After checking out a couple MSI’s and Gigabyte’s RX 5700 XT and RX 5700 models, feel free to browse through those on my channel, I’ll put a link in the right top corner to one of them, today I’m switching it up a bit by taking a look at Sapphire RX 5700 Pulse model. Yeah, I know it’s not the RX 5700 XT Nitro+ model, but I’m hoping I’ll also be able to check it out soon. Right Sapphire, right?
But, as you’ll see later on, the Pulse series has a lot to offer, and honestly, I was pleasantly surprised by how it performs cooling wise. The overall design of the card is not too flashy, the outer plastic shroud kinda feels a bit cheap to the touch and looks cheezy in my opinion, while this big cool metal back-plate makes up for it, so the card is overall still fairly neutral and will probably go along in most of the builds. On the other hand, you’ll have to keep in mind that it has a red LED Sapphire logo on the side, which cannot be controlled or turned off using the software, but you will rather have to unplug it.
The card is pretty wide as its shroud overhangs the PCB, they probably wanted to make it flush with the heat pipes, while this also introduced a great opportunity for the PCI-express power connector to be tucked in and hidden, plus, Sapphire made some room between the 8-pin and 6-pin PCI-express power connectors which are needed to power up this model, so you can tuck away that extra 2-pins in there from the other cable just like nothing happened. As for other connectors on it, you’ll get three DisplayPorts and one HDMI video output.
Sapphire RX 5700 Pulse keeping it simple
Underneath the shroud you’ll find a pretty meaty cooling assembly of the RX 5700 Pulse, with a big aluminum heatsink, carrying three 6 mm nickel-plated copper heat-pipes, two separate plates for cooling off the GDDR6 memory and components for 7+2 phase power delivery system, finished off with another copper plate for the GPU itself.
On top of all of that we have two 95 mm fans and what’s most interesting about them is they are easily removable just by undoing a single screw, and then you pop the fan out as it has this hot-swappable like connection, and this way you can do some dust maintenance in no time, or you can replace them if, for example, the fan bearing goes bad. Of course, they also support 0 RPM fan mode, when the card is not under load, and speaking of that, the idle temperature is set at around 45°C.
Turning the heat up a bit, I was seeing fairly decent results. The GPU temperature was hanging mostly around 70°C, while the GPU hot spot and memory temperature were closer to the neighborhood of 80°C, with VRM temperature being around 60°C most of the time. It seems like those are the temperatures targets after which is Sapphire strictly going for with this model, together with the GPU clock speed, and depending on the load level, the fans would spin a bit faster or slower. Usually, that was around 1 0-1100 RPM when everything settles in, although they do sometimes ramp up at first to about 1400 RPM and then slowly taper off to those lower values.
The RX 5700 Pulse has a dual BIOS, but is it neccessary?
This theory is additionally confirmed with the fact that when I did my overclocking of the card, where I’ve also done some undervolting on it, the temperatures remained more or less the same, while the fan’s speed went down by about 200-300 RPM. Here’s a short sound clip of the card under stock and OC load, while also showing the sound meter for measurement comparison.
Although it has a dual profile BIOS setup, one is called the Silent Mode and the other is the so to speak normal Boost mode, you can jump in between them using a dedicated switch found on the card , the Silent Mode is basically not needed at all since the card, as you’ve just heard, is quiet to begin with, especially when undervolted, plus you’ll lose some performance with it since it clocks down the GPU.
Before I get to the benchmarking results, if you have any question or other concerns in regards of my RX 5700 Pulse review, or anything in general, feel free to leave your comment down below, and down there, in the description box to be precise, you can also find my setup which I used for testing this GPU out. OK, let’s check out the performance of this card.
As expected, and as you’ve probably already saw by now, especially if you’re looking to buy a RX 5700 series card, this particular model brings in more than enough performance output for high-refresh-rate gaming at 1080p. If not for that, the regular 1440p gaming is definitely it’s sweet-spot, while 4K should is doable if you don’t go all-in with graphics settings. Feel free to check out my other graphics card reviews to see how it compares wih other RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT out there, as well as how it stands in relation to the green team.
With the graphics card being overclocked using the settings which I showed a bit earlier, the GPU clock speed peaked mostly around 1800 MHz, instead of 1700 MHz stock, and the video memory was running at just a bit below 14,9 GHz effectively, I got roughly around 5% performance increase, which isn’t a lot, but is something considering it’s free, plus the power consumption goes done quite a bit because of the undervolting, around 20W less on the graphics cards, which is roughly around 10% lower.
Lastly, Sapphire has a new version of their Trixx software utility, which is now pretty bear-bones looking, at least when it comes to actually controlling the card. In here you can check out the specifications of your card and monitor its components, while at that last Trixx Boost tab, you can basically enable resolution scaling, where it renders a game on a bit lower resolution, you can choose by how much by pulling a slider on a scale which goes between performance and quality, and after then it up-scales that image, giving you, in the end, a little bit of an extra performance output. But, that’s something you can do on your own through the AMD Radeon Settings, create a custom resolution and turn on the Radeon Image Sharpening. Although, I’m a bit confused with how this software shoulda actually look like and what can you do with, because on the Sapphire official webpage, the 7.0 version looks completely different than my here, maybe it just doesn’t support the Pulse series yet.
To no one’s surprise, Sapphire again made a pretty compelling graphics card model when it comes to prices to performance ratio for the segment which it represents. That’s the path they’ve been using for as long as I can remember, of course, there’s been a mishap or two here and there, but usually, you can expect from them to be consistent, as also was the case this time. In the end, you’ll be the one who decides what works best for you based on the information I’ve shown you here.
That’s it for this time, thanks for checking out my Sapphire RX 5700 Pulse review, and if you have any question feel free to hit me in the comments section of my YouTube video listed above, you can contact me via my social media channels!