Like PowerColor and XFX, Sapphire is an AMD-exclusive AIB (add-in board) partner, fully focused on AMD Radeon graphics cards. In addition to an MBA (Made by AMD) reference model and the Radeon RX 7900 XTX Pulse, Sapphire also offers the more expensive RX 7900 XTX Nitro+ model with substantial factory overclocking and an oversized cooler.
As it’s based on AMD’s demanding flagship XTX GPU from 2022/2023, the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 7900 XTX is a large graphics card, even compared to the reference model from AMD. However, it is still significantly more compact than pricier models like Sapphire’s own Nitro+ or the Gigabyte Aorus RX 7900 XTX Elite.
The Pulse card’s game clock (an expected average while running games) is 2330 MHz out of the box, versus the reference 2300 MHz. This minor OC of about 1,3% is in line with competitors like Gigabyte’s Gaming OC and PowerColor’s Hellhound models.
A key difference is that the Sapphire Pulse RX 7900 XTX is equipped with an additional power connector. This enables the card to pull more power from the power supply (PSU) and theoretically reach higher peak clock speeds. Of course, this also increases overall power consumption. Sapphire has accordingly increased the TDP of the Pulse to 370 W from the usual 355 W. AMD’s original 800 W PSU recommendation remains unchanged, however.
The overall design of the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 7900 XTX cooler is visually and functionally similar to previous-gen Pulse coolers with three fans, as seen on e.g. the Pulse Radeon RX 6800 XT. But it’s not identical.
Sapphire highlights its ‘angular velocity fan blade’, which supposedly improves airflow by up to 19% for additional cooling at a lower noise level compared to previous generations. The heat pipes are also rearranged for optimal heat flow and a more even distribution of heat throughout the heat sink.
The PCIe power connectors have also been equipped with fuse protection to protect from power surges.
The overall functionality as well as the physical dimensions of the Pulse Radeon RX 7900 XTX cooler are identical to those of the XT model.
About the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX GPU (Navi 31 XTX)
The Radeon RX 7900 XTX is AMD’s flagship GPU in 2023. It was released near the end of 2022 and is based on Navi 31 XTX, which is the largest variant of the Navi 31 chip. Alongside the smaller RX 7900 XT GPU, the RX 7900 XTX was the first consumer graphics chip to use a chiplet-based design and production process (5 nm and 6 nm at TSMC). The die area is 529 mm² and the XTX GPU incorporates 57.7 million transistors.
It offers support for DirectX 12 Ultimate, including raytracing using 96 raytracing acceleration cores and variable-rate shading. The RX 7900 XTX has 192 ROPs (render output units), 6144 shading units, and 384 TMUs (texture mapping units). All XTX GPUs are paired with 24 GB of GDDR6 memory running on a 384-bit memory bus (effective memory clock: 20 Gbps).
On average, the RX 7900 XTX GPU offers rasterization performance on par with or slightly faster than Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4080, but it cannot compete with the RTX 4090.
Ray-tracing performance, on the other hand, is worse than the RTX 4080 on average, and closer to Nvidia’s fastest cards from the previous generation.
Note that the above benchmark scores do not represent the Sapphire Pulse RX 7900 XTX specifically, but are average scores for RX 7900 XTX cards.
No professional reviews were available at the time of writing. Please check back later.
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