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5 Best CPUs for AMD Radeon RX 6600 and 6600 XT

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In the $200-$300 price range, we currently have a couple of GPUs from both AMD and Nvidia. If you are spending this much money, it’s pretty normal to expect to get 60+ fps without compromising on the graphics settings.

AMD’s RX 6600 and XT editions are manufactured for the exact same purpose but using the GPU alone won’t bring you that benefit until you get the right CPU for your GPU.

GPU depends heavily on your CPU and this means if your CPU is slow in executing and assigning instructions to your graphics card, you will have bottlenecks. This will result in significant and frequent fps drops in most games and you won’t be able to enjoy the eye candy on the max settings.

Therefore, I will suggest you the best processors for RX 6600 and the 6600 XT that will push your GPU to its limits.

AMD Radeon RX 6600/6600 XT Overview

Both the RX 6600 and XT editions are based on the RDNA 2 architecture. They use TSCM’s 7nm process node and fall in the same RX 6000 GPU family. The RX 6600 is a slower one with 1792 Stream processors and features 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM.

The RX 6600 XT, on the other hand, comes with 14% more SPs i.e., 2048 SPs, and the same size VRAM of 8GB. However, it runs at a faster clock speed of 16Gbps compared to 14Gbps on the RX 6600. Theoretically and practically they differ in performance just like their specs but both of them are pretty much sufficient to max out most games at 1080p resolution.

Their default TDPs are 132W of RX 6600 and 160W for non-XT edition requiring them a reliable 500W PSU or higher.

What CPU will be the best for RX 6600/6600 XT?

The main purpose of the CPU is to push GPU usage to 100%. This will eliminate all GPU bottlenecks and you will have maximum performance in games. Modern titles also have a requirement of a particular number of cores/threads to run properly and the balance of both CPU and GPU is compulsory to have stutter-less gameplay.

Currently, we need at least 4 cores to run a game smoothly and at least 6 cores if we want to achieve the best performance. Therefore, we are going to look at the best CPUs from both Intel and AMD with at least 4-6 cores with decent clock speeds. On top of that, it is also important to have a CPU that offers great single and multi-core performance and overclocking capability will also be preferred to squeeze extra performance from the CPU.

Best CPUs for AMD Radeon RX 6600/600 XT


Intel Core i3 12100F

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Intel Core i3 12100F

The first one I would recommend is the Alder Lake Core i3 12100F CPU. This CPU has literally dethroned every $100 processor from both AMD and Intel’s previous gen. It is way faster than any 4-core CPU and outperforms even some of the Core i5s of the previous generation.

The i3 12100F features 4 cores/8 threads clocked at 3.3-4.3GHz. That means with the help of Turbo boost, you can easily reach up to 4.3GHz without the need for overclocking and 4.3GHz isn’t bad at all. You will get 12MB of L3 cache which is twice the L3 cache present on the i3 10100F CPU and hence, faster execution of applications.

Currently, the i3 12100F is able to handle almost any and every budget and mid-range GPU and will be a good fit for the RX 6600/XT if you are on a tight budget. Moreover, you won’t have to use an unlocked chipset motherboard as it is a locked chip. So, you can save a good amount of money by buying an H610 chipset motherboard.

AMD Ryzen 5 5500

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AMD Ryzen 5 5500

We have a couple of Ryzen CPUs from the Ryzen 5000 family for under $150 and the best one for the cheapest price I recommend is the Ryzen 5 5500. It comes with 6 cores and 12 threads giving you more flexibility in multitasking and will result in faster productivity. As for gaming, it is equivalent to the i3 12100F in gaming but superior in productivity due to having more cores and great IPC performance.

Based on the Zen 3 architecture, it is almost equivalent to the Alder Lake series at this point as the prices of Ryzen 5000 CPUs have come down greatly. Ryzen 5500 comes with a few more benefits that make it more appealing including the ability to overclock.

While its boost clock ends at 4.2GHz, taking it past that is not that hard and doesn’t require any good aftermarket CPU cooler except if you are looking to push the clock to a few 100MHz more.

Ryzen 5500 will be best with a B550 or an X570 chipset motherboard that allows overclocking but will also cost more than an A320 and A520 chipset motherboard.

Intel Core i5 12400F

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Intel Core i5 12400F

Next, we have the Intel Core i5 12400F from the Alder Lake series. It’s a good upgrade over the i3 12100F as it features 6 cores and 12 threads. This makes a significant improvement in both gaming and non-gaming tasks. The Core i5 12400F is clocked at 2.5GHz with up to 4.4GHz via Turbo boost technology. So, you will have enough power for less and more-intensive tasks that will increase or decrease your CPU usage as per the requirements.

It comes with 18MB of L3 cache and a TDP of 65-117W which is higher than previous-gen locked Core i5s. This helps the processor to gain more boost in clock speeds and results in consistent performance. Compared to the Ryzen 5600, it is around 5-10% faster on average and will be one of the best CPUs for RX 6600/XT GPU.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

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AMD Ryzen 5600X

Lastly, if you want the best performance out of RX 6600/XT GPUs, don’t look any further and get the Ryzen 5600X. It is noticeably faster than the i5 12400F and comes with several other benefits. While originally launched for $299, it currently sits at $199 which makes it a great choice for building a good mid or high-end PC.

It is based on the Zen 3 architecture and features a 19% uplift in IPC performance compared to the Ryzen 3000 family. It comes with 6 cores and 12 threads clocked at 3.7/4.6GHz. As it has overclocking enabled, feel free to increase the clock speed up to 5GHz but do so with the help of one of our recommended CPU coolers for Ryzen 5600X.

AMD Ryzen 5 7600

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Ryzen 5 7600X

Lastly, if you think you need to secure your system for a couple of more years, then the Ryzen 7600 is the best choice. It’s not only perfect for a budget GPU like RX 6600 but for higher-end mid-range GPUs too.

The Ryzen 5 7600 comes with 6 cores and 12 threads but with significantly better single-core performance compared to the Ryzen 5600. The higher clock speeds and the architectural improvements make it compete with higher-end CPUs like the Ryzen 5800X3D but on a budget.

It will be a superb choice for a mid-range gaming build and should be sufficient even if you upgrade to something like an RTX 4070 or RX 7800 XT.

Final Words

I highly discourage going below the i3 12100F as there is a possibility of bottlenecking especially if you are going to use a CPU from a very old generation. The latest gen CPUs are designed to maximize the potential of GPUs and yield better results.

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