AMD has crafted quite the kick ass mid-range graphics card with its Radeon RX 5600 XT, where it punches above its weight at 1080p thanks to the additional boost from its GDDR6 memory speeds. It also isn't a bad card at 1440p, so if you were after something that had a potent punch at 1440p for esports games, the RX 5600 XT is worth a look.
MSI does its usual job with its stellar GAMING X range of cards, and the always impressive TWIN FROZR 7 cooling tech on the Radeon RX 5600 XT GAMING X. The price on the MSI Radeon RX 5600 XT GAMING X is a pretty damn high at $329 as you can find a custom Radeon RX 5700 for not much more, compared to SAPPHIRE's custom Radeon RX 5600 XT PULSE OC which can be found for under $300 and is not that much slower -- with some overclocking, you can save $40 and get the same perf.
You'll need to update the BIOS on the first wave of custom Radeon RX 5600 XTs, but you'll gain additional performance -- something I've illustrated throughout the review providing you with both of the numbers so you can see for yourselves what type of increase you're going to get with the new BIOS.
You won't regret the MSI Radeon RX 5600 XT GAMING X, especially if you're an AMD Radeon fan -- another great addition to the GAMING X family of graphics cards. Would you buy this over another custom Radeon RX 5600 XT? That is up to you, and down to the physical aesthetics of your build. MSI crafts a mean-looking graphics card with its GAMING X design, something that will find a spot in any gaming rig.
1080p gamers that want maximum frames but can't afford the Radeon RX 5700 XT will find a home here with the Radeon RX 5600 XT GAMING X -- but NVIDIA does offer some kick ass cards with their GeForce RTX series graphics cards. The recent drop of the GeForce RTX 2060 to $299 is going to do some damage, and NVIDIA still offers a superior software experience and less issues overall than AMD -- and I don't see this changing any time soon.
MSI offers a slew of cards for both Team Red and Team Green, so you'll have no issues there if the Radeon RX 5600 XT GAMING X isn't good enough for your needs. However, if you're gaming at just 1080p or want 1440p with up to 60FPS (not guaranteed 60FPS like more powerful cards) then the RX 5600 XT GAMING X will be just fine.
But if it came down to the SAPPHIRE Radeon RX 5600 XT PULSE OC and the MSI Radeon RX 5600 XT GAMING X, then I would recommend the custom SAPPHIRE card simply on price. If you are an MSI fan, then you won't be disappointed but you will pay a ~$30-$40 premium for it.
The Bottom Line
MSI has a great Radeon RX 5600 XT on its hands with the GAMING X variant, but SAPPHIRE's RX 5600 XT PULSE OC is $30+ cheaper and performs virtually identically. Still, it's a kick ass 1080p beast of a card from MSI and AMD with the new GDDR6 clocks.