ASUS Dual Radeon RX 7600 OC Edition Review Play4ever

TweakTown’s Rating: 84%

The Bottom Line

The ASUS Dual Radeon RX 7600 offers mainstream gamers impressive 1080p performance without breaking the bank, with more impressive cooling and thermal performance than AMD’s reference design. It’s not an exciting GPU release, but one that’s worth checking out.

Pros

  • + A small but sturdy 1080p performer
  • + Better than GeForce RTX 3060 performance
  • + Lower price than its competition
  • + ASUS’s build quality and cooling

Cons

  • 1440p performance drop-off is big
  • RT performance is a let-down
  • Falls behind the GeForce RTX 4060 in most benchmarks

Should you buy it?

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Introduction

When AMD dropped the price for its mainstream RDNA 3 GPU offering, the new Radeon RX 7600, days before the product was set to launch – it caught many of us in the industry by surprise, though in hindsight, it wasn’t all that surprising. The new MSRP of USD 269, compared to USD 299, helped differentiate it from NVIDIA’s new GeForce RTX 4060, priced at USD 299. The bigger story was how this price reduction related to the current retail market for new GPUs.

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VIEW GALLERY – 55 IMAGES

Discounting second-hand sales and simply looking at brand-new GPUs, the best-selling models according to a few different retail outlets, continue to be the GeForce RTX 3060 in its 12GB of VRAM variant, the Radeon RX 6600 (which is this GPU’s predecessor) and other previous generation cards like the GeForce RTX 3070 and Radeon RX 6700 at heavily discounted prices. As we saw in our review of the reference Radeon RX 7600 model from AMD, the new mainstream GPU from the company isn’t so much a game changer as it is a replacement for the previous generation card at this price point, albeit with improved performance and a few other notable features.

The ASUS Dual Radeon RX 7600 OC Edition reviewed here is ASUS’s mainstream and entry-level Radeon RX 7600 offering – sporting impressive cooling, build quality, and overall performance that outdoes the reference model in almost all areas. Per the naming, the card is also compact, with two axial-tech fans helping to keep temps and overall noise levels low while gaming. It trumps the RTX 3060 for pure 1080p gaming and trades a few blows with the GeForce RTX 4060. Let’s dig in.

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The RDNA 3 Generation

“The world’s first chiplet gaming GPU” is how AMD described its new RDNA 3-based GPUs when it lifted the lid on the new Radeon RX 7000 Series. In layperson’s terms, the GPU chip isn’t just one big square or die anymore, with billions of transistors all arranged in a single layout. Like with its Ryzen CPU range, which embraced chiplet design to great effect (look at how Ryzen has grown in popularity over the years), bringing this design philosophy into the GPU space felt like the natural evolution for AMD’s Radeon brand.

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For RDNA 3, what was once a single Graphics Compute Die (GCD) has now split into a GCD plus a Memory Cache Die (MCD). The GCD still makes up most of the hardware grunt and uses the newer 5nm process technology – a step up from RDNA 2’s 7nm process. Interestingly, the MCD uses 6nm process technology, which allows AMD to keep costs down as the complexity and cost of manufacturing high-end tech continue to rise.

And to mitigate any performance impact that could arise from going the chiplet route, AMD has also managed to include the “fastest chiplet interconnect in the world,” with speeds of 5.3 TB/s. That said, the Radeon RX 7600 and entry-level models using the ‘Navi 33’ GPU follow a more traditional single-chip setup using 6nm process technology to help keep costs down. But with the same RDNA 3 architecture.

AMD’s RDNA 3 architecture features second-generation AMD Infinity Cache, another CPU-like feature designed to boost performance in 1440p and 4K gaming – a “bandwidth amplifier” that sits alongside the GDDR6 memory interface. It helps alleviate the need for more expensive and power-hungry memory buses and is one of those forward-thinking designs we love seeing.

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RDNA 3 represents a significant leap forward for AMD regarding ray-tracing and AI accelerators too. RDNA 3 GPUs feature the second generation of dedicated RT hardware and new hardware-based AI acceleration. Real-time ray tracing is hardware intensive; this is one area many were looking for AMD to improve compared to RDNA 2. Which, admittedly, was the company’s first attempt at hardware-based ray tracing.

RDNA 3 GPUs are the first graphics cards supporting the new DisplayPort 2.1 spec. The latest DisplayPort interface supports up to 4K 480Hz and even 8K 165Hz, which makes it more of a future-proofing measure than something applicable today. But the real benefit comes with 12-bit HDR support and full Rec2020 coverage for improved color accuracy and detail.

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RDNA 3 also introduces hardware-based AV1 encoding to step up its video game for content creators, which means better quality video using the same bitrate. Very cool. For gamers, the introduction of AMD FSR 2 rendering is fully supported here and helps improve performance in intensive games. FSR 2 support might not be as widespread as NVIDIA DLSS, but its addition to games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is a great sign. Plus, as the tech is fully supported on Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 (with both consoles using AMD graphics hardware), in-game FSR support should grow as time passes.

AMD has yet to formally showcase or reveal what its DLSS 3-like FSR 3 frame generation technology will look like or whether it will be exclusive to RDNA 3-based hardware, so we’ll have to wait and see on that front. Ultimately, RDNA 3 is an impressive leap forward for AMD, bringing massive changes to the underlying hardware while delivering a sizable performance leap over the previous RDNA 2 generation.

Specs and Test System

Specifications

Here we can see how the specs and hardware stack up for the AMD Radeon RX 7600 compared to the previous generation’s AMD Radeon RX 6600.

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As a mainstream and compact GPU, the Radeon RX 7600 doesn’t make use of the multi-chip design seen in the flagship Radeon RX 7900 XT and XTX models – here, you’ve got a monolithic die built using the more cost-effective 6nm process node. As a non-XT model (we might see a Radeon RX 7600 XT at some point in the future), this is every bit the entry-level and mainstream RDNA 3 card from AMD for 2023.

Compared to the previous generation’s Radeon RX 6600, the Radeon RX 7600 features a modest increase in hardware specs – a 14.3% increase in the Stream Processor and Compute Unit counts and a boost in GPU clock speeds. As an OC model with a Dual Bios setup, the ASUS Dual Radeon RX 7600 OC Edition features a 2745 MHz Boost Clock and up to 2340 MHz Game Clock, a modest bump over the reference specs above and a notable increase over the Radeon RX 6600 numbers.

Of course, we’re talking about different architectures with several improvements to things like hardware ray-tracing and AI – so there’s much more to the story than just numbers getting larger. Interestingly, it seems that one area that hasn’t seen much improvement is power efficiency, with the Radeon RX 7600 rated at 165W compared to the Radeon RX 6600’s 132W. This puts the power draw in line with the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti and RTX 4070 rather than the card’s direct competitor, the GeForce RTX 4060.

Like the GeForce RTX 4060, the Radeon RX 7600 has drawn some criticism from the community and tech journalists alike because it only features 8GB of VRAM on a limited 128-bit bus. AMD Infinity Cache helps alleviate bandwidth issues to bring things up to an effective bandwidth of 476.9 GB/s, according to AMD – but the 8GB limit does mean that it is better suited to 1080p gaming than 1440p or 4K.

  • GPU: AMD Radeon RX 7600
  • Model: ASUS Dual Radeon RX 7600 OC Edition 8GB GDDR6 (DUAL-RX7600-O8G)
  • Interface: PCI Express 4.0
  • Stream Processors: 2048
  • Clock Speeds: OC mode: up to 2745 MHz (Boost Clock)/up to 2340 MHz (Game Clock) Default mode: up to 2725 MHz (Boost Clock)/up to 2320 MHz (Game Clock)
  • Memory: 8GB GDDR6
  • Memory Speed: 18 Gbps
  • Memory Interface: 128-bit
  • Display Connections: 1 x HDMI 2.1, 3 x DisplayPort 1.4a
  • Power Connectors: 1 x 8-pin
  • Total Board Power: 185W
  • What’s in the Box: ASUS Dual Radeon RX 7600, 1 x Collection card, 1 x Setup Manual

Kosta’s Test System

  • Motherboard: MSI MPG X670E Carbon Wi-Fi
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 7900X
  • Cooler: Corsair iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT Liquid CPU Cooler
  • RAM: 64GB (2x32GB) Corsair DOMINATOR PLATINUM RGB DDR5 DRAM 5200MHz
  • SSD: Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus-G M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSD 4TB, Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSD 8TB
  • Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower GF1 850W
  • Case: Thermaltake Core P3 Tempered Glass Snow
  • OS: Microsoft Windows 11 Pro 64-bit

Physical Design and Cooling

With dimensions of 245 x 134 x 49 mm, the ASUS Dual Radeon RX 7600 OC Edition 8GB is compact, though the thickness is 2.5-slot as opposed to some of the two-slot models we’ve seen. This is a minor complaint because what you’re getting with the ASUS Dual Radeon RX 7600 is an extremely well-built GPU that looks and feels as premium as possible at this price point.

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When it comes to mainstream GPU models, keeping the overall size and weight down to smooth the installation process is important – and this flows into compatibility with different-sized cases and setups. The ASUS Dual Radeon RX 7600 ticks these boxes.

The dual fans are of decent quality, with double ball fan bearings and an axial-tech design that supports a 0dB mode for pure silence when you’re not gaming. In addition, you’ve got an aluminum backplate and a stainless steel bracket to help the ASUS Dual Radeon RX 7600 sit in a PC comfortably for several years. Like other GPUs in the ASUS stable, this GPU is also manufactured using the company’s automated process that allows assembly and soldering in a single machine-led pass.

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As ASUS’s entry-level Radeon RX 7600, the Dual lacks additional features like RGB lighting or funky transparent enclosed features found on the ‘Dual’ GeForce RTX 40 Series cards. Here ASUS opts for a minimal all-black look with minimal branding that aligns with the company’s TUF series of products.

It’s an aesthetic similar in some respects to AMD’s reference model. However, thanks to ASUS’s expertise in the GPU space across countless models and revisions over the years, the cooling here is far superior in efficiency and noise levels. You’re getting lower temps and none of the annoying coil whine sounds we experienced with the reference design.

Benchmarks – 15 Game Averages

The Games and Tests

In 2023 PC gaming is a complicated and varied space, from indie games to major blockbuster releases and titles that push hardware and technology to their limit with the adoption of effects like real-time ray-tracing.

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This is all a way of saying that the 15 in-game benchmarks we’ve chosen (and run at 1080p and 1440p) represent a wide range of styles, not only in terms of genres, like first-person shooters and racing games but also in the API technology (DirectX 11, 12) and cutting-edge features like ray tracing and upscaling technology.

Results include DLSS and FSR 2, where possible, as both technologies are the sorts of things, especially in 1440p and 4K, which you’d turn on. Six of the 15 game benchmarks also feature ray tracing. Also, each title is set to ultra-equivalent quality settings to push GPU hardware and minimize CPU bottlenecks at higher resolutions.

Also, it’s just fun to max out a game’s visual settings and see the results. Here’s the breakdown of games, graphics settings, and what’s being tested.

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Ultra High-quality settings, with the in-game benchmark tool used.
  • Borderlands 3: Ultra quality settings, with the in-game benchmark tool used.
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II: Ultra quality setting, in-game multiplayer benchmark tool used.
  • Cyberpunk 2077: Ultra quality setting, in-game benchmark tool used. AMD FSR and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
  • Cyberpunk 2077 (RT): Ray tracing Ultra quality setting, in-game benchmark tool used. AMD FSR and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
  • DOOM Eternal (RT): Ultra Nightmare quality setting with ray-tracing enabled, the opening of Mars Core campaign level used to benchmark.
  • F1 22 (RT): Ultra High-quality setting with ray tracing, one lap of the Bahrain track benchmarked. AMD FSR and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
  • Forza Horizon 5 (RT): Extreme quality setting with ray tracing enabled, in-game benchmark tool used. AMD FSR and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
  • Hitman (RT): Ultra-quality settings with ray-tracing, Dubai scene benchmarked. AMD FSR and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
  • Horizon Zero Dawn: Ultimate quality setting, in-game benchmark used.
  • Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (RT): Ultra quality setting with ray tracing enabled, the in-game benchmark tool used.
  • Rainbow Six Extraction: Ultra quality settings and in-game benchmark tool used.
  • Red Dead Redemption 2: Maximum quality settings, with in-game benchmark tool used. AMD FSR and NVIDIA DLSS results are included.
  • The Division 2: Ultra quality settings with in-game benchmark tool used.
  • Total War: Warhammer III: Ultra-quality settings with the in-game Battle Benchmark tool used.

15 Game Average FPS – 1080p Results

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Without the previous generation’s Radeon RX 6600 on hand to provide a clearer gen-on-gen look at how the Radeon RX 7600 performance stacks up, most comparisons for AMD’s new mainstream GPU will be with the GeForce RTX 3060 and GeForce RTX 4060. Price and performance-wise, these three GPUs share a similar space; they’re targeting greater-than-60fps 1080p performance in modern titles while hovering around the USD 300 sweet spot.

Across 15 titles, including games with ray-tracing effects enabled, the ASUS Dual Radeon RX 7600 OC Edition 8GB delivers an average of 94 frames-per-second with a 1% low fps of 61 – impressive. This puts the GPU in between the GeForce RTX 3060 and GeForce RTX 4060, where the Radeon RX 7600 is roughly 9.5% faster than the RTX 3060 and 7.8% slower than the new GeForce RTX 4060.

Of course, the full 1080p picture is much more nuanced than comparing averages, as performance varies quite a bit from game to game. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II’s performance is not only 45% faster than the GeForce RTX 3060 at 1080p, with an average frame rate of 116fps, but this result sees the Radeon RX 7600 eclipse the GeForce RTX 4060 by an impressive 19.6%. The flip side is Hitman with ray-tracing enabled, where the Radeon RX 7600 falls way behind the GeForce RTX 4060 with 27.4% slower performance.

The performance between the two mainstream cards sits closer to the averages here, making these numbers a good indicator of what to expect.

14 Game Average FPS – 1440p Results

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1440p is currently viewed as the sweet spot for modern PC gaming, thanks in part to the broad range of affordable displays targeting this resolution. Bumping up the resolution to 1440p across our 15-game benchmark suite, we see the overall performance for the ASUS Dual Radeon RX 7600 drop by roughly 33%. Although it’s normal to see this sort of difference when upping the resolution, it does highlight the fact that the Radeon RX 7600 is positioned as a 1080p GPU – which is still the most popular resolution according to the latest Steam Hardware Survey.

Still, with an average frame rate of 63 fps, the ASUS Dual Radeon RX 7600 can deliver decent 1440p results in several titles. Non-RT performance in Cyberpunk 2077 using the game’s Ultra quality setting sits close to this average, especially when you enable AMD’s FSR 2 upscaling. At the mainstream level tweaking in-game visual settings to find the right mix of fidelity and performance is always recommended. The ASUS Dual Radeon RX 7600 can be paired with a shiny new 1440p display.

Compared to the GeForce RTX 3060, with the 12GB model tested, the performance lead for the Radeon RX 7600 drops to 3.3% while remaining roughly 8.7% slower than the GeForce RTX 4060 at 1440p.

Benchmarks – 3DMark FireStrike

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3DMark FireStrike is a DirectX 11 test that has been around for many years and covers quite a large portion of games released over the past decade – at least in terms of the API and graphics technologies used. The three tests cover the resolutions – 1080p, 1440p, and 4K. Here, the results we see for the ASUS Dual Radeon RX 7600 vary wildly from the average in-game benchmark tests – painting a very different picture for AMD’s mainstream RDNA 3 GPU.

The baseline 3DMark FireStrike score (1080p) shows the ASUS Dual Radeon RX 7600 delivering a result 35.8% higher than the GeForce RTX 3060 and 10.6% higher than the GeForce RTX 4060. With the score being 6.3% lower than the more premium GeForce RTX 4060 Ti, it’s not indicative of what you see in-game – which is also true with the 3DMark FireStrike Extreme (1440p) results.

Benchmarks – 3DMark TimeSpy and Port Royal

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3DMark TimeSpy is DirectX 12-based, so it’s a more relevant synthetic benchmark for modern games. Here the results more closely match the individual in-game benchmark results and averages we found across our 15-game benchmark suite. The baseline 3DMark TimeSpy total score of 11507 for the ASUS Dual Radeon RX 7600 is roughly on par with the GeForce RTX 4060 while being 20% higher than the GeForce RTX 3060. It’s a similar result in the 4K-based 3DMark TimeSpy Extreme synthetic benchmark, albeit with ASUS Dual Radeon RX 7600 outperforming the GeForce RTX 4060 by 5.8%.

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3DMark Port Royal is a synthetic ray-tracing benchmark – an area in which AMD and Radeon have traditionally been a step or two behind NVIDIA regarding performance. Although it’s a far cry from enthusiast-level performance, as ray-tracing at the mainstream level needs tech like DLSS and FSR 2 to deliver the best results, the ASUS Dual Radeon RX 7600 surprisingly sits between the GeForce RTX 3060 and RTX 4060. In F1 22, with ray-tracing enabled, the Radeon RX 7600 is only slightly slower than the GeForce RTX 4060 – though it’s a different story when you fire up RT-heavy titles like Cyberpunk 2077 and Hitman. There we see the Radeon RX 7600 fall behind the Intel Arc A750.

Benchmarks – 1080p Gaming

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Benchmarks – 1440p Gaming

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Benchmarks Summary, Ray-Tracing Performance, and FSR 2

Per the averages and individual benchmark results, the ASUS Dual Radeon RX 7600 is better suited to 1080p gaming, though it can bump the resolution to 1440p. At 1080p, the 8Gb VRAM limitation is less of an issue. With the ability to tweak and adjust visual settings, you’re looking at greater than GeForce RTX 3060 performance that excels in some titles while generally sitting behind the new GeForce RTX 4060 in most results.

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Ray-tracing performance in RT-heavy titles like Cyberpunk 2077 and Hitman is a let-down, even when you enable FSR 2 – AMD’s upscaler similar to NVIDIA DLSS and Intel XeSS but without the use of AI. Unfortunately, because AMD’s FSR 2 image quality suffers at 1080p and 1440p compared to the results you can get with DLSS – this is another area (alongside general ray-tracing performance) where NVIDIA and GeForce have the edge. AMD FSR 2 can deliver decent results when using the ‘Quality’ setting in 1440p in some titles, like F1 22, which is a definite plus.

Temperature and Power Efficiency

During our stress test, the ASUS Dual Radeon RX 7600 drew about 177W at 100% usage for several minutes -about 40% more energy consumption than the new GeForce RTX 4060 running the same test. Power efficiency doesn’t seem to be as big of a presence in RDNA 3 compared to what we saw with RDNA 2, which is disappointing. You’re still looking at a single 8-pin power connector and a small form factor, which is a plus – and this is still relatively efficient compared to higher-end GPUs.

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Regarding cooling performance, the ASUS Dual Radeon RX 7600 proved to be better than AMD’s reference model, maintaining lower overall temperatures with similar fan speeds. The dual fans of the ASUS Dual Radeon RX 7600 are also quiet, with the GPU rarely making itself known (sound-wise) when in use-some great cooling on behalf of ASUS here in a form factor that is still small and compact.

Final Thoughts

The USD 300 and under (or slightly over) price range is currently one of the busiest and best-selling thanks to previous generation models being sold at a discount and the arrival of replacements like the Radeon RX 7600 and its direct competitor, the GeForce RTX 4060. This makes the value proposition something that could change on any given day, depending on what’s on offer and for how much. With the ASUS Dual Radeon RX 7600 sticking close to AMD’s MSRP of USD 269, it presents great value as a 1080p performer.

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Another feather in the cap for the ASUS Dual Radeon RX 7600 is that purchasing one now also means you get a free copy of Bethesda’s Starfield as part of the current Radeon and Ryzen promotion. But even when you take that out of the equation, the small, compact, mainstream RDNA 3 GPU from AMD is impressive in what it can achieve – while falling short in a few areas like real-time ray-tracing. An unexciting replacement for the Radeon RX 6600, but one that performs better and is up to the task of handling some of the most exciting games of 2023.

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