ASRock doubles memory on AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT — budget gaming GPU has 8GB GDDR6 for $169

Despite not having a place on our list of best graphics cards, the Radeon RX 6500 XT has stuck around for a while now — and ASRock has just launched the Radeon RX 6500 XT Phantom Gaming 8GB OC (RX6500XT PG 8GO), a custom version of the GPU with twice as much memory as the original.

Like any custom Radeon RX 6500 XT, ASRock’s iteration features the same Navi 24 (Beige Goby) silicon with 16 enabled Compute Units (CUs), amounting to 1,024 shaders. The Radeon RX 6500 XT Phantom Gaming 8GB OC has a factory overclock, meaning the shaders run at 2,420 MHz — 4.8% faster than the reference specifications. ASRock has binned the graphics card’s game clock and boost clock for 2,685 MHz and 2,825 MHz, representing a 2.9% and 0.4% uplift.

Modern games look better than ever, but they also require more graphics power and more memory. The original Radeon RX 6500 XT only has 4GB of GDDR6 memory at 18 Gb/s, which is underwhelming by today’s standards. So, ASRock has infused the Radeon RX 6500 XT Phantom Gaming 8GB OC with twice as much memory. The chips still run at 18 Gb/s via a 64-bit memory interface, so the memory bandwidth remains at 143.9 GB/s. So while the Radeon RX 6500 XT Phantom Gaming 8GB OC has more memory, it doesn’t offer more bandwidth.

The Radeon RX 6500 XT Phantom Gaming 8GB OC sports a dual-slot design with a length of up to 9.4 inches (240mm), so it’s not intrusive. Being a budget graphics card, it lacks RGB lighting — but that’s a plus in many people’s books. It features a good-looking metallic backplate that matches the design theme. The materials are very high quality, as ASRock utilizes high-density glass fabric for the PCB and premium 90A power chokes. The graphics card stays cool thanks to the dual-fan cooler with a semi-passive cooling implementation, where the fans stay off until the temperature reaches a certain threshold.

The graphics card slides into a PCIe 4.0 x8 slot, and an 8-pin PCIe power connector is required in addition to the expansion slot. The reference Radeon RX 6500 XT has a 107W TDP. Although ASRock doesn’t expose the Radeon RX 6500 XT Phantom Gaming 8GB OC’s TDP, it should be slightly higher due to the factory overclock and memory upgrade. Nonetheless, a 400W power supply is sufficient to feed the budget RDNA 2 graphics card.

As for display output options, you can choose between an HDMI 2.1 port and DisplayPort 1.4a output with HBR3 and DSC support. It’s not a lot, but the graphics card can handle up to two simultaneous monitors and resolutions up to 8K (7680 x 4320).

The vanilla Radeon RX 6500 XT starts at $139.99, while the faster Radeon RX 6600 sells for as low as $189.99. ASRock’s Radeon RX 6500 XT Phantom Gaming 8GB OC retails $169.99 on Newegg. Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3050 continues to be available, starting at $199.99. There’s a place for a Radeon RX 6500 XT with twice the memory, but whether it’ll move will depend on budgets and brand preference.

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