Graphics cards: purchase advice and RX 5600 XT
We are starting the new month of February directly with current buying advice on gamer graphics cards. We classify the graphics card series that are interesting for players in terms of their performance, but of course also look at the prices and give you some models for each interesting graphics card series as a buying tip – since there are a total of 52 graphics card models, we distribute them at the end of the special on two pages, each with a large table.
Before that, we take a special look at the AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT, because something has changed in favor of the AMD graphics card since the release 10 days ago. But let's start with a few general tips for buying graphics cards.
Graphics card series, custom models and clock values
AMD and Nvidia are constantly developing new graphics chips. The two manufacturers then create so-called reference graphics cards for these graphics chips. These graphics cards are the basis for the graphics card series, a blueprint, so to speak, to which the partner manufacturers of AMD and Nvidia (for example Asus, MSI, Palit or Sapphire) then stick to bring their own models onto the market.
Because most users do not buy one of the reference models directly from AMD or Nvidia, but rely on the custom models of the partner manufacturers. In such models, the cooling in particular is adapted compared to the reference model, and there are also many variants with significantly higher clock rates than the reference models. The model selection is adapted to the wishes of the buyers – hence the expression "Custom", which, strictly speaking, is used even more for individually made individual copies. The custom models of the partner manufacturers are, of course, mass-produced despite the manufacturer's own special features. What is certain, however, is that the graphics cards are still part of the AMD or Nvidia graphics card series, although sometimes the design of the board and the arrangement of the chips provided deviate from the reference blueprint. Current graphics card series are for example the AMD Radeon RX 5700 or the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super. If we come to the purchase advice later, the graphics cards we mentioned always stand for the reference models, but represent the complete respective series with its variants of the partner manufacturer.
If a custom model has an overclocking of 10 percent compared to the reference, for example, it can deliver up to 10 percent more FPS (frames per second) than the reference graphics card. The clock values refer to the GPU, i.e. the main graphics processor, which is the heart of a graphics card. A performance comparison based on the clock value can only be carried out within the same graphics card series. If you compare graphics cards with two different GPUs, too many other factors, including the architecture of the GPU, play a role. Example: The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super has a higher base and boost clock than the AMD Radeon RX 5700 – but the latter is a good 30 percent faster. An Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070, on the other hand, has lower clock rates than the AMD RX 5700, but is slightly faster.