Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5700 XT Review: Cooler and Quieter Than AMD’s Reference Card

Performance Results: 3840 x 2160

The pursuit of playable performance at 3840 x 2160 with quality settings maxed out takes us back a few years. Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1080 came close to making 4K an enjoyable experience, while the 1080 Ti pushed performance up one tier higher. With Sapphire’s Pulse Radeon RX 5700 XT nestling in between those two cards, smooth frame rates at 4K should be—and is, in most games—an achievable target.

The notable exceptions include Final Fantasy XV, where even the High quality settings hammer performance across the board. GeForce RTX 2080, the fastest card we tested, fails to break an average frame rate of 50. Both Tom Clancy games punish our pool as well. We benchmark The Division 2 using its Ultra preset, while Ghost Recon is evaluated using the Very High preset. Consider coming down at least one level in either game if you’re serious about pushing these cards to 3840 x 2160.

More serious issues affect Metro Exodus at 4K, where much of the field is playable. But the three Navi-based cards endure serious frame time spikes that hammer their average frame rates. Tweaking the game’s settings doesn’t change our benchmark’s outcome so we’re inclined to flag this one a bug that AMD’s driver team needs to address. Company representatives say they’re investigating.

Battlefield V (DX12)

Destiny 2 (DX11)

Far Cry 5 (DX11)

Final Fantasy XV (DX11)

Forza Horizon 4 (DX12)

Grand Theft Auto V (DX11)

Metro: Exodus (DX12)

Shadow of the Tomb Raider (DX12)

Strange Brigade (Vulkan)

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 (DX12)

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon (DX11)

The Witcher 3 (DX11)