Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 5700 XT review: Superfast and nearly flawless

Sublime software makes the impeccable hardware design even better.

Credit: Sapphire

Should you buy the Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 5700 XT?

Oh lord, yes.

dsc00719 Brad Chacos/IDG

The Radeon RX 5700 XT is a killer graphics card for 1440p gaming, and Sapphire’s $440 overclocked Nitro+ delivers frame rates well beyond similarly priced GeForce RTX 2060 Supers and within spitting distance of the $500 GeForce RTX 2070 Super Founders Edition. Activating the wonderful Trixx Boost feature in Sapphire’s Trixx software sends frame rates skyrocketing to (or past) even the $700 RTX 2080 Super’s performance levels with minimal visual impact, for hundreds of dollars less. Trixx Boost can even turn this into a surprisingly decent 4K gaming card.

Boost is just part of Sapphire’s superb new updated Trixx software, which also lets you check your card’s fan health, overclock your graphics card, see your system configuration, and manage the gorgeous RGB LED implementation on the Nitro+.

If you really love flashy lights, you can buy an optional $30 set of ARGB fans for the Nitro+—though they’ll be hard to see in a standard case, pointing down—or assign their control to your motherboard’s software with the help of a 3-pin RGB header at the end of the card. Sapphire also outfitted the Nitro+ was a triple-BIOS switch loaded with two different fan profiles and the option to handle switching between them in Trixx itself, negating the need to ever open your case.

dsc00691 Brad Chacos/IDG

The aluminum-clad Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 5700 XT stays a cool 71 degrees Celsius even under heavy loads, beating the rival $440 XFX Thicc II Ultra by 5 degrees and dipping far below the reference RX 5700 XT’s 86-degree temperatures. Better yet, it stays quiet throughout, with the fans never topping 1,800rpm.

Everything about this card feels perfectly considered, and it’s virtually perfect as a result. The only possible drawbacks are out of Sapphire’s control, and they aren’t really drawbacks.

First, Radeon graphics cards don’t support real-time ray tracing like GeForce RTX 20-series GPUs offer—but in return, they offer you more traditional gaming performance for your money. The Nitro+ routinely outperforms the GeForce RTX 2060 by double-digit percentages. And while ray tracing is picking up steam and looks incredibly impressive in the right games, only a small handful of titles support the cutting-edge lighting technology at this point. Second, the Nitro+ is a big card, measuring a full foot long and a bit over two slots deep. That’s necessary for a card this powerful to run so cool and quiet though.

Bottom line: I can’t think of any single thing that Sapphire could do to make this card more impressive. The Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 5700 XT is essentially flawless, incredibly powerful, and very highly recommended. Sapphire’s enhancements more than justify the $40 price premium over the reference Radeon RX 5700 XT. If you use Trixx Boost to supercharge your frame rates with clever software tricks, you could even consider the Nitro+ one hell of a value. Bravo.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Brad Chacos

Brad Chacos

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Shining a light on creativity

MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?