Shop carefully: Some Radeon RX 5600 XT graphics cards are much faster than others

    AMD’s $279 Radeon RX 5600 XT launched this week, and it goes toe-to-toe with Nvidia’s highly effective $350 GeForce RTX 2060, almost matching even AMD’s own $350 Radeon RX 5700 in a number of video games. Sometimes. Other occasions, it’s merely an okay different to the $279 GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, which itself was successfully rendered out of date by the launch of the $230 GeForce GTX 1660 Super final fall. Talk about Jekyll and Hyde. It all is dependent upon which customized mannequin you purchase, and whether or not that card has the right software program preinstalled.

    What a large number.

    We defined the drama in our Radeon RX 5600 XT review, however the last-second releases of recent, performance-enhancing VBIOSes are price highlighting individually as a result of it implies that some fashions are a lot sooner than others. We additionally spent over an hour untangling the mess on our Full Nerd podcast, which you’ll be able to watch beneath. End customers ought to nearly by no means have to fret about what VBIOS their graphics playing cards are operating, nevertheless it’s essential with the Radeon RX 5600 XT.

    Here’s every little thing it’s good to know.

    Why AMD made the Radeon RX 5600 XT sooner (generally)

    AMD announced the Radeon RX 5600 XT at CES 2019. It options the identical GPU because the extra highly effective Radeon RX 5700, however clocked at decrease speeds, and paired with slower, much less spacious GDDR6 reminiscence. AMD pitched it as the last word 1080p graphics card, surpassing the equally priced GTX 1660 Ti. And it does, albeit barely!

    But Nvidia pulled a sneaky on AMD. Rather than competing in opposition to the Radeon RX 5600 XT by slashing the value of the GTX 1660 Ti, it as a substitute minimize prices on the $350 GeForce RTX 2060, its entry-level ray tracing and 1440p gaming choice. EVGA revealed the $300 GeForce RTX 2060 KO at CES 2019 (which we’ll be reviewing quickly). The week after, Nvidia dropped the value of its personal GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition to match. Other board makers then hit $300 through gross sales and promotions. Suddenly, AMD’s latest graphics card was competing in opposition to a way more highly effective Nvidia GPU.


    The Radeon RX 5600 XT’s reference specs.

    Instead of pulling one other “jebaited” and decreasing its personal costs on the final minute, AMD countered Nvidia’s new risk by leaning on the truth that its board companions (like Sapphire, MSI, and PowerColor) had been overbuilding many customized Radeon RX 5600 XT designs. Mere days earlier than the Radeon RX 5600 XT’s January 21 launch, with {hardware} already within the fingers of reviewers and inventory already on the best way to retailer cabinets, AMD let its companions launch supercharged new Radeon RX 5600 XT VBIOSes—rising the facility restrict, GPU clocks, and reminiscence speeds.

    With the brand new VBIOS in place, the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5600 XT we tested elevated its efficiency by roughly 10 p.c, going from a ho-hum GTX 1660 Ti competitor to a full-fledged GeForce RTX 2060 rival.

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