ASUS TUF AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT review

The benchmarks were done with a prerelease driver 22.1.1 and so the performance and behavior of the graphics card may vary slightly on release. This is hopefully the case as we found some anomalies in our version with the ray tracing performance much worse than expected, as well as reporting software spitting out erroneous information. Nevertheless, the normal performance is still more than enough for entry-level gaming.

We tested 10 games along with two synthetic benchmarks to strain and test the performance of the card. In the games, we attempted to run them at max settings to keep a standard amongst our benchmarking. However, we came across a couple of issues where the games would not allow us to run above the limited VRAM (i.e. Doom Eternal treating the 4GB VRAM as a hard limit).

The limited VRAM will also cause lower performance when crossed, like in graphic demanding games. So lowering settings on these games will improve performance significantly. We kept with higher settings though as they are a baseline for our testing across all cards for easier comparison.

CS:GO

The game is already coming up to being 10 years old, so still running source engine and supporting DX 9 it is not hard to run at all. Unsurprisingly, the card performed exceedingly well for even the high refresh rate competitive level. At 1080p it got to around 329 fps on average which means high refresh rate monitors would display the game very smoothly. Even at 1440p, the card averaged 255 fps, which when used with a 240Hz monitor will also give you a great experience to play with. 4k was also possible with the game averaging 129 fps but it definitely isn’t its best performance.

Dirt 5

Dirt is a graphically more intensive game and it does have a big effect on the performance at max settings. However, the framerate is very consistent and has a lot of improvement in it after lowering the settings. At 1080p the card averaged 31 FPS, at 1440p it got 24 FPS, and at 4k, 17 FPS. Even the 1% and 0.1% didn’t drop too far below the average so the game runs without any real hitches. The ray-tracing performance was taxing but at 1080p it still averaged 16 FPS, about half the performance. Adjusting the settings will give the card an easy 60 FPS performance at 1080p which is nothing to complain about.

Doom Eternal

Along with limiting settings to the VRAM, we could only run the game at medium settings, with the ray-tracing option disabled. The lower settings give the card great performance in the game though. At 1080p the card averaged 142 FPS, with 1440p averaging 83, and 4k getting 47. That’s a good performance overall and definitely enjoyable. With even more tweaking you could get even more out of the card.  

Evil Genius 2

One of the games that implements AMD’s FSR technology, the cartoony graphics give FSR a good chance to show off its power without having too much of an adverse effect on the quality. Even without the option on ultra, the game performance is up there. At 1080p the card reached 111 average FPS, and even at 1440p, it averaged 69 FPS. At 4k it averaged just 34 FPS. There is the option of using FSR, which we tried on quality mode in 4k and it nearly doubled the performance to 62 FPS. 

Far Cry 6

This is a more demanding game, and at high settings at 1080p, it struggled to reach 60 with an average of 56 FPS. So higher resolutions do prove harder, with 1440p only averaging 22 FPS. 4k is not even a real option, but at 1440p testing FSR on quality we got 53 average FPS, more than double without it. 

Fortnite

Another esports title but much more taxing at high settings compared to the likes of CSGO. On ultra, it averaged 67 FPS at 1080p, with 40 FPS at 1440p and just 16 at 4k. It’s a title that needs lower settings for higher and smoother gameplay. 

Rainbow Six Siege

Another easy to run esports title, and it showed with the performance. At 1080p we averaged 259 FPS, and 155 FPS at 1440p. At 4k we managed to get 63 FPS. That’s a good performance for the competitive scene and high refresh rate monitors.

Resident Evil Village

Even though turning up the settings does return messages telling you it’s unsafe and unnecessary, the game still performed very well. At 1080p the card averaged 136 FPS with 61 FPS at 1440p and 42 at 4k. This game did struggle with ray tracing but this was likely due to the beta driver, with just 11 FPS at 1080p. This will likely be improved but there is also FSR in the game so you can improve the performance.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Another more graphically intense title which at 1080p on ultra averaged 68 FPS, with 1440p getting 44 FPS and 4k averaging 20 FPS. So even on the highest settings, you can get a solid performance, but playing with settings will get you even more.

Warzone

The last game is a competitive shooter and Warzone at max settings also performed well enough. At 1080p, it managed 77 FPS with a 1440p average of 52 and 4k of 27 FPS. That’s definitely playable and you can get better by changing the settings too. 

Synthetics

Apart from gaming, there are some benchmarks to compare it to other cards and use as a performance metric.

3DMark

We tested the card in Fire Strike and Time Spy which test the DX 11 and 12 capabilities of the graphics card. In Fire Strike, the 6500 XT achieved a graphics score of 15,472 and an overall score of 13,580. The Time Spy graphics score hit 4,980 with an overall of 5,284. 

Blender

Blender allows for benchmarks for rendering out 3D scenes. They have a handy launcher choosing which card or CPU you want to use and which scenes to test. We use BMW27 and the classroom in our testing. The BMW render took 2 minutes 32 seconds and the classroom took 4 minutes 53 seconds.

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