AMD Radeon RX 6600


Recently, the fan on my GTX 750 Ti started to make a consistent noise so I used that as the excuse to finally replace it. I probably could have just replaced the fan… but eh, I’ve had it since 2015 so it had a good run. Back then, I just got Nvidia because that was the name I thought of when shopping for a graphics card. I don’t game much on desktop. I just needed something because my Xeon CPU didn’t have an integrated GPU. I’ve noticed how Linux friendly AMD has been in recent years, so I decided I’d switch at some point and that time is now.

As I said, I don’t game much on desktop. I prefer consoles. The most I do on desktop is NES/SNES/N64 emulation. I don’t do Steam either. So my GPU needs are pretty modest. It took me a minute to get familiar with the Radeon lineup but I eventually settled on the RX 6600 because it was a decent upgrade over the GTX 750 Ti, it had 2 fans instead of 3, and it stayed close to my limit of $200. I got the XFX branded one because it was on sale for $209. Good enough.


Physical install was simple. I just had to pull out the extra power cable for the modular PSU. I had more trouble on the software side, specifically, OpenCL and darktable. It turns out, OpenCL with AMD doesn’t work in Flatpak like it did with Nvidia. I spent several hours on this and eventually found my way to this GitHub issue. I use darktable a lot and it’s my main photo editor. I want to have the latest version, which is why I was using Flatpak. Given this issue, however, I had to use a native package in order to have OpenCL support. The version in the Mint repo is old, so I’m using the OBS package and OpenCL is enabled fine now.

One issue I’m still having is with my CKL KVM switch. Whenever I switch back to my desktop, the signal to my monitor disappears and I have no choice but to reboot. I spent several hours here as well but have given up for now. I’m not currently using the KVM switch anymore. I could be wrong, but I think it may have something to do with AMD’s ULPS (Ultra-Low Power State) “feature”. I found a few places outlining how to disable it on Windows, but nothing on Linux. If anyone has any suggestions for this, let me know.

This didn’t go fully as planned but I guess I’ll put up with it just to get away from Nvidia.