Sapphire Pulse AMD RX 5600 XT Review

We’ve seen AMD’s higher-end Navi cards with the RX 5700 and the RX 5700XT, and the entry-level Navi GPU with the RX 5500 XT. But we hadn’t seen anything for the gamers who play in the mid-range. Finally, that wait is over too. With the launch of the RX 5600 XT, AMD seems to have covered all the segments. But was it worth waiting all this time? Today we find that out, with the Sapphire Pulse RX 5600 XT.

When it comes to specs, the RX 5600 XT is a huge improvement over the RX 5500 XT. Both cards are based on the same 7nm rDNA architecture, but while the RX 5500 XT has 1408 Stream Processors, the RX 5600 XT boasts of 2304 Stream Processors, just the same as the RX 5700. But while the RX 5700 has 8GB GDDR6 memory, the RX 5600 XT only has 6GB GDDR6 memory. Which is a bit puzzling, since the Sapphire website lists an RX 5500 XT variant with 8GB VRAM. One can only wonder what the thinking is behind that decision. The RX 5600 XT has a boost clock speed of 1750 MHz and is powered by a single 8-pin connector.

The Sapphire Pulse RX 5600 XT has a two-slot, dual fan design which is fairly standard, covered in a black and silver shroud with red highlights. The heat sink is decently big and there’s a backplate to support the card as well. For display options, the Sapphire RX 5600 XT comes with three DisplayPorts and one HDMI port.

AMD has added an impressive feature set to its GPU line-up, which every gamer can use to their advantage. One such feature is Radeon Anti-lag, which reduces input latency, or the delay between pressing a key and seeing the effect on the screen. Depending on the title, it can help reduce the input lag by up to 30%, giving you a massive advantage in multiplayer and competitive games. Another useful feature is Radeon Boost, that gives increases your framerate by dynamically reducing resolution during movements like camera rotation, and scales it back up once the movement stops. Both these features are useful for gamers looking to get the most out of their hardware. And then you have the benefit of FreeSync, supported by some of the most economical monitors as well. But how well does all that translate to gaming performance? Let’s take a look at the benchmarks and find out.

The RX 5600 XT’s performance is impressive to say the least. While NVIDIA has 4 GPUs aimed at the 1080p segment, the red team sweeps them up with a single card. It goes toe-to-toe with the RTX 2060, and depending on the game, even leaves it behind in some titles. AMD may have taken their sweet time, but they seemed to have come up with the perfect, no-frills graphics card for 1080p gamers, much like the GTX 1060 used to be when it first launched.

The question now becomes, should you buy the RX 5600 XT? It competes very closely with the RTX 2060, both in terms of performance and price, but the RTX 2060 offers a couple of extra features, namely RTX ray tracing and DLSS. There are two issues here; first, that there aren’t a lot of games out there that support these features. And the second issue is that the 2060 is just good enough to give you a taste of ray tracing, because it’s a heavy process and leads to a big drop in performance. On the other hand, AMD cards do suffer from driver issues every now and then, though that is a problem that’s not hard to rectify.

In the end, if your choice is between the RX 5600 XT and the RTX 2060, it mainly boils down to one question – how much do you care about ray tracing? Just go through the list of current and upcoming titles that have ray tracing support. If you think they’re the kind of games you’d enjoy more and want to see RTX in action, by all means go with the 2060. But if all you’re looking for is raw performance and want the best framerate at highest settings when gaming at 1080p, the RX 5600 XT is hands down the best option available in the market right now.

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Jasmeet Singh
Feb 29, 2020
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