ASUS Radeon RX 5600 XT TUF EVO Review 17

ASUS Radeon RX 5600 XT TUF EVO Review




Today, we have for review the ASUS Radeon RX 5600 XT TUF Gaming EVO graphics card positioned a notch below the ROG STRIX Radeon RX 5600 XT TOP OC graphics card we reviewed earlier. The TUF Gaming line of PC hardware and peripherals by ASUS represents durable, high cost to performance products targeted at gamers. The brand itself, though, has had some bad press in recent times over sub-optimal cooler designs that weren't well received by reviewers. Since then, the company worked extensively on improving the cooler and thermals of its Navi TUF Gaming graphics cards, and the culmination of that work is the TUF Gaming EVO board design, which made its debut with products based on the RX 5700 XT and RX 5700 series and has now been put onto the performance-segment RX 5600 XT. The important part in the nomenclature is the "EVO" as it denotes the new cooling solution.

AMD originally intended for the RX 5600 XT to take the performance crown unopposed by NVIDIA, as it designed the SKU to outclass the entire GeForce 16-series. With ray-tracing hardware off the table, the playing field was supposed to be level between AMD and NVIDIA; that is, until NVIDIA pulled a last-minute rabbit out of its hats with a price cut down to $299 for the GeForce RTX 2060. AMD scrambled to revise the specifications of the RX 5600 XT by increasing clock speeds and memory bandwidth in a bid to compete with the RTX 2060. Since products with the original specifications were already in circulation, the update in specifications was sloppily put out through video BIOS updates targeting only those cards that shipped with VRM and memory chips capable of the new specifications. The ASUS TUF Gaming EVO was conceived after this mess and yet only partially implements these. The default memory speed of the card is 12 Gbps, or 1500 MHz, with ASUS providing a BIOS update on their website to 14 Gbps, or 1750 MHz, to match other high-end Radeon RX 5600 XT graphics cards.

Based on the same 7 nm "Navi 10" silicon as the RX 5700 series, the Radeon RX 5600 XT is configured with 2,304 stream processors spread across 36 RDNA compute units—same as the RX 5700, but with the memory amount slashed by a third, down to 6 GB, along with the memory bus, down to 192-bit GDDR6. AMD also tinkered with the GPU clock speeds a bit. The idea behind the RX 5600 XT is to dominate the sub-$300 graphics card market, providing 1080p gaming at frame rates of around 90 FPS, or even 1440p with reasonable frame rates.

The ASUS Radeon RX 5600 XT TUF EVO in this review is based on the revised TUF Gaming EVO board design we mentioned earlier. This design sees an overhaul of the heatsink underneath the cooler shroud to make it vent out heat better, and the inclusion of ASUS's premium Axial Tech fans that feature webbed impellers that guide all of their airflow axially (none bleeding laterally). The board draws power from a single 8-pin PCIe power connector and includes a few premium touches, such as a metal backplate and an ARGB embellishment. ASUS is pricing the card at $320, a $40 premium over the $280 AMD baseline price.

Radeon RX 5600 XT Market Segment Analysis
GTX 1070$3001920641506 MHz1683 MHz2002 MHzGP1047200M8 GB, GDDR5, 256-bit
RX Vega 56$2603584641156 MHz1471 MHz800 MHzVega 1012500M8 GB, HBM2, 2048-bit
GTX 1660 Super$2301408481530 MHz1785 MHz1750 MHzTU1166600M6 GB, GDDR6, 192-bit
GTX 1660 Ti$2701536481500 MHz1770 MHz1500 MHzTU1166600M6 GB, GDDR6, 192-bit
GTX 1070 Ti$4502432641607 MHz1683 MHz2000 MHzGP1047200M8 GB, GDDR5, 256-bit
RX 5600 XT$2702304641375 MHz1560 MHz1500 MHzNavi 1010300M6 GB, GDDR6, 192-bit
ASUS RX 5600 XT TUF EVO$3202304641615 MHz1750 MHz1750 MHzNavi 1010300M6 GB, GDDR6, 192-bit
RTX 2060$3001920481365 MHz1680 MHz1750 MHzTU10610800M6 GB, GDDR6, 192-bit
RX 5700$3202304641465 MHz1625 MHz1750 MHzNavi 1010300M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
GTX 1080$5002560641607 MHz1733 MHz1251 MHzGP1047200M8 GB, GDDR5X, 256-bit
RTX 2060 Super$4002176641470 MHz1650 MHz1750 MHzTU10610800M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RX Vega 64$390 4096641247 MHz1546 MHz953 MHzVega 1012500M8 GB, HBM2, 2048-bit


Package Front
Package Back

The Card

Graphics Card Front
Graphics Card Back
Graphics Card Front Angled

For their TUF series, ASUS created a new design identity. The card uses black and various shades of gray. Note how the center fan is smaller than the surrounding ones—this is new on the EVO version. A metal backplate in matching colors is included, too.

Graphics Card Dimensions

Dimensions of the card are 28 x 13 cm.

Graphics Card Height
Graphics Card Back Angled

Installation requires three slots in your system.

Monitor Outputs, Display Connectors

Display connectivity options include three standard DisplayPort 1.4a and an HDMI 2.0b.

Graphics Card Power Plugs

The board uses one 8-pin power connector. This input configuration is specified for up to 225 watts of power draw.

Multi-GPU Area

AMD's Navi generation of GPUs no longer supports CrossFire. DirectX 12 does include its own set of multi-GPU capabilities, but implementation requires game developers to put serious development time into a feature only a tiny fraction of their customers might ever use.


Graphics Card Cooler Front
Graphics Card Cooler Back

As mentioned in the introduction, ASUS had some issues with the initial batch of TUF cards, which caused public outcry from consumers and reviewers. We are testing the fixed version, which has upgraded fans with axial tech to direct the airflow through the fins. Also note how the fan impellers are surrounded by a plastic ring to ensure no air can escape horizontally. The outer fans are 90 mm in diameter, and the center fan is 80 mm across.

The cooling assembly is 100% identical to the one used for the Radeon RX 5700 XT TUF EVO.

Once the cooling assembly is removed, you get access to the heatsink. It uses five heatpipes and a large array of fins to keep the card cool. This heatsink provides cooling for the GPU, memory chips, and VRM circuitry. Do note that the memory chips are cooled by a plate that is bolted to the heatsink—it is not part of it. This means heat transfer is slightly reduced, but still much better than on the original TUF, which just had a thin metal heatspreader on the memory that did not connect with the main heatsink at all.

The backplate is made out of metal to protect the card against damage during installation and handling. There are some thermal pads to pick up a little bit of heat from the other side of the memory chips.

High-resolution PCB Pictures

These pictures are for the convenience of volt modders and people who would like to see all the finer details on the PCB. Feel free to link back to us and use these in your articles or forum posts.

Graphics Card Teardown PCB Front
Graphics Card Teardown PCB Back

High-res versions are also available (front, back).

Circuit Board (PCB) Analysis

GPU Chip Voltage Controller
GPU Voltage, VRM Configuration

The GPU VRM is 7+1-phase, controlled by an International Rectifier IR35217 controller, which is among the best controllers available on the market.

Memory Chip Voltage Controller
Memory Voltage, VRM Configuration

Memory voltage uses a two-phase design and is generated by an International Rectifier IR3567B controller.

Graphics Card Memory Chips

The GDDR6 memory chips are made by Micron and carry the model number D9WCW, which decodes to MT61K256M32JE-14:A. They are specified to run at 1750 MHz (14 Gbps GDDR6 effective).

Graphics Chip GPU

AMD's Navi 10 graphics processor is their first chip to use the new RDNA architecture. It is produced on a 7 nanometer process at TSMC, Taiwan and has a transistor count of 10.3 billion with a die size of 251 mm².
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Jul 4th, 2022 22:48 EDT change timezone

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