A Closer Look at the Sapphire Pulse RX 5700 XT
The Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5700 XT is from AMD’s second generation of 7 nm graphics processors and uses AMD’s RDNA architecture. The Pulse RX 5700 XT has a total of 2560 stream processors. The base clock speed of the Pulse RX 5700 XT is 1670 MHz. The card has a game clock speed of 1815 MHz and a boost clock speed of up to 1925 MHz. However, according to GPU-Z, our sample boosted as high as 2090 MHz. Unlike the Radeon VII card, the Pulse 5700 XT uses 8 GB of GDDR6 memory running on a 256-bit bus with an effective memory clock speed of 14 Gbps.
The Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5700 XT is a rather small card for having a custom cooler. The card measures 10″ long by 4.75″ wide by 1.75″ tall. So there should be little to no issue fitting the Pulse RX 5700 XT in really any system. The design on the backplate looking like a heart monitor you’d see in a hospital. Makes sense giving its name, the Sapphire Pulse RX 5700 XT. The backplate provides extra support to help prevent the PCB from bending due to sagging. The backplate is black and gray with red accents and red and white lettering. The Sapphire Pulse logo is set to the side in between the BIOS switch and the 8 + 6 pin connectors. The backplate is also vented to help dissipate heat.
The Sapphire Pulse RX 5700 XT is a dual fan card with two 90 mm fans each with 9 blades. Each blade has grooves on them to help direct the airflow in a specific direction. The blade design allows the fans to run about 10% quieter. Each fan has two ball bearings. Dual ball bearing fans have about an 85% longer lifespan when compared to traditional sleeve bearing fans. I very much like the silver mesh design on the front of the card. It’s reminiscent of the EVGA GTX 1080 FTW.
At the very front of the card is the I/O bracket. The I/O is a more traditional I/O and consists of three DisplayPort 1.4 ports and a single HDMI 2.1 port. The HDMI port can output a max resolution of 4096 x 2160@ 60 HZ. Each DisplayPort 1.4 port can output a max resolution of 5120 x 2880 also @ 60 Hz. The four ports are in one straight line and above, the bracket is vented to allow for better airflow. On the opposite end of the card, the shroud that covers the cooler is open-ended to again, allow for better airflow.
Like all other cards, the bottom edge has the standard PCIe express connector. However, unlike most other cards, the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5700 XT is a PCIe 4.0 card as opposed to PCIe 3.0 like previous generation AMD and Nvidia cards. Looking along the bottom of the card, you can see some of the heat pipes that make up part of the cooler on the Pulse RX 5700 XT. To the far right, you can see the there is a small 4-pin LED header for the LED lights on the side of the shroud.
On the top edge, we find the Sapphire logo that is illuminated by the LED lights behind the logo. to the right of the logo, you see the rest of the heat pipes that run through the fins on the cooler. The longest heat pipe on this side of the card wraps in front of the 8-pin and 6-pin power connectors that power the card from the power supply.
The Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5700 XT is a dual bios card. This can be very helpful feature to have. The default BIOS is in position number one, or to the right. In this bios, the base clock speed of the Pulse RX 5700 XT is 1670 MHz. The card has a game clock speed of 1815 MHz and a boost clock speed of up to 1925 MHz. The second BIOS is the “Silent Mode” BIOS. This lowers the base clock speed to 1605 MHz, the game clock speed to 1755 MHz and the boost clock speed to 1905 MHz and the memory clock speed stays the same. This can be especially useful if say a bios get corrupted.