Radeon RX 5600 XT Launch Review Round Up

kac77

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*SIGH* Steve from Gamer Nexus, who I usually respect, makes a claim that some of the board makers will not provide an updated vbios for the cards. I find that particularly a bad practice to make a claim like then but then provide no proof nor names of those who will do so. Instead, he just says AMD messed up but provides nothing to show us that will actually occur nor what card OEM's are going to do that.

A wild guess might be because he does not want to bad mouth the folks who pays his check or puts food on the table. In this case, I am just guessing and it would be good to see if he can provide the proof or not. (Did get a bit frustrated in the comments section of youtube on his video though.)

Whenever reviewers start jumping out the window over something as simple as this you know it's shady.

All of a sudden looking at the box for specs becomes impossible. All of a sudden they get amnesia because no one else releases video cards that differ from official specs and they certaintly don't give them to reviewers to test which may or may not affect results. /S **like big time***
 

Marees

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ASUS also tries to differentiate their over-engineered (& over-priced) cards by offering 14ghz memory speed only for some models. Other models will stick to 12ghz
Looks like MSI also has introduced a new Z variant which supports 14Gbps memory.

Apparently this will sell alongside the X variant that will have same overclocked CPU clocks as Z but memory limited to 12 Gbps

https://www.tweaktown.com/news/70126/msi-radeon-rx-5600-xt-gaming-14gbps-memory-box/index.html
 

kac77

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You think it's stupid to suggest that not every card an AIB releases will have the exact same specs? You do know that not every card is capable of the same cooling performance, right? A lot of 5600's seem overbuilt right now, which is good. However, to suggest that AIBs don't cheap out on cooling and power delivery is a "stupid thing to even suggest". Unless you've forgotten about cards like the MSI 5700 XT Evoke, the ASUS 5700 XT TUF, or the MSI 1080 ti Armor.
But that's why we look at reviews is it not? Since I've been alive ALL video cards have differed in either build quality or performance when compared to reference.

How is this situation any different?
 

Marees

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Looks like MSI also has introduced a new Z variant which supports 14Gbps memory.

Apparently this will sell alongside the X variant that will have same overclocked CPU clocks as Z but memory limited to 12 Gbps

https://www.tweaktown.com/news/70126/msi-radeon-rx-5600-xt-gaming-14gbps-memory-box/index.html
Direct confirmation from MSI that graphic cards that can handle 14Gbps memory are being rebranded with Z

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/not-all-amd-rx-5600-xt-14-gbps

For the RX 5600 XT, AMD provided GDDR6 memory chips validated to operate at 12 Gbps. Although some memory chips might have overclocking headroom to run at 14 Gbps, MSI cannot guarantee its RX 5600 XT graphics cards' stability and longevity at 14 Gbps, since they weren't originally designed and tested for that speed

Screenshot_2020-01-24-04-10-29-974.jpeg
 

Marees

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Looks like MSI also has introduced a new Z variant which supports 14Gbps memory.

Apparently this will sell alongside the X variant that will have same overclocked CPU clocks as Z but memory limited to 12 Gbps

https://www.tweaktown.com/news/70126/msi-radeon-rx-5600-xt-gaming-14gbps-memory-box/index.html
Guru3D reviews the MSI gaming 'Z' model

https://www.guru3d.com/articles-pages/msi-radeon-rx-5600-xt-gaming-z-review,29.html


During our review process, MSI was still finalizing the firmware update. So they decided that the Gaming X model will retain the firmware with a TGP tweak (higher power envelope) and create another SKU called the Gaming Z, which holds the new performance firmware + a GDDR6 data-rate increase towards 14 Gbps.

I'll keep adding them here as I see them.
the Gaming X model just went live at 329 USD so 339 is likely the end price for the Gaming Z, and that is simply too high considering a PULSE OC from Sapphire is 289 USD. That would be a 50 USD difference for exactly the same performance


The Asus & MSI models seem to be the coolest cards. But seems like they will also be priced $40-$50 more than other not so cool cards
Confirmation that MSI card runs cool even after all the overclocking

Screenshot_2020-01-24-04-24-58-952.jpeg
 

Marees

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Direct confirmation from MSI that graphic cards that can handle 14Gbps memory are being rebranded with Z

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/not-all-amd-rx-5600-xt-14-gbps

For the RX 5600 XT, AMD provided GDDR6 memory chips validated to operate at 12 Gbps. Although some memory chips might have overclocking headroom to run at 14 Gbps, MSI cannot guarantee its RX 5600 XT graphics cards' stability and longevity at 14 Gbps, since they weren't originally designed and tested for that speed

View attachment 217873
Comment from PC perspective on MSI gaming Z

https://pcper.com/2020/01/msis-radeon-rx-5600-xt-gaming-z-before-and-after/


In theory this would mean that the Rev. 2.0 models of the Gaming Z will be designed specifically with the increased memory rate in mind, perhaps a slight tweak to the implementation of the Twin Frozr design or possibly even swapping out the Micron GDDR6 with a different type? Either way it is going to make shopping for one of these cards a little more interesting that you might want
 

Chimpee

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I should be clear on this, I think most of this will blow over soon enough. Either way, well whatever.
I agree, while I do think AMD handle the launch of 5600XT pretty poorly, the majority of 5600XT sold during its lifetime will have the new vBios so this will only affect a very small subset of people. The only sucky part is some boards get the 12GBps mem bandwidth while other gets 14 Gbps, either this is AIB cheapening out of components or just plain jacking up prices for cards that can do it.
 

Marees

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Looks like MSI also has introduced a new Z variant which supports 14Gbps memory.

Apparently this will sell alongside the X variant that will have same overclocked CPU clocks as Z but memory limited to 12 Gbps

https://www.tweaktown.com/news/70126/msi-radeon-rx-5600-xt-gaming-14gbps-memory-box/index.html
I'll keep adding them here as I see them.
Tech power up compares the MSI gaming X (needs bios flashing for 1st batch) & MSI gaming Z (will ship with new bios)

https://www.techpowerup.com/review/msi-radeon-rx-5600-xt-gaming-x-gaming-z/35.html

Overall, when averaged over our testing suite at 1080p resolution, we see the RX 5600 XT Gaming Z (with the BIOS update) beat the NVIDIA RTX 2060—an important win. The card also slightly beats AMD's aging Radeon RX Vega 64, which is just as important a victory. The Gaming X, on the other hand, is around 5% slower than the Gaming Z because of the lower memory frequency, which puts the card a few points below the RTX 2060 and Vega 64.

Of course, it is possible to grab a Gaming Z BIOS and flash that onto the Gaming X, but you don't have a guarantee that the memory will be stable.
 
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Marees

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I agree, while I do think AMD handle the launch of 5600XT pretty poorly, the majority of 5600XT sold during its lifetime will have the new vBios so this will only affect a very small subset of people. The only sucky part is some boards get the 12GBps mem bandwidth while other gets 14 Gbps, either this is AIB cheapening out of components or just plain jacking up prices for cards that can do it.
This long comment below the TechpowerUp review explains it for me

https://www.techpowerup.com/forums/...600-xt-gaming-x-gaming-z.263190/#post-4193943

MSI anticipated that RX 5600 XT would launch into a slot in the GPU market where there was no other competition, so it would be a good seller, especially at under the psychological $300 mark. Based on that they budgeted a certain amount of money to design a number of 5600 XT SKUs, covering the performance range from stock to just below 5700.

Then NVIDIA cut RTX 2060 prices by $30 and suddenly the 5600 XT was no longer competitive. AMD had two options, either cut RX 5600 XT prices in return, or increase the card's performance. Since 5600 margins are apparently quite slim as is, AMD chose to release a new higher-performance BIOS.

That means AMD and its AIBs aren't losing money on every RX 5600 XT sold, but it does mean that AIBs with more 5600 XT SKUs - e.g. MSI - are screwed. Because instead of being able to market cards at various points along the clockspeed (performance) range from 1375MHz/12Gbps to slightly over 1615MHz/14Gbps, they now have to start at the higher value. Which means their new "stock speed" card isn't 10%+ behind their fastest card, it's maybe 3%. Which suddenly means that half the 5600 XT SKUs designed by MSI have cannibalised the other half. Which means the design and testing and marketing time spent by MSI on those now-dead SKUs... is a loss for MSI.

There's no way MSI is going to sit back and just accept that. Over its lifetime, maybe the 5600 XT will sell well enough as a whole to recoup those costs. But... maybe it won't. And MSI is a business, it doesn't exist to break even, it exists to make a profit. So MSI is going to pad its 5600 XT prices to ensure it still makes a profit on these cards, which is probably going to make MSI 5600 XTs sell poorly, which is probably going to make MSI think twice about committing so heavily to buy so many AMD GPUs next time around.

On the flipside, you can bet that MSI and every other AIB is reaching out to NVIDIA in a frantic attempt to acquire defective TU104 chips so that they too can make an "RTX 2060 KO". That card is going to make EVGA filthy stinking rich.

(AIBs like Sapphire can afford to leave their 5600 XT cards at original pricing because they didn't design half-a-dozen SKUs, so they have fewer to write off.)

Honestly, the 2060 price drop was a masterpiece. It's an older card, so AIBs have long ago made back the money they spent to create their 2060 SKUs, so they won't mind too much that it's being price-dropped. It won't cannibalise existing SKUs because they're all old stock that's already been cannibalised by the 2060 SUPER. And of course, it gives NVIDIA-favouring AIBs a SKU that can compete with the RX 5600 XT, so they can make more sales.

Honestly it's a massive win-win for NVIDIA and its partners, and a lose-lose for AMD and its partners.
 

Chimpee

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This long comment below the TechpowerUp review explains it for me

https://www.techpowerup.com/forums/...600-xt-gaming-x-gaming-z.263190/#post-4193943

MSI anticipated that RX 5600 XT would launch into a slot in the GPU market where there was no other competition, so it would be a good seller, especially at under the psychological $300 mark. Based on that they budgeted a certain amount of money to design a number of 5600 XT SKUs, covering the performance range from stock to just below 5700.

Then NVIDIA cut RTX 2060 prices by $30 and suddenly the 5600 XT was no longer competitive. AMD had two options, either cut RX 5600 XT prices in return, or increase the card's performance. Since 5600 margins are apparently quite slim as is, AMD chose to release a new higher-performance BIOS.

That means AMD and its AIBs aren't losing money on every RX 5600 XT sold, but it does mean that AIBs with more 5600 XT SKUs - e.g. MSI - are screwed. Because instead of being able to market cards at various points along the clockspeed (performance) range from 1375MHz/12Gbps to slightly over 1615MHz/14Gbps, they now have to start at the higher value. Which means their new "stock speed" card isn't 10%+ behind their fastest card, it's maybe 3%. Which suddenly means that half the 5600 XT SKUs designed by MSI have cannibalised the other half. Which means the design and testing and marketing time spent by MSI on those now-dead SKUs... is a loss for MSI.

There's no way MSI is going to sit back and just accept that. Over its lifetime, maybe the 5600 XT will sell well enough as a whole to recoup those costs. But... maybe it won't. And MSI is a business, it doesn't exist to break even, it exists to make a profit. So MSI is going to pad its 5600 XT prices to ensure it still makes a profit on these cards, which is probably going to make MSI 5600 XTs sell poorly, which is probably going to make MSI think twice about committing so heavily to buy so many AMD GPUs next time around.

On the flipside, you can bet that MSI and every other AIB is reaching out to NVIDIA in a frantic attempt to acquire defective TU104 chips so that they too can make an "RTX 2060 KO". That card is going to make EVGA filthy stinking rich.

(AIBs like Sapphire can afford to leave their 5600 XT cards at original pricing because they didn't design half-a-dozen SKUs, so they have fewer to write off.)

Honestly, the 2060 price drop was a masterpiece. It's an older card, so AIBs have long ago made back the money they spent to create their 2060 SKUs, so they won't mind too much that it's being price-dropped. It won't cannibalise existing SKUs because they're all old stock that's already been cannibalised by the 2060 SUPER. And of course, it gives NVIDIA-favouring AIBs a SKU that can compete with the RX 5600 XT, so they can make more sales.

Honestly it's a massive win-win for NVIDIA and its partners, and a lose-lose for AMD and its partners.
Interesting read, thank you.
 

Snowdog

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MSI call the Memory flip flop from AMD, "Russian Roulette".
https://www.thefpsreview.com/2020/0...bios-memory-speed-increases-russian-roulette/


According to MSI’s Pieter Arts, the vBIOS update wasn’t a great idea because the memory featured in these cards were specifically designed and validated for 12 Gbps speeds. While 14 Gbps is doable (as reviews and other board partners have shown), there’s a lack of a guarantee there, which could lead to an RMA headache for MSI. Arts equated this to a game of “Russian Roulette.”
You can't spin this one as brilliant tactical move by AMD. It was clearly an act of desperation.
 

FrgMstr

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Snowdog

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This is the video that is pulled from and a very good explanation of the situation from MSI. Good on them for clear information on this.

Good video.

That makes the situation clear, and offers a little more insight into the AIB and AMD relationship.

Adds info, that they get the Memory and GPU from AMD as a bundle.

The memory in the bundle was originally validated to meet 12 Gbps, It could be better than that, but that was all the original spec called for. They did mention that they did in fact have some instability with some of the cards they tested running 14 Gbps.

I think I would wait for a Gaming Z card.
 

kac77

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Mega6

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We need a card tear down to see the memory chip specs BEFORE people jump to conclusions - especially ffor the ones that don't like "rumors". Right? it's very possible that the memory can run and is rated for the new specs. There is a "performance envelope" that memory (and most other electronics) work within. Think of the xmp timings table with RAM for instance..
 
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chameleoneel

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We need a card tear down to see the memory chip specs BEFORE people jump to conclusions - especially ffor the ones that don't like "rumors". Right? it's very possible that the memory can run and is rated for the new specs. There is a "performance envelope" that memory (and most other electronics) work within. Think of the xmp timings table with RAM for instance..
MSI is telling us very directly that they have a batch of memory which is only validated form manufacturer as 12Gbps. Anything higher would be considered an overclock of that product. And it means some of them won't be able to hit 14 (which they said was encountered, likely when they were binning for their higher SKU with factory overclocks). It could even end up that a lot of the cards don't work at 14Gpbs, depending upon how tightly binned the memory was, before MSI even received it.
 

Mega6

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MSI is telling us very directly that they have a batch of memory which is only validated for 12Gbps. Anything higher would be considered an overclock of that product. And it means some of them won't be able to hit 14. Maybe even a lot, depending upon how tightly binned the memory is.
MSI is 2nd hand, you need to look at the chips. I *Don't* think AMD would roll the dice that hard on this and push memory out of spec. We would be seeing issues with new bios flashed cards already if that was the case.
 
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Mega6

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What I am seeing is vendors (Asus and MSI) releasing different SKUs for 12gbs/14gbs.
 

Mega6

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Some vendors are holding off on the 12->14gbs and just upping the game clocks (core) it seems.
 

MangoSeed

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Sorry but it doesn't make any sense. If you can't validate memory at a lower speed when you supposedly don't pick the memory, you can't all of a sudden validate it at the higher spec when you don't validate the memory.
It makes perfect sense. Where did you get the idea that they don't validate memory overclocks? The problem is that AMD gave its AIB partners no time to do so. They made a judgement call and sent out the bios to reviewers anyway and hoped for the best.

MSI is simply saying that instead of stealth upgrading cards that have not been validated they will create a new "Gaming Z" SKU that they have validated to run at the new clocks. Seems like the right move to avoid customer confusion and possible RMA headaches.
 

Marees

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This launch was, and still is, a cluster.
AMD didn't want to cannibalize the 5700, but, ended up doing it anyways, because of Nvidia "jebaiting" them with EVGA KO & founders edition price cuts

It would have been better of if AMD had planned for 5600 & 5600 XT & gradually phase out the reference 5700
 
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ThatITGuy

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But maybe bad publicity is better than no publicity.
I do not believe this applies as much in the tech world.
How many people still bring up Seagate reliability issues as a reason not to buy Seagate, when those issues were 2+ years ago?
I know that if i were looking at that "range" of video card, i would go with the RTX 2060 over the 5600 XT right now, because of all of this mess.
Personally, I am waiting to see the RTX 3000 series (mainly the top end of that spectrum) vs "Big Navi"/AMD's competitor card and how that pans out before choosing my next card.
 

chameleoneel

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I agree that this was a small mess. And I'm sure it was a real pain for some of the content creators who work on tight schedules.


HOWEVER. The competition is bubbling and it smells great.
 

Ready4Dis

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This long comment below the TechpowerUp review explains it for me

https://www.techpowerup.com/forums/...600-xt-gaming-x-gaming-z.263190/#post-4193943

MSI anticipated that RX 5600 XT would launch into a slot in the GPU market where there was no other competition, so it would be a good seller, especially at under the psychological $300 mark. Based on that they budgeted a certain amount of money to design a number of 5600 XT SKUs, covering the performance range from stock to just below 5700.

Then NVIDIA cut RTX 2060 prices by $30 and suddenly the 5600 XT was no longer competitive. AMD had two options, either cut RX 5600 XT prices in return, or increase the card's performance. Since 5600 margins are apparently quite slim as is, AMD chose to release a new higher-performance BIOS.

That means AMD and its AIBs aren't losing money on every RX 5600 XT sold, but it does mean that AIBs with more 5600 XT SKUs - e.g. MSI - are screwed. Because instead of being able to market cards at various points along the clockspeed (performance) range from 1375MHz/12Gbps to slightly over 1615MHz/14Gbps, they now have to start at the higher value. Which means their new "stock speed" card isn't 10%+ behind their fastest card, it's maybe 3%. Which suddenly means that half the 5600 XT SKUs designed by MSI have cannibalised the other half. Which means the design and testing and marketing time spent by MSI on those now-dead SKUs... is a loss for MSI.

There's no way MSI is going to sit back and just accept that. Over its lifetime, maybe the 5600 XT will sell well enough as a whole to recoup those costs. But... maybe it won't. And MSI is a business, it doesn't exist to break even, it exists to make a profit. So MSI is going to pad its 5600 XT prices to ensure it still makes a profit on these cards, which is probably going to make MSI 5600 XTs sell poorly, which is probably going to make MSI think twice about committing so heavily to buy so many AMD GPUs next time around.

On the flipside, you can bet that MSI and every other AIB is reaching out to NVIDIA in a frantic attempt to acquire defective TU104 chips so that they too can make an "RTX 2060 KO". That card is going to make EVGA filthy stinking rich.

(AIBs like Sapphire can afford to leave their 5600 XT cards at original pricing because they didn't design half-a-dozen SKUs, so they have fewer to write off.)

Honestly, the 2060 price drop was a masterpiece. It's an older card, so AIBs have long ago made back the money they spent to create their 2060 SKUs, so they won't mind too much that it's being price-dropped. It won't cannibalise existing SKUs because they're all old stock that's already been cannibalised by the 2060 SUPER. And of course, it gives NVIDIA-favouring AIBs a SKU that can compete with the RX 5600 XT, so they can make more sales.

Honestly it's a massive win-win for NVIDIA and its partners, and a lose-lose for AMD and its partners.
This seems like poor planning for MSI. They had to know Nvidia was going to respond. Why they made so many SKUs just doesn't make sense even if Nvidia didn't price cut. With the price cut it makes their blunder even more pronounced.
 

Snowdog

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Evidence?
The mess of a launch is the evidence. I know AMD fans want to pass the blame to AIBs, but this was AMDs screwup.

If they actually planned this as a contingency with their AIBs there would be no mess. Instead, it was an unprepared reaction with a messy result.
 

FrgMstr

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The mess of a launch is the evidence. I know AMD fans want to pass the blame to AIBs, but this was AMDs screwup.

If they actually planned this as a contingency with their AIBs there would be no mess. Instead, it was an unprepared reaction with a messy result.
I think you are a bit off point here. I may dig into this a bit to see if I can find the true story of how this all unfolded. I still have lots of friends at AIBs.
 

Mega6

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The mess of a launch is the evidence. I know AMD fans want to pass the blame to AIBs, but this was AMDs screwup.

If they actually planned this as a contingency with their AIBs there would be no mess. Instead, it was an unprepared reaction with a messy result.
You know, for someone whom touts they "don't like rumors" - sure like starting them.

"MSI, it revealed the brand-new RX 5600 XT Gaming Z, which has the same clock speeds as the Gaming X model but with 14 Gbps memory onboard. The graphics card will be available in the middle of February."
 

Snowdog

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I think you are a bit off point here. I may dig into this a bit to see if I can find the true story of how this all unfolded. I still have lots of friends at AIBs.
There are really only two parties involved. AMD and AIBs. Either several AIB's coincidentally screwed up simultaneously, or AMD did. Occam's Razor says this is on AMD, as does just about everyone else. Even AMD friendly sites:

 
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FrgMstr

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There are really only two parties involved. AMD and AIBs. Either several AIB's coincidentally screwed up simultaneously, or AMD did. Occam's Razor says this is on AMD, as does just about everyone else. Even AMD friendly sites:

Edit: You know what, I am just going to stay out of this and shut my yapper.
 
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Ready4Dis

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More like poor planning by AMD, that put AIBs in a bind.
Sure, but MSIs planning and pricing vs. Sapphire... They were trying to release a card every $10 knowing Nvidia would most likely drop prices. AMD may not have gave them enough heads up, but even without the performance increase MSI put themselves in a needlessly stupid position. So they are complaining about AMD, but in reality they just didn't plan well regardless of AMDs performance bump. Without it, their cards would still be in an awkward pricing space. Did AMD help? Not by a long shot, but all of their cards that don't make sense didn't before the change.
 

5150Joker

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There's the proof right there. Finally AIBs speaking out. Someone at AMD will be in the stinger for this!
Looks like AMD jebaited their board partners by passing the buck on to them. Also I hope reviewers make note that not all 5600 XT will receive this vbios update so there really isn't a baseline 5600 XT SKU like AMD would have you believe. According to MSI, the memory is allocated by AMD and were only validates at 12 Gbps.

BDB771FD-BB48-4454-BFEC-DA9795A13091.png
 
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