Clock speeds in Furmark varied, but not nearly as much as some previous cards. In this case, with the Sapphire RX 5500 XT Pulse, Furmark clocks averaged around 1,721 MHz, around 70 MHz less than the gaming clocks. This value still managed to be above the Gaming Rate, likely due to the power limit being set around 135W, where with others the limit isn’t substantially higher.
We used CPUz logging to measure the card’s power consumption with the Metro: Exodus benchmark running at 2560 x 1440 using the default Ultra settings. The tested cards are warmed up prior to benchmarking and started after settling to an idle temperature (after about 10 minutes). The benchmark is looped a total of five times, which yields around 10 minutes of testing. In the charts you will see a few blips in power use, which is a result of the benchmark starting the next loop.
We also use Furmark to capture worst-case power readings. Although both Nvidia and AMD consider the application to be a “power virus,” or program that deliberately taxes the components beyond normal limits, the data we can gather from it offers useful information about a card’s capabilities outside of typical gaming loads.
Power draw when gaming on the 4G Sapphire RX 5500 XT Pulse peaked at 115W and averaged around 102W throughout testing. This compares well to the GTX 1650 Super, which averaged just a bit less, around 98W. AMD’s next card up in the stack, the Radeon RX 5700 was up around 140W average. The outgoing XFX RX 590 Fat Boy averaged 140W.
We can see the 7nm process and architectural changes with RDNA have paid off when compared to Polaris-based offerings and even the Nvidia cards (though they use a larger 12nm finFET process). Put simply, power differences between comparable cards will not be an issue in heat or on your power bill. AMD has done a lot better on this front.
In Furmark, we saw power shoot up to an average of 133W, 33%-plus more than the gaming draw. 135W seems to be where the power limit is set on this card when running default settings. The XFX RX 590 Fat boy averages 149W. Nothing out of the ordinary here.
Temperatures, Fan Speeds and Clock Rates
In order to see how each video card behaves, like the power testing, we use GPUz logging in one-second intervals to capture data. Game testing is done looping the Metro: Exodus benchmark five times at Ultra settings running at 2560x1440 resolution.
We also used Furmark to capture some of the data below, which offers a more consistent load and uses slightly more power, regardless of the fact that the clock speeds and voltages are limited. These data sets give insight into worst-case situations, along with a load other than gaming.
The Sapphire RX 5500 XT Pulse and its Dual-X cooling solution managed to keep the card at 71C or less during Metro: Exodus testing. At the time of this writing, we do not have a direct comparison, but we know the cooler does an adequate job of keeping temps under control and did so without a lot of noise. Time will tell if other models will be more effective.
The Dual-X’s 90mm fans are off when idle but ramp up to 1,000 RPM quickly once temperatures reach 50C. Fan speeds varied wildly on this cooler, ranging from around 800 to 1,000 RPM. While we could not hear the fan changing speeds during testing, we normally do not see such consistent variations in tests. The fans are audible on load, but overall quiet and mixed in well with the three Corsair fans on the H115i, along with another chassis fan for air movement across the test bench.
Clock speeds on this card during gaming averaged 1,794 MHz, peaking at 1,829 MHz. Per usual, we do not see the advertised AMD Boost clocks, but on this particular card, it is a lot closer than we have seen with the 5700 XTs reviewed previously, where they were closer to the game rate.
Fan speeds when running Furmark were more stable throughout this testing. The loads Furmark puts on the card are more consistent and, in almost all cases, hit the built-in power limit. Fan speeds ranged from around 900 RPM to 1,100 RPM. Roughly midway through the test, the heatsink is close to being saturated and the fan speeds stabilize, keeping the card around the same temperature.
Temperatures in Furmark were a bit higher than gaming, reaching a peak of 74C. From the power testing earlier, we saw Furmark use over 30W more, so this result makes sense. It looks like there is headroom for overclocking, at least in regards to power limit.
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