August 10, 2022
Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5600 XT 6G Review

The launch of the AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT was something else but straightforward. AMD announced its latest mid-range graphics offering at CES in January this year for $279 (roughly Rs.19,890), calling it the “ultimate GPU for 1080p gaming”. AMD’s official promotional material showed it outshining the similarly priced Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti in several games. It was positioned as the ideal upgrade over the Radeon RX 590 series or the iconic GeForce GTX 1060, which are now relatively old but still widely used.

Nvidia decided to try to spoil the party by unofficially cutting the prices of its GeForce RTX 2060. At least in the US, people reported seeing the model on sale for $299 (approximately Rs 21,320), down from the official $349 (approximately Rs 24,885). Launch Price – It should be noted that the prices in India have not come down at all.

AMD responded in an unprecedented way – by changing the specifications of the Radeon RX 5600 XT after its launch. More specifically, it offered a new BIOS to distribute to its board partners, which lets them increase the TDP from 150W to 160W and the memory speed from 12Gbps to 14Gbps, as well as increase the GPU Boost speed. While a performance improvement is nice, not all Radeon RX 5600 XT graphics cards can handle these new parameters, and therefore not all will be updated to run on these specifications.

As you can imagine, this has created confusion in the market. The different models on sale right now have very different specifications, going far beyond the typical “factory overclock” or “performance mode” that manufacturers usually enforce. We’re reviewing the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5600 XT 6G graphics card today, which benefits from this BIOS update, and we’ll try to navigate the situation so you know what you’re getting.

sapphire pulse radeon rx5600xt shroud ndtv radeon

The oversized shroud holds two 95mm fans

AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT Specifications and Features

As its name suggests, this model lies in between the Radeon RX 5700 and Radeon RX 5500 series. While these two product lines are targeted at 1440p and 1080p resolutions respectively, the new Radeon RX 5600 XT addresses the relatively small space between them. This is purely a strategic release to hit a price point that will hurt Nvidia, and so AMD defines this GPU’s target audience as those who want the best possible 1080p gaming experience with all quality settings.

The Radeon RX 5600 XT uses the same GPU as the Radeon RX 5700, only a few specifications have changed. It is based on the RDNA architecture, codenamed Navi, which was unveiled last year. You get 2,304 execution units called “stream processors,” the same as the Radeon RX 5700 but with 6GB of GDDR6 memory instead of 8GB, and the stock clocks in at less.

There’s no reference design card from AMD this time around. On board partners are free to design their own coolers and ship factory-overclocked models—this BIOS plays into the update state, allowing higher clocks on some Radeon RX 5600 XT cards.

AMD also talks about its drivers and software features. The most useful of these are Radeon Image Sharpening, a method of enhancing low-resolution games with little performance impact; Radeon Boost, which allows some games to trade resolution for framerate on the fly; and Radeon Chill, which lets you cap the framerate so that your GPU runs cooler and quieter.

sapphire pulse radeon rx5600xt rear ndtv radeon

Metal backplate provides some rigidity and design flair

Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5600 XT 6G Features and Specs

For this review we have the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5600 XT 6G, one of those graphics cards that could benefit from a new BIOS. If you choose to purchase this card, you should make sure it shipped with the new BIOS, or update it yourself. at the time of its launchSapphire specified the “game clock” speed (which is AMD’s term for constant speed under load) as 1560MHz and the boost clock speed as 1620MHz. post update, these are increased to 1615 MHz and 1750 MHz respectively – both are quite high. The memory clock has increased to 14Gbps and the TDP is now 160W to accommodate the thermal demands of this high performance.

If that wasn’t enough, Sapphire’s graphics card has a BIOS switch on the top that lets users decide between Display and Silent BIOS profiles. The specifications above are implemented in performance mode, while silent mode pushes TDP up to 135W, game clock up to 1460MHz, and memory clock up to 12Gbps.

The Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5600 XT 6G is physically a huge graphics card. The shroud is significantly longer, longer, and thicker than the circuit board, and will block more than two slots in your PC cabinet. The shroud itself is embellished in black and silver with orange-red accents, and it may not be to everyone’s taste, but it will most likely be hidden when the card is installed.

Sapphire has managed to make room for two large 95mm fans and a chunky aluminum heatsink. There’s also an aluminum backplate and an illuminated red sapphire logo on top. The shroud itself is decked out in black and silver with orange-red accents, and it may not be to everyone’s taste, but it most likely will work when this card is installed on your PC’s case.

This graphics card requires a single 8-pin PCIe power connector. You get three DisplayPort 1.4 outputs and an HDMI port on the back. Dust preventers are included for the ports, which we always appreciate. Sapphire recommends that you have at least a 450W power supply for your PC overall, although 500W is recommended.

sapphire pulse radon rx5600xt bios ndtv radon

You can choose between silent and display mode

Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5600 XT 6G Performance

Our unit was one of the first production batches of Sapphire that did not have the new BIOS installed. It is possible that many such boxes will already be in warehouses and retail shelves in India, and hopefully buyers will know that they can get more performance out of these cards than they are.

Sapphire’s website does notice a major BIOS update, but doesn’t make it clear that implementing it means a significant potential performance improvement. The update process is also not completely risk free. There are two different BIOSes to be implemented, for Silent and Performance modes, and you’ll need to shut down your PC and flip the BIOS switch to make sure the card is in the correct mode before applying each. Our test bench tried to update the card for the first time, and we luckily were able to reboot it without bricking the graphics card.

Once we got the update up and running, we noticed a substantial change in the stats reported by the GPU-Z Diagnostic Tool. Base and Boost clock speeds were raised to their new levels, and as a result of those changes, the pixel fill rate increased from 103.7GPix/s to 112GPix/s. Memory bandwidth also ranged from 288GBps to 336GBps, thanks to an increase in GDDR6 speeds.

sapphire pulse radeon rx5600xt gpuz ndtv radeon

GPU-Z Diagnostic Report before (left) and after (right) updating BIOS

For our tests, we used our standard review bench which included an AMD Ryzen 7 2700X CPU, Gigabyte Aorus X470 Gaming 7 Wifi motherboard, 2x8GB G.skill DDR4 RAM, a 1TB Samsung SSD 860 Evo boot drive, Corsair RM650 power supply created using . , and the Asus PB287Q 4K Monitor. We have also downloaded the latest publicly available AMD Radeon drivers.

We ran the 3DMark benchmark suite before and after updating the BIOS so that we could understand the difference. The Time Spy test gave us 6,957 points before the update and 7,649 after the update. Similarly, Fire Strike Ultra’s score increased from 4,994 to 5,507 points. The accelerated World War Z game benchmark at 1920×1080 ran at 47fps and 53fps when using its Ultra and High presets before the BIOS update. After the process, those figures increased to 51fps and 57fps, respectively.

One of the advantages of a giant cooler is that the fans can spin at a slower and quieter speed, and can even spin fully when the GPU isn’t stressed. However, we did feel that the fans of the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5600 XT were a bit loud after the update.

For the rest of our tests, we focused on running games at 1920×1080, with their quality presets reaching their highest level as AMD’s goals and claims. We played Middle-earth: Shadow of War on its Ultra preset with TAA enabled and got a very good score of 87fps. As the game’s built in benchmarks progressed, there was little to no screen jitter. Metro: Last Light Redux gave us 81.84fps on its Very High preset with SSAA turned on.

Similarly, we ran through Far Cry 5 which looked great. Using the Ultra preset at 1920×1080, we got an average of 83fps and things looked perfectly smooth. Shadow of the Tomb Raider, another popular game, looked great even at 1920×1080 using its highest preset with TAA and 8xAF enabled. This benchmark ran at a very comfortable average of 91fps.

During the manual playthrough of Battlefield V on the Ultra preset, we did notice a slight stutter in some parts but overall the experience was great. The game’s built-in frame counter showed us performance except in heavy battle scenes, hovering around the 110fps mark. Similarly, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt gave us an average of 83fps, with graphics set to Ultra and post-processing set to High.

It looks like you’ll be able to play most current and recent games at 1920×1080 with all quality settings at a solid 60fps with ease, which is essentially what AMD promised. There’s little headroom so 2560×1440 is within reach, with relatively minor compromises required. We see performance that’s generally equal to or better than the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, though it doesn’t quite reach the framerates that the GeForce RTX 2060 can deliver.

Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX5600XT Active NDTV Radeon

Fans spin only when GPU is dealing with heavy workloads

Decision

The main thing to keep in mind is that not all Radeon RX 5600 XT graphics cards will run at the same speed and offer the same level of performance. It will be very important to check the specifications of different graphics cards thoroughly before buying one.

If you know you’re not going to buy a monitor with a resolution higher than 1920×1080 for the next few years, you don’t need anything better than this. That said, AMD usually has trouble matching Nvidia’s prices in India, even for products that are priced exactly the same in other parts of the world. The Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5600 XT 6G is actually priced higher than it should be, Rs. 26,499, and you can get a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card for less than Rs. 23,000

This wipes out AMD’s advantage with this GPU in many other countries. In fact, GeForce RTX 2060 cards that perform slightly better and benefit from ray tracing can cost around Rs. 25,500 now, and it would also make sense to go in that direction for future proofing.

The Radeon RX 5600 XT GPU is one of AMD’s most competitive offerings in the GPU space in a long time, and we’d have no trouble recommending it if the price was right. The Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5600 XT 6G is a well-built card with no obvious flaws. It’s priced well when compared to other Radeon RX 5600 XT cards, but it just isn’t enough to beat Nvidia in India. However, when you are making your purchase decision, you should check whether deals, discounts and game bundles change this situation.

Price (MOP): Rupee. 26,499

professionals

  • 1920×1080 . excellent performance on
  • power efficient
  • Runs silently even under load

Shortcoming

Rating (out of 5)
Display: 4
Value for money: 3.5
Overall: 4

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