PowerColor Radeon RX 5600 XT Red Dragon review

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PowerColor Radeon RX 5600 XT Red Dragon
Revelation 289: Behold a great Red Dragon

We test and review the new PowerColor Radeon RX 5600 XT Red Dragon. The Radeon RX 5600 XT is basically an RX 5700 however with 6GB of GDDR6, lower clock frequencies and a price tag of 279 USD for the reference model. PowerColor is offering a terrific looking and very silent product, even with that newly releases vBIOS, at 289 USD.

Days before the 5600 XT launch something happened, NVIDIA lowered RTX 2060 pricing to 299 USD. And there's where AMD made an 180 degree turn and pretty much created two separated SKUs for the 5600 XT. That would be the reference product, and then the factory tweaked (OC models) with greatly enhanced specs like a 180 Watt power envelope (opposed to 150 W), an increase of the maximum turbo clock as well as a bump in GDDR6 memory data-rate going from 12 towards 14 Gbps. Interesting for sure. The Radeon RX 5600 XT is not replacing the Radeon RX 5700 graphics card. The two products address different market needs. The Radeon RX 5600 XT was specifically designed and optimized to deliver the best 1080p gaming experiences, while the Radeon RX 5700 – with its additional memory and memory bandwidth – was specifically designed for 1440p gaming. Yeah, AMD hasn't been wasting any time, Ryzen 3000 at 7nm, Radeon VII at 7nm, then the Radeon 5700 and 5700 XT, as well as the 5500 series. All at 7nm fabrication. We now add the 5600 XT series. The basis of the product that we test today is the NAVI GPU, with a die fabbed at a 7nm fabricated package and 6GB of GDDR6 graphics memory (12 Gbps) these cards are released in an aim to compete with the GeForce RTX 2060, will it be capable to do that? We can already tell you that the numbers will be interesting to see. The most important aspect, however, is pricing. Where the Radeon RX 5700 and 5700 XT cost 349 and 399 USD respectively the 5600 XT series starts at 279 USD. The NAVI GPU is based on what AMD refers to as RDNA architecture (Radeon DNA). The Radeon 5000 series is the first commercial consumer graphics card that is PCIe Express 4.0 compatible. Both the Radeon 5600 and 5700 are offered with 2304 shader processors. The GPU game clock is dynamic at 1130~1375 MHz with a peak boost clock to 1.560 GHz for the no- OC (reference) model card. NAVI cards are fitted with GDDR6 memory, that means HBM2 is no longer used opposed to what you have been seeing with Vega 56/64, a clever choice as HBM2 memory is difficult to assemble onto the die substrate (lot's of yield issues there) and that makes it very expensive, next to being an expensive memory type to purchase. 

Graphics card57005600 XT5500 XTRTX 2060GTX 1660 TiGTX 1660 Super
Architecture RDNA 1.0 RDNA 1.0 RDNA 1.0 Turing Turing Turing
Manufacturing processes 7 nm DUV 7 nm DUV 7 nm DUV 12 nm FFN 12 nm FFN 12 nm FFN
Chip size (die) 251 mm² 251 mm² 158 mm² 445 mm² 284 mm² 284 mm²
Code Name Navi 10 Navi 10 Navi 14 TU106-200 TU116-400 TU116-300
Transistors graphics chip (million) 10,300 10,300 6400 10,800 6600 6600
PCI Express standard 4.0 ×16 4.0 ×16 4.0 ×8 3.0 ×16 3.0 ×16 3.0 ×16
FP32 Shaders / TMU 2.304 / 144 2.304 / 144 1.408 / 88 1.920 / 120 1.536 / 96 1.408 / 88
ROP 64 64 32 48 48 48
GPU base clock (MHz) 1465 1130 1607 1365 1500 1530
GPU Boost Clock Games (MHz) 1625 1375 1717 1680 1770 1785
Compute power FP32 (GFLOPS) 7488 6336 4835 6451 5437 5027
Memory bus (bit) 256 192 128 192 192 192
RAM speed (GT / s) 14.0 12.0/14.0 14.0 14.0 12.0 14.0
Memory bandwidth (GB / s) 448.0 288.0 / 336.0 224.0 336.0 288.0 336.0
Storage capacity (MiB) 8192 6144 8,192 / 4,096 6144 6144 6144
Typical power consumption 180 Watt 150 Watt 130 Watt 160 Watt 120 Watt 125 Watt

PowerColor Radeon RX 5600 XT Red Dragon

The PowerColor RX 5600 XT model they submitted is the Red Dragon edition, and aside from the two stickers and a backplate logo, that's really all there is 'dragon' about the card. This is an MSRP product, meaning it should sit in the $279 USD price bracket for this 6GB graphics memory-based model. The compact design card holds two fans and follows a 0dB mute fan technology, that allows the fans to stop spinning when the GPU core temperature remains below 60 Celsius.  The backside holds a backplate that adds structural rigidity.  You connect this card with an 8-pin power header. It has been widely addressed by us already. But AMD created a bit of confusion by changing the specs for the OC/factory tweaked Radeon RX 5600 XT graphics cards.The latest firmware has a TGP tweak (higher power envelope) + a GDDR6 data-rate increase towards 14 Gbps. The final clock frequencies listed are 1560MHz (Game) / up to 1620MHz (Boost) based on a 150W GPU power limit. The card thus features 6 GB of GDDR6 memory running at 14 Gbps and that means a memory bus width at 192-bits, delivering bandwidth of 336GB/s. Tweaking wise AMD is restricting frequencies again. We'll discuss that in the overclocking section of the article. The card offers one HDMI 2.0b port and three DisplayPorts v1.4. 

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