SAPPHIRE has been a well-known graphics board partner with AMD for a very long time, and it is no surprise that it is embracing the new Radeon RX 7000 Series GPUs based on RDNA 3. On our test bench today we have a brand new SAPPHIRE PULSE AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT GAMING OC 20GB GDDR6 DUAL HDMI/DUAL DP AMD RDNA 3 (SKU# 11323-02-20G) video card for review in gaming performance.
SAPPHIRE has made its product stack very easy to differentiate between AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT series SKUs. There are three models available, the regular AMD reference design model, and then a custom PULSE model, and the NITRO+ model at the top. Each one is distinguished by the operating GPU boost frequencies and build options on the video card. This is very refreshing, not to have to dive into a myriad of different models of the same product line to decide which one is for you.
The PULSE finds itself in the middle of the lineup and is distinguished from the reference design by an increased base and boost clock frequencies, enhanced cooling functions to include triple 9-bladed fans with Angular Velocity Fan Blade, a 14-layer 2oz Copper PCB, and embedded fuse protection. All this is wrapped in a plastic top shroud backed by a full cover wrap-around aluminum back plate with extra thermal pad placement. The card is also outfitted with 20GB of GDDR6 video RAM. The SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 7900 XT has a GPU game clock of 2075MHz and a GPU boost clock of 2450MHz. This is compared to the reference AMD 7900 XT GPU game clock of 2000MHz and GPU boost clock of 2400MHz.
The AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT was launched in December of 2022. The MSRP of the made-by-AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT was set at $899.99. As of the time of writing, there hasn’t been an official price drop by AMD, but we are seeing the made-by-AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT on sale for $849.99 on AMD.com. In addition, there are temporary sale prices for various Radeon RX 7900 XTs at online retailers. We do not know if these prices will remain permanent.
Looking online, we find the SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 7900 XT available for $869.99 plus $20 off at Newegg, bringing it to exactly $849.99, the same price as the sale price for the made by AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT on AMD.com. This means the SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 7900 XT it is at the new sale price of the made-by-AMD reference 7900 XT but offers a factory overclock, and custom design, giving it an advantage.
SAPPHIRE PULSE AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT
The SAPPHIRE PULSE RX 7900 XT is built on a simplified minimalist approach that provides “the elegance of simplicity, providing a graphics card that will look great in your PC build.”
As we mentioned, the SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 7900 XT is clocked at a boost clock of 2450MHz, versus the 2400MHz of the made-by-AMD 7900 XT. AMD Radeon video cards are able to dynamically boost upwards in frequency, so likely the frequency will be much higher than this in operation and offer a slight advantage over a reference card in performance out-of-the-box. For an even better experience, the NITRO+ version offers a 2560MHz boost.
The SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 7900 XT uses a digital power design that provides accurate power control and power efficiency. Ultra High Performance Conductive Polymer Aluminum Capacitor has a small PCB footprint and high volumetric capacitance that makes a 20-phase power configuration on this video card. The capacitor offers stable capacitance at a high frequency and temperature with low signal noise. The GPU is mounted onto the high-density 14-layer 2oz Copper and high TG PCB.
This is a triple-fan design is based on a two-ball bearing triple 9-bladed 90mm fans that are angled downward and bound together by an outer ring. The top shroud is a solid plastic unit with elevated cowls around the fan openings. The heatsink is a composite heatpipe design that covers the entire PCB. The card has vented sides, front and back. There are no RGB elements on the card.
The video card measures 12.3″ inches in length, 4.7″ in height, and 2.05″ in width, making this a 2.7-slot design and weighing in at 3 pounds and 2 ounces. This video card has 2x HDMI and 2x DisplayPort for I/O. For power, you need to plugin 2x 8-pin PCIe power cables and the TDP is listed as 331W. Sapphire recommends a minimum 750W PSU.
Included in the package you will also receive a metal Graphics Card Supporter. There is an installation guide provided in the box along with appropriate thumb screws.