The AMD RX 6500 XT just got a whole lot better with new 8 GB variant from Sapphire

Sapphire RX 6500 XT Pulse

When AMD launched its $199 Radeon RX 6500 XT budget GPU, it was almost universally deemed by the media and the community as the worst graphics card the current generation had seen so far. While the performance of the underlying RDNA 2 architecture is no problem, AMD had imposed severe limitations on the GPU, like packing only four lanes of PCIe (x4), and lacking any hardware encoding support as well as no AV1 decoding.

The Navi 24 chip, which the RX 6500 XT and RX 6400 are based on, was primarily built as a mobile GPU meant to be paired with a capable Ryzen 6000 series APU and as such, these limitations wouldn't have mattered. However, on desktops, this can be a big issue for those who are looking for the cut down features.

However, it looks like the RX 6500 XT could be getting a lot more interesting. One of AMD's exclusive Add-in-board (AIB) partners, Sapphire, has announced today that it is releasing a new 8 GB VRAM variant of the RX 6500 XT in the form of the new PULSE AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT 8 GB.

The card appears identical to the 4 GB PULSE model, but will feature twice the video memory. Other than doubling of memory, the new 8 GB PULSE 6500 XT also features slightly faster (+30MHz) core boost clock at 2,855MHz.

Now, with the 8 GB VRAM, the 6500 XT should not suffer the heavy performance losses that it does even on a PCIe 2.0 board. For example, in VRAM intensive games like DOOM Eternal and Deathloop, among others, the x4 PCIe width really hurt the flow of data between the GPU VRAM and the system memory once the 4 GB buffer was saturated. Now, with the additional 4 GB GPU memory, users won't have to worry about the PCIe version their motherboard uses.

There is no word on pricing at the moment, but the 4 GB RX 6500 XT are typically selling for around their $199 MSRP most of the time. Hence, the 8 GB version is likely going to be a bit more expensive.

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