Noise and Temperature
Screenshot on the left-hand side has the new vBIOS while the one on the right-hand side has the old vBIOS. The Asus RX 5600 XT TUF Gaming X3 EVO OC is a very silent graphics card. It’s basically dead silent during idle to light load situations where the fans do not run or spin at all. The temperature is around 48° Celsius with the old BIOS and around 49° Celsius with the new BIOS. The new vBIOS update didn’t seem to have a significant impact on the graphics cards temperature. Well, that’s great news. But how about during full load?
Again, screenshot on the left-hand side (or the first one) has the new vBIOS and the other one has the old vBIOS. At full load the Asus RX 5600 XT TUF’s temperature was just hovering around 60° Celsius, with its hotspot at around 66° Celsius. After applying the new vBIOS, the full load temperature went up to 62° Celsius and its hot spot at around 69° Celsius. It’s not a huge increase on the GPU temperature and the card is generally silent with its fans running at around 1200-1300 RPM. The fans are a bit audible but are not loud or obnoxious. If you’re using a close case setup, you probably won’t hear the fans.
One of my main concern with this graphics card is its memory temperature. I haven’t opened the graphics card yet, but it looks like they fixed or at least addressed the issue. Looking at the sides of the graphics card, it looks like the GDDR6 memory are passively cooled by a plate; and there are thermal pads as well. I’m getting around 84° Celsius with the old vBIOS and around 86° Celsius with the new vBIOS. That’s a little hot but at least it didn’t reach 90°+ Celsius. GDDR6 memory has an operating temperature of around 0C to +95° Celsius, so it’s still within the safe operating temperature.
Now time to see how the RX 5600 XT TUF Gaming X3 and if it really outperforms NVIDIA’s GTX 1660 series graphics cards or not.
Asus RX 5600XT TUF X3 Synthetic Benchmark Results
First, let’s check out the results we got with the synthetic benchmarks. Some of you might not be interested in synthetic benchmarks, but there are others who would like to see them. This also gives us an idea of the general performance of the ASUS TUF Gaming X3 Radeon RX 5600 XT EVO graphics card and its standing.
For the synthetic benchmark results, I include 3DMark Fire Strike, 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme, 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra, 3DMark Time Spy and 3DMark Time Spy Extreme. Below are the results I got with both the old vBIOS and the new vBIOS.
As you can see from the benchmark results above, there is an improvement from the old vBIOS to the new one. The increase isn’t that significant at all, perhaps because only the clock speeds were increased and the memory remained at 12Gbps. Nevertheless, the increase seemed to be consistent; except in Time Spy Extreme where the increase is just 38 points.
However, the Asus RX 5600 XT TUF Gaming X3 does outperform the GTX 1660 Super and GTX 1660 Ti. It even outperformed the RTX 2060 Founders Edition on the Fire Strike benchmarks. But the RTX 2060 was a bit faster in Time Spy (Extreme), which is a DX12 benchmark test. Now let’s check out some game benchmarks.
Asus RX 5600XT TUF X3 1080p Game Benchmark Results
The Radeon RX 5600 XT is mainly a 1080p graphics card. Most of the gamers are still using this resolution; so, AMD is hoping to win the gamers with their RX 5600 XT graphics card.
Below are the game benchmarks results I got with the Asus RX 5600 XT TUF Gaming X3:
At 1080p, the Asus TUF Gaming X3 RX 5600 XT performed quite well. It’s not an all-win for the RX 5600 XT since it didn’t outperform the GTX 1660 series on Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Final Fantasy XV. However, in most game titles, the RX 5600 XT with the new vBIOS outperformed the GTX 1660 Ti and GTX 1660 Super. It even outperformed the RTX 2060 Founders Edition; it was only in Monster Hunter World and The Witcher 3 where the RTX 2060 was faster than the RX 5600 XT.
No wonder NVIDIA decided to drop the price on the RTX 2060. They probably knew that the RX 5600 XT would outperform the GTX 1660 series lineup. However, AMD might have not anticipated NVIDIA’s move to drop the price on the RTX 2060. And that really caused some problems for AMD. Anyway, let’s check out how it performs in 1440p gaming resolution.
Asus RX 5600XT TUF X3 1440p Game Benchmark Results
1440p isn’t the target gaming resolution of the RX 5600 XT. That’s the job of the Radeon RX 5700 XT instead. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t play at 1440p with the RX 5600 XT. The gaming experience may not be as smooth compared to with an RX 5700 XT. But if you lower the graphics settings, you may be able to get a more playable or higher frame rate. Below are the results I got with the Asus RX 5600 XT TUF Gaming X3 at 2560×1440 resolution.
The results didn’t change much, the RX 5600 XT is still generally faster than the GTX 1660 Ti and GTX 1660 Super. But the GTX cards are still faster on Final Fantasy XV. I bet; we’d get even better results if the memory was also increased to 14Gbps. Unfortunately, like I said earlier, not all RX 5600 XT would be able to achieve 14Gbps memory speed. Only the higher-end RX 5600 XT with cherry picked components will come with a higher clock speed and faster memory speed.
Pricing and Availability
Asus TUF Gaming X3 Radeon RX 5600 XT EVO OC is now available in the US. The base price for the RX 5600 XT is $279 USD. However, the Asus graphics card are usually more expensive, so I expect it is going to be above $300 USD. They are on the more expensive side, but you know, it’s Asus. You can check out the links below for the latest and updated pricing and availability of these Radeon RX 5600 XT.
AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT Review Conclusion
Time to wrap up this review, let’s talk about the performance first. Does the RX 5600 XT deliver? Is it a good or great 1080p gaming graphics card? I believe you have seen the numbers on the benchmark graphs and the answer is yes. The RX 5600 XT is fast and was able to beat the GTX 1660 Ti and GTX 1660 Super easily. It even outperforms the RTX 2060 Founders Edition, surpassing it depending on the game.
It’s a clear win for the RX 5600 XT against the GTX 1660 series, and it is trading blows with the RTX 2060. So generally speaking, it is a good solid 1080p gaming graphics card. Take note that I am talking about its performance with the new vBIOS. Without the new vBIOS or the increased performance, the RX 5600 XT might be having a hard time competing with the RTX 2060.
So, should you get an RX 5600 XT for your 1080p gaming monitor? Well, it depends actually. There are several factors that you need to consider. If you are an AMD fan and you simply want a Radeon RX graphics card for your gaming PC, then go for it. If you want something faster then get the RX 5700 XT instead.
However, if you are not loyal to a particular brand and you need to weigh in the pros and cons then it’s a bit complicated. The NVIDIA RTX 2060 Founders Edition, including EVGA’s RTX 2060 KO currently retails for $299 USD. If you like NVIDIA’s set of features like Turing, NVENC encoder, more stable or mature drivers, and most of the games you play usually perform better with an NVIDIA graphics card; then I think you already know the answer to your question. Yeah, RTX is also a thing on the 2060 but the graphics card isn’t powerful enough for real-time ray tracing to be honest.
By the way, all AMD graphics card (at this time) do not feature real-time ray tracing or a similar technology. The upcoming Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles (both powered by AMD hardware) are said to feature real-time ray tracing. This means, future games will more or less feature ray tracing in one form or another. I’m not sure if AMD will enable a similar feature on their existing Navi GPUs in the near future; but it is expected that ray tracing is one of the features in AMD’s upcoming RDNA 2 later this year.
On the other hand, the RX 5600 XT is generally faster or at least on par with the RTX 2060. If you can get an RX 5600 XT below $300 then that’s great. But you need to make sure that you are getting the right or faster RX 5600 XT; the one that comes with a BIOS update or at least has a BIOS update. Like I said, not all RX 5600 XT are the same. Which is why this launch is a bit messy.
The first batch of the RX 5600 XT is expected to come with the old BIOS. Users will have to flash the graphics card; and it involves a certain risk like I mentioned earlier. Second, not all RX 5600 XT can be flashed with a faster 14Gbps memory. This means that some RX 5600 XT will be faster than the other. In this case, the Asus RX 5600 XT TUF Gaming X3 features a faster GPU clock speed after flashing its vBIOS; but its memory speed remained 12Gbps. The Asus ROG RX 5600 XT STRIX TOP (ROG-STRIX-RX5600XT-T6G-GAMING) graphics card will feature a 14Gbps memory. The TUF and STRIX OC will only have 12Gbps of memory.
Asus’ graphics cards are usually more expensive compared to the competition. At $320 retail for the TUF variant and $340 for the ROG Strix, you can get an RTX 2060 (overclocked edition) at this price. Though, an Asus RTX 2060 is usually more expensive; starting at $340 to $400+ retail depending on the model or SKU. So, I would leave the decision whether you go for an Asus graphics card or not.
If you do decide to get an Asus graphics card, the Asus TUF Gaming X3 RX 5600 XT EVO OC is a good place to start. I wouldn’t bother with the Strix OC since it only has a 12Gbps memory speed for a higher price. I would rather point you to get the STRIX TOP with 14Gbps of memory speed instead, if you have the budget. The ROG Strix cooler does look better though, even if it’s the same old cooler design they used since GTX 10 series a few years ago. I hope with the upcoming graphics cards this year, Asus will have a new and fresh design instead.
Competition is a good, good for us consumers. As we can see here, NVIDIA was forced to drop the price of the RTX 2060. AMD has also done a good job with their RX 5600 XT; it is good enough to force NVIDIA to drop their price. Though, I think AMD was not anticipating NVIDIA’s move to drop the price of the RTX 2060. And I think AMD should have just released the RX 5600 XT with faster clock settings and unlock its full potential in the first place. Although, that would endanger the sales of the RX 5700. But at this point the RX 5700 (non-XT) is no longer a good option anymore, thanks to the cheaper RX 5600 XT.
Finally, if you really need a graphics card for your 1080p monitor now, I think the RX 5600 XT is not a bad choice at all.