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AMD Clarifies Last-Minute RX 5600 XT Power-Up!

AMD Clarifies Last-Minute RX 5600 XT Overclocking!

We reached out to AMD about the last-minute Radeon RX 5600 XT overclocking, and here are a couple of things we found out…

 

Last Minute Radeon RX 5600 XT Overclocking : What Happened?

The AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT launched with a TGP of 150 watts, a 1375 MHz game clock, a 1560 MHz boost clock and 12 Gbps GDDR6 memory.

But less than a week before it was made available for sale, AMD gave it a big boost in these respects :

  • Up to 20.7% higher game clock
  • Up to 12% higher boost clock
  • Up to 16.7% higher memory clock
  • Up to 10W higher TGP

All that overclocking makes the Radeon RX 5600 XT quite a different beast from what was initially announced, and better positions it against the discounted NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 cards.

Recommended : Yes! AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT Gets SUPER Power-Up!

 

AMD On The Last Minute Radeon RX 5600 XT Overclocking

We reached out to AMD about this last-minute overclocking of the Radeon RX 5600 XT, and here is what we found out :

No Change In Specifications

Officially, the AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT never received a power-up, and the official specifications will not change.

Like the RX 5500 XT, the RX 5600 XT does not have a reference card, and can only be purchased from an AMD AIB partner.

AMD only provides a minimum set of specifications for the RX 5600 XT and it is up to their AIB partners to configure their cards as they see fit.

As far as they are concerned, the official specifications are what their partners “start from”, and this last-minute Radeon RX 5600 XT overclocking is nothing more than a decision by their AIB partner.

No Change In Price

AMD also clarified that there will be no change in the SEP of US$279, even though NVIDIA recently slashed the price of their GeForce RTX 2060 down to US$299.

Again, that is their recommended e-tail price – “starting from“, which means their AIB partners are free to charge whatever they want.

Recommended : SAPPHIRE PULSE RX 5600 XT In-Depth Review!

 

Our Opinion

Now, that’s AMD’s official word.

Unofficially, we understand that there is a scramble to reprogram cards that have already been shipped, so they will be sold with the power-up BIOS for higher clock speeds and TGP.

When it comes to the SAPPHIRE PULSE RX 5600 XT we have over here, it is notable that even though it was an overclocked part, it launched with a 150W TGP and 12 Gbps memory.

Yet, just days before it’s available for sale, they greatly boosted its clock speeds and increased its TGP… and changed their website to reflect the new specifications.

It is unlikely that SAPPHIRE would have done so without AMD’s “recommendation”, because if they wanted to launch the PULSE RX 5600 XT with the supercharged specifications, they would have done so from the get-go.

It is insane for them to pull a last-minute change like that, because it would mean getting their distributors to manually update the cards that had earlier been shipped.

But whatever the reasons, this makes the SAPPHIRE PULSE RX 5600 XT a far more exciting card than it would have been. And certainly, much better value for the money… if Sapphire does not charge more for the power-up!

Fingers crossed!

Update : All other AMD AIB partners have also released their Radeon RX 5600 XT power-up BIOS updates!

 

AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT Specifications Compared!

By overclocking the Radeon RX 5600 XT so much, it is better positioned against the GeForce RTX 2060, which received a $50 price cut to $299 just a few days ago.

Even without the boost, the RX 5600 XT already delivers higher texture and pixel fill rates than the RTX 2060. But the boost gave it parity in memory bandwidth, which we think will matter a lot.

Specifications GeForce
RTX 2060
Radeon RX
5600 XT
(160W)
Radeon RX
5600 XT
(150W)
Radeon RX
5600
Transistors 10.8 billion 10.3 billion 10.3 billion 10.3 billion
Fab Process 12 nm 7 nm 7 nm 7 nm
Total Graphics Power 160 W 160 W 150 W 150 W
Stream Processors 1920 2304 2304 2048
Game Clock 1365 MHz 1660 MHz 1375 MHz 1375 MHz
Boost Clock 1680 MHz 1750 MHz 1560 MHz 1560 MHz
TMUs 120 144 144 128
Max. Texture Rate 201.6 GT/s 252.0 GT/s 224.6 GT/s 199.7 GT/s
ROPs 48 64 64 64
Max. Pixel Rate 80.6 GP/s 112.0 GP/s 99.8 GP/s 99.8 GP/s
Memory Size 6 GB 6 GB 6 GB 6 GB
Memory Type GDDR6 GDDR6 GDDR6 GDDR6
Memory Speed 14 Gbps 14 Gbps 12 Gbps 12 Gbps
Bus Width 192-bit 192-bit 192-bit 192-bit
Bandwidth 336 GB/s 336 GB/s 288 GB/s 288 GB/s
PCIe Interface PCIe 3.0 x16 PCIe 4.0 x16 PCIe 4.0 x16 PCIe 4.0 x16

Once the NDA expires, we will take a closer look at how the overclocked Radeon RX 5600 XT compares against the GeForce RTX 2060!

 

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PCI Clock Synchronization Mode – The Tech ARP BIOS Guide

PCI Clock Synchronization Mode

Common Options : To CPU, 33.33 MHz, Auto

 

Quick Review of PCI Clock Synchronization Mode

The PCI Clock Synchronization Mode BIOS feature allows you to force the PCI bus to either synchronize itself with the processor FSB (Front Side Bus) speed, or run at the standard clock speed of 33.33 MHz.

When set to To CPU, the PCI bus speed is slaved to the processor’s FSB speed. Any change in FSB speed will result in a similar change in the PCI bus speed. For example, if you increase the processor’s FSB speed by 10%, the PCI bus speed will increase by 10% as well.

When set to 33.33 MHz, the PCI bus speed will be locked into its standard clock speed of 33.33 MHz. No matter what the processor’s FSB speed is, the PCI bus will always run at 33.33 MHz.

The Auto option is ambiguous. Without testing, its effect cannot be ascertained since it’s up to the manufacturer what it wishes to implement by default for the motherboard. But logically, the Auto setting should force the PCI bus to run at its standard speed of 33.33 MHz for maximum compatibility.

It is recommended that you set the PCI Clock Synchronization Mode BIOS feature to To CPU if you are overclocking the processor FSB up to 12.5%. If you wish to overclock the processor FSB beyond 12.5%, then you should set this BIOS feature to 33.33 MHz.

However, if you do not intend to overclock, this BIOS feature will not have any effect. The PCI bus will remain at 33.33 MHz, no matter what you select.

 

Details of PCI Clock Synchronization Mode

The PCI Clock Synchronization Mode BIOS feature allows you to force the PCI bus to either synchronize itself with the processor FSB (Front Side Bus) speed, or run at the standard clock speed of 33.33 MHz.

When set to To CPU, the PCI bus speed is slaved to the processor’s FSB speed. Any change in FSB speed will result in a similar change in the PCI bus speed. For example, if you increase the processor’s FSB speed by 10%, the PCI bus speed will increase by 10% as well.

When set to 33.33MHz, the PCI bus speed will be locked into its standard clock speed of 33.33 MHz. No matter what the processor’s FSB speed is, the PCI bus will always run at 33.33 MHz.

The Auto option is ambiguous. Without testing, its effect cannot be ascertained since it’s up to the manufacturer what it wishes to implement by default for the motherboard. But logically, the Auto setting should force the PCI bus to run at its standard speed of 33.33 MHz for maximum compatibility.

Synchronizing the PCI bus with the processor FSB allows for greater performance when you are overclocking. Because the PCI bus will be overclocked as you overclock the processor FSB, you will experience better performance from your PCI devices. However, if your PCI device cannot tolerate the overclocked PCI bus, you may experience issues like system crashes or data corruption.

The recommended safe limit for an overclocked PCI bus is 37.5 MHz. This is the speed at which practically all new PCI cards can run at without breaking a sweat. Still, you should test the system thoroughly for stability issues before committing to an overclocked PCI bus speed.

Please note that if you wish to synchronize the PCI bus with the processor FSB and remain within this relatively safe limit, you can only overclock the processor FSB by up to 12.5%. Any higher, your PCI bus will be overclocked beyond 37.5 MHz.

If you wish to overclock the processor FSB further without worrying about your PCI devices, then you should set this BIOS feature to 33.33 MHz. This forces the PCI bus to run at the standard speed of 33.33MHz, irrespective of the processor’s FSB speed.

It is recommended that you set the PCI Clock Synchronization Mode BIOS feature to To CPU if you are overclocking the processor FSB up to 12.5%. If you wish to overclock the processor FSB beyond 12.5%, then you should set this BIOS feature to 33.33 MHz.

However, if you do not intend to overclock, this BIOS feature will not have any effect. The PCI bus will remain at 33.33 MHz, no matter what you select.

 

Recommended Reading

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CPU Drive Strength from The Tech ARP BIOS Guide

CPU Drive Strength

Common Options : 0, 1, 2, 3

 

Quick Review of CPU Drive Strength

The CPU Drive Strength BIOS feature allows you to manually set the drive strength of the CPU bus. The higher the value, the stronger the drive strength.

If you are facing stability problems with your processor, you might want to try boosting the CPU drive strength to a higher value. It will help to correct any possible increase in impedance from the motherboard.

It can also be used to improve the CPU’s overclockability. By raising the processor drive strength, it is possible to improve its stability at overclocked speeds.

However, this is not a surefire way of overclocking the CPU. Increasing it to the highest value will not necessarily mean that you can overclock the CPU more than you already can.

In addition, it is important to note that increasing the processor drive strength will not improve its performance. Contrary to popular opinion, it is not a performance-enhancing feature.

 

Details of CPU Drive Strength

The system controller has auto-compensation circuitry to automatically compensate for impedance variations in motherboard designs.

Now, the impedance is more or less fixed for each motherboard design. So some manufacturers may choose to pre-calculate and use a fixed, optimal CPU drive strength for a particular design.

However, due to variations in ambient conditions and manufacturing variances, there may be situations where the impedance compensation may not be sufficient.

This is where the CPU Drive Strength BIOS option comes in – it allows you to manually set the processor bus drive strength. The higher the value, the stronger the drive strength.

If you are facing stability problems with your processor, you might want to try boosting the processor drive strength to a higher value. It will help to correct any possible increase in impedance from the motherboard.

It can also be used to improve the CPU’s overclockability. By raising the processor drive strength, it is possible to improve its stability at overclocked speeds. Try the higher values of 2 or 3 if your CPU just won’t go the extra mile.

However, this is not a surefire way of overclocking the CPU. Increasing it to the highest value will not necessarily mean that you can overclock the CPU more than you already can.

In addition, it is important to note that increasing the processor drive strength will not improve its performance. Contrary to popular opinion, it is not a performance-enhancing feature.

Although little else is known about this feature, the downsides to a high CPU drive strength would probably be increased EMI (Electromagnetic Interference), power consumption and thermal output.

Therefore, unless you need to boost the processor bus drive strength (for troubleshooting or overclocking purposes), it is recommended that you leave it at the default setting.

 

Recommended Reading

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If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!