AMD’s 5600 XT, specifically the Sapphire Pulse OC used for testing, has really shown some mettle in our performance tests, being able to match and perform a bit better than Nvidia’s more costly (even after price drops) reference RTX 2060. It did so while using less power, too. EVGA’s pre-emptive strike lowering prices during CES 2020 week and other partners now seemingly joining the movement, now seems like a necessary response.
But of course if you’re intrigued by Nvidia’s RTX features for much-improved lighting and reflections in some games, the future-looking feature could be worth paying a bit extra for.
Performance will, of course, vary between vendor and cards due to the difference in clock speeds between 5600 XT models. But if you have one that is able to sustain clocks close to that 1,700 MHz range and along with the bump in memory speeds over reference, the RTX 2060 has some stiff competition.
Compared to the RX 5700 it is based on, the higher-end card still performs several percentage points better. There is a large price and performance gap between the 5600 XT and 5500 XT, but this gap will be filled only in the OEM space at this time. Those who seek performance and price ranges between them will have to look an older Vega 56 or similar-performing Polaris-based cards, or to variations of the Nvidia 1660 Ti.
The Sapphire card we used for testing and the Dual-X cooling solution does a good job of keeping the card’s temperatures in an acceptable range. It does so without drawing attention to itself and is quiet throughout testing. The high clocks (1,750 MHz Boost/ ~1,700 MHz actual) and 14 Gbps memory (versus 12 Gbps reference) takes this card to a different level.
Pricing on the Sapphire RX 5600 XT Pulse OC will be $289. This is $10 over the pricing AMD announced ($279) but is expected as the Pulse OC has much higher specifications than the reference model. Games are not included with this SKU, however AMD is offering 3 months of Xbox game pass with the purchase. If we compare this to the RTX 2060, it comes in at $299 (opens in new tab) or more and is, overall, slightly slower than the Pulse OC. Power use is also a bit less. AMD really hit its target with the 5600 XT, in particular with card partner’s higher clocks and performance.
Compared to the 5500 XT launch, which was marred with a less-than-stellar driver along with a price-to-performance ratio that wasn’t positive versus its competition, the 5600 XT is a complete 180. Here the card will compete with or beat the reference RTX 2060, costs a bit less, and uses a bit less power. AMD really hit the sweet spot here on all fronts, especially with the highly clocked models. If you’re looking for a graphics card that can easily handle 1080p and even most games in 1440p, the RX 5600 XT is a great choice in the sub $300 range.
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