Team Red has finally seen fit to flesh out the mid-range of its Radeon RX 5000 series, launching the AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT 6GB in stores worldwide.
AMD reintroduced themselves to the graphics card market last year, by launching the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB and AMD Radeon RX 5700 8GB - they offered reasonable competition to their Nvidia counterparts and could boast smooth gameplay up to 1440p. But the 5700, tended to consume much more power than their competition, and weren’t the cheapest cards on the market.
AMD solved this by introducing the AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB - a slightly downgraded version of the 5700, which still offered great performance on most systems, and was significantly cheaper than its 5700 relative. AMD needed to fill the gap between the 5500 and the 5700 somehow, and in comes the AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT.
Currently being sold for $279, the RX 5600 XT can easily be compared to the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, originally marketed at $269. But, in terms of performance, the 5600 XT definitely comes out on top, keeping neck and neck with Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 6GB in many benchmarks, forcing a price cut from Nvidia.
AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT 6GB Specs
|Radeon RX 5600 XT||Radeon RX 5600|
|Game Clock||1375 MHz||1375 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1560 MHz||1560 MHz|
You can easily imagine the 5600 XT as being the best parts of 5500 and 5700 melded into one card - all three are built off of the same 7mm rDNA graphics architecture, but they do have significant differences. For example, both the 5600 XT and 5700 have 2,304 stream processors in 32 compute units, which is vastly superior when compared to the 5500’s 1,408 - the three cards have their similarities and shared features, but the 5600 XT stands as a more affordable and effective mid-range graphics card.
While we’re comparing the 5600 XT to its RX relatives - one of the downsides to the 5600 XT over the 5700 is in its memory capacity. The 5700 had a 8GB of GDDR6 memory, while the 5600 XT only has 6GB of GDDR6 - an odd choice, considering the 5500 has up to 8GB too. But this decision is reflected in the price of the 5600 XT, with it being significantly cheaper than the 5700.
And no, the 5600 XT cannot handle ray tracing. Unlike its Nvidia counterparts, which are steaming ahead with ray tracing - something that is becoming more and more common in video games, - the Radeon RX 5600 XT just doesn’t have the capacity to handle effects such as ray tracing. But, this is something AMD have promised to introduce with their future graphics cards.
An easy way to think of it, is this: If you want a card that will look incredible, be able to run ray tracing etc, you’re better off going with a Nvidia card - perhaps the entry-level raytracing-capable Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 - but if you’re looking for a card that can improve performance on your system, and ultimately your gaming experience, then the 5600 XT graphics card could be the smarted choice provided you can find a decent deal.
But, enough with the written comparisons, it’s time we look at some actual performance comparisons, in this case, we’ll be comparing the Radeon RX 5600 XT to its closest rivals, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 and the AMD Radeon RX 5700, just to see what differences can be seen between the three different video cards.
FPS Performance Charts
Unsurprisingly, there are very few differences between the AMD Radeon RX 5600 and the Nvidia RTX 2060 - both can handle themselves fairly reasonable at 1080p, and have decent FPS when played at 1440p. And this could be said the same about the 5600 and the 5700 - while the 5600 understandably performs slightly worse than the 5700, it isn’t by much, making the 5600 a reasonable substitute for the 5700 if you're a budget-conscious gamer.
As ever with graphics cards though, it all comes down to price and availability. Nvidia used the launch of the Radeon RX 5600 XT to slash prices on its own GeForce RTX 2060 6GB, bringing it down to $299 and offering ray-tracing capabilities to boot. Considering the two are neck and neck in terms of performance, that extra bonus could well be enough to swing the advantage back Nvidia's way. Whatever AMD attempts these days, Nvidia always seems to have an answer waiting in the wings.
The further unfortunate element for AMD is, depending on your territory, AIB partners have really jacked up the prices for a Radeon RX 5600 XT; there's some wild disparity between the different versions. An XFX RX 5600 XT THICC II Pro can be had for as little as £264, while both the PowerColor variants are selling for in excess of £340. As always, shop carefully, because you could just pick up a Radeon RX 5700 for £285 instead.