Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5600 XT review: Punching above its class

With the release of the $279 Radeon RX 5600 XT, AMD’s completing off the mainstream push for its state of the art “Navi” structure via aiming for PC gaming’s candy spot, the no-compromises 1080p enviornment these days ruled via Nvidia’s trio of GeForce GTX 1660 graphics playing cards. It greater than will get the activity accomplished—particularly in the event you get the appropriate overclocked fashion, provided with a supercharged BIOS.

Sure, the Radeon RX 5600 XT may also be a lot sooner than AMD at first claimed, however you wish to have to leap thru some hoops to reach the ones speeds in the event you’re an early purchaser, including a regrettable layer of misunderstanding.

Within the default configuration introduced at CES 2020, the cardboard does a forged activity of matching up with Nvidia’s identically priced $279 GeForce GTX 1660 Ti. It’s excellent! However mere days prior to the cardboard’s release, AMD despatched us a brand new BIOS for the customized $289 Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5600 XT on our take a look at bench. This BIOS driven the ability limits to new ranges, which allowed Sapphire to crank up the overclock at the GPU and the already blazing-fast GDDR6 reminiscence. 

Speak about an improve! With the ones unlocked functions, the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5600 XT shifted from a forged GTX 1660 Ti choice to a full-on rival for the $350 GeForce RTX 2060—and AMD’s personal $350 Radeon RX 5700. AMD says make a selection different fashions will obtain the turbocharged BIOS as neatly. 

“Jebaited,” spherical two, or a reaction to a few GeForce RTX 2060 fashions losing to $300 within the days forward of the Radeon RX 5600 XT’s release? Giddy-up both method.

AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT: Specifications, options, value

Let’s kick issues off via having a look on the Radeon RX 5600 XT’s introduced configuration, which stays AMD’s really useful reference design specifications.

radeon rx 5600 xt specs AMD

Right here’s how we described the design in our authentic protection:

“The Radeon RX 5600 XT is largely a down-clocked model of the $350 Radeon RX 5700 with a discounted reminiscence configuration. Its 36 compute devices pack the similar 2,304 flow processor depend, however clocked a lot decrease, at 1375 recreation and 1560 spice up clocks. By means of comparability, the reference Radeon RX 5700 hit 1,625MHz recreation clocks (the everyday clock speeds you’ll be able to be expecting to peer whilst gaming).

And whilst the pricier RX 5700-series stored their GPUs fed with 8GB of GDDR6 RAM over a 256-bit reminiscence bus, the brand new Radeon RX 5600 XT sticks to 6GB of 12Mbps GDDR6 reminiscence over a 192-bit bus. Don’t scoff, regardless that: Shifting to sooner GDDR6 reminiscence provides the Radeon RX 5600 XT an total reminiscence bandwidth of 288GBps, whilst the older Radeon RX 590’s GDDR5 RAM best hit 256GBps total bandwidth regardless of the use of a much wider 256-bit bus and a bigger 8GB capability.”

The Radeon RX 5600 XT can even toughen the fashionable options commonplace to all “Navi” GPUs, corresponding to PCIe toughen, massively larger energy potency, and the newest show and media engines. AMD’s new card additionally helps all of the fancy options enabled via Radeon Instrument Adrenalin 2020 Version, corresponding to Radeon Spice up, Radeon Symbol Sprucing, and Radeon Anti-Lag. They’re all excellent stuff.

radeon rx 5600 xt specs AMD

Reference specifications for the RX 5600 XT.

There shall be no reference version of the RX 5600 XT. As an alternative, all of the playing cards on retailer cabinets from January 21 onward shall be customized designs via AMD’s board companions. Be expecting maximum to persist with a unmarried Eight-pin supplementary energy connection.

Out of the field, the Sapphire Pulse equipped for evaluate caught to AMD’s 150-watt most energy allotment, which allowed the corporate to push the sport clock as much as 1,560MHz—already a just about 200MHz spice up over the reference spec. That allowed it to compare up neatly in opposition to a closely overclocked Asus ROG Strix model of the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, as you’ll see in our benchmarks.

Then AMD despatched us the brand new BIOS.

Radeon RX 5600 XT unlocked and unleashed

Whilst the Radeon RX 5600 XT includes a other reminiscence configuration, take into account that it’s rocking the similar core GPU configuration as its larger sibling, the Radeon RX 5700, however with diminished energy and clock limits. The brand new BIOS closes the space.

The quicker BIOS for the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5600 XT u.s.a.the overall board energy from 150W to 160W. That allow Sapphire crank the cardboard’s Recreation Clock to one,615MHz and spice up GDDR6 reminiscence speeds from 12Mbps to 14Mbps. It’s a considerable improve, and one who’s surprising to peer enabled, as with it, the $289 Sapphire Pulse RX 5600 XT comes damned with reference to the $350 Radeon RX 5700’s functionality in numerous video games.

sapphire pulse radeon rx 5600 xt 6 Brad Chacos/IDG

Now for the unhealthy information. This appears to be a last-minute addition. It got here past due within the trying out cycle, and if you are going to buy some of the first wave of playing cards on retailer cabinets, it could come provided with the slower BIOS. Sapphire tells me that the majority playing cards in North The united states will send with the brand new BIOS put in, however in case yours doesn’t, you’ll be capable to snag the brand new BIOS totally free straight away: “Sapphire shall be offering the brand new VBIOS, detailed directions, and the software to its website online for customers to make the alternate themselves come January 21,” an AMD consultant instructed PCWorld. “Shifting ahead, all new manufacturing devices will function the brand new VBIOS.”

If you are going to buy the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5600 XT on day one, take a look at its stats in GPU-Z or some other hardware-checking software. The slower authentic BIOS will display a 1355 GPU clock and 1,620MHz spice up clock, whilst the upgraded BIOS displays a 1420 GPU clock and 1,750MHz spice up clock. When you have the slower model, you’ll want to talk over with Sapphire’s product web page for the cardboard to select up the quicker firmware. It must be to be had day one and takes mere mins to put in the use of the ATI Flash software. Sapphire’s documentation must stroll you during the procedure.

It’s irritating having to improve your BIOS out of the field for absolute best functionality, and you’ve got to know that you just must move in search of the BIOS to get it, however the upgraded firmware makes an enormous distinction.

It sounds just like the Pulse received’t be the one card receiving the improve, both. Once we requested whether or not this BIOS can be distinctive to Sapphire, we have been instructed the next:

“In keeping with ongoing trying out with AMD board companions, we’ve raised the GPU core and reminiscence frequencies for overclocked Radeon RX 5600 XT SKUs to profit from larger thermal and electric headroom constructed into spouse’s customized designs. The up to date VBIOS has been made to be had to our board companions for inclusion in make a selection OC SKUs at release. AMD is devoted to disrupting the marketplace with industry-leading compute merchandise, and the brand new VBIOS makes the Radeon RX 5600 XT an much more robust contender for high-performance 1080p gaming. Up to now introduced product specifications are unchanged, as they continue to be AMD’s really useful reference design specifications.”

Meet the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5600 XT

Sapphire could also be most renowned for its killer enthusiast-class Nitro+ graphics playing cards, however the corporate’s value-oriented Pulse line has carved out a pleasant area of interest for itself, too. As we’ve already noticed within the Radeon RX 5500 XT and 5700 variants, Pulse-series graphics playing cards supply some welcome additional options for a trifling $10 upcharge.

sapphire pulse radeon rx 5600 xt 8 Brad Chacos/IDG

The $289 Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5600 XT is not any exception. Like its cousins, the cardboard gives a fab, quiet dual-axial cooler design, accented via an illuminated Sapphire brand and a fetching steel backplate. Backplates are uncommon in graphics playing cards that stick with reference to MSRP pricing.

Much more uncommon? A dual-BIOS transfer—however the Sapphire Pulse has a kind of, too. The default “Efficiency” BIOS makes use of the configuration described above, however a secondary “Silent” BIOS specializes in stepped forward acoustics and temperatures via sacrificing some functionality. It runs at 135W, with slower GPU and reminiscence speeds. Be expecting functionality nearer to reference ranges with it enabled.

The cardboard additionally contains an idle fan prevent function, so it’s silent whilst you’re no longer actively gaming.

Sapphire equipped the Pulse with a unmarried Eight-pin energy connector, a trio of DisplayPorts, and a unmarried HDMI connection. You’ll want an adapter (or higher but, a brand new observe) if you wish to have a DVI or VGA connection. Like any fashionable Radeon GPUs, the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5600 XT works routinely with FreeSync-compatible presentations to allow buttery-smooth, tearing-free gaming and not using a trouble.

sapphire pulse radeon rx 5600 xt 9 Brad Chacos/IDG

The best trick up Sapphire’s sleeve within the Navi generation is its exceptional Trixx Spice up function, activated by way of the corporate’s non-compulsory Trixx tool. Trixx Spice up pairs a reasonably downscaled solution tweak with AMD’s very good Radeon Symbol Sprucing era to reach sooner functionality with little too no visible downgrade, relying on how aggressively you choose to downscale the picture. We didn’t have time to check the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5500 XT with Trixx Spice up enabled—trying out each the unique and new BIOS took numerous time—however we extremely counsel giving it a whirl. Sapphire’s era received “Perfect innovation” in our Complete Nerd Podcast’s 2019 awards for a explanation why.

Take a look at our Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5700 evaluate for a complete walkthrough of the function, and our Pulse RX 500 XT evaluate to peer our reports the use of Trixx Spice up at 1080p, the solution that the Radeon RX 5600 XT was once designed for.

Subsequent web page: Our take a look at gadget, functionality benchmarks start

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