AMD brought renewed focus to the premium end of the discrete graphics card market in the summer of 2019 with Navi-infused Radeon RX 5700 XT and RX 5700 GPUs now priced from £330 and £300, respectively. Battling against rival GeForce RTX 2060/2060 Super and 2070 GPUs from Nvidia, AMD’s performance duo continues to give a solid performance account.

But it’s not the £300-plus market that is important for high-volume sales. To that end, AMD released the Radeon RX 5500 XT, priced from £160 and mixing it up with the GeForce GTX 1650 Super/1660/1660 Super.

The clear pricing chasm between Navi-based cards is clear to see. This is why, as fully expected, AMD now populates the £250-plus segment with a new GPU. Enter the Radeon RX 5600 XT.

AMD’s mainstream GPU line-up

Radeon RX 5700 XT
Radeon RX 5700
Radeon RX 5600 XT
Radeon RX 5500 XT
Radeon RX Vega 56
Radeon RX 580
Launch date
Jul 2019
Jul 2019
Jan 2020
Dec 2019
Aug 2017
Apr 2017
Codename
Navi 10
Navi 10
Navi 10
Navi 14
Vega 10
Polaris 20
Architecture
RDNA
RDNA
RDNA
RDNA
GCN
GCN
Process (nm)
7
7
7
7
14
14
Transistors (bn)
10.3
10.3
10.3
6.4
12.5
5.7
Approx Die Size (mm²)
251
251
251
158
486
232
Shaders
2,560
2,304
2304
1,408
3,584
2,304
Texture Units
160
144
144
88
224
144
ROP Units
64
64
64
32
64
32
Boost Clock (MHz)
1,905
1,725
1,560
1,845
1,471
1,340
Game Clock (MHz)
1,755
1,625
1,375
1,717
Peak SP TFLOPS
9.75
7.95
7.02
5.20
10.54
6.17
Memory Type
GDDR6
GDDR6
GDDR6
GDDR6
HBM2
GDDR5
Memory Size (GB)
8
8
6
4 / 8
8
4 / 8
Memory Clock (MHz)
14,000
14,000
12,000
14,000
800
8,000
Memory Bus (bits)
256
256
192
128
2,048
256
Max Bandwidth (GB/s)
448
448
288
224
410
256
PCIe Support
Gen 4
Gen 4
Gen 4
Gen 4
Gen 3
Gen 3
Power Connectors
6+8
6+8
8
8
8+8
6
TDP (watts)
225
180
150
130
210
185
Launch MSRP
$399
$349
$279
$169 / $199
$399
$199 / $229

Read the full review here…

Conclusion

…well-built, extremely quiet, and an excellent interpretation of what we think a good GPU ought to be.

The Radeon RX 5600 XT launch has been anything but straightforward for AMD and its partners.

Price moves from Nvidia, particularly on its decent RTX 2060 card, have resulted in new RX 5600 XT OC BIOSes aimed at pushing performance enough to match or beat rival cards on framerate and price.

Based on the same Navi 10 die as the RX 5700 and XT models, albeit cut down with respect to memory-interface width – 192 bits from 256 – in-game performance is extremely solid at FHD and more than decent at QHD, which is exactly how AMD positions it.

Robust cooling from partners such as Sapphire easily handle the higher OC speeds that push the review card pretty damn close to RX 5700 Pulse speeds. It’s also well-built, extremely quiet, and an excellent interpretation of what we think a good GPU ought to be.

In isolation, then, the Sapphire RX 5600 XT Pulse is a very solid offering in every respect. But gamers don’t buy in isolation, and the RTX 2060 shadow looms large, especially at its lower price point and ever-expanding catalogue of RTX-enabled titles.

However, at £254.99, the Radeon’s pricing is lower than originally expected and just about right, making it a great choice for those whose budgets don’t extend too far.

Nvidia will cite baked-in RTX technology as a key differentiator in this space; AMD will look towards RIS and a number of improvements rolled into the latest drivers. The real winner is you, the PC gamer, as £250-£275 now offers excellent choices from both camps.

Bottom line: The Radeon RX 5600 XT OC is effectively an RX 5700 Lite at a much more aggressive price point. Whether you choose this or the rival RTX 2060 depends where you sit in terms of evaluating the worth of specific features, though be in no doubt; there has never been a better time to be a PC gamer.

The Good
The Bad
Well suited to high-quality 1080p gaming
Very solid build quality
Sapphire TRiXX offers extra value
Competitive pricing
Super-quiet at all times
Flashing palaver on initial cards
Memory capped to 14.9Gbps

 

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