Last year when I took a look at the Sapphire Pulse RX 7600 I was impressed with Sapphire’s design which while not as small as the reference AMD design was still compact where most other aftermarket cards weren’t. That seems to be the same this time around with the launch of the RX 7600 XT and Sapphire sent over their new Pulse RX 7600 XT OC. It looks to have a similar compact design which should be a lot smaller than the XFX RX 7600 XT that I already took a look at, so I am excited to see if that is the case and find out how well it performs. The RX 7600 XT is targeted at 1080p performance and has doubled up on the VRAM of the original RX 7600 along with higher clock speeds. 1080p is still the most used resolution with 59% of Steam users using it, why spend even more for a high-end video card if you won’t be able to take advantage of the extra power? Today I’m going to find out if the Sapphire Pulse RX 7600 XT OC is the new sweet spot card, let’s dig in and find out!

Product Name: Sapphire Pulse RX 7600 XT OC

Review Sample Provided by: Sapphire Tech

Written by: Wes Compton

Amazon Affiliate Link: HERE

 

Specifications

AMD Radeon™

RX 7600

AMD Radeon™

RX 7600 XT

Architecture

RDNA™ 3

RDNA™ 3

Manufacturing Process

6nm

6nm

Transistor Count

13.3 billion

13.3 billion

Die Size

204 mm²

204 mm²

Compute Units

32

32

Ray Accelerators

32

32

AI Accelerators

64

64

Stream Processors

2048

2048

Game GPU Clock

2250 MHz

2470 MHz

Boost GPU Clock

Up to 2655 MHz

Up to 2755 MHz

Peak Single Precision Perf.

Up to 21.75 TFLOPS

Up to 22.57 TFLOPS

Peak Half Precision Perf.

Up to 43.50 TFLOPS

Up to 45.14 TFLOPS

Peak Texture Fill-Rate

Up to 339.8 GT/s

Up to 352.6 GT/s

ROPs

64

64

Peak Pixel Fill-Rate

Up to 169.9 GP/s

Up to 176.3 GP/s

AMD Infinity Cache™

32 MB (2nd Gen.)

32 MB (2nd Gen.)

Memory

8GB GDDR6

16GB GDDR6

Memory Speed

18 Gbps

18 Gbps

Effective Memory Bandwidth

w/ AMD Infinity Cache™

Up to 476.9 GB/s

Up to 476.9 GB/s

Memory Bus Interface

128-bit

128-bit

PCIe® Interface

PCIe 4.0 x8

PCIe 4.0 x8

Total Board Power

165W

190W

 

Pulse RX 7600 XT OC Specifications

Compute Units

32

Stream Processors

2048

RT Accelerators

32

AI Accelerators

64

Memory Frame Buffer

16GB GDDR6

Game Clock

2539 MHz

Boost Clock

2810 MHz

Memory Interface

128bit

Memory Speed

18 Gbps

AMD Infinity Cache™

32 MB

DISPLAYPORT™

2.1

HDMI™ 4K Support

Yes

4K H.264 (Decode, Encode)

Yes

H265/HEVC (Decode, Encode)

Yes

AV1 (Decode, Encode)

Yes

Features

AMD FSR 3.0

AMD HYPR-RX

AMD Noise Suppression

AMD Radeon™ FRTC

AMD Smart Technology

TBP (Total Board Power)

192w

Form Factor

2.2 slot, ATX

Board Dimension

250 x 129.25 x 44.56 (mm)

External Power Connector

8pin x 2

 

Before getting into testing I did also run GPUz to double-check that our clock speeds match up with the specifications. The Pulse RX 7600 XT OC has its boost clocks set at 2810 MHz which is in line with what Sapphire has in their specifications. The stock clock speed of the RX 7600 XT is 2755 MHz so this is an overclocked card and the XFX Qick319 RX 7600 XT Black that I already took a look at was also an overclocked card with the same 2810 Mhz clock speed as the Pulse. GPUz shows the driver I tested with which was the pre-release 23.40.01.15 driver but I did also last minute test with the launch driver to get Blender testing done as well. GPUz also documents our BIOS version for future reference as well in case that is needed.

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Packaging

The box for the Sapphire Pulse RX 7600 XT OC is significantly smaller than the box that the XFX 7600 XT came in. This is extremely compact and gives a big hint at the overall size of the card inside. The Sapphire Pulse RX 7600 that I took a look at last May had the same size box and the design was similar as well with one big change. With that card, the abstract design in the background has a funky green/brown whereas this time around they have a cool blue-green mix that looks a lot better. It has the Pulse logo with the EKG pulse line drawing next to it. The AMD wrap-around takes up almost the entire box because of how small the box is. That has the large red section with the RX 7600 XT model name as well as the line of AMD features along the bottom and the 16GB of video memory which is highlighted in the bottom left corner. Sapphire's logo is in the top left corner and they have a sticker letting you know this is an overclocked model as well. Around on the back, the AMD wrap-around continues and again takes up most of the back. They have a very basic specification listing that really just shows you what display outputs the card has and system requirements. Then they have two different styles of Sapphire logos. I would love to get a picture of the card and at least the card dimensions and if we were really lucky the clock speeds for those who are shopping in a retail store. None of that matters when shopping online, but in a store, you really have no idea what the card inside looks like without looking it up.

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Inside there was a thicker brown cardboard box. This opens up and you have the quick installation guide sitting up on top. Then the card itself comes in a bubble wrap static bag and sits in a cardboard tray that offers a little more protection. The bag does have a new sticker on it that I haven’t seen in the past. It is a warning to be careful when transporting your PC with the GPU installed as that can damage the PCIe slot portion of the card or your motherboard for that matter. It’s always interesting to see what kind of warnings companies put on things, it gives us a peak at some of the areas that they see damage during RMAs and honestly, I wouldn’t have expected this one, at least not on a smaller card like this but it is a big issue with todays cards being so large/heavy.

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Card Layout and Photos

If you saw my review last year of the Sapphire Pulse RX 7600 then the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC is going to look very familiar but some things have changed up with the design. The base design is still a dual axial fan design with a black plastic fan shroud that has a few small accents molded into the shroud but none of the crazy angles some cards include trying to look “gaming”. Sapphire has then added accents using red lines on the fan shroud as well as the centers on the fans though the two reds are different shades. The Pulse RX 7600 XT OC also avoids any obnoxious branding and has zero lighting at all which is one of the big reasons that I always like the Pulse lineup. This is Sapphires no fluff brand which gets you capable but not over the top cooling, simple clean styling, while trying to keep costs/prices down.

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Right away the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC is significantly smaller than the XFX RX 7600 XT that I previously took a look at. This comes in at the same size as the Pulse RX 7600 that I took a look at last year. It is 250 mm long which isn’t what I would consider to be a true compact card, but smaller than the average these days. Sapphire has extended the card up beyond the standard PCI height with the height being 129.25 mm. In that view, we can also see that the PCB is also taller than average as well but again this is still shorter than most cards and most of that space is them taking advantage of space that is unused with their power connections sitting down lower than the top of the card. Then for thickness, the card is 44.55 mm thick which does extend past a dual slot card by just under 5 mm but will leave room for airflow when most motherboards account for 3 slots for a GPU these days.

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So for its fan layout, the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC has two axial fans that blow down into an aluminum sheet metal heatsink with a vertical layout. This means that air pushed in will vent out of the top and bottom of the card. The two fans are surprisingly large even though there is room around them on the shroud because of the extra height that Sapphire was able to edge out by utilizing some of the space that goes to waste over cards because of the power cables. Both fans have a 100mm opening but are around 93 mm from edge to edge on the blades. Speaking of the blades, the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC has changed the fans from the older style seen on the Pulse RX 7600 fans I saw on the Pulse RX 7700 XT. These aren’t as rounded and have an angled edge at the midpoint on each of the nine blades. They are black and have a texture and glossy finish similar to the backplate on the card. On the outside edge of the fans, each blade is then linked together with a barely visible outer ring that helps give the fan more strength and helps keep the airflow pushing down and not going out.

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Up on the top edge of the card, like I mentioned before the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC has very little for branding and has zero RGB lighting used. They have a small Radeon logo printed in red towards the end of the card and then the Sapphire logo is in white on a red accent on the PCI bracket end of the card. The two 8-pin PCIe power connections are just before the end of the PCB but around two inches before the end of the card. Sapphire has them flipped around with the clips on the PCB side so their heatsink can be right up against the connections. These are recessed slightly down below the top of the card but not down to a standard PCI height.

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Looking around at the top and bottom edge of the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC gives us a better idea of the cooling layout as well. The fan shroud on top and bottom has openings that run most of the way down the card but not fully to the end on both edges, this is where all of the warmed air will be blowing with the exception to the air from the blow-through section at the end of the card. We can see that Sapphire's heatsink fits snugly around each component and even takes advantage of the location of the caps to transition the heatpipes up away from the bottom where they were contacting the heat spreader over the GPU and memory. The end of the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC has the backplate wrapped around for additional strength and that section has four threaded screw mounts should you want to use a support bracket. The end does have a small opening where we can see the ends of three heatpipes but is not where any air will be pushing out.

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The Pulse RX 7600 XT OC does have a proper metal backplate that runs the full length of the card even going up past the end of the PCB and wrapping around to match the fan shroud at the top, end, and bottom. It has a slightly textured satin black finish and then Sapphire has added red accents around the cutout GPU back bracket and the signature Pulse EKG line that leads to a small Radon logo. It also has the Sapphire Pulse logo in bright white with red accents, both of which are upside down so that they are readable when installed in a traditional case. The backplate is cut around the power connection on top and has a relatively small cutout near the end of the card beyond the end of the PCB that allows the second front fan to blow through partially. There are four small slots cut in as accents as well.

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For display connections, the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC has a total of four and you don’t get the “standard” configuration here. Sapphire has gone with two DisplayPort and two HDMI display connections whereas a majority of cards these days have just one HDMI and three DisplayPort. Given the targeted audience for the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC having the extra HDMI is a better choice in my opinion, there are going to be a lot more people with more than one HDMI needed when you aren’t running 1440p or 4K displays. The bracket has the Sapphire branding down on the bottom edge and then above all of the connections it does have some ventilation even though the card isn’t designed to push much air in that direction.

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Test Rig and Procedures

Test System

CPU: Intel Core-i9 13900K – Live Pricing

PL1=PL2: 253, τ: 56 / 307A

Motherboard: Asus Z790 Extreme – Live Pricing

Cooling: Corsair H100i Elite LCD DisplayLive Pricing

Noctua NT-H1 Thermal PasteLive Pricing

 Memory:  Crucial 32GB Kit (2 x 16GB) DDR5-5600 UDIMM– Live Pricing

Storage:  Sabrent Rocket Q4 2TB – Live Pricing

Power Supply: be quiet! Dark Power Pro 13 1600WLive Pricing

Case: Primochill WetbenchLive Pricing

OS: Windows 11 Pro 64-bitLive Pricing

             

Our Testing Procedures

3DMark

All 3DMark-based tests are done using the most recent version. We test using all three versions of Fire Strike, Both Time Spy and Time Spy Extreme, and Speed Way. Tests to look at ray tracing performance are done with Port Royal when supported and for Nvidia cards that support DLSS, the DLSS subtest is also done at 1440p with the performance setting and DLSS 2.0 as well as a look at DLSS 1, 2, and 3 at 4K.

Unigine Superposition

1080p Extreme and 4k Optimized benchmarks along with the VR Future test are done. The VR test is done at the Oculus resolution

VRMark

Only the Blue room test is run

Far Cry 6

Built-in benchmark tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k with the Ultra and Medium detail settings

Ghost Recon Breakpoint

Built-in benchmark tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k with the Ultra and Medium detail settings. Texture quality always set to high

Watch Dogs: Legion

Built-in benchmark testing at ultra and high details. Tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k. I also do RTX and DLSS testing on Nvidia cards at 4K using the Ultra detail settings as a base as well.

Borderlands 3

Built-in benchmark testing with the ultra detail setting and medium detail setting, done at full screen with default settings at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k on DX11

Metro Exodus

Using built-in benchmark, testing at ultra and normal details at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k. I also do RTX and DLSS testing at 4K with the ultra-detail base settings for Nvidia cards as well.

World War Z Aftermath

Built-in benchmark in DX11 testing both the Ultra detail and Medium detail levels at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K resolutions

The Division 2

Built-in benchmark at Ultra detail with V-Sync turned off at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k resolutions.

Total War: Three Kingdoms

Built-in benchmark using the Battle Benchmark setting. Tested at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k at both high and ultra detail settings

OctaneBench 2020.1

OctaneBench is designed to test rendering in OctaneRender. RTX and non-RTX are both ran. This is a CUDA-only test so only Nvidia cards are tested

V-Ray 5

V-Ray 5 benchmark us run with CUDA and RTX settings on cards that support it

Boundary Benchmark

Testing different DLSS detail levels on cards that support it. All testing is done at 4k with RTX on

Bright Memory Infinite RTX Benchmark

Benchmark all of the different RTX detail levels. Resolution at 4k and DLSS on balanced for each test

Passmark Performance Test 10.2

Test using the GPU Compute Score inside of PassMark's Performance Test 10.2

Blender

Using the standard Blender Benchmark I run the test using the Blender 3.4 setting which tests using the Monster, Junkshop, and Classroom tests.

 Temperature Testing

Using AIDA64, the GPU stress test is run for 30 minutes or until the result has leveled off. The test is run twice, once with the stock fan profile and a second time with 100% fan speed. During this, I also document the 100% fan speed RPM and document the delta between the fan profile and 100% fan speed as well as get thermal images.

Power Testing

Using a PCat v2 to monitor power between the PCIe slot and the card as well as power through the power cables I test the peak power when running ADIA64, 3DMark Speed Way, 3DMark Time Spy Extreme, FarCry 6 at 4k and Ultra Detail, Watch Dogs Legion at 4K and Ultra detail, and Blender 3.4.0. The results are then averaged as well as the highest result.

Noise Testing

Our Noise testing is done using a decibel meter 18 inches away from the video card on the bottom/fan side of the card. We test at 50% and 100% fan speeds as well as a third test while under load using AIDA64's stress test. This is done using a Protmex PT02 Sound Meter that is rated IEC651 type 2 and ANSI S1.4 type 2. Tests are done set weighted to A and set to a slow response using the max function.  The ambient noise level in the testing area is 33.3 decibels.

 


Synthetic Benchmarks

As always I like to start my testing with a few synthetic benchmarks. 3DMark especially is one of my favorites because it is very optimized in both Nvidia and AMD drivers. It's nice to not have to worry about it being favored too much either way and the repeatability of the results makes it a nice chance to compare from card to card, especially when comparing with the same GPU. For the Sapphire Pulse RX 7600 XT OC this is the second 7600 XT that I have tested so I am excited to see how it will compare with the XFX Qick319 RX 7600 XT Black as well. They both have the same boost clock of 2810 MHz but the XFX card is noticeably larger. Beyond that, I’m keeping an eye on how the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC compares with the original 7600 and the 6650 XT as well as the RTX 4060 and RTX 4060 Ti from Nvidia.

The first round of tests were done in the older Fire Strike benchmark which is a DX11 test. There are three detail levels, performance, extreme, and ultra. The Pulse RX 7600 XT OC is in a big group of cards with basically the same score that includes the XFX 7600 XT, the original RX 7600, and the 3060 Ti. In Fire Strike Ultra that also includes the 4060 Ti as well. I’m not a big fan of the 7600 XT running the same as the RX 7600 here but we did see this in our previous review, seeing it outperform the RTX 4060 though is good to see.

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The next two were both based on the Time Spy benchmark. One is the standard test and then there is the extreme detail level. These are both DX12 and you can see the Nvidia cards move up slightly here. The Pulse RX 7600 XT OC is once again in a big clump of cards which includes the previous RX 7600 cards tested and this time the RTX 4060 is there as well but still slightly below it.

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For ray tracing performance, I ran both the 3DMark Port Royal test which is ray tracing focused as well as the new 3DMark Speed Way test which tests all future-looking features including ray tracing. In Speed Way, the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC is right with the 7600 XT but behind just a few points, both cards are still right with the original RX 7600 however. In this test, the 4060 and even the older 3060 are way up ahead with much better ray tracing capabilities. The Pulse RX 7600 XT OC did better in Port Royal but is still behind the XFX  and both are much closer but still behind the RTX 4060.

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While in 3Dmark I did also take a look at the FSR 2 performance using the comparison tool. For this, I ran the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC with FSR 2 off and then on with each of the different detail levels. This gives us a look at what FSR 2 can do for a performance improvement. We went from 15.8 FPS, doubling that up to 30.18 on the quality setting. Balanced and Performance were at 35.98 FPS and 45 FPS but the ultra performance setting was impressive taking that original 15.8 all the way up to 70.1 FPS. The Pulse RX 7600 XT OC did edge out in front of the XFX card here as well.

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The last test was using the Unigine-based Superposition benchmark and I tested at 1080p with the extreme detail setting as well as the 4K optimized setting. In the extreme detail setting the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC scored a 6434 which was with but just behind the XFX 7600 XT but this did at least put it out in front of the RX 7600 and the RTX 4060.

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VR Benchmarks

As for Virtual Reality, I love it but it is more demanding than traditional gaming. This is partially because of the resolutions needed to render for two eyes and because they render more than what is immediately visible. But also because of post effects to get the proper “fisheye” effect for it to look proper in your eyes with the HMD. You also have to have much higher expectations for frame rates in VR, skipping frames or lower FPS can cause motion sickness in VR. Because of that, I ran a few tests.

 My first test was again in Superposition. This time I tested the VR Future test using the Oculus resolution. I have also included the average frame rate as well which is important for the cards at the top of the chart because for some reason Superposition is capped at 10,000 for its scores and that doesn’t show the performance gap in those cards at the top. The Pulse RX 7600 XT OC scored a 4063 which put it behind the XFX 7600 XT and just ahead of the overclocked RX 7600.

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My second round of VR testing was in VRMark which has three tests that are similar to the VR tests in Superposition. I only focused on just the most demanding test called Blue Room which is looking more at future VR performance. The Pulse RX 7600 XT OC was once again in the middle of that clump of cards which includes the XFX 7600 XT, the previously tested RX 7600s, and the RTX 3060 with the RTX 4060 just slightly out ahead here.

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In-Game Benchmarks

Now we finally get into the in game performance and that is the main reason people pick up a new video card. To test things out I ran through our new benchmark suite that tests 8 games at three different resolutions (1080p, 1440p, and 4k). Most of the games tested have been run at the highest detail setting and a mid-range detail setting to get a look at how turning things up hurts performance and to give an idea of if turning detail down from max will be beneficial for frame rates. In total, each video card is tested 45 times and that makes for a huge mess of results when you put them all together. To help with that I like to start with these overall playability graphs that take all of the results and give an easier-to-read result. I have one for each of the three resolutions and each is broken up into four FPS ranges. Under 30 FPS is considered unplayable, over 30 is playable but not ideal, over 60 is the sweet spot, and then over 120 FPS is for high refresh rate monitors.

So how did the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC do? Well at 1080p, its targeted resolution it kicked butt. All of the results came in over 60 FPS but a majority were up over 120 FPS with 9 over 120 FPS and 5 in the 60-119 range. There was also one that reached over 240 FPS as well. At 1440p it was still capable with just one result in that playable but not smooth 30-59 FPS range. 9 results were over 60 FPS and the other 5 were up over 120 FPS. Then at 4K, it's no surprise that performance dropped but what will be a surprise is that the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC still was playable with most of the results. One was under 30 FPS but 9 were in that 30-59 FPS range and 60 results ended up over 60 FPS. Overall what this tells us is that the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC is perfect for 1080p gaming and capable of handling 1440p as long as you play with the settings slightly. I wouldn’t get into 4k gaming with it though.

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Of course, I have all of the actual in game results as well for anyone who wants to sort through the wall of graphs below. I have also put together averages for the Sapphire Pulse RX 7600 XT OC and a few other cards so we can get a good look at how they compare. The Sapphire Pulse RX 7600 XT OC and the XFX 7600 XT both sit up ahead of the RX 7600 with the gap between the two GPUs not as big as you might expect, 5 FPS at 1080p and a little less at 1440p. This was 10 FPS ahead of the RTX 4060 however but the RTX 4060 Ti is still out in front at all three resolutions. The big surprise for me was that the Sapphire Pulse RX 7600 XT OC which has the same boost clock speed as the XFX is behind the XFX across the board. I have to assume that there is a difference in the power profile and or cooling making that difference but we will get into that here soon.

1080p

1440p

4k

MSI RX 6650 XT Gaming X

138

93.9

42.9

Zotac RTX 4060 Twin Edge OC

135.7

94.4

50.1

AMD Radeon RX 7600

140.8

96.7

50.4

Sapphire Pulse RX 7600 XT OC

145.2

99.8

51

XFX Qick319 RX 7600 XT Black

146.5

101.1

52.2

Nvidia RTX 4060 Ti 8GB FE

160.1

115.3

62

 

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Compute Benchmarks

Now some people don’t need a video card for gaming, they need the processing power for rendering or 2D/3D production, or in some cases, people who game also do work on the side. So it is also important to check out the compute performance on all of the video cards that come in. That includes doing a few different tests. My first test was a simple GPU Compute benchmark using PassMark's Performance Test 10 and the Sapphire Pulse RX 7600 XT OC struggled here with a score of 10751 which put it in with the Radeon RX 7600 and below the RTX 4060.

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Blender is always my favorite compute benchmark because the open-source 3D rendering software is very popular and it isn’t a synthetic benchmark. With the latest version of Blender, they redid the benchmark so we now have a new test that runs three different renderings and gives each a score. I have all three stacked together so we can see the overall performance. The Pulse RX 7600 XT OC is in that lump of cards including the XFX 7600 XT and the RX 7600’s here, the clock speed improvement for the 7600 XT didn’t separate them at all here.

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Cooling Noise and Power

For my last few tests, rather than focusing on in game performance, I like to check out other aspects of video card performance. These are also the most important ways to differentiate the performance between cards that have the same GPU. To start things off I took a look at power usage.

For this, our new test setup utilizes the Nvidia-designed PCat v2 along with cables to handle both traditional 6 or 8-pin connections as well as the new 12VHPWR. The PCat also utilizes a PCIe adapter to measure any power going to the card through the PCIe slot so we can measure the video card wattage exclusively, not the entire system as we have done in the past. I test with a mix of applications to get both in game, synthetic benchmarks, and other workloads like Blender and AIDA64. Then everything is averaged together for our result. I also have the individual results for this specific card and I document the peak wattage result as well which is almost always Time Spy Extreme. The Pulse RX 7600 XT OC averaged 229 watts from the peak results and the highest wattage result was 255 watts. This was 6 watts above the XFX 7600 XT on average but just a 1-watt difference on the highest result which was a surprise, I thought for sure that the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC would be pulling a little less power. This put the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC just behind the RTX 4070 SUPER and ahead of an overclocked RTX 4070.

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With having exact peak wattage numbers when running Time Spy Extreme I was also able to put together a graph showing the total score for each watt that a card draws which gives us an interesting look at overall power efficiency in the popular and demanding benchmark. AMD's power efficiency while improved has been behind Nvidia across the board for this generation and adding in an overclock on top of an upclocked card just exaggerates that with the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC sitting at 20.44 points per watt. The RTX 4060 that it otherwise outperformed is getting 10 more points per watt. The XFX 7600 XT ended up being just a touch lower here at 20.32.

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My next round of tests were looking at noise levels. These are especially important to me because I can’t stand to listen to my PC whirling. Especially when I’m not in game and other applications are using the GPU. For my testing, though I first tested with the fan cranked up to 100% to get an idea of how loud it can get, then again at 50% to get an idea of its range. The Pulse RX 7600 XT OC came in at 45.1 decibels at 50% fan speed which put it up in the top 1/3 of the chart but that is still 1.1 dB lower than the XFX 7600 XT. Interestingly though at 100% fan speed the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC dropped down to the bottom of the chart at 55.3 showing there wasn’t much of a noise range when its fans ramp up.

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I also take a look at noise performance while under load. For that when running AIDA64’s stress test I wait until the temperature of the card has leveled off and then measure how loud things are when the card is at its worst-case scenario with the stock fan profile. Like with the 50% fan speed tests the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC is up higher in the chart when under load. Under load, it leveled off at 45% fan speed so that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. This was higher than where the XFX 7600 XT ended up with that card are almost a decibel lower.

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To finish up my testing I of course had to check out the cooling performance. To do this I ran two different tests. I used AIDA64’s Stress Test run for a half-hour each to warm things up. Then I documented what temperature the GPU leveled out at with the stock fan profile and then again with the fans cranked up to 100%. With the stock profile, the Sapphire Pulse RX 7600 XT OC came in at 61c when left under load. This was 7 degrees higher than the XFX with its larger cooler. For the GPU hotspot, the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC came in at 91c and 74c for the memory.

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Then with the fans cranked up, the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC dropped down to 53c which made the delta between the stock fan profile and 100% fan speed 8c which is on point for where it should be. At 100% fan speed the GPU hotspot on the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC was still hot but better at 81c and the memory temperatures were the same dropping down to 66c but still higher than most of the other cards tested.

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While running the stock fan profile testing I also took the time to get a few thermal images so we could see what is going on. On the fan side, the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC really makes it look like our test motherboard is on fire with the hottest spots here just at 35.7 near the middle behind the fan. Up on the top edge is really where we find any heat at all with the hot spot at 46.6c where the PCB is directly exposed. It is then cooler closer to the front of the card where less of the warmed air from the heatsink vents. Then on the back of the card, the hottest spot on the entire card is the exposed area in the backplate behind the GPU. The rest of the metal backplate does have some heat that radiates from that area but overall it is cool with the backplate at 42.5c on the bracket end of the card and 44.8c down before the blow-through part of the card.

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Overall and Final Verdict

I’ve been a big fan of what Sapphire has been doing with their Pulse cards all across their lineup. They have hit the sweet spot where they aren’t putting out a low-quality card, the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC has a full coverage metal backplate and an overclock. But they have skipped out on a lot of the “gamer” focused stuff that might be flashy but also starts to run the pricing up like lighting. In its place, the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC has a simple clean cooler design with some red accents on the front and back and there isn’t too much for branding. They also bridge that gap in card size with a design that I wouldn’t call compact it is taller and longer than cards in this range used to be but it ends up being more compact than the XFX Qick RX 7600 XT that I took a look at and other than in some SFF situations the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC isn’t going to have any fitment issues. Sapphire has also gone with a few features that are a good fit with the targeted audience like an extra HDMI port and still having PCIe power plugs (not that any of the AMD cards are doing differently).

The RX 7600 XT offers twice the VRAM as the original RX 7600, but beyond that, it is otherwise just a higher-clocked card. So when getting into testing we do see the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC run right in the middle of the overclocked RX 7600s in a lot of tests and even though it has the same clock speed as the XFX card the XFX averaged higher across the board. This being an overclocked version of an upclocked card really hurt things when it came to power efficiency which the AMD cards already struggle with. In the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC specific tests its smaller cooler did have to work harder and was a little noisier under load and at 50% fan speed but surprisingly at 100% fan speed it was near the bottom of our charts. It did really well in all of the 1080p testing, and was capable of gaming at 1440p in a lot of situations, especially with its larger VRAM. That includes outperforming the RTX 4060 in just about every test but like I said before it was also right with the RX 7600 in a lot of tests sitting around 5 FPS higher at 1080p.

In the end, the RX 7600 XT is designed for users who like the RX 7600 but want more VRAM. While you also get a bump in performance from the clock speeds as well that additional VRAM only helps in some situations, especially at the 1080p resolution that the RX 7600 XT is most likely to be played at. So I still recommend the RX 7600 for a majority of people but the 7600 XT is a nice option for those looking for more VRAM. As for the Pulse RX 7600 XT OC specifically, I once again like the card design but the other cards tested did put up a big fight against it in the same price range where with the original RX 7600 the Pulse was the value card to get.

fv6

Live Pricing: HERE

Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: http://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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