Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 6500 XT overview: Inexpensive, still, and trim
At a stareExpert’s Rating Pros$199 establish pointVery finest 1080p gaming efficiency at Medium/Excessive settingsVery strength efficient and frigidEnlighten stillTrixx Boost software characteristic hurries up efficiencyStandard aspects esteem ray tracing and AMD Tidy Uncover admission to Memory4GB memory buffer can’t be broken-down for Ethereum mining, optimistically reducing cryptocurrency place a matter toConsWill $199 establish point stick…
Very finest 1080p gaming efficiency at Medium/Excessive settings
Very strength efficient and frigid
Trixx Boost software characteristic hurries up efficiency
Standard aspects esteem ray tracing and AMD Tidy Uncover admission to Memory
4GB memory buffer can’t be broken-down for Ethereum mining, optimistically reducing cryptocurrency place a matter to
Will $199 establish point stick on the streets?
Restricted PCIe lanes gash efficiency on older PCIe 3.0 programs
Unorthodox memory configuration and restricted PCIe lanes restrict efficiency doable
Simplest one HDMI and DisplayPort
Exiguous efficiency development over prior-gen GPUs
The Sapphire Pulse delivers a insist-still journey on AMD’s inexpensive Radeon RX 6500 XT, with the corporate’s Trixx Boost software giving efficiency a helping hand. It’s a appropriate possibility for novices to PC gaming so long as you operate within limits imposed by the outlandish technical configuration of AMD’s GPU.
Ticket When Reviewed
Splendid Costs On the present time
AMD’s Radeon RX 6500 XT is a humble graphics card constructed to lift 1080p gaming to the heaps at a time when the heaps haven’t had an inexpensive GPU possibility for years. Sapphire’s standard “Pulse” stamp relentlessly makes a speciality of turning in solid gaming experiences with out price-adding frills you furthermore mght can now not desire.
On paper, it sounds esteem a peanut butter and jelly-form predicament. But does the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 6500 XT, which retails for AMD’s $199 suggested establish, extend in insist? Yep. Here’s a appropriate low-price graphics card for unique PC builders, bolstered by some trim software tricks that enable you squeeze even more efficiency out of your hardware sooner than the hotly anticipated release of AMD’s Radeon Substantial Resolution characteristic. Let’s dig in.
Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 6500 XT specs and aspects
The Sapphire Pulse is constructed the usage of AMD’s unique Radeon RX 6500 XT GPU, the first particular person graphics card constructed the usage of TSMC’s 6nm job. It’s very strength efficient and targeted on turning in appropriate 1080p gaming efficiency at Medium to Excessive visual settings, which the cardboard delivers in spades. Here’s a excessive-level see on the Radeon RX 6500 XT’s reference specifications, which the Sapphire Pulse sticks to:
The Radeon RX 6500 XT packs a scant 4GB of GDDR6 memory over a minute 64-bit bus unparalleled in standard gaming GPUs, though these memory chips are clocked at a blazing-swiftly 18Gbps and attain augmented by AMD’s radical Infinity Cache expertise. The cardboard additionally, sadly, supports handiest four PCIe lanes rather then the identical outdated 16, which would perchance lead to somewhat lower efficiency in older programs that clean urge PCIe 3.0, rather then the faster PCIe 4.0 expertise found in essentially the most traditional PCs.
Those choices mean that while the Radeon RX 6500 XT excels at what it’s designed for—ultra-swiftly e-sports, and triple-A gaming at Mid to Excessive settings at 1080p resolution—if you happen to crank the stare candy to Extremely or jack up the resolution to 1440p, you furthermore mght can urge into larger efficiency components (esteem dumb frame charges or fade spikes). Commence at 1080p Medium graphics presets for your accepted video games and nudge up knobs from there if you happen to’re in a site. While you follow what the Radeon RX 6500 XT modified into constructed for, you’ll be cosy with it.
Sapphire’s stellar Trixx Boost characteristic, found within the corporate’s Trixx software utility, can serve with that. Trixx Boost has helped Sapphire GPUs create excessive marks in our experiences for several years now—it earned the “handiest innovation” award on our Elephantine Nerd podcast’s yearly handiest-of episode your total potential again in 2019.
It’s a luminous characteristic that hurries up frame charges the usage of a combination of limited picture downsampling and AMD’s amazing Radeon Image Sharpening expertise. It’s esteem a less complex model of the premise dumb Nvidia’s DLSS and AMD’s Constancy FX Substantial Resolution aspects: Render at a lower resolution to toughen frame charges, then lovely up the ensuing picture artifacts with the serve of trim software. Better but, while Nvidia’s DLSS and AMD’s FSR handiest plan in video games that pork up it, Trixx Boost works with any DirectX 9, DX11, DX12, or Vulkan game. That covers all nonetheless essentially the most enviornment of interest PC video games being performed on the present time.
The usage of Trixx Boost entails adjusting share sliders to salvage a custom resolution, then selecting that resolution in video games. Our Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 6600 XT overview already wades into a thorough overview of Trixx Boost at 1080p resolution, so take a look at that out to guarantee that you more ingredient or an tutorial on atmosphere it up. Here’s the important thing part of what it can most definitely be valuable to dangle, though:
Trixx Boost defaults to a custom resolution at 85 p.c of your native show cowl output. That works splendidly smartly if you happen to’re taking part in at more pixel-packed 1440p and 4K resolutions when paired with RIS, nonetheless subjectively, I discovered it too aggressive at 1080p. The lower resolution potential that cutting it again even more ends up in inspiring and each and each so frequently janky edges which would be in actuality perceptible in motion at 85 p.c. (This isn’t appropriate a Trixx Boost predicament; each and each DLSS and FSR additionally have troubles inserting forward picture quality at 1080p resolution, nonetheless now not at larger constancy.)
I discovered it principal more gratifying to bump the fade as a lot as 90 p.c of the show cowl resolution for 1080p gameplay… It clean isn’t quite excellent; you furthermore mght can clean sight limited visual artifacts in some scenes, comparable to faint inspiring on slender stairs in motion, or faint blurriness in static menu shows looking out on their setup. But these distractions proved few and much between at 90-p.c scaling individually, and the extra efficiency offered by Trixx Boost made the occasional graininess functional. While you disagree, it’s doubtless you’ll most definitely most definitely continuously live the usage of it.
While you salvage a custom 90 p.c resolution with Trixx Boost, you’ll in most cases sight a pair of 10 p.c efficiency increase in video games, though that can most definitely fluctuate looking out on the title. But Trixx Boost proves in particular valuable given the Radeon RX 6500 XT’s outlandish technical configuration. With appropriate 4GB of memory, a 64-bit bus, and 4 PCIe lanes, this GPU’s efficiency can tank if you happen to push visual quality too laborious and exceed the memory ability. Your resolution performs a gigantic position in memory usage. The usage of Trixx Boost’s custom resolutions can again you additional faraway from the cliff, which in turn can most definitely enable you to bump up the visual settings larger in video games—going from Medium to Excessive presets, or bumping up the textures, to illustrate. It’ll fluctuate vastly by the sport nonetheless it for lumber’s value taking part in spherical with.
Greater than three years after it debuted, I’m clean disquieted that no other graphics card maker has stolen a page from Sapphire’s playbook and applied a Trixx Boost-esteem characteristic of their very personal, though its usefulness can also wane when AMD’s personal Radeon Substantial Resolution arrives. For now, it’s a killer feather within the Pulse Radeon RX 6500 XT’s cap.
Sapphire Pulse salvage
The Radeon RX 6500 XT iteration sticks to Sapphire’s familiar Pulse salvage, which is to claim it’s beautiful, efficient, and lacks price-adding frills, comparable to a dual-BIOS swap or RGB lighting.
It doesn’t see esteem a budget card with the exception of its compact two-slot salvage, though. The Pulse comes blacked out with crimson accents, an stunning I for my part dig, and Sapphire even slapped a steel backplate on the Pulse Radeon RX 6500 XT so it’ll see nice through your case’s window panel. The Dual-X cooling gadget plops a pair of followers atop a modest heatsink, total with luminous fan alter and the biggest sluggish fan-live characteristic that halts the spinning blades if you happen to’re outside of video games or other GPU-stressing duties. Here’s a very still graphics card even at pudgy tilt on the different hand—noticeably more so than the XFX Qick 210 card we examined for our initial Radeon RX 6500 XT overview. (That card ran somewhat chillier, in return. More on cooling later.)
You received’t get principal else on the cardboard with the exception of a single 6-pin strength connector, a single HDMI 2.1 port, and a single DisplayPort, though the bare-bones advise outputs are due to AMD’s GPU salvage choices, rather then a stripping-down on Sapphire’s part. The precious setup must clean work smartly within the form of budget gaming rig the Radeon RX 6500 XT is supposed for, on the different hand. Speaking of advise outputs, it’s value noting that AMD additionally gash again AV1 pork up from this GPU, along with H.264 and H.265/HEVC encoding (decoding is there), which makes the Pulse less inspiring for home theater PCs and people hoping to circulation or file their gaming adventures.
But hello, the $199 establish obvious is factual and the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 6500 XT can clean game appropriate comely, factual? Let’s salvage to the benchmarks.
Our test gadget
We test graphics playing cards on an AMD Ryzen 5000-sequence test rig with a purpose to benchmark the enact of PCIe 4.0 pork up on standard GPUs, to boot to the efficiency-boosting AMD Tidy Uncover admission to Memory and Nvidia Resizable BAR aspects (which would be each and each in step with the identical underlying PCIe usual). Currently, we’re making an are trying out it on an inaugurate bench with AMD’s Wraith Max air cooler. Numerous the hardware modified into offered by the producers, nonetheless we bought the storage ourselves.
We’re doing things a limited bit differently on the present time due to the budget nature of this card, and its outlandish configuration. Most often, we test video games on the superb graphics presets and with temporal anti-aliasing enabled to push them to their limits. But the Radeon RX 6500 XT is constructed for medium to excessive gaming at 1080p, on a budget. So we skipped our usual suggestions and as a replacement decided to ascertain AMD’s most modern offering in opposition to prior-gen GPUs in a identical $200 establish bracket, plus or minus $50 in both course, with each and each game’s Medium graphics preset.
The charts below pit the Sapphire Pulse and the XFX Qick 210—each and each $199 Radeon RX 6500 XT GPUs—in opposition to AMD’s last-gen Radeon RX 5500 XT, which launched at $180 in 2019 (and price $30 too principal on the time), to boot to the Asus ROG Strix Radeon RX 580 8GB, an fanatic-class model of the stunning GPU that released in 2017 for $250. We’ve matched that on Nvidia’s aspect with the Asus ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1650 Substantial, which launched for $170 in 2019, and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Founders Edition GPU, a $250 graphics card in 2016. We chose these playing cards because they’re the varieties of broken-down alternate choices the Radeon RX 6500 XT will compete in opposition to in on the present time’s wacky GPU marketplace. Simplest AMD’s unique card supports staunch-time ray tracing.
We’ve additionally incorporated efficiency results for the XFX Radeon RX 6500 XT Qick 210 working in each and each PCIe 3.0 and PCIe 4.0 modes, given the four restricted PCIe lanes of AMD’s GPU, in advise that it’s doubtless you’ll most definitely most definitely sight what form of efficiency to ask if you happen to tumble these graphics playing cards into an older gadget as an toughen. Spoiler: It’s largely a negligible downgrade on the Medium settings this card is supposed for. The Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 6500 XT would lift identical efficiency in a PCIe 3.0 gadget, though all over again, Trixx Boost enable you work spherical this GPU’s obstacles and flee things up.
We test a diversity of video games spanning completely different engines, genres, vendor sponsorships (Nvidia, AMD, and Intel), and graphics APIs (DirectX 11, DX12, and Vulkan). Every game is examined with VSync, frame price caps, staunch-time ray tracing or DLSS effects, and FreeSync/G-Sync disabled, along with some other vendor-particular applied sciences esteem FidelityFX instruments or Nvidia Reflex. We additionally disable AMD’s Tidy Uncover admission to Memory and Nvidia’s rival PCIe Resizable BAR characteristic, since they’re extremely dependent on how the the relaxation of your gadget is configured. We urge each and each benchmark on the very least three occasions and checklist the moderate consequence for every and each test.
Gaming efficiency benchmarks
Test Canine: Legion
Test Canine: Legion is one in every of the first video games to debut on subsequent-gen consoles. Ubisoft upgraded its Disrupt engine to encompass cutting-edge aspects esteem staunch-time ray tracing and Nvidia’s DLSS. We disable these effects for this making an are trying out, nonetheless Legion remains a strenuous game even on excessive-pause hardware with its optional excessive-resolution texture pack installed.
Horizon Zero Destroy of day
Yep, PlayStation exclusives are coming to the PC now. Horizon Zero Destroy of day runs on Guerrilla Video games’ Decima engine, the identical engine that powers Loss of life Stranding.
Gears Ways locations it personal brutal, swiftly-paced journey on the XCOM-esteem genre. This Unreal Engine 4-powered game modified into constructed from the bottom up for DirectX 12, and we esteem being in a site to work a ways-style game into our benchmarking suite. Better but, the sport comes with a plethora of graphics alternate choices for PC snobs. More video games must clean devote such loving care to explaining what flipping all these visual knobs mean.
Wolfenstein: Youngblood is more fun if you happen to most definitely can play cooperatively with a buddy, nonetheless it’s a valorous experiment—and an absolute technical showcase. Running on the Vulkan API, Youngblood achieves blistering frame charges, and it supports all varieties of cutting-edge applied sciences esteem ray tracing, DLSS 2.0, HDR, GPU culling, asynchronous computing, and Nvidia’s Stutter Adaptive Shading. The game contains a constructed-in benchmark with two completely different scenes; we examined Riverside.
Seemingly the most handiest video games of 2019, Metro Exodus remains one in every of the handiest-having a stare video games spherical, too. Essentially the most traditional model of the 4A Engine supplies incredibly scrumptious, ultra-detailed visuals, with one in every of essentially the most pleasing staunch-time ray tracing implementations released but. We test in DirectX 12 mode with ray tracing, Hairworks, and DLSS disabled.
Borderlands is again! Gearbox’s game defaults to DX12, so we enact as smartly. It supplies us a watch on the ultra-standard Unreal Engine 4’s efficiency in a dilapidated shooter. This game tends to desire standard AMD hardware.
Unfamiliar Brigade is a cooperative third-particular person shooter where a physique of workers of adventurers blasts through hordes of mythological enemies. It’s a technological showcase, constructed all the device in which during the next-gen Vulkan and DirectX 12 applied sciences and infused with aspects esteem HDR pork up and the ability to toggle asynchronous compute on and off. It uses Get up’s custom Azure engine. We test the usage of the Vulkan renderer, which is faster than DX12.
Total Warfare: Troy
Essentially the most traditional game within the standard Total Warfare saga, Troy modified into given away free for its first 24 hours on the Legend Video games Retailer, engaging over 7.5 million copies earlier than it went on correct sale. Total Warfare: Troy is constructed the usage of a modified model of the Total Warfare: Warhammer 2 engine, and this DX11 title looks to be pleasing for a turn-essentially based mostly technique game. We test the more intensive battle benchmark.
F1 2020 is a gem to ascertain, supplying a gigantic different of every and each graphical and benchmarking alternate choices, making it a substantial more legit (and fun) possibility than the Forza sequence. It’s constructed on essentially the most traditional model of Codemasters’ buttery-tender Ego game engine, total with pork up for DX12 and Nvidia’s DLSS expertise. We test two laps on the Australia course, with clear skies on and DLSS off.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Shadow of the Tomb Raider concludes the reboot trilogy, and it’s clean utterly beautiful several years after its debut. Sq. Enix optimized this game for DX12 and recommends DX11 handiest if you happen to’re the usage of older hardware or Windows 7, so we test with DX12. Shadow of the Tomb Raider uses an enhanced model of the Foundation engine that additionally powered Rise of the Tomb Raider and contains optional staunch-time ray tracing and DLSS aspects.
Rainbow Six Siege
Rainbow Six Siege clean dominates the Steam charts years after its originate, and Ubisoft supports it with frequent updates and events. The developers have poured a ton of work into the sport’s AnvilNext engine over time, finally rolling out a Vulkan model of the sport that we utilize to ascertain. By default, the sport lowers the render scaling to expand frame charges, nonetheless we build it to 100 p.c to benchmark native rendering efficiency on graphics playing cards. Even clean, frame charges flit.
Vitality blueprint, thermals, and noise
We test strength blueprint by looping the F1 2020 benchmark at 4K for roughly 20 minutes after we’ve benchmarked the entirety else and noting the finest reading on our Watts Up Legit meter, which measures the power consumption of our entire test gadget. The initial part of the urge, where all competing vehicles are onscreen simultaneously, tends to be essentially the most anxious share.
This isn’t a worst-case test; here’s a GPU-lumber game working at a GPU-lumber resolution to gauge efficiency when the graphics card is sweating laborious. While you’re taking part in a game that additionally hammers the CPU, you furthermore mght can sight larger overall gadget strength attracts. Preserve in suggestions your self warned.
Entry-level graphics playing cards continuously have modest strength demands—the entire examined devices handiest desire a single 6- or 8-pin strength connector—nonetheless the huge strength effectivity of AMD’s RDNA 2 structure shines though here, in particular if you happen to rob into consideration that the Radeon RX 6500 XT holds a solid efficiency lead in raw frame charges on this game as smartly. Very finest things.
We test thermals by leaving GPU-Z inaugurate all during the F1 2020 strength blueprint test, noting the finest most temperature on the tip.
Retaining these modest GPUs frigid isn’t a predicament for any of these designs, though some positively outperform others. Let’s zero in on the battle between the two custom Radeon RX 6500 XT devices for a second though. By that chart, the XFX Qick 210 looks to have a transparent cooling serve, and in phrases of raw levels Celsius, it completely does. But the Sapphire Pulse’s 65 stage working heat is damned frigid itself, and by working its followers at lower speeds, the Pulse stays insist-still all through gameplay, which is immense on an experiential level. Every are appropriate coolers, nonetheless I gain the purposeful silence of the Sapphire Pulse.
While you decide the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 6500 XT?
The Radeon RX 6500 XT is a weirdly constructed GPU for wacky occasions. Its unorthodox technical configuration potential that if you happen to are trying and push the cardboard more robust than it’s supposed, efficiency can plummet. But at 1080p resolution, it’s doubtless you’ll most definitely most definitely play e-sports video games at ultra-swiftly frame charges, or triple-A video games with Medium or Excessive settings at 60fps or larger. We dove principal, principal deeper into the many must-knows and caveats within the conclusion of our initial Radeon RX 6500 XT overview, and recapped them in extra digestible contain in our info to 5 things it can most definitely be valuable to dangle regarding the Radeon RX 6500 XT.
Having that form of gaming expertise out there in an inexpensive graphics card all over again—earlier than this we hadn’t viewed a budget GPU originate since 2019, and these playing cards are going for $200 to $400 broken-down on Ebay on the second—is terribly welcome certainly. The Radeon RX 6500 XT isn’t a compelling efficiency toughen for somebody who offered even a modest graphics card over the last 5 years, nonetheless unique PC avid gamers on a budget don’t decide on to turn to cloud gaming or consoles anymore within the event that they might be able to salvage their fingers on this. Availability will likely be key, nonetheless AMD designed this GPU to be churned out for the heaps. Fingers crossed. You’ll desire to salvage this entry-level graphics card for as finish to $200 or $250 as doable for it to construct essentially the most sense.
Happily, the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 6500 XT sticks to AMD’s suggested $199 establish establish, appropriate esteem the XFX Qick 210 we reviewed earlier. Every are solid low-price choices with surprisingly smartly-constructed bodily designs. You are going to be in a site to’t dash scandalous with both card, and realistically, in on the present time’s market you ought to clean gobble up whichever one you stumble all the device in which through in inventory. But the Sapphire Pulse’s insist-still noise ranges and ability to squeeze somewhat more stare candy and/or efficiency out of video games with the serve of Sapphire’s incredible Trixx Boost software supplies it the limited edge in our eyes (though the discharge of AMD’s in style Radeon Substantial Resolution characteristic can also build Trixx less very crucial in time).
While you furthermore mght can get it in inventory at or finish to its $199 MSRP and wish a brand unique GPU, snatch up the Sapphire Pulse. Appropriate form pay attention on the Radeon RX 6500 XT’s completely different efficiency and advise obstacles—work within them and you’ll be cosy with it. Retains these graphics presets off Extremely, younger people.
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