Pulse – left, Nitro+ – right
To overclock both Sapphire cards, we used TriXX – Sapphire’s overclocking utility.
For the Pulse, our best result came with 1440MHz (+74MHz) on the core, and 2225MHz (+225MHz) for the memory. The power limit was set to its maximum value (+30%) and we used the auto fan curve.
For the Nitro+, our best result came with 1455MHz (+44MHz) on the core, and 2150MHz (+150MHz) for the memory. The power limit was set to its maximum value (+50%) and we used the auto fan curve.
There is definitely some benefit to overclocking these cards. We know the RX 500 series cards are generally limited overclockers – the chip can only go so far, and most of them are pushed pretty far out of the box anyway. I was still quite impressed with +74MHz to the Pulse card, though – it may not be as fast as the Nitro+, but relatively speaking it is a bigger overclock. That closed the frequency gap between the two cards to just 15MHz.
In the real world, this put the two cards neck-and-neck – a score difference of just 34 in Fire Strike, and just 15 in Time Spy, is incredibly close. The difference was just 1FPS on average in Far Cry 5, too.