Owners of mid-range graphics cards saw an interesting turn of events at the beginning of 2020. A somewhat normal business strategy for products that have been in the market for a while is to lower their price. It is also common for manufacturers to lower prices after a competing card is released. NVIDIA did such a thing in January with its GeForce RTX 2060 line of cards. Depending on the sellers would be buyers could find the RTX 2060 discounted by up to $50. Shortly after this AMD fired back by releasing a vBIOS update for their 5600 XT series cards. With increasing the 5600 XT’s memory speed by 15% they narrowed the performance between the two cards. At the time there was roughly only about $30 price difference between them.
None of this went on without some controversy though. As various manufacturers began to implement the new vBIOS update one spoke out. MSI’s Pieter Arts referred to it as “Russian Roulette”. He was noting a concern that the memory in the 5600 XT was not specifically designed for the increased speeds. Well it has been nearly three months since the initial updates began rolling out. The media has not been swarmed with reports of 5600 XT having issues. ASRock has now released vBIOS updates for their own line of 5600 XT cards.
A tale of past and future memory specs
It should be noted that many reviewers were able to overclock various 5600 XT models to over 14 Gbps. This was true even with the stock VBIOs running at 12 MHz. Our own Brent Justice managed to obtain a stable overclock of 14.8 GHz in his overclocking review. The battle of the mid-range GPU’s may not yet be over. Something else that both the RTX 2060 and 5600 XT have in common is their memory size. Both have 6 GB of vRam. A matter of weeks ago the EEC had a filing for a potential refresh of the 2060. If it goes into production this refresh would increase the RTX 2060’s memory size to 8 GB.