Starting off where AMD markets the card -- at 1080p resolutions using ultra settings -- what you may first notice is the card competing with and in 8 out of 11 titles, beating out a reference-clocked RTX 2060. While the margin of victory wasn’t big in most titles (an average of about 3 fps across all games) the new AMD card is still faster overall by about three-percent.
Compared to the GTX 1660 Ti, which starts out around $20 less than the $289 Sapphire Pulse OC, the 5600 XT is about 19% faster on average. I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t expect this card was going to punch up a weight class and reach 2060 performance levels, but it undoubtedly does.
The 5600 XT is still several percent slower than the RX 5700 and leaves the 5500 XT in the dust. In fact, there is so much room (performance- and price-wise) between the two AMD cards, there could be another SKU waiting in the wings. A 5600 non-XT variant has been mentioned around the web with more CUs disabled and slower memory, but this was confirmed by AMD to be an OEM-only part.
Part of the reason for this performance level is due to using the OC BIOS on the card. After we received an updated BIOS (our card was shipped with reference clocks and tested there initially), the card ran close to 1,700 MHz during the testing. This is compared to the 1,550 MHz the card ran with the reference BIOS or an increase of over 9-percent. Memory speeds were also boosted from the 1,500 MHz (288 GB/s) reference speeds to 1,750 MHz, increasing bandwidth by over 16-percent (288 GB/s to 336 GB/s). The performance will vary by card as each AMD partner card will have different clock speeds.
In the end, we saw a difference of around 10-percent from the reference speeds to using the updated BIOS on the OC setting. Note for the Sapphire Pulse OC we have, the public will be able to buy cards with the updated BIOS. Just flip the switch to the overclock position, reboot, and enjoy.
Ghost Recon: Breakpoint
Gears of War 5
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Far Cry 5
Final Fantasy XIV
Forza Horizon 4
MORE: Best Graphics Cards
MORE: All Graphics Content