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AMD launches entry-level RX 6500 XT GPU for budget-conscious gamers

During its CES 2022 keynote presentation, AMD has introduced the RX 6500 XT, a new entry-level graphics card priced at $199 that the company believes will be a welcome salve for budget-conscious gamers in a time of major GPU shortages and uncertainty.

The card is built on a six-nanometer process and comes with what AMD claims are the “fastest sustained GPU clock rates ever,” at over 2.6GHz. It also packs in 16 hardware ray accelerators, 16MB of the company’s Infinity Cache (a technology that basically functions as a “bandwidth amplifier”), and supports AMD’s Adrenalin software features.

Performance stats for the AMD RX 6500 XT graphics card.

AMD is aiming the RX 6500 XT squarely at the entry-level end of the gaming spectrum, and it is designed to entice away gamers who are using a card like the Nvidia GTX 1650, or something around its level.

In that kind of comparison, AMD says the RX 6500 XT outperforms its Nvidia rival in a number of games. The company claimed it offered anywhere from 23% better performance in Age of Empires 4 to a 59% improvement in Resident Evil: Village. All of these comparisons were set at 1080p resolution and high graphics settings.

Its performance improves further when AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) technology is enabled. A competitor to Nvidia’s DLSS, AMD’s FSR upscales your graphics performance, allowing for faster frame rates without terrible drops in graphical quality. With FidelityFX Super Resolution turned on, the RX 6500 XT goes from 61 frames per second (fps) in Call of Duty: Vanguard to 89 fps at 1080p resolution and high graphics settings. In Deathloop there’s a jump from 62 fps to 80 fps, while in Far Cry 6 it goes from 59 fps to 84 fps, all at the same settings.

AMD has set the RX 6500 XT’s price at $199, but you’ll do well to get it for that. The video card market is still very much suffering from stock shortages and massive price inflation, so we hope AMD has enough cards on hand to ensure they’re on sale for at least a few seconds before selling out.

As for a launch date? That’s January 19. Better set your alarm to get there early and beat the scalpers.

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