HEXUS had previously reviewed both the Sapphire Radeon RX 5700 XT Nitro+ and the Sapphire Radeon RX 5700 XT Pulse, but now there is a new, cheaper, kid on the block. Angling to appeal to those tempted by the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT but perhaps wary of spending too much on a GPU, Sapphire's Pulse RX 5700 XT BE 8G GDDR6 is designed to be the most affordable RX 5700 XT yet. Of course, it is Sapphire, not Santa, so there will be some necessary cuts to aspects of the design to reach down to the cheaper price, so let us have a look more closely at the value orientated 'BE' to see what Sapphire has done.
Sapphire makes comparisons of its graphics card quite easy as you can browse through them and add them to a list which you can later compare. I've done this with the new 'BE' card (11293-09-20G) and its nearest neighbour, the regular Pulse RX 5700 XT 8G (11293-01-20G). You can see a screenshot showing the key similarities below. The screenshot tallies precisely, but there are important specs - so basically out of the box performance should be pretty comparable.
Digging deeper in the comparison we see the first spec difference. While the higher-end cards ship with Dual-BIOS as standard, this has been snipped from the 'BE' specs to save a dollar or two.
Some important things remain, like the "Robust Memory Cooling… Precision Fan Control… Dual-X Cooling Technology… and Tough Metal Backplate". Which is good but not mentioned specifically in the tech specs there are different fan models, a smaller PCB, a lower-mass heatsink, one fewer heatpipe, and an overall different looking ABS shroud used for the 'BE'. With particular attention to the fans, the more expansive models use 'Quick Connect' design easily swappable units. Last and probably least the red LED Pulse logo has been replaced with a non-backlit version.
To BE (left), or not to BE
When pushed it is possible that the new 'BE' model will be faster / more likely to throttle simply due to the downgraded cooler. Among a wide range of competitors the regular RX 5700 XT Pulse had middling thermal performance but was better than reference by some margin. It will be interesting to see the same tests done on the 'BE'.
Sapphire's new Pulse RX 5700 XT BE 8G GDDR6 comes with an MSRP of US$399 but it is expected to settle down a little lower than this once supplies are plentiful.