today, in 2022, for roughly the same money you had to spend almost two years ago.
The first game I tested on the ASUS ROG Strix RX 6650 XT OC graphics card was Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Although it’s almost four years old (it was launched in 2018), it continues to remain a beautiful game that requires a relatively powerful graphics card in order to run flawlessly at the highest graphics quality. The RX 6650 XT was able to render 138 fps in 1080p (30% more than the RX 5700) and 89 frames per second in 1440p (23% better than the RX 5700).
TIP: If you want to know more about the term fps, its meaning and importance, read this article: What is FPS (frames per second)?
The second game I tested was Metro Exodus, another game that’s very taxing in terms of graphics power. On ultra visual settings, the RX 6650 XT managed to render 79 frames per second in 1080p, while in 1440p, it was able to generate precisely 60 fps on average. These are excellent results and at least a fifth more fps than I got with the older RX 5700.
Next, I benchmarked the ASUS ROG Strix RX 6650 XT OC in Horizon Zero Dawn. It’s a beautifully crafted game that requires a fast graphics card in order to run at maxed visuals. With the game set to use its Ultimate Quality preset, the RX 6650 XT rendered 113 fps on average on the 1080p resolution and 82 fps in 1440p. AMD’s RX 6650 XT proved almost 30% better than the RX 5700 in both situations.
The last game I benchmarked was Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. This game favors AMD’s hardware, but it still demands a lot of graphics power. Again, the RX 6650 XT proved to be much better than the old RX 5700: over a third more fps on average in 1080p and almost a quarter more frames per second in 1440p!
Next, I switched to synthetic benchmarks, starting with 3DMark’s standard Time Spy test. The ASUS ROG Strix RX 6650 XT OC got a good score of 10983 points, which is 22% more than what the RX 5700 achieved. Then, I’ve also run the Port Royale test, which evaluates the performance of the graphics card when ray tracing is involved. The AMD RX 6650 XT OC scored 4808 points, which is decent but can’t compare with what you get from Nvidia’s current GPU lineup. However, it’s still something if you consider the fact that the RX 5700 can’t even run this test, as it has no ray accelerators.
Last but not least, I’ve also checked the temperatures and power draw of the cards. The ASUS ROG Strix RX 6650 XT OC required up to 164 Watts, but its efficient cooling system kept its temperature very low, never exceeding 57 degrees Celsius (~ 135 degrees Fahrenheit). The RX 5700 required less electricity (150 Watts) but got hotter nonetheless (up to 84 degrees Celsius, 183 degrees Fahrenheit).
The ASUS ROG Strix RX 6650 XT OC appears to be one of the best entry to mid-level graphics cards available on the market at the present moment. Reading its benchmark results, it looks like it can run games at the highest visual quality in 1080p. Of course, it’s also quite capable of handling games in 1440p, but in that case, you might have to accept a lower number of frames per second or decrease the visual quality to medium to get a more stable number of frames per second.
You now know more about the ASUS ROG Strix RX 6650 XT OC graphics card. You know what it can do, as well as how it performs in games. Before closing this review, tell me: What’s your opinion about it? Do you intend to buy one? Use the comments section below to share your perspective.