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Radeon RX 6500 XT 8GB Only Costs $20 More Than 4GB Version

Pulse AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT 8GB
Pulse AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT 8GB (Image credit: Sapphire)

Sapphire's Pulse Radeon RX 6500 XT 8GB, which recently released, is now available for $229.99 (opens in new tab). The Navi 24-powered graphics card is only $20 more expensive than the vanilla Radeon RX 6500 XT, one of the best graphics cards around if you're on a serious budget.

One of the more questionable aspects of the Radeon RX 6500 XT was the 4GB of GDDR6 memory. In a blog post (opens in new tab) titled "Game Beyond 4GB," published in 2020, AMD argued that 4GB simple wasn't enough for modern gaming. Therefore, AMD's decision to incorporate only 4GB of memory into the Radeon RX 6500 XT still makes many scratch their heads. However, Sapphire's Pulse Radeon RX 6500 XT 8GB solves the Radeon RX 6500 XT's memory deficiency. Unfortunately, AMD doesn't officially list a Radeon RX 6500 XT 8GB on its website, so it would appear Sapphire produced the 8GB version out of its own volition, and we may not see other vendors follow suit.

The Pulse Radeon RX 6500 XT 8GB clocks in slightly faster than the Pulse Radeon RX 6500 XT 4GB. The 8GB model features a 2,695 MHz game clock and 2,855 MHz, whereas the 4GB variant comes with a 2,685 MHz game clock and a 2,825 MHz boost clock. That's less than a 2% difference. The most significant upgrade lies in the memory system.

Sapphire's new model comes with double the memory as the original. However, the memory still operates at 18 Gbps across a 64-bit memory interface. Therefore, the Pulse Radeon RX 6500 XT 8GB offers the same memory bandwidth of 143.9 GBps as any other Radeon RX 6500 XT.

The Radeon RX 6500 XT is a 107W graphics card. Sapphire rates the 4GB and 8GB models with a board power of 130W. However, the slightly faster clock speeds and the double memory forced the manufacturer to swap PCIe power connectors. As a result, the Pulse Radeon RX 6500 XT 8GB has an 8-pin PCIe power connector as opposed to the 6-pin one on the 4GB counterpart. Display outputs still come down to a single HDMI 2.1 port and DisplayPort 1.4 output.

The Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 6500 XT 8GB retails for $229.99 (opens in new tab) on Newegg. That was the original price tag on the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 6500 XT 4GB. The 4GB model sells for $209.99 (opens in new tab) before discounts and promotions. You get double the memory for $20 (10%). The problem is that other custom Radeon RX 6500 XT 4GB models start at $185, so the Sapphire graphics card already carries a premium over its rival. To worsen the situation, the Radeon RX 6600 is available for as low as $259.99. For many consumers, it makes sense to go up to the Radeon RX 6600, which already sports 8GB and offers significantly higher performance.

Zhiye Liu
RAM Reviewer and News Editor

Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.

  • artk2219
    Get one in for testing so we can see if it makes much of a difference please!
    Reply
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    Yeah, it's a bit ridiculous that any new video card isn't at least 8GB from the beginning. Usage of video memory has only gone up, not down. So both Nvidia and AMD (well, and Intel also, I guess) should make 8GB the standard minimum amount for dGPUs. Only integrated should be allowed to go lower, and that's just because they are generally sharing main RAM.
    Reply
  • King_V
    @artk2219 I concur. I am VERY curious to see how much of a difference the extra VRAM makes.

    Further, how much this helps when such a card is in a PCIe 3.0 system, as compared to its 4GB counterparts.

    Yet another contender in the Battle of the Bantam-Weight GPUs! @JarredWaltonGPU , is a 6500XT 8GB going to be entering the ring soon?
    Reply
  • JarredWaltonGPU
    King_V said:
    @artk2219 I concur. I am VERY curious to see how much of a difference the extra VRAM makes.

    Further, how much this helps when such a card is in a PCIe 3.0 system, as compared to its 4GB counterparts.

    Yet another contender in the Battle of the Bantam-Weight GPUs! @JarredWaltonGPU , is a 6500XT 8GB going to be entering the ring soon?
    I can see if we can get the card for testing. I suspect Sapphire won't send us a review sample, but I'll at least ask. ¯\(ツ)
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    2Be_or_Not2Be said:
    Yeah, it's a bit ridiculous that any new video card isn't at least 8GB from the beginning. Usage of video memory has only gone up, not down.
    4GB makes sense when the target price point is $120-160, can't have more VRAM than the budget allows. Not so much at $200+.

    While 8GB may help relieve the 3.0x4 squeeze from having to rely more heavily on system memory when pushing details beyond 4GB, I suspect memory bandwidth will still be somewhat problematic.

    Intel's A380 may have the best overall hardware feature mix at the ~$150 price point. Too bad it doesn't have the driver maturity and raw raster performance to match.
    Reply
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    InvalidError said:
    4GB makes sense when the target price point is $120-160, can't have more VRAM than the budget allows. Not so much at $200+.

    While 8GB may help relieve the 3.0x4 squeeze from having to rely more heavily on system memory when pushing details beyond 4GB, I suspect memory bandwidth will still be somewhat problematic.

    Intel's A380 may have the best overall hardware feature mix at the ~$150 price point. Too bad it doesn't have the driver maturity and raw raster performance to match.

    Well, I dare say if you can't afford another $20 at the $120-160 range, then you likely shouldn't be buying a new video card at all. Stick with integrated until you can get the extra $20.
    Reply