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Sapphire RX 570 Pulse ITX SFF GPU Review

The RX 570 Pulse ITX is another effective card from Sapphire. Aimed at the ITX/SFF market, it is likely to have strong appeal to prospective buyers.

Throughout our testing, we saw it perform very similarly to other RX 570 solutions, despite its single-fan cooling solution. It is slower than those other cards due to its lack of factory overclock, but even so, the real-world impact of that is between 1-2 FPS. As such, this card is still very competitive despite its size and lesser clock speed.

I also found the Pulse ITX card to be cool, quiet and even a decent overclocker. I actually managed to snag an extra 15% performance in Fire Strike by adding +131MHz to the GPU core, which is very impressive for a SFF card.

Pricing is also important, as we are still waiting for the AMD graphics card market to settle down again given the artificially-inflated RX 500-series pricing. Given that this card retails for £179.99 – the same as the larger, RX 570 Pulse – we can safely say it offers good value and consumers are not being charged a premium for the SFF nature of the card.

The only thing I would say to those considering this card is this: how small a graphics card do you really need? If you absolutely need a single-fan graphics card measuring less than 200mm long, then the Sapphire Pulse ITX model will serve you very well. However, for many consumers, I would imagine that the aforementioned RX 570 Pulse (non-ITX model) would actually be fine. This is because it is still a diminutive card, at just 230mm long, yet it has the advantage of higher clockspeeds out-of-the-box, plus its cooling solution is also more advanced.

Clearly, I can't recommend one or the other without knowing just how small your case is really, but many Mini-ITX cases would still be able to fit a 230mm-long card comfortably. Take the Fractal Node 202, the Lian Li PC-Q17 and the Define Nano S – three very popular Mini-ITX cases, and all would fit the RX 570 Pulse with room to spare.

Therefore, my final verdict is this: the Sapphire RX 570 Pulse ITX is an excellent, SFF RX 570 solution. If you need the absolute smallest graphics card capable of pushing games at high settings on a 1080p monitor or HDTV, this is a great contender for your money. However, I would expect many consumers with small cases would still be able to fit the full-size RX 570 Pulse card, as it is really not much bigger than its ITX sibling yet offers higher frequencies, a more effective cooling solution and a snazzy backplate.

You can buy the RX 570 Pulse ITX for £179.99 from Overclockers UK HERE.

Pros

  • Will fit in essentially every ITX case on the market.
  • Performs very similarly to other RX 570 cards, despite the lack of factory overclock.
  • Good value.
  • Overclocks very well.

Cons

  • Lacks a backplate.
  • I would imagine SFF/ITX system owners would still be able to fit the full-size RX 570 Pulse card.

KitGuru says: The Sapphire RX 570 Pulse ITX card is a very effective ITX card. However, I do wonder how many people actually need a card this small when the RX 570 Pulse edition is already quite diminutive.

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Rating: 8.5.

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