After several months of rumours, AMD announced its Radeon RX 6500 XT last Tuesday, with a surprising suggested price of US$199. Obviously with the current shortage situation launching a graphics card for US$199 is not an easy task, and that is why AMD was forced to make several cuts to reduce its price to that point.
The main cut that AMD made was in its memories, placing only 4GB of GDDR6 memory. As explained by Frank Azor, Head of Gaming at AMD, in an interview with HotHardware, with the current memory overprice it was impossible to place 8GB of GDDR6 memory and keep the price at US$199. In addition, this cut prevents it from being used for mining, preventing miners from exhausting all the stock, and graphics are intended for gamers as it should be. Another cut that the company made is in its bus, limiting it to only 64 bits, causing the graphics card to have a bandwidth of only 144GB/s, which is negligible compared to any other graphics card on the market.
There’s one more cut that AMD didn’t mention:
Although it could already be seen in images, as the Videocardz comparison shows, Asrock confirmed that the RX 6500 XT uses a PCI-E 4.0 x4 interface, offering a limited communication bandwidth with the CPU. It is true that graphics of this style do not require too many PCI-E lines either, although placing a PCI-E 4.0 x8 interface would not have been bad at all.
It will be interesting to see how this RX 6500 XT fares in the market with so many cuts. Although its price seems to compensate for them, having the RTX 3050 with 8GB of VRAM, higher performance, and support for Ray-Tracing and DLSS for an additional $50 could complicate the sales of this RX 6500 XT. This graphic will hit the market on January 19, while the RTX 3050 will arrive on January 27, so in a few weeks we will know who wins in this lower segment of the market.