Game Clock Boosted

Introduction

The competition is fierce.  Left and right AMD and NVIDIA are dualling it out, and the result benefits all of us, the end-user, the person buying the hardware.  Competition is good, and this proves it. Right now, it couldn’t be hotter around the AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT launch.  AMD announced the Radeon RX 5600 XT at CES 2020 this year at its keynote.  This gave NVIDIA time to figure out its move to counter the launch. 

NVIDIA actually ended up officially dropping the price on its GeForce RTX 2060 video card to $299 to preemptively strike at AMD’s Radeon RX 5600 XT.  The AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT is ultimately cheaper still, with an MSRP of $279, but NVIDIA held the performance crown for the most part. 

To Counter the Counter Attack

To counter this preemptive strike, AMD struck back by pushing add-in-board manufacturers to raise the performance of its Radeon RX 5600 XT video cards.  This is achieved by either raising the official game clock frequency and or the memory frequency as well. 

Remember, the Radeon RX 5600 XT should have good overclocking potential since it is based on the Radeon RX 5700 GPU.  There’s headroom there for add-in-board manufacturers to actually go ahead and give us officially higher GPU/memory clock speeds, thus pushing performance over GeForce RTX 2060 for a cheaper price.  In the end, pricing will be close, and now, performance even closer. 

XFX Raising Clock Speeds

We reviewed the XFX Radeon RX 5600 XT THICC II Pro video card for our launch review.  Originally XFX had the game clock set at 1460MHz as the official specification.  This is much higher than the reference spec of 1375MHz game clock.  In our GPU frequency testing we found that our card actually runs around 1600MHz while gaming.  Therefore, it is actually running very high out-of-the-box, way above what a reference card would run at.  In our review, we evaluated performance at this level. The video card was competitive as is, especially since it is $279.99 and does not carry a price premium. 

Well, like many others, XFX is taking it further due to competition.  The night before our launch XFX sent us a new BIOS and new game clock specification of 1560MHz.  We did not have time at the time to run full benchmarks, but we did test the new GPU Frequency in that review.  On page 16 of our launch review, you can see that this new BIOS increases the real-time gaming GPU frequency up above 1700MHz while gaming.  In fact, it averaged 1727MHz versus 1599MHz previously.  That is an 8% GPU clock bump.  That will give us higher performance. 

XFX also let us know the night before publishing this review specifically that it is contemplating raising the memory speed also from 12GHz to 14GHz.  However, at the time of this writing, the decision has not yet been made if XFX will follow through with that.  If it does that will improve performance even further.  However, since we don’t know for sure if that is happening yet we are going ahead with just the GPU frequency bump to 1560MHz game clock with the new BIOS we were given. 

Today’s Follow-Up

So, the testing today only represents that 8% GPU clock frequency increase.  If XFX does come out with another new BIOS then we will cross that bridge when we get there.  Keep in mind we are also going to be doing an overclocking review, so at the end of the day, we are going to end up maxing out this card with a maximum overclock anyway. 

That is the gist of this review, we are going to use the same test setup from the launch review, the same game settings, the same software.  All that is different is that we have applied the new BIOS which bumps the game clock up to 1560MHz officially.  Our graphs will use the same data from the launch review, and we will show you the original BIOS (old BIOS) performance versus the NEW BIOS performance.  This will tell you what you can expect with the new BIOS.

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12 Comments

  1. Just want to state, it is very likely this card is getting a 14GHz memory bump as well. According to my preliminary testing, this helps more than the clock speed bump. So expect a bigger uplift if this becomes reality.
  2. NAVI benefits greatly with memory speeds! I really like what XFX is doing with this card and keeping the price at $279. Great follow up on the original review and like very much the flow of the two articles. It is like Breaking News that is interesting. I really don’t find this messy but customers are getting a better product and maybe even a better one tomorrow. Silver rating is probably OK, I would recommend a Gold for this card, my opinion.

    If XFX continues to support the customer with even a better bios/upgrade for their purchase, I would recommend Silver going to Gold.

  3. How come I can’t get from the review to the forum from the old comments button on mobile? And the background is white instead of black for some reason.

    Anyway, thanks for retesting everything!

    I know these things take a lot of time.

  4. How come I can’t get from the review to the forum from the old comments button on mobile? And the background is white instead of black for some reason.

    Anyway, thanks for retesting everything!

    I know these things take a lot of time.

    This seems to be the by-product of moving to the AMP compatible mobile site generated by the WordPress theme that we have. It seems to generate a completely different template from the main site for the sake of page load speed and mobile simplicity, but at the expense of customization (i.e. comments missing). With the integration between the front page and the forums, the "Discussion" link got itself retired, but I think I need to find a solution on the mobile side to jump into the discussion… As for the background color, it’s the same sort of thing (you’ll also see that ALL articles show up in the list of "recent posts" instead of only displaying "News" posts there. I’ll see what I can do over the weekend with it.

  5. Just want to state, it is very likely this card is getting a 14GHz memory bump as well. According to my preliminary testing, this helps more than the clock speed bump. So expect a bigger uplift if this becomes reality.

    Im thinking you already tested it with manual over clocking? How much it helped lol

  6. Im thinking you already tested it with manual over clocking? How much it helped lol

    Full story is that we had the 12gbps article ready to go Wednesday morning. Minutes before publishing, we were sent the 14gbps BIOS, so the article was held and Brent was back to testing at the higher level. About 12 hours later, we got word that the 14gbps needed further engineering evaluation before making it official, so we rolled with the 12gbps article on Thursday morning.

    For manual overclocking, @Brent_Justice is working on that now with a hopeful ETA of Monday morning.

    1. Wait does that mean that maybe in the future we would get 14gbps on the card? They are just polishing the bios up so that it would work better? Or is it a lost cause because I was really hoping they would roll out the bios fro 14gbps so I wouldn’t have to spend more on the other AIB Cards.
  7. Wait does that mean that maybe in the future we would get 14gbps on the card? They are just polishing the bios up so that it would work better? Or is it a lost cause because I was really hoping they would roll out the bios fro 14gbps so I wouldn’t have to spend more on the other AIB Cards.

    I don’t think that it’s polishing so much as they are validating that the higher speed will work on all cards that are currently in the channel. The 14gbps bios worked just fine on the sample card that we got, but they need to make sure it works on all. If they don’t make sure of that, then they’ll have a ton of returns to worry about due to unstable cards. In the interim, you can OC the memory yourself and get the same benefits :).

  8. When you say 14gbps, what does that translate to? Think mine defaults to 945Mhz….Can you convert 14gbps to something i can compare it to? (in my mind)
  9. 14GHz / 8 = 1750MHz

    1750MHz / 2 = 875MHz

    gbps (giga bits per second) is the same as saying GHz gigahertz

    it’s a measure of data performance, the other one is frequency, but they are interchangeable

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