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Review: Sapphire Radeon RX 5700 XT Pulse

by Parm Mann on 12 August 2019, 14:01

Tags: Sapphire, AMD (NYSE:AMD)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaeciy

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Conclusion

Cooling performance is improved by up to 10ºC and noise levels have fallen whilst benefitting from a 0dB idle fan mode.

The wait for custom-cooled Radeon RX 5700 graphics cards is at an end. Sapphire, a long-standing AMD-exclusive partner, is one of the first out of the gate with Pulse Series models that aim to deliver a sprinkling of benefits over the reference board.

Finished in black, grey and red livery, the RX 5700 XT Pulse melds dual 95mm fans, five heatpipes, a full-length heatsink and an aluminium backplate to create a well-built package that serves as a solid start for custom 7nm Navi graphics cards.

Cooling performance, the star attraction for many a custom card, is improved by up to 10ºC, and noise levels have fallen whilst benefitting from a 0dB idle fan mode. Sapphire gets the essentials right, and TriXX Boost adds an extra layer of intrigue, however the slight factory overclock doesn't make the Pulse card any faster than reference during actual gameplay, and the £425 price tag is closer to the rival RTX 2070 Super than we'd like.

Bottom line: Sapphire clearly has the wherewithal to create competent graphics cards, but are the cooling improvements enough to warrant a near-£50 premium over a reference board? That decision isn't as clear-cut as we'd hoped.

The Good
 
The Bad
Cooler and quieter than reference
Well-suited to high-quality QHD gaming
Dual BIOS and 0dB fans
TriXX Boost helps bring RIS to the fore
 
Priced the other side of £400
Overclocking still temperamental



Sapphire Radeon RX 5700 XT Pulse

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The Sapphire Radeon RX 5700 XT Pulse graphics card will be available to purchase from Scan Computers.

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At HEXUS, we invite the companies whose products we test to comment on our articles. If any company representatives for the products reviewed choose to respond, we'll publish their commentary here verbatim.



*UK-based HEXUS community members are eligible for free delivery and priority customer service through the SCAN.care@HEXUS forum.



HEXUS Forums :: 26 Comments

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Where does a GTX 1070 fit into this mess? I'm still waiting to see when it makes sense to upgrade mine (and suspect I'm not alone).
globalwarning
Where does a GTX 1070 fit into this mess? I'm still waiting to see when it makes sense to upgrade mine (and suspect I'm not alone).


The 1070 sits below the 2060 in performance, so you could gauge it based on the 2060 performance here. There is a more in depth look at these cards here (different resolutions etc.) that may help:

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2019-05-07-geforce-rtx-2060-vs-gtx-1070-7001#benchmarks
globalwarning
Where does a GTX 1070 fit into this mess? I'm still waiting to see when it makes sense to upgrade mine (and suspect I'm not alone).
Exactly! I've never understood why there is such a focus on the current roster of cards - I know we want to see how they compare to them, but we also want to see if they are worth upgrading from previous generations.

There are 3 different 2060 SKUs in the line up for starters. Get rid of one of them and stick in a 1070, that a LOT of people have and are considering upgrading.
I think it doesn't do too badly, considering it's within a few frames of the £50 more expensive 2070 super. Future driver optimisations will come, and make it even more compelling.
As an aside. When did a £400 graphics card become mid-range??
globalwarning
Where does a GTX 1070 fit into this mess? I'm still waiting to see when it makes sense to upgrade mine (and suspect I'm not alone).

I'm plus-ing this!

ohmaheid
As an aside. When did a £400 graphics card become mid-range??

When people started buying 1080Ti's for 800€(or maybe when people started buying Titan cards). It opened the door for the 2080ti and the rest of them. It will certainly be worse later on. Even though RT technology(that nobody asked for) has a cost. NVIDIA wouldn't give it for free and of course AMD would and should align on it. It's business.