XFX Radeon RX 5600 XT Thicc II Pro review: A good graphics card in a weird place

AMD's last-second tinkering with Radeon RX 5600 XT specifications hurts XFX's Thicc II Pro

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Strange Brigade

Strange Brigade is a cooperative third-person shooter where a team of adventurers blasts through hordes of mythological enemies. It’s a technological showcase, built around the next-gen Vulkan and DirectX 12 technologies and infused with features like HDR support and the ability to toggle asynchronous compute on and off. It uses Rebellion’s custom Azure engine. Last year, we used the DX12 renderer as it offered improved performance, but in 2020, we’ve switched to the Vulkan renderer with async compute enabled, as it’s now your fastest option and Vulkan games are rare indeed.

strange brigade Brad Chacos/IDG

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Shadow of the Tomb Raider concludes the reboot trilogy, and it’s utterly gorgeous. Square Enix optimized this game for DX12, and recommends DX11 only if you’re using older hardware or Windows 7, so we test with DX12. Shadow of the Tomb Raider uses an enhanced version of the Foundation engine that also powered Rise of the Tomb Raider and includes optional real-time ray tracing features.

sotr Brad Chacos/IDG

Total War: Three Kingdoms

Most of the games in our suite are shooters or adventure games, but we’ve included Total War: Three Kingdoms to give us a glimpse at RTS performance. It’s another DX11 game, running on an improved version of the same engine found in Creative Assembly’s previous Total War entries.

total war 3 kingdoms Brad Chacos/IDG

GTA V

This game that isn’t really a visual barn-burner, but it still tops the Steam charts day in and day out. We test Grand Theft Auto V with all options turned to Very High, all Advanced Graphics options except extended shadows enabled, and FXAA. GTA V runs on the RAGE engine and has received substantial updates since its initial launch. The game hits a CPU bottleneck around 100 fps at 1080p resolution in our system. 

gtav Brad Chacos/IDG

Next page: Gaming benchmarks, thermals, and power

At a Glance
  • The XFX Radeon RX 5600 XT Thicc II Pro is a good, well-designed graphics card for no-compromises 1080p gaming, but it suffers from AMD's last-second product decisions.

    Pros

    • Excellent 1080p gaming performance
    • Fast GDDR6 VRAM, PCIe 4.0 support
    • Attractive, sleek design
    • Idle fan stop feature for silent desktop use
    • Dual-BIOS switch
    • Very quiet

    Cons

    • Not as fast as RTX 2060 or RX 5600 XT at similar prices
    • Have to manually install critical performance-boosting BIOS
    • No real-time ray tracing capabilities
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