Game Clock Boosted
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.
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.