AMD technical staff member tries to explain Radeon RX 6500 XT's poor performance by claiming that the GPU was designed for laptops ↺
The AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT has had a disastrous launch with reviewers criticizing the card for being severely limited in both gaming performance and multimedia capabilities. According to Tom’s Hardware, the RX 6500 XT’s is in line with the card it was meant to replace, the Radeon RX 5500 XT. Not only this, due to the lack of media features like the absence of an AV1 decoder, the RX 6500 XT is not ideal for non-gaming use. AMD allegedly cut down the RX 6500 XT’s features to make the GPU unattractive for miners.
Attempting to explain the situation, John Bridgman, a member of AMD’s technical staff, took to the Phoronix forums and said,” The primary use of Navi24 will be in laptops paired with a Rembrandt APU, which has full video functionality and PCIe Gen4. My impression was that it was just encode that was limited in Navi24, not decode - still not sure if that limitation is real or just a typo on the product page. Trying to find out a definitive answer.”
In other words, AMD never meant to release Navi 24-based RX 6500 XT as a standalone desktop GPU. Due to the ongoing GPU shortage, the company repurposed the chip to offer it inside a budget-friendly GPU. If we could combine the RX 6500 XT with a Rembrandt APU that has both PCIe Gen 4 support and multi-media encoders and decoders, we can see how the card can be a good notebook GPU since it is quite efficient and an adequate performer when it comes to laptop GPUs.
Sadly, AMD didn’t achieve what the company hoped for. Most gamers who were interested in the GPU weren’t able to get it, since the RX 6500 XT is hard to find at MSRP and is going for almost double the price in some eBay listings.
Editor's note: Final paragraph edited for accuracy (Jan. 23)