AMD RX 6600 XT launch drivers reduce power consumption in YouTube playback and for high-refresh monitor setups
Readers who had read the most recent Radeon RX 6600 XT review from ComputerBase might have noticed that it was showing relatively low power consumption in certain scenarios for this new SKU. Low consumption wasn’t only seen in games, but also in YouTube playback and with high refresh rate monitor setups. This has been investigated further after the review went live.
Some media outlets reuse data from older reviews, in this case, ComputerBase had used power consumption measurement data from each consecutive launch, which means that those specific tests were performed using launch drivers. After noticing that RX 6600 XT has relatively low power consumption compared to other RDNA2 GPUs, editors decided to retest other cards with the same drivers (Adrenalin 21.8.1).
It was quickly discovered that the driver lowers the consumption on other SKUs, but only in some cases. The biggest difference is in YouTube 4K 60FPS playback where cards such as RX 6700 XT may see a reduction from 30W to 18W or RX 6900XT drops from 42 to 30W. It’s a significant change in favor of the new drivers, however, this isn’t the case once HDR mode is enabled, where there is no improvement at all or even a 1W increase for RX 6700 XT.
Another notoriously reported issue with RDNA2 GPUs is high power consumption at a 4K multi-monitor setup. NVIDIA Ampere GPUs are all within the 19 to 24W range, whereas AMD RDNA2 cards see values from 21 up to 41W. The latest 21.8.1 driver is sadly not improving on this front for other GPUs, which means that RX 6600 XT is the only card in the whole lineup to offer sub 33W power consumption with such a setup.