ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming D3 Review: Cool and Quiet Performance

Today we’ll have a close look at the ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming, this is the D3 edition with 14 Gbps memory. The initial Radeon RX 5600 XT launch was a bit confusing: During the review process, it was decided by AMD to give the RX 5600 XT a slightly larger power envelope as well as increasing the memory and boost speeds to up the performance a bit. As you can see in our previous review of the XFX Rx 5600 XT this didn’t work out for all of the samples which is why many AIB’s have released updated cards that can accommodate the increased performance parameters.

This decision seemed great at the time but didn’t work out well for all of the cards that were being sampled. These GPUs weren’t designed or binned for 1750 MHz GDDR6 and the increased power allotment. In the end, some of the samples at the initial launch weren’t able to remain stable with the updated VBIOS and had to be reverted back for the review. To prevent any confusion, AMD has compiled a list of cards that have been updated since launch like the ASRock Phantom Gaming we have today as well as cards that can be updated manually with a VBIOS file from the vendor.

Specifications

The RX 5600 XT is based on AMD’s “Navi” core, using their RDNA architecture.  Scrolling down to the specifications chart we can see that the RX 5600 XT and RX 5700 share a lot of similarities. That’s because they’re the same 7 nm die from TSMC but the RX 5600 XT has lower TDP, clock speeds, and memory bandwidth.

The RX 5600 XT is intended for 1080p with all the eye candy and can handle 1440p with a slight reduction in quality. The core is the same as the RX 5700 with 36 Compute Units (CU) and 2304 Stream Processors (SP) compared to the 40 CU and 2560 SP found in the RX 5700 XT. The Phantom Gaming we have here has the typical three Display Port 1.4 with DSC 1.2 outputs as well as one HDMI 2.0b and is capable of 8K HDR resolutions at 60Hz.

The updated sample we received is the ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming D3 which has 6 GB of GDDR6 memory clocked at 1750 MHz for 14 Gbps data transfer. ASRock is using six Micron GDDR6 IC’s running over a 192-bit bus which delivers 336 GB/s of total bandwidth.

As with all the NAVI 10 GPUs, the 5600 XT is also PCIe Gen 4.0 when paired with a capable ZEN 2 CPU and an X570 motherboard. As compared to the 5500 XT, this is PCIe 4.0 x16 instead of being wired x8 as the 5500 XT is.

The ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming D3 has elevated clock speeds when compared to AMD’s reference numbers – The base speed has been raised from 1235 MHz to 1530 MHz and a 1750 MHz maximum boost speed, nearly 200 MHz above the reference boost. You’ll also notice a Game Clock listed in the specs below, where the ASRock version is clocked in at 1670 MHz Vs the 1375 MHz reference speed. The boost clocks of the Radeon RX GPUs are determined on a per GPU basis and dependent on thermal and electrical conditions as well as die to die variances. The Game Clock is the minimum expected GPU speed while gaming under standard thermal and electrical conditions. This is not set in the BIOS and should be used as a guide to set expectations while running a typical gaming workload. The sample provided by ASRock always ran at or near 1720 MHz.

A comparison of Radeon’s reference details against the ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming D3 are in the list below :

Specifications RX 5700 XT and RX 5600 XT
GPURX 5700ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming D3RX 5600 XT
ArchitectureNAVI 10 (RDNA)
Process7 nm
Transistors10.3 Billion
Die Size251 mm²
Compute Units36
Stream Processors2304
ROPs64
Texture Units144
Base Clock1465 MHz1530 MHz1235 MHz
Game Clock1625 MHz1670 MHz1375 MHz
Boost Clock1725 MHz1750 MHz1560 MHz
Memory8 GB GDDR66 GB GDDR6
Memory Speed14 Gbps12 Gbps
Memory Bandwidth448 GB/s336 GB/s288 GB/s
Memory Interface256-bit192-bit
Peak Texture Fill Rate304.8 GT/s248.4 GT/s224.6 GT/s
Peak Pixel Fill Rate121.9 GP/s110.4 GP/s99.8 GP/s
TDP (Watts)185 W180 W150 W
MSRP$379.00$289.99$279.00

GPU-Z

Here’s a GPU-Z shot of the ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming D3. As you can see, we have 6 GB of 14 Gbps GDDR6 memory and a maximum boost clock speed of 1750 MHz.

Features and Architecture

The features and architectural changes were covered extensively back in July with the launch of AMD’s new mainstream GPUs which you can find in this link. There were some additions with the RX 5500 XT and Adrenalin 2020 launch, which were also covered in December. Here’s a list of some of the NAVI features, following the links above will give more details.

  • RDNA architecture
  • Advanced 7 nm GPU
  • PCI Express 4.0 Support
  • Radeon Image Sharpening
  • FidelityFX
  • Radeon Anti-Lag
  • Radeon Game Boost

This sample from ASRock also features their 2.7-slot D3 cooler which is quite large when compared to the size of the PCB. It features a machined copper GPU mounting surface as well as VRM and Memory cooling components, copper composite heat-pipes, and an open airflow design with three 75 mm fans.

The RX 5600 XT from ASRock has a stylish black and red design with a metal backplate for added strength and additional cooling. Their implementation of the addressable RGB LED is limited to the Phantom Gaming logo on the outer edge of the card but it’s very tasteful and easily customized with ASRock’s Polychrome Sync software.

Not only does the Phantom Gaming D3 have a stylish look, but it also has the updated performance with a higher TDP, elevated GPU clocks, and 14 Gbps memory making it a great addition to any system.

Retail Packaging and Accessories

The retail packaging for the ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming D3 is the customary black and red design for Radeon products. On this model, we have the Phantom Gaming logo and OC edition printed prominently on the front. We also find some details about the card, namely the model and amount of memory along with some of the features and AMD technology references. Turning the package over reveals a list of some high-level specifications and more features of the card. We also have a recommended system specification list allowing the consumer to make an informed choice.

Once inside, we have the RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming protected by dense foam, custom cut for the card, and the usual anti-static bag. The Phantom Gaming sits very snugly in this foam and is very well protected from accidental shipping damage.

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Meet the ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming D3

The RX 5600 XT from ASRock sports the triple 75 mm fan D3 cooler with simple black plastic shrouding. It has a protective backplate which is made from aluminum to help with cooling and to protect the PCB from accidental damage. The majority of the coloring is black with some red accents on the shroud. The backplate has a bit of red and white striping with the Phantom Gaming logo. We also have the Phantom Gaming logo on the side of the card which is backlit with addressable RGB LEDs.

ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming D3

A Closer Look

According to AMD, the AIBs have a lot of freedom when it comes to assembly so the specific layouts may differ from model to model. This one from ASRock has the same I/O layout as both the RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT reference cards. It has three DisplayPort 1.4 outputs with support for display stream compression. In addition, it also has one HDMI output with [email protected] Hz support. The ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming has ample power available with an 8-pin PCIe power connector allowing up to 225 W of in-spec power when combined with the PCIe slot.

Below is the ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming disassembled with a nice close-up of the NAVI 10 GPU die to the left. As you can see from the cooler pic above, it came with plenty of TIM which is common on graphics cards. The cooler on this card is quite long – coming in at 291 mm so be careful to check for clearance in your case. It also features 3 x 75 mm fans which give it the D3 designation. To the right is a close-up of one of the six high-quality Micron D9WCW GDDR6 ICs capable of 14 Gbps.

Below is a picture of the power section of the ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming. Taking power from the 8-pin PCIe connector, the Phantom Gaming routes it through two uPI Semiconductor up9505p 6-phase PWM controllers to feed its 6+1 phase design, which is the same as the reference 5700’s. You’ll also notice in these pictures that ASRock hasn’t been stingy with thermal tape. They’ve applied it to all of the power bits and memory ICs to transfer heat directly to the cooler aiding in heat dissipation.

ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming D3 on the test bench:

Test System and Benchmark Methods

Our test system is based on the latest mainstream Intel platform, Z370, and uses the i7-8700K 6c/12t CPU. The CPU is overclocked to 4.7 GHz on all cores/threads with cache set to 4.3 GHz. The clock speeds used are to provide a good base to minimize any limitations the CPU may have on our titles, particularly when using the lower resolutions, and should be attainable with a good air cooler or better. The DRAM is in a 2×8 GB configuration at 3200 MHz with CL15-15-15-35-2T timings which is a middle of the road option that balances performance and cost.

Test System Components
MotherboardASUS ROG Maximus X Apex
CPUIntel i7 8700K @ 4.7 GHz / 4.3 GHz Cache
CPU CoolerEVGA CLC 240
Memory2×8 GB G.Skill Trident Z 3200 MHz CL15-15-15-35
SSDToshiba OCZ TR200 480 GB (OS + Applications)
Power SupplyEVGA 750W G3
Video CardASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming D3

Thanks go out to EVGA for providing the CLC 240 CPU Cooler and 750 W G3 Power Supply to cool and power the system, G.Skill for the Trident Z DRAM, and Toshiba OCZ for the 480 GB TR200 SSDs storage running the OS, benchmarks, and games. With our partners helping out, we are able to build matching test systems to mitigate any differences found between using different hardware. This allows for multiple reviewers in different locations to use the same test system and compare results without additional variables.

  

Below are the tests we run with a brief description of the settings. We have made some significant changes since the last update adding a few new titles and dropping some of the older games. More details can be found in the GPU Testing Procedure article which we have updated with our latest benchmarks.

  • UL 3DMark Time Spy – Default settings
  • UL 3DMark Fire Strike (Extreme) – Default settings
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider – DX12, “Highest” preset (will add RTX when it has been patched)
  • The Division 2 – DX12, Ultra preset, VSync Off
  • Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation – DX12, Crazy preset, GPU focused
  • Far Cry 5 – Ultra defaults
  • F1 2018 – Very High defaults, TAA, and x16 AF, Australia track, show FPS counter
  • World of Tanks: Encore Benchmark – Ultra defaults
  • Battlefield V  – DX12, Ultra defaults

Synthetic Benchmarks

Our first set of benchmarks hails from Underwriters Laboratories, which acquired Futuremark back in 2014. Earlier in 2018, a rebrand occurred and since that time, Futuremark is now UL. The benchmarks have not changed, just the name. We chose to stick with 3DMark Fire Strike (Extreme) and 3DMark Time Spy as these tests give users a good idea of performance on modern titles.

3DMark Fire Strike (Extreme) is a DX11-based test that UL says the graphics are rendered with detail and complexity far beyond other DX11 benchmarks and games using 1920×1080 resolution. 3DMark Time Spy is a DX12 benchmark designed for Windows 10 PCs. It supports new API features such as asynchronous compute, explicit multi-adapter, multi-threading, and runs at 2560×1440 resolution.

As you can see above, the RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming did well in Firestrike Extreme topping the RTX 2060 and edging close to the RX 5700 once overclocked. Moving to our DX 12 Benchmark things seemed to spread out with Nvidia having a definite lead over the RX 5600 XT at stock and overclocked.

Gaming Benchmarks

Moving on to the gaming benchmarks, we have updated our testing suite to bring more modern titles into the mix. Gone are GTA V, Crysis 3, and Rise of the Tomb Raider, which were replaced with Shadow of the Tomb Raider, World of Tanks: enCore benchmark, F1 2018, Battlefield V, and Far Cry 5. We also updated to The Division 2 and Ashes of the Singularity to AOTS: Escalation. The games should provide a good view of the overall performance of the card with many of these are DX12 games.

Throughout our gaming tests WOT:e is the only benchmark where the RTX 2060 had such a definitive lead over the ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming this game seems to be green-friendly even the 1660 Ti did very well here. Moving on to F1 2018 we see strong performance from the Phantom Gaming and overclocked it’s performing right at par with the RTX 2060.

Testing with Far Cry 5 shows an obvious lead for the ASRock RX 5600 XT, but when looking at The Division 2 we can see they’re both pretty even in performance.

During our last set of 1080p tests, the ASRock RX 5600 XT, once overclocked, edged ahead of the RTX 2060 in SOTR. BFV, on the other hand, the Phantom Gaming bested the RTX 2060 without the need for an overclock.

Here again, we can see the Phantom Gaming needed that boost from overclocking to tie with the RTX 2060.

1440p

Increasing the resolution shows results that are promising for hitting the 60 FPS sweet-spot, with only two tests falling below the bar. With a slight quality reduction in some of these titles, the ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming would make a very suitable 1440p gaming card. What’s interesting in these tests is that it bested the RTX 2060 in all but one of our benchmarks.

4K

The graph above clearly shows the ASRock RX 5600 XT isn’t up to the requirements of true 4K gaming but that holds true for all but the best of them.

Results

  • 3DMark Time Spy – 7662 marks > 7828 marks
  • 3DMark Fire Strike X – 10030 marks > 10259 marks
  • SOTR – 96 > 99 FPS
  • AOTSe – 56 > 59 FPS
  • FC5 – 116 > 118 FPS
  • F1 2018 – 116 > 119 FPS
  • BFV – 114 > 121 FPS
  • DIV 2 – 94 > 95 FPS
  • WOT:e – 150 > 154 FPS

Overclocking the ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming D3

Overclocking of the ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming was done using ASRock’s own tuning utility called OC Tweak. We left the fan profile on the auto setting as the D3 cooler works very well keeping the core temperature down. Throughout all of our overclocked testing, the core temperature never went above 64°C and remained extremely quiet. Keeping the GPU die a bit cooler will typically yield a better stable overclock, but this card is already close to its maximum right out of the box. It appears that AMD was careful not to give the RX 5600 XT too much headroom so it wouldn’t end up competing directly with the RX 5700 GPUs.

The GPU core was raised from 1750 MHz boost up to 1780 MHz, which was as high as it would go with the limited voltage range. The memory was boosted from 1750 MHz up to 1860 MHz. As you can see from the results in our testing – it made for a potent combination giving us a better than 10% performance boost in many of the tests.

3DMark Fire Strike Extreme OC 10259

3DMark Time Spy OC 7828

OC Tweak and Polychrome Sync

ASRock includes their overclocking software called OC Tweak as well as their RGB LED control Polychrome Sync both of which are available for download from ASRock. The overclocking software from ASRock is a nice lightweight utility, it doesn’t have any auto overclocking ability so everything is done manually. It also displays GPU and Memory usage as well as temperature data but doesn’t include any realtime monitoring without the application remaining open. After an overclock is set, you do have the option to start it with Windows which is convenient.

Polychrome sync, much like similar offerings, allows you to customize the lighting on the card as well as synchronize any compatible devices to coordinate the light show.

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Temperatures and Power Use

We test power consumption by running through the game benchmarks of Shadow of the Tomb Raider and F1 2018 at stock speeds. We monitor temperatures throughout this testing with the peak temperature what is listed in the data below. In order to more accurately simulate real gaming conditions, the benchmarks are extended (time) to allow the card to settle.

As we can see above, the temperatures of the ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming were very well controlled reaching a maximum of 64°C while overclocked during Shadow of the Tomb Raider and F1 2018. Thanks to the D3 cooler the Phantom Gaming stayed very cool and quiet throughout all of our tests.

Power use on this 180 W card peaked at 303 W (system) overclocked and 294 W while at stock both during our SOTR test. A quality 500 W PSU should be plenty, including overclocking both CPU and GPU and still allowing for headroom and quiet operation.

Conclusion

Overall, the ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming performed flawlessly during our 1080p gaming benchmarks. The Phantom Gaming and the RTX 2060 were trading blows back and forth throughout all of our testings but overall the ASRock RX 5600 XT came out on top. Ultimately your choice will come down to pricing and preference.

ASRock’s D3 cooler performed very well, as expected, and managed to keep the temperatures controlled nicely at both stock and while overclocked. They also did a great job feeding power to this 14 Gbps model with an 8-pin PCIe connector and the 6+1 power stage arrangement there was ample clean, stable power to push this 180 W card.

The overclocking headroom was a bit lacking but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. ASRock has already pushed this card near to its limits right out of the box so in reality overclocking isn’t necessary but some, including myself, just can’t resist the temptation. With or without the overclock there was plenty of performance to push any title in our suite on the highest settings at 1080p.

As for pricing, the ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming D3 is currently listed for $289.99 at Newegg. This seems like a great price when comparing to RTX 2060 graphics cards of the same caliber which list between $350 and $400. There are cheaper variants available but these don’t have the upgraded coolers which keep things so quiet.

In the end, ASRock is offering up a great performing card with the RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming D3. You get the benefits of the D3 cooling solution, the card is overclocked right out of the box and comes with the upgraded 14 Gbps memory. I have no issues giving this one a thumbs up!

– Shawn Jennings (Johan45)

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  1. Actually the 4K results are not bad either and it is cheaper than the Nvidia counterparts especially when you look outside the US. As for going with ASRock for a video card I know they are great with their motherboards and hope they do the same with video cards as it would be nice to have more choice in the future when picking out video cards. Competition is good for the consumer!