by Rob Williams on February 4, 2020 in Graphics & Displays
AMD’s latest gaming GPU to join its Radeon Navi family is the RX 5600 XT. With its price-point, and 6GB framebuffer, the RX 5600 XT takes NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 2060 head-on. We’re taking a look at the card with both its reference BIOS, as well as its performance-boosting BIOS, which will bump both the GPU and memory clocks.
AMD had quite a bit to talk about at this year’s CES, but not surprisingly, the lion’s share of the attention went towards the company’s upcoming 64-core Ryzen Threadripper 3990X. The company came prepared with some graphics treats, though, having unveiled its latest Navi lineup addition: Radeon RX 5600 XT. Where’s 5800 XT or 5900 XT? “Big Navi” is due this year (maybe), so it seems likely those will be intertwined.
At the launch of the 5600 XT, there was quite a bit of confusion about what it was supposed to be. Ahead of the embargo lift, AMD asked reviewers to update the BIOS on their provided sample, which in the case of our Sapphire Pulse resulted in a ~10% performance uplift.
RX 5600 XT reference specs are 1375MHz Game Clock, 1560MHz Boost Clock, and 12Gbps memory. That configuration hits a total graphics power (TGP) of 150W. The BIOS we were provided boosted that TGP to 160W, a result from improving the memory to 14Gbps, and increasing the Game Clock to 1615MHz, and Boost Clock to 1750MHz.
At launch, it seemed fair to dump the results generated from the old BIOS, but in reality, those are still “reference” for this GPU. Because of that, we’re including performance from both the BIOS with reference clocks, and also the upgraded version, which can be grabbed from Sapphire’s website. As of the time of writing, all of the Pulse models we find at etail reference the 12Gbps clocks, so you will assuredly have to manually flash the BIOS after purchase (which is not difficult).
Here’s AMD’s current lineup:
||AMD’s Radeon Gaming GPU Lineup
|RX 5700 XT Anniv.
||8 GB 1
|RX 5700 XT
||8 GB 1
||8 GB 1
|RX 5600 XT
||6 GB 1
||6 GB 1
|RX 5500 XT
||8 GB 1
||8 GB 3
If there’s one strange spec with the RX 5600 XT, it’s the fact that it bundles in 6GB of GDDR6, whereas the lower-end RX 5500 XT sports up to 8GB (although it typically sells with only 4GB). The downgrade in memory comes with the trade-off of offering better bandwidth, from 224GB/s on the 5500 XT to 288GB/s on the reference 5600 XT. One of the 14Gbps 5600 XT models will further boost that to 336GB/s.
With that all covered, let’s move onto a quick look at our test setup, and then get right into testing:
A Look At Test Methodology
All of the GPUs have been tested with current (as of the time the round of testing began) drivers, and with an up-to-date Windows 10 (1909). Our operating system is kept clean and optimized to reduce benchmark interference, ensuring accurate results. V-Sync, G-SYNC, and FreeSync are disabled at the monitor and driver level. Both Intel’s chipset driver and Management Engine (ME) are updated to the latest versions.
Games Tested & Vendor Neutrality
A total of eight games are included in this particular test suite. Here’s the full list, along with their developer allegiances:
- Borderlands 3 – AMD partner
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- F1 2019
- Metro Exodus – NVIDIA partner
- Monster Hunter World
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider – NVIDIA partner
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege – NVIDIA partner
- Total War: Three Kingdoms
- UL 3DMark & VRMark
- Unigine Superposition
Note: You can download all of the tested setting images at once here (ZIP, 4MB).