John Weland | March 25, 2020

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Sapphire Nitro+ RX 5700XT: Dreaming in 1440p

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If you’re a gamer focusing on 1440p gaming and still budget minded, the Sapphire Nitro+ 5700XT may be worth taking a look at.

Unboxing

The Sapphire Nitro+ 5700XT comes well packaged in an informative (if not a little flashy) sleeve that encases the cardboard box. Inside is custom formed rigid black Styrofoam with very little wasted space. My box arrived with a big boot print on it and the card survived so I count that as a win. All of the documentation for the 5700XT seems to be printed on the box sleeve.

Looking at Sapphire Nitro+

The Sapphire Nitro+ 5700XT looks amazing with its silver and black aesthetic metal back plate and what feels to be all metal housing. For the RGB lovers out there, there is a plethora of addressable RGB LEDs that can be controlled from Sapphire’s own Trixx software. Alternatively, the card can be connected to your motherboard’s ARGB header.

This 305mm long card is cooled by a triple fan design, with the center fan spinning in an opposite rotation. This is intended to improve airflow and reduce vibration. The Sapphire Nitro+ 5700XT is configured with a 7+1+2 phase VRM and powered by dual 8-pin power connectors, and can consume up to about 250w (stock). The PCB also features a dual BIOS switch for changing between performance and silent modes.

Specs and Overclocking

The Sapphire Nitro+ 5700XT is the first GPU to market to be PCI-E 4.0 capable. The GPU has a core clock of 1770MHz with a boot to 2010MHz as well as 2560 Stream Processors. the 5700XT also has 8GB of GDDR6 video memory with a effective memory clock of 14Gbps.

After I did my initial testing, I played around with overclocking in the 2020 Radeon settings. I was able to push the GPU boost clock to 2140MHz and run a few benchmarks without a crash, though the increase in FPS was marginal compared to the heat produced. I also tried my hand at undervolting and managed to maintain FPS with my stock results while only consuming a max of 200w of power and saving me nearly 10c on temperatures and of course lower fan noise.

Extras

Some things to note: the Trixx software also has a feature to check your cards fan health. If you have a fan fail, you can submit for a replacement by Sapphire. This allows you to replace the faulty fan with a working one with minimal effort – one screw, and snapping in a new fan. This should save you the down time of having to RMA your GPU should a fan fail.

At the time of writing this, participating vendors will also email you a code for AMD Rewards upon receiving your Sapphire Nitro+ 5700XT. This reward code will earn you two games: Monster Hunter World with the IceBorne DLC, as well as a copy of the Resident Evil 3 remake. Additionally you may also get a code for 3 free months of XBox Game Pass.

Testing

System configuration

CPURyzen 7 2700x (4.0GHz OC)
MBASUS Crosshair VI Hero (x370)
RAM32GB Ballistix Elite (3200MHz)
SSDADATA SX7000
GPUGigabyte Vega 56 | Sapphire Nitro+ 5700XT
PSURosewill Hive 1000w

For testing I compared the Sapphire Nitro+ 5700XT against the Gigabyte Radeon Vega 56. I wanted to show what a person could expect if upgrading from a previous generation Radeon card to this.

1080p Max Settings (presets)

GameVega 56Sapphire Nitro+ 5700XT
Final Fantasy XV5590
Farcry 580110
Resident Evil 27595
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice40100

1440p Max Settings (presets)

GameVega 56Sapphire Nitro+ 5700XT
Final Fantasy XV3280
Farcry 56285
Resident Evil 232115
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice2895

Final Thoughts

While both cards ran fine at 1080p, the Vega actually consistantly performed a little better in Farcry 5. However, at 1440p is where the Sapphire Nitro+ 5700XT really starts to shine. For anyone with a GPU budget of about $430 – $460, the Sapphire Nitro+ 5700XT is well worth it. I cannot quite put in to words the sheer difference in visual quality. When you compare visual performace, 1440p is over 1080p at the same settings, and to be able to play at 75+ FPS (which is within the Freesync range on my displays) makes for a gorgeous, smooth experience.

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