The Radeon RX 5600 XT: Launch issues and benchmark performance

This AMD launch did not work that well. So here is what happened: AMD released the RX 5600 XT with a different VBIOS than originally planned. The new VBIOS raises core and memory clock, resulting in better performance. But: A last minute change is highly problematic for partner card vendors and thus consumers. The raised memory clock is hard to test and might cause issues, prompting some vendors to stick to the lower memory clock (6000 MHz instead of 7000 MHz). And that hard to notice difference is highly confusing for customers, who now can’t be sure the RX 5600 XT they buy reaches the performance shown in reviews, because those were mostly done with cards that reach the 7000 MHz.

But first, how did the card perform? In the benchmarks collected so far we saw it perform very well for its price, almost reaching the RX 5700 and beating the RTX 2060.


See this comparison for details.

That makes the RX 5600 XT an attractive option, especially if the price between it and the RX 5700 gets bigger over time.

How bad would it be to get a model with the slower ram? We can look at this Computerbase review of multiple partner cards, some with the slower, some with the faster memory clock. The difference was ~4%. Getting the slower card would not be optimal, but also not a big issue.

But the best 5600 XT model to get is one with the faster memory clock: The Sapphire Pulse RX 5600 XT. It comes with the new VBIOS, reaches the faster memory clock and stays cool and quiet. Best of all: It is one of the cheaper models. So at least for a while there is no reason to get something worse.

Despite the launch issues, the 5600 XT cards are now in our system and they will be used for PC build recommendations.