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SAPPHIRE RX 5700 XT Pulse 8GB Review

Rating: 8.5.

Back in August, we got our first look at a custom Navi graphics card in the form of Sapphire's RX 5700 Pulse. It has been a long time coming since then, but today we are able to present our review of the RX 5700 XT Pulse. Despite the immediate visual similarities between the 5700 and 5700 XT Pulse cards, they do actually use different coolers, so if you want to spend around £400 on your next GPU, is this a card to consider?

It's been a fascinating year for graphics cards. With AMD's RX 5700 series going head-to-head with the Nvidia RTX SUPER series, it's funny to think those cards launched almost half a year ago. In that time, pricing has changed somewhat and this Sapphire Pulse RX 5700 XT can now be found for £395, when at launch the card was £30 more expensive. That means, compared to the MSRP price of £379, the Pulse comes with just a 4% price premium over the blower-style reference card, when at launch the price premium was 12%.

For that extra cash over the reference card, we are getting a dual-fan cooler, on-board dual-BIOS and also increased clock speeds, with a rated game clock of up to 1815MHz. Is the Pulse worth buying? Read on to find out.

   RX 5700 RX 5700 XT   RX Vega 56 RX Vega 64   Radeon VII
 Architecture  Navi Navi Vega 10 Vega 10  Vega 20
 Manufacturing Process  7nm 7nm 14nm 14nm  7nm
 Transistor Count 10.3 billion 10.3 billion 12.5 billion 12.5 billion 13.2 billion
Die Size  251mm² 251mm² 486mm² 495mm² 331mm²
Compute Units  36 40 56 64  60
Stream Processors  2304 2560 3584 4096  3840
Base GPU Clock Up to 1465MHz Up to 1605MHz 1156 MHz 1274 MHz 1400 MHz
Game GPU Clock Up to 1625MHz Up to 1755MHz n/a n/a n/a
 Boost GPU Clock Up to 1725MHz Up to 1905MHz 1471 MHz 1546 MHz  1750 MHz
 Peak Engine Clock n/a n/a 1590 MHz  1630 MHz  1800 MHz
 Peak SP Performance Up to 7.95 TFLOPS Up to 9.75 TFLOPS Up to 10.5 TFLOPS Up to 12.7 TFLOPS Up to 14.2 TFLOPS
 Peak Half Precision Performance Up to 15.9 TFLOPS Up to 19.5 TFLOPS Up to 21.0 TFLOPS Up to 25.3 TFLOPS  Up to 28.1 TFLOPS
 Peak Texture Fill-Rate Up to 248.4 GT/s Up to 304.8 GT/s  Up to 330.0 GT/s  Up to 395.8 GT/s  432.24 GT/s
 ROPs 64 64 64 64  64
 Peak Pixel Fill-Rate Up to 110.4 GP/s Up to 121.9 GP/s Up to 94.0 GP/s Up to 98.9 GP/s 115.26 GP/s
 Memory Bandwidth 448 GB/s 448 GB/s 410 GB/s 483.8 GB/s  1 TB/s
Memory Interface  256-bit 256-bit 2048-bit 2048-bit  4096-bit
Board Power  185W 225W 210W 295W  300W

To recap the core spec of the RX 5700 XT, the GPU is based on TSMC’s 7nm process and is made up of 40 Compute Units, each housing 64 Stream Processors for a total of 2560 shaders. Alongside that, the card is outfitted with 8GB of GDDR6 memory, operating over a 256-bit bus for 448GB/s total memory bandwidth.

As mentioned above, the Pulse does come with a slight factory overclock, with its rated game clock of 1815MHz giving it a 60MHz advantage over the reference card. Sapphire's Nitro+ should remain the faster card due to its game clock of 1905MHz, while the ASRock Taichi should be faster still with a 1935MHz game clock.

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