AMD Launches Radeon RX 5600 XT for $279: Up to 25% Faster than the NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti

AMD launched the Radeon RX 5500 XT last month but it failed to measure up to the expectations of the gaming community. While the 4GB model is slightly faster than the GeForce GTX 1650 Super, it also costs more. The 8GB variant, on the other hand, performed more or less the same, while costing as much as the GTX 1660, a notably faster GPU. Now to balance the scales, AMD is out with another GPU, the much anticipated Radeon RX 5600 XT.

  AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT AMD Radeon RX 5700 AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT
CUs 36 36 22
Shaders 2304 2304 1408
Texture Units 144 144 88
ROPs 64 64 32
Base Clock 1235MHz 1465MHz 1607MHz
Game Clock 1375MHz 1625MHz 1717MHz
Boost Clock 1560MHz 1725MHz 1845MHz
Memory Clock 12 Gbps 14 Gbps 14 Gbps
Memory Bus Width 192-bit 256-bit 128-bit
TDP 150W 180W 130W
GPU Navi 10 Navi 10 Navi 14
Launch Price $279 $349 $169

With an aim to conquer the fastest GTX 16 series card from NVIDIA, the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, the RX 5600 XT is essentially a lower clocked 5500. AMD has made slight cuts to the Navi 10 die and glued it to 6GB of GDDR6 memory via a 192-bit bus.

The choice of disabled Compute Units is rather interesting. Usually, it’s just one entire block of CUs that gets the ax, but here, one CU from every cluster is disabled. I suspect this was done to reuse the defective Navi 10 dies originally meant for the RX 5700s. Furthermore, another obvious difference is the significantly lower clock speed. I wonder if a mod will allow the 5600 XT to boost as much as the 5700 or whether there is a hard limit AMD has implemented.

As for the other specs, one 64-bit memory controller along with four blocks of L2 cache has also been disabled, bringing down the bus width and cache from 256-bit and 4MB to 192-bit and 3MB, respectively. The rest of the specs are the same as the RX 5700. The RBs, rasterizers and PU count are all identical.

The 5600 XT comes with all the features of the Navi 10 cards: Radeon Anti-Lag, Radeon Boost, Fidelity FX and of course a free game.

AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT vs NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti

As per AMD’s official figures, the RX 5600 XT is up to 15% faster than the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti at 1080p (ultra) across a variety of titles. eSports games like PUBG, Apex, and Fortnite see a relatively smaller performance boost, mostly in the 5-10% performance range.

Compared to the Pascal-based GTX 1060, we’re looking at a lofty 55% boost in performance in popular games like The Witcher 3, Division 2 and Gears 5. The reason AMD is putting the 5600 XT alongside the 1060 is mostly because of the nomenclature. Otherwise, the 1060 is more or less redundant at this point and the available units are mostly 2nd hand parts that sell for under $200.

At $279, AMD is positioning the Radeon RX 5600 XT as the “Ultimate 1080p Gaming” GPU. The price-point puts it directly in contention with the GTX 1660 Ti. If the 5600 XT does turn out to be ~10-15% faster than its competitor, then this will be a solid win for AMD.

AMD Radeon RX 5600 and 5600M for Gaming Laptops

Alongside the Ryzen 4000 APUs (Renoir) for gaming laptops, AMD is also launching the RX 5600M and 5600 (for OEMs). This means that we’ll be seeing all AMD (Ryzen|Radeon) gaming laptops and PCs soon. These new 7nm based notebooks will be the first of their kind and should offer stiff competition to rival Intel/NVIDIA powered devices.

  AMD Radeon RX 5600M AMD Radeon RX 5500M AMD Radeon RX 5600
CUs 36 22 32
Compute Units 2304 1408 2048
Texture Units 144 88 128
ROPs 64 32 64
Game Clock 1375MHz 1448MHz 1265MHz
Boost Clock 1560MHz 1645MHz 1375MHz
Memory Clock 12 Gbps 14 Gbps 1560MHz
Bus Width 192-bit 128-bit 129-bit
TDP 60W 85W 150W
GPU Navi 10 Navi 14 Navi 10
Launch Date 21st Feb Oct 2019 21st Feb

The Radeon RX 5600M is basically a 5600 XT with (even) lower clocks. Although the official specs put the boost clocks on par with the desktop model, we’ll surely see OEMs reduce them to keep the TDP under 60W. Some of the fancier (bulkier) gaming laptops might even feature the desktop chips. After all, there are laptops with full-fledged RTX 2080s and 2070s running without any major thermal or power issues.

The Radeon RX 5600, on the other hand (like the 5500), will be exclusive to OEMs. Picture more AMD powered Alienware Aurora PCs and similar pre-built gaming desktops. Expect performance more or less in the same ballpark as the retail RX 5600 XT.

All three cards, the Radeon RX 5600, 5600M and 5600 are slated to hit retail on the 21st of January. Stay tuned for our in-depth review and analysis!


Computer hardware enthusiast, PC gamer, and almost an engineer. Former co-founder of Techquila (2017-2019), a fairly successful tech outlet. Been working on Hardware Times since 2019, an outlet dedicated to computer hardware and its applications.
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