SAPPHIRE Pulse Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB – A Solid Card In A Tough Place
SAPPHIRE Radeon RX 5500 XT Pulse 4GB12/08/2019
Synthetics, Thermals, And Power
The SAPPHIRE Pulse RX 5500 XT 4GB is rated for a base clock of 1685MHz, a game clock of 1737MHz, and a boost clock of 1845MHz. Through all of our testing, we found the GPU core to sit at roughly 1800-1825MHz at all times regardless of the game while using MSI Afterburner to monitor it on screen and verifying using GPU-z after a session had ended. This test was done separately from gathering performance data as no other utilities other than Frameview are running while gathering results.
I did work on overclocking this card a bit just to see how much was in the tank, and unfortunately, I seem to have lost the silicon lottery in the worst way. I was able to push the core to near 2000MHz for a brief time but it was unable to finish any one test, the best I could get the core stable at was between 1875-1900Mhz which did very little to move the needle in performance. Memory overclocking faired a bit worse with crashing within moments, if not immediately, from trying to increase frequency.
Firestrike is running the DX11 API and is still a good measure of GPU scaling performance, in this test we ran the regular version of Firestrike which runs at 1080p and we recorded the Graphics Score only since the Physics and combined are not pertinent to this review.
Time Spy is running the DX12 API and we used it in the same manner as Firestrike Extreme where we only recorded the Graphics Score as the Physics score is recording the CPU performance and isn't important to the testing we are doing here.
Thermals were measured from our open test bench after running the Time Spy graphics test 2 on loop for 30 minutes recording the highest temperatures reported. The room was climate controlled and kept at a constant 22c throughout the testing.
Power draw numbers were taken from the total system power draw by measuring with a Kill-A-Watt. We ran Unigine Valley for 30 minutes and observed the highest sustained load. Something to keep in mind when observing total system power draw is that there are times where a GPU simply being faster and requiring more from the CPU can cause the total system power draw to increase with the like of the Core i9-9900K. That said, the total system power draw is still important as it is how much power it is taking to run the system.