Sapphire PULSE Radeon RX 5700 8GB OC with Backplate Video Card Review

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As a gamer, I want the latest and the greatest components for my PC to outpace the other guy/gal.  For that competitive edge, the latest and the greatest is needed.  The next gen video card comes out, and we all want it, but it’s always best to know what you are getting.  Today I am reviewing the Sapphire PULSE Radeon RX 5700 8GB OC with Backplate Video card.

Before we get into the review itself, let’s get into the features and specifications.

Specifications and Features

  • Based off of AMD’s 2nd Gen 7nm RDNA architecture
  • 1540Mhz Base clock
    • Boost Clock of Up to 1750Mhz
    • 1700Mhz Game Clock
    • Robust VRM Cooling
  • 8Gigs of 256Bit GDDR6 RAM
    • 14 Gbps Effective
  • 2,304 Stream processors
  • 7+1+2 Phase Digital Power Design
  • Dual BIOS Support
  • 12 Layer PCB
    • Backplate
    • Dual-X cooling Technology
    • Fuse Protection External Fuse built into the circuit of the external PCI-e connectors
    • Quick Connect Fans
    • Two Ball Bearings 85% longer lifespan than sleeve bearings
    • Improvements to the fan blades for 10% quieter cards
  • 1 x HDMI
    • HDMI @ 4096×2160@60Hz
  • 3 x Display Port 1.4 w/DSC (lossless encoding)
    • Max of 4 concurrent displays
      • DisplayPort 1.4 5120×2880@60Hz
    • Supported Features
      • PCI Express 4.0
      • Streaming up to 8K
      • Asynchronous Compute
      • Radeon Rays Audio and True Audio Next
      • Radeon Image Sharpening
      • Fidelity FX
      • Radeon Freesync 2 HDR
      • Radeon VR Ready Premium
      • Radeon boost
      • Updated TriXX Boost feature to get maximum performance
      • Dual BIOS’
      • Fuse Protection
      • DirectX 12 Optimized
      • HDR Ready
      • Radeon Relive
    • Requires a minimum of 600Watts

Hopefully I didn’t bore you with all those species, but let’s check out an unboxing.

Leaving the best for last, I will start with the other pieces in the box.

First off, we find the Quick Installation Guide.  This might be good for some, but in this review I will show you exactly how to install it.

This document states where the card was made and their representative in Germany.

Surprisingly, nothing else came in the box, but that’s OK, the card is the important part.   Let’s take a close look at this card on the next page.

Continue on toA Close look at the card

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This card is a little wider than most, the fan housing makes it a little wider help keep the cards cooler and quieter.

The card includes 3 x Display 1.4 Ports supporting and 1 x HDMI port.  The Display port supports resolutions up to 8451×2880 and the HDMI supports resolutions of up to 4096×2160.

Turning the card, we can the side.

Towards the front of the card, we the BIOS select switch.  This comes in handy for when you decide you would like to overclock the card through firmware.  You can have 1 x BIOS with the original firmware and the other with the modified firmware.  This way, in case you push the card too far, you can always recover with the original firmware.

At the end of the card, we find 2 x PCI-e connections, a x8 and a x6.  Both are required to be plugged in for the card to work.  We can also see the exposed heatsink with a heatpipe leading towards the front of the card, where the BIOS selector switch was.

At the end of the card, we see the exposed heatsink fins, no frills no thrills here folks, but that’s OK.

Here we can see the top of the card, with the metal backplate, it’s nice looking.  The integrated the PULSE design here, along with the logo.

A closer look here shows the SAPPHIRE PULSE logo, but it also shows these cutouts on the shroud.  This helps with heat, since it rises.

Most of the heat will come through this portion of the card, where you plug in the inputs, some of that heat will be exhausted back into the case.  Exhausting a bit into the case occurs with most cards, nothing new here.

Here we can see the SAPPHIRE logo on the card, yes, it is lit red.  Before we actually get to see that card lit up though, we need to install it.  Let’s check that out in our next section, Installing the Sapphire PULSE Radeon RX 5700 8GB OC with Backplate.

Continue on to: Installing the Sapphire PULSE Radeon RX 5700 8GB OC with Backplate

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This section would be more for those of you that don’t know how to install video cards, it basically universal but who knows you may learn something too.  In this video, I not only show you how to install the new card, I show you how to remove an older one, just in case.

This is how the card looks like once it has been installed.  The process is pretty easy right?  For the first time people, I hope this makes you a little more confidant in doing this on your own.

Make sure you notice in that video, I linked up another video that shows you how to remove older video drivers you may have had installed.  It will help you tons, even if you came from an AMD card, its always best to remove the old driver and install the latest, DDU from Wagnardsoft will help you.

This was a short chapter, but this next chapter will go over benchmarks, Performance, Temperatures and Power consumption.

Continue on to: Benchmarks, Performance, Temperatures and Power consumption

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A video card does not work on its own, aside from drivers and all, we need the rest of the system here and it will also help you compare the results with your own system.

OK, aside from my system, here are the specs of the Sapphire PULSE Radeon RX 5700 8GB OC with Backplate as per GPU-Z.

You can see here, I am using the latest available driver, Adrenaline 19.7.5.

I use GPU-Z to gather temperatures of the card, but I use a Kill A Watt for reporting the wattage consumed.  The Kill A Watt by P3 International is great, you can click on this link to check it out on Amazon and maybe get yourself too.

I have changed up some of the games and programs I have used with more demanding and newer titles.  Here is the list of games and programs used for benchmarking.

  • FutureMark’s 3DMark Fire Strike
  • FutureMark’s TimeSpy
  • Metro Last Exodus
  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
  • Shadows of the Tomb Raider
  • Far Cry 5
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands

Alright, let’s get started.

The overall score on UL’s 3DMark FireStrike 1.1 was 20,214 and the hottest the card reached was 65°C.  During these tests, the maximum power consumed was 297Watts, while the average was 246Watts.  It’s actually incredible impressive that this scored better than 94% of all results.  Moving on to DX12, we have UL’s TimeSpy.

In TimeSpy, we can see the results are better than 76% of all results.  The overall score was 8,116 and the card heated up to 66°C while consuming 327Watts at max, and averaging at 234 Watts.  While these are in fact non playable benchmarks, they do give us a glimpse if anything on the performance we can expect, and it is looking good so far.  Let’s get away from Synthetic benchmarks, and jump into some actual game benchmarks.  We will start off with Metro Exodus by our friends over at Deep Silver.

I have always been a fan of the Metro series, not only have they been great games with a great story line, but they have the most brutal benchmarks.

Throughout these benchmarks, I keep the settings the same, changing only the resolutions.  So for example, I selected here “Ultra”, and thought the test I changed the resolution only from 1920 x 1080 to 2560 x 1440 to 3840 x 2160.

Here are the results from all 3 presets below.

At 3840×2160, Metro Exodus is completely unplayable at the Ultra preset.  On average, it was on par it came in at 29.99 FPS, while consuming an average of 274Watts heating up the card to 71°C.  At 2560×1440, the game became much more playable at 50.25FPS, eating up 278 Watts on average and keeping the PC toasty at 70°C.  At 1920×1080, the game was incredibly playable at 61.88 fps taking up 275Watts and keeping a cool 68°C.

This card is toughed as being a card capable of taking care of 2K easily, and while it did try, it fell shy of 60FPS.  If only there was a way to keep up the looks of the game, while still keeping that resolution.  You would either need to drop the eye candy or the resolution, as we saw on 1920×1080.  We may have a solution to that a little later in this review, a very handy idea Sapphire had on taking care of this for us.

So, let’s jump over and see what Laura has for us in Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

Again here, I keep the settings the same, changing only the resolutions.

Laura was a lot gentler with us than Metro was.  While we go over frames rendered, I will only go over average FPS.

At 3840 x 2160 we stuttered at 35 FPS, drawing only 256 Watts on average and toasting up the card to 75°C.  At 2560 x 1440, things were totally smooth at 69 frames per second at a warm 74°C and consuming 268 Watts on average, that 4.58% more consumed than at 4K.  At 1920 x 1080, the frame rate increased 39.53% at 103 FPS and the temperature dropped 2° at 72°C and took up 270 Watts on average.

Interesting on how the more the card became fully utilized, how it consumed less power on average.

So much technology here in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and so much destruction, much of it natural like in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.  Let’s see what really happens there.

Another new title to the reviews is Assassins Creed Odyssey.

Again at 3840 x 2160 we slide showed across at 65 FPS, drawing 273 Watts on average though staying relatively cool at 69°C.  At 2560 x 1440, performance rose 43.90% to 50 frames per second, not perfectly playable but better.  The card dropped 2° to 67°C consuming 287 Watts on average, 2.94% less than at 4K.  At 1920 x 1080, the frame rate increased 26.08% over the 2K benches coming in at 65 FPS at 66°C, consuming 288 Watts on average.

At 2K, we performed much better then at 4K, but 10 fps shy of that magic 60FPS.  We have the same issue we had on Metro, where we need that little extra umph without losing the eye candy.   How would you think Far Cry 5 performs?

Far Cry 5 played very well here, at 4K, we can see we reached 47 FPS on average with a cool 69°C at 285 Watts on average.  While this is not playable, this speaks loads for a card that is aiming to take over the 2K space.  At 2560 x 1440, the card reached 89 frames per second, 1° lower than 4K at 68°C consuming on average 295 Watts.  2K hit a 65% improvement over its 4K counterpart though take up 10Watts more on average but 1°C cooler.

At 1920 x 1080, this card hit a VERY respectable 120 frames per second, at 292 Watts on average and the coolest at 65°C.  1080P and 1440P were perfectly playable here.  Moving on to our last benchmark here at these settings, let’s see how Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands performs.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wild Lands as usual didn’t fare so well at 4K, reaching only 32.63 frames per second and hit 70°C consuming 268Watts on average.  2K did a bit better improving the frame rate by 45.79% coming in at 52.01 FPS, taking up 274 Watts on average but coming in 4°C cooler at 66°C.  At 1080P, the frame rate jumped 21.55% coming in at 64.57 and again cooling down to 64°C and only consuming 272 Watts on average.

Remember when I have been saying in some of the results, that I wonder if we could squeeze out a little more performance without loosing quality, well we can and I will show you how in this next chapter, More Performance with TriXX.

Continue on to: More Performance with TriXX

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TriXX has been around for some time, Sapphires overclocking, lighting and fan curve application and it has gone through some changes, today is no different.

Please note, Sapphire provided me with a developmental copy of the new TriXX.  This helps to give us an idea of the new interface, and Sapphire has asked that we put our focus on the newest feature, TriXX boost.  We will, and I think you will like it.

Being that I have only had a few days to play with this card, literally 2 and a half days, I was not able to play too much with the overclocking or Fan Speed section, but I wanted to bring it to your attention.  I like it much better than before, these sliders and +/- let you 100% adjust to where you want to quickly, instead of fumbling around with the slider.

The “Hardware Monitor” tab, while it might look different, it is the same as it was before.

Skipping over “TRIXX Boost” just for right now, we find ourselves on the “Card Info” section.  This literally gives us information on the card and actually allows us to extract the BIOS/Firmware that is on the video card.  This also let’s you know the BIOS and driver versions.

The Settings tab allows us to change basic settings on the app. By default the “Load on windows Startup” is unchecked, I clicked it towards on.

TRIXX Boost is pretty awesome.  Boost allows you to do something that as far as I know has never been done before by a graphics card manufacturer, or maybe by no one through an application.

TRIXX Boost allows you to for example (as you can see here) set your 1440p an in between resolution, while keeping all your eye candy on.  Not only that, there is basically no image quality loss, and when I say basically, you would have to pause the game and spend a minute or so to find a difference, and still you may not.

To do this in windows, but you would have to set a custom resolution, set your monitor to that resolution and then set it in game, a bit of a hassle and you risk messing up your monitor.  Here, with the “Resolution Scale (percent)” slider, you can slide your way to ultimate performance.  You have to make sure for DX9, DX12 and Vulkan API games, to enable “Radeon Image Sharpening” to keep that picture looking beautiful.  All this with no hit to performance, only an increase in performance.

Make sure that while you are sliding, you don’t go to low.  While it will performance so much better, at a certain point, you might as well just lower the resolution.

Of course, I tested the games originally without this enabled, but let’s compare to how the game performed with this enabled.

This is comparing 2560 x 1440 on the standard stock settings vs the TRIX Boost 2240 x 1260, this is right in between the 2 resolutions, 88 on the slider.  This gave us a free 10.31% improvement in frame rate, all without overclocking.  Let’s see how Tomb Raider fares?

Now since Shadow of the Tomb Raider was very playable at 2K, I decided to try it out on 4K.  This time, we can see the there was a 22.78% improvement in performance, from 35FPS to 44FPS.  It does not sound like a lot, but that’s 23% without having to overclock or lower the real resolution or disable eye candy, everything here is still on Ultra.  The slider here was also at 88, but now the 4K resolution was clicked instead of 1440p.

Let’s go check out Assassins Creed Odyssey.

Another one of the ones that could not hit the 2K mark easily we were able to get the performance up 7.67% higher, from 50 FPS up to 54FPS.  Here we had a resolution set to 2240 x 1260, with the slider set to 88.  88 seems to be the sweet spot, but again, you can go lower.  Let’s check out Far Cry 5.

On Far Cry 5, instead of 2K, since the FPS was high, we tested under 4K.  At 4K we see a 20.95% improvement in performance, from 47FPS up to 58FPS, almost getting to that beautiful 60FPS.  This again with the slider at 88 and the 4K resolution set to 3376 x 1899.  This was a great improvement.  I am excited to see what Tom Clancy’s Wildlands can do.

Sadly, the improvement did not go as well as I had expected it reach, though there was still improvement.  At 2240 x 1260, we saw a 3.51% improvement, from 52.01 FPS up to 53.87 FPS.  Maybe a moving that slider a little more would help, but I wanted to keep it uniform.

So let’s check out some Gameplay and Final Thoughts.

Continue on to: Gameplay and Final Thoughts

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Benchmarks, numbers and pretty screenshots are nice and all, but nothing compares to actual gameplay and performance.  I usually create one video for each game, but to save a little time, I bundled them up into one video, about 5 minutes per game.  In here you will see some Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto V, Shadow of the Tomb Raider and PUBG.

I will mention, that since I am recording with software, rather than hardware, we lose up to 10 frames per second in the counters.  Regardless of that, the games never fall below 60 FPS.  Check it out.

As for my final thoughts, I think AMD and Sapphire did amazing work here.  AMD on the GPU of course and Sapphire on the updates to the card, cooling and TRIXX, it is amazing.

The card is beautiful, a little large width wise but as long as it is cool, that’s ok with me.

Actually, I think this might help explain things a lot more.  The entire review all in one video.  Let me know what you guys think.

With everything here, here is a list of Pros and Cons


  • Tons of ports
  • Supports PCIe 4.0
  • Supports 4 x 4K displays
  • FreeSync2 Support
  • Quick Connect Fan Replacement
  • Dual BIOS support
  • Supports VR
  • Includes a backplate to keep card cool
  • Updated TRIXX Boost


  • Comparatively quiet to prior generation cards, but can quickly ramp up in noise
  • Does not include any adapters or adapter cables

I fought to find a con, and really, it is to be expected with any card to get a little loud, but it is not horrible.  Since this launch was a bit rushed (the card was held back in shipping), I did not have time to make a video on the noise, but I will soon and add it to the review.

The drivers are matured and getting better everyday, so performance is only going to get better on this.  Sapphire has given you the ability to overclock, like most video card manufacturers do, but with TRIXX Boost, they have given you the opportunity to get more performance out of the card for free, no overclocking, and no stress.  The recommendation for this card is 600Watts and as you can see in my testing above we did not hit over 327Watts.  This recommendation surely is in case you overclock, but I would still use their recommendation.

When makes TRIXX Boost so nice is the fact that you don’t change your monitors resolution, but it does add that resolution as an option.  Keeping your regular resolution, it adds the resolution into windows, and if your game supports dynamic resolution, you start up your game and with all your eye candy turned up, you switch the resolution and you have additional performance.  This helps fill a gap between 1080p and 1440p and between 1440p and 2160p and it does it while still looking good.

I will try to make a video to show this to you, but with this, I think Sapphire has done an amazing thing.

I will create a separate review adding what is in here and comparing to it more video cards coming soon.

With that, the performance, features and pricing, Sapphire has made a very compelling reason to make the change to AMD and if not a change, to upgrade your current video card.

Great job Sapphire, you have earned this Editors Choice award with a 10 out of 10.  I tried to give this a lower score, maybe a 9.7 or a 9.8, but I just can’t find anything wrong with it.  AMD did an amazing job with the CPU making it nearly perfect,… Sapphire put the icing on the cake making it a bit faster, making it cooler and the cherry on top, the TRIXX Boost.

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Go back to the intro: Intro


We are influencers and brand affiliates.  This post contains affiliate links, most which go to Amazon and are Geo-Affiliate links to nearest Amazon store.