Today we are (finally) publishing our review of AMD’s latest Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card, dubbed as the “ultimate 1080p graphics card” by AMD. This launch was somewhat a roller coaster ride. Other media consider it as “messy” release or “AMD jebaited themselves”. I’ll discuss more on this in the review. But for now, let’s check out the new Asus TUF Gaming X3 Radeon RX 5600 XT EVO (TUF 3-RX5600XT-O6G-EVO-GAMING); I wish company would name their products simpler or give them shorter names. Anyway, it’s one of the company’s RX 5600 XT and the more affordable option than Asus’ ROG Strix lineup. Let’s find out if this graphics card is really the ultimate 1080p gaming graphics card in the market, and if you should buy one. Please continue reading our Radeon RX 5600 XT review below, featuring Asus’ TUF Gaming X3 EVO graphics card.
AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT Review – Featuring ASUS TUF Gaming X3 EVO
At CES 2020, AMD announced their latest graphics card, the AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT, dubbed as the ultimate 1080p gaming graphics card. It’s a graphics card originally intended to compete with NVIDIA’s GTX 1660 Super and GTX 1660 Ti graphics card.
However, several days after AMD’s announcement of the said graphics card; NVIDIA suddenly dropped the price of their GeForce RTX 2060 Founders Edition graphics card from $349 to $299 USD. This effectively made the RTX 2060 more attractive, since it’s just $20 more from the base price of the RX 5600 XT. Not to mention, the better variants of the RX 5600 XT from AIB partners are expected to be priced around $300+ USD.
During, AMD’s presentation, they said that the RX 5600 XT outperformed the GTX 1660 Ti and the GTX 1660 Super; both cards comes with a starting retail price of $230 USD and $280 USD respectively. NVIDIA had to counter this, and dropping the price of the RTX 2060 was the result. However, this move resulted in killing the GTX 1660 Ti in the process, both by the RX 5600 XT and the RTX 2060.
To counter NVIDIA’s move, AMD decided not to adjust the price of the RX 5600 XT; but instead they released a new vBIOS in the very last minute. That’s why some reviews are late since the graphics cards have to be flashed with the new vBIOS and test them again.
While the new vBIOS increased the clocks speeds and memory speed (in some models), thus increasing the performance of some RX 5600 XT making it more competitive; it also resulted to some issues and concerns. First, by doing this, it made the performance of the RX 5600 XT fast enough to be near the performance of the RX 5700. This made the RX 5700 bad in terms of value and somehow effectively killing that graphics card. Now, it’s either you buy an RX 5600 XT or an RX 5700 XT.
Second, users should never do a vBIOS update or flash their graphics card with a new BIOS if there is nothing wrong with the product. There are some cases that it is really important to flash the BIOS of a graphics card; but if the card is working perfectly fine and it doesn’t have any problems at all, users should not flash them. Why? Because flashing a vBIOS is risky. Although the process is easy, flashing it is very risky. You could potentially brick the graphics card. A corrupted vBIOS file, or a sudden power outage, or wrong BIOS file and etc, could potentially brick the graphics card.
Another issue that surfaced is the first batch of RX 5600 XT are already in warehouses or perhaps store shelves. This means, they are still carrying the old BIOS and users may wonder why their RX 5600 XT were performing slow. Thus, users need to flash the BIOS; but would have to deal with the potential risk of flashing the BIOS.
On top of that, it turns out that not all RX 5600 XT can be flashed with higher clock speed and memory speeds. The GDDR6 memory on these RX 5600 XT were not rated to run at 14Gbps, but could easily do 12Gbps. Like in our unit, the TUF Gaming X3 Radeon RX 5600 XT EVO, after flashing its BIOS only the clock speed increased. The memory speed remained 12Gbps. According to Asus, only the ASUS ROG STRIX TOP model will have a memory speed of 14Gbps; the rest will have 12Gbps.
This basically means that some RX 5600 XT in the market will have the original stock BIOS with stock speeds. Then there are some RX 5600 XT that will have a higher clock speed but only 12Gbps memory speed. And finally, there are some RX 5600 XT (most probably only the higher-end 5600 XT) that will have a higher clock speed and faster memory speed.
That’s why if ever you decide to buy an RX 5600 XT, be sure to check out the reviews and their specs meticulously to ensure that you are buying the “better” variant of the RX 5600 XT. I’ll write a separate article listing all the RX 5600 XT graphics cards, so that you’ll know which one are fast and which are not. For now, let’s take a look at the Asus TUF Gaming X3 Radeon RX 5600 XT EVO and see how this card performs.
Asus TUF Gaming X3 Radeon RX 5600 XT EVO Specifications
|Asus RX 5600 XT ROG Strix TOP||Asus RX 5600 XT TUF X3 EVO||AMD RX 5600 XT|
|Transistor Count||1.0.3 B||1.0.3 B||1.0.3 B|
|Game Clock||1670 MHz||1615 MHz||1375 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1750 MHz||1750 MHz||1560 MHz|
|Memory||6GB GDDR6||6GB GDDR6||6GB GDDR6|
|Memory Speed||14 Gbps||12 Gbps||12 Gbps|
|Memory Bandwidth||288 GB/s||288 GB/s||288 GB/s|
|Typical Board Power||160 W||160 W ?||150 W|
|Recommended PSU||450 W||450 W||550 W|
Closer Look at the Asus Radeon RX 5600 XT TUF Gaming X3 EVO
The Asus Radeon RX 5600 XT TUG Gaming X3 EVO has a very familiar AMD-Radeon-themed box. You get the red logo with the name of the product; a photo of the graphics card at the front portion and some features of the graphics card at the back.
The TUF series is Asus’ cheaper or close to reference model graphics card. But it does feature a tri-fan design with a beefy heat sink underneath. I’m not worried too much about the capability of the TUF’s cooler to cool its GPU; what I am worried about is the memory.
It was discovered that Asus’ RX 5700 XT ROG Strix and TUF has a poor implementation of their cooler, specifically in cooling the GDDR6 memory. So, I’m not sure if Asus addressed the issue in the RX 5600 XT and fixed it or not. We will find out on our temperature test later in this review.
The RX 5600 XT TUF features axial-tech fans with dual ball bearing that are very silent, increased downward air pressure and can last longer than traditional GPU fans. It also features 0dB technology where the fans do not run until the GPU reaches a certain temperature. This results in a dead silent operation during idle to light load situations.
Technically speaking, RGB lighting is not present in this graphics card. But there is a small LED strip on the side-front section that cannot be controlled. The color is fixed to a Blue to Purple gradient. I’m not sure why they need to put it there, I think they should have made the line longer or no lighting at all. It looks off in my opinion and doesn’t match with the color scheme of the graphics card.
It does have a protective backplate and I think it’s metal. The RX 5600 XT TUF Gaming X3 EVO has a 2.7-slot design and it’s quite a big with a measurement of 282.6mm x 128.5mm x 53.8mm. According to Asus, this graphics card has passed a 144-hour validation program that puts cards “through a series of stringent tests to ensure compatibility with the latest games”.
Test Setup For Asus RX 5600 XT TUF X3
I tested the ASUS TUF Gaming X3 Radeon RX 5600 XT EVO on an MSI MEG Z390 ACE motherboard powered with an Intel Core i7-8700K overclocked to 4.9GHz. The rest of the specifications of the system are as follows:
Operating System: Windows 10 Pro 64bit ver. 1903
Motherboard: MSI MEG Z390 ACE
Processor: Intel Core i7-8700K
CPU Cooler: SilverStone PF240 AIO
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR-4000 16GB
Graphics card: ASUS TUF Gaming X3 Radeon RX 5600 XT EVO OC 6GB
Storage Drives: Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe SSD, Crucial MX500 2TB
Power Supply: Seasonic 850W Prime Titanium
Chassis: Thermaltake Core P5
The test will be a bit different compared to our other graphics cards review. Since AMD released a new vBIOS for the RX 5600 XT, I will include the test results that I got before I flashed the Asus RX 5600 XT TUF and after I flashed its vBIOS. So, there will be two results in the benchmark graphs below.
I am also using the Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 edition 20.1.3 for Windows 10 64bit. The graphics card was tested in two gaming resolutions – 1920×1080 FHD and 2560×1440 WQHD. The RX 5600 XT is intended for 1080p gaming, so let’s see how good (or not) this graphics card is at 1080p.
For the synthetic benchmarks, I used the benchmark tools from 3DMark. I also used the following games to test the RX 5600 XT TUF graphics card: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Metro Exodus, Middle Earth Shadow of War, Monster Hunter World, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt.
There are two GPUz and GPGPU screenshots of the RX 5600 XT TUF below. The one on the left-hand side has the new vBIOS and the one on the right-hand side has the old BIOS.
Continue on the next page for the temperature and benchmark results of the Asus RX 5600 XT TUF.