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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F1 2019

The latest in a long line of successful racing games, F1 2019 is a gem to test, supplying a wide array of both graphical and benchmarking options, making it a much more reliable (and fun) option that the Forza series. It’s built on the latest version of Codemasters’ buttery-smooth Ego game engine, complete with support for DX12 for the first time. We test two laps on the Australia course, with clear skies.

f1 2019 Brad Chacos/IDG

Power draw, thermals, and noise

We test power draw by looping the F1 2019 benchmark for about 20 minutes after we’ve benchmarked everything else and noting the highest reading on our Watts Up Pro meter. The initial part of the race, where all competing cars are onscreen simultaneously, tends to be the most demanding portion. 

power Brad Chacos/IDG

AMD’s new “Navi” GPU architecture blessed the Radeon RX 5000-series GPUs with significantly better energy efficiency than previous Radeon generations. Despite having slower GPU and memory clock speeds than the Sapphire Pulse equipped with its upgraded VBIOS, XFX’s Thicc II Pro draws only slightly less power. Every card tested here does great, though.

We test thermals by leaving GPU-Z open during the F1 2019 power draw test, noting the highest maximum temperature at the end.

temps Brad Chacos/IDG

XFX’s cooler design looks much sleeker than the Sapphire Pulse’s budget aesthetic, but the reduced "thiccness" affects the card’s cooling. Even though the Pulse packs much higher GPU and memory clocks, it runs slightly cooler than the Thicc II Pro, and even the EVGA RTX 2060 KO’s bolted-on GTX 1660-class cooler manages to hit lower temperatures. It’s a bit of a letdown on paper, but not in practice: XFX’s Radeon RX 5600 XT runs plenty cool enough and maintains subjectively quiet noise levels.

Next page: Should you buy the XFX Radeon RX 5600 XT Thicc II Pro?

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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