Review of the XFX Qick309 RX 7600 XT GPU: A Reasonably Priced Upgrade to 1440p

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    Similar to Nvidia’s Ti variants, cards with AMD’s XT graphics processors function similarly: much the same, but engineered to extract more power whenever possible to maximize performance. With a starting price of about $50 more ($330), AMD’s Radeon RX 7600 XT occupies the position directly above the RX 7600, however more potent cards, like the XFX Speedster Qick309 RX 7600 XT I tested, may be slightly more expensive. For the Qick, that translates to $350.

    The $330 Swft210 is the smaller, less expensive sister of the Qick309. It tops out at lower clock speeds and has two fans rather than three. It also means that, unlike the Qick, it uses a single 8-pin power connector rather than two, saving on power consumption. (AMD does not produce a card specifically for this GPU.)

    Though not always, there is a respectable performance difference between the Qick309 and the RX 7600 that I evaluated last year. If you’re prepared to employ AMD’s upscaling and optimization software, the additional 8GB that the XT chip gives over the other chip allows for certain higher quality settings in both 1080p and 1440p. Additionally, the extra power can make some games playable in 4K.

    Compared to the three-fan model, the Swft model is better suited for upgrading compact systems because to its smaller size and lower power consumption. However, considering the meager $20 price difference, it appears that this might be its lone benefit; the 7600 XT should, at minimum, last you longer thanks to its 16GB VRAM.

    Should you be unable to afford the additional expense, your choice becomes more challenging as there is a less powerful and less expensive GeForce RTX 4060 card as an alternative. However, this is only applicable if you plan to play games that require DirectX 12 Ultimate for their superior visual effects or ray tracing.

    It should come as no surprise that the designs of the Qick309 7600XT and the Qick319 7700 XT I examined in September 2023 are remarkably identical. The number and size of fans are indicated by the model number; for example, the RX 7700 XT featured two 100mm and one 90mm fan, whereas the 7600 XT has three 90mm fans. Those two, which are positioned to force warm air out from the card’s center more forcefully, are really unnecessary for the 7600 XT; in fact, three fans seems excessive because the card didn’t get very hot (though it could if you overclock it).

    Other than that, the 7600 XT features a large amount of open space for circulation, miles of those pointed metal fins for a heat sink, and the same sturdy backplate that serves as a heat spreader. Even while it’s still much smaller than the 7700 XT, it’s still a little large, so upgrading it to a small- to mid-size system might not be feasible. I had to forcefully reseat the plugs and reopen my system after installing since I couldn’t easily maneuver around the two power connectors, which were extremely tight. That’s more of a troubleshooting suggestion than a complaint, unless, like me, you’re always switching cards.

    The card, like all RX 7000 series models, supports DisplayPort 2.1, which provides the bandwidth required to support up to 480Hz in 4K or up to 165Hz at 8K, as well as full gamut coverage of Rec. 2020 or 12 bits per color (up from 10 bits) for HDR. This translates to a 54Gbps link capacity, as opposed to the 20Gbps in DP 1.4a that Nvidia’s devices continue to use. While I doubt any RX 7600 series card could handle 8K gaming, any increase in bandwidth for HDR is always appreciated.

    Performance-wise, the RX 7600 XT performs about as well as you would expect given its brothers and competitors. Similar to the 8GB RX 7600, gaming at 1080p and 1440p at standard “high” quality settings uses little VRAM. The difference between the cards widens at 4K or more “ultra” quality levels, including raytracing; nonetheless, I wouldn’t buy the RX 7600 XT expecting to play at 4K without making significant compromises, such as sub-60fps frame rates and/or noticeably lower quality.

    Less than a handful of games currently support AMD’s most recent FidelityFX Super Resolution 3 (with Fluid Motion Frames), so if you want to maximize performance and do upscaling, you’ll probably have to use the less-than-ideal driver-based version or use older FSR versions that are pre-installed in some games. Although the software version does improve things, it may not be sufficient to raise frame rates significantly. However, there are times when it tips it over, such as when it increases the frame rate from 53 to 75 in Guardians of the Galaxy.

    I do believe that going from 1440p to 4K results in an oversharpened image that has accompanying aliasing (rolling edges) on thin lines that I will never be able to remove. However, I have far higher standards for sharpening than most people do, and it’s one of those things that people find more objectionable when done incorrectly than correctly. Additionally, you can lessen it.

    With some non-gaming graphics at 4K resolution, the 7600 XT’s 16GB of VRAM does offer it an advantage over the 7600, but it’s still essentially throttled because it only uses four PCI lanes instead of the eight utilized by cards one class higher.

    Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, one of the few games that had FSR 3 integrated, it nevertheless usually ran at less than 60 frames per second, upscaling to 4K in Quality mode and ultimately lowering the quality level. I noticed some irksome (but not dangerous) artifacts even at the FSR Quality setting, however it’s also possible that they were in the game.

    As an upside, you should try AMD’s Adrenalin software’s FSR3 if you have an RX 6000 series card that you’re just putting up with. Perhaps you could put up with it for a year more. However, I haven’t tested it using one of those RDNA cards, so I can’t speak to the actual performance.

    Because AMD’s RNDA 3 (used in the RX 7000 series) is still not up to speed with key of the methods used by that programming interface, including ray tracing and optimization capabilities like mesh shaders, it continues to lag behind Nvidia in games that use DX12 Ultimate. Don’t bother about it if you’re more concerned with quicker frame rates and/or greater resolution than the improved lighting and reflections that ray tracing makes possible.

    If you want to upgrade to 1440p, this is a good price/performance alternative; however, as you start to crave 4K, you’ll have to replace it.
    Comparative performance of newer, equivalent GPUs