When it comes to shipping containers MSI does not like to mess with a winning formula. That is why the MSI Radeon RX 6600XT Gaming X’s shipping container is all but a dead ringer for the 6700XT Gaming X… and any other Gaming X in recent memory. This really is not a bad thing as it is attention getting without being garish; filled with a decent assortment of ‘show and tell’ styled information’ and generally speaking, can hold its own against everyone from Asus to Zotac… so why change a good thing just for the sake of change?
Also like previous Gaming X shipping containers, when you open up this nicely styled you will be greeted with a tried-and-true combination of copious amounts of foam with even more foam to protect its precious cargo while in-transit. Yes, you can trust this box to be shipped all the way around the world and do so with confidence that it will get to you in one piece… even if it runs into a spot of bother (or twelve) along the way.
The one way in which the MSI Radeon RX 6600XT Gaming X does distinguish itself from others in the Gaming X lineup is in the accessories department. Quite honestly, we really do not take much issue with MSI rounding corners here. The entire RX 6600 XT lineup by all manufactures is supposed to be, at least if it was not the era of clownworld, a more value orientated entry. One where extraneous goo-gaws that needlessly add to the bottom line are shunned. One that plugs the cavernous “value 1080P gaming” hole in AMD’s lineup that NVIDIA’s RTX 30-series has been exploiting for… well.. a loooooong time now. So do not be surprised if you do not find much beyond an information pamphlet and the like included.
We must admit that the MSI Radeon RX 6600XT Gaming X gives an excellent first impression. We were expecting an itty-bitty tommyrot looking card that would end up being the epitome of ‘Try Hard 5: The TryHardening”. Instead, we were greeted with a drop-dead gorgeous card. One that seamlessly blends understated elegance with a dash of élan rarely seen in this corner of the market. Yes, in our not so humble opinion, black with silver accents is about the best combination a manufacture can use. We say this as it is the equivalate of a little black dress. One that can be used in a veritable ton of builds and do so without needlessly drawing attention to itself…while at the same time when it does gain your attention it accentuates everything that a video card should be.
For example, this itty-bitty NAVI 23 XT core may sip power but can be on the hot’ish running end of things if not properly cooled. Thus the inclusion of two, excellent examples of engineering, “Torx Fan 4.0” 95mm fans immediately tells you that this is going to be both a cool and low noise running card. A card that in most people’s systems will run at zero point zero RPM the majority of its lifespan.
Though as you can see in this picture even the fans know they are way out of this core’s league… and MSI is trolling AMD.
While we cannot show you in greater detail as this is a short-term loaner (and if damaged it would kill a bit of our soul to pay for any Radeon RX 6600 XT)… but hidden underneath those fans and really, really attractive fascia is a lot of nifty features that will go along way towards soothing your loss of self-respect for buying a RX 6600 XT at today’s prices.
First up is MSI has once again baked an anti-sag support bracket right into the card itself – If you look closely at the top of the card you will see a metal bracket running from basically the midpoint of the card back to the IO shield. Why does a piddly little NV 23 XT based video card need anti-sag support?
The Gaming X RX 6600XT is not a little card. Where the (vaporware) AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT reference design calls for a 2-slot design weighing in at (probably as it is vaporware) about 500grams… the MSI Radeon RX 6600XT Gaming X tips the scales at an impressive (but not overweight) 886 grams, is 10.9 inches long, will take up 3 slots (technically its more like 2.5 slots but until that becomes a legitimate thing it is filling up 3 slots), and is a good 0.8 of an inch above PCE “Full Height” standards.
Sadly, some of this additional length is indeed wasted. It is wasted because the front of the fascia overhangs the fin arrays by about 0.75 of an inch. On the positive side, more length + more width + more height equals more surface area for cooling.
To be a bit more specific let’s break down the rough dimensions of the two fin arrays hidden underneath that gorgeously understated plastic fascia.
Both of the arrays are about an inch tall and both are also about 4.1 inches wide.
The rear / back (i.e. nearest IO ports) array is about 3.6 inches long.
The front (nearest the single 8-pin PCIE power port) is about 4.2 inches long.
With a bit of back of the napkin math this means this dual array configuration has in the general neighborhood of about 31.8 square inches of surface area for cooling. That is a metric boat load of colling potential for a little 160 watt TDP core.
The reason for this overkill cooling creation is simple math. Basically, when you combine the fact that AMD overclocked the veritable snot of their Navi 23 XT core specs with the fact that MSI then went and pushed things further… well the end result is a card that actually generates a lot of heat for its class. Nowhere near the same as what a Radeon RX 6700 XT does, but a surprising amount.