5600 XT at UWQHD – Can You Get Away With It?

Due to popular request I’m going to try to answer the question of “Can I get away with a 5600XT at UWQHD.” With the price gap between the 5600 XT 6GB and the 5700 XT 8GB at $220AUD, I’ve had several requests about stretching the 5600 XT for UWQHD in the hope of getting 60FPS or more at ‘reasonable’ quality settings.

It isn’t as silly a question as it might seem. The 1440p performance of the 5600XT was much better than I’d expected and I had also wondered about the stretch to UWQHD during the review testing phase.

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What’s UWQHD? Ultra Wide Quad High Definition. QHD is quad 720p so it’s 2560×1440 resolution in a 16:9 ratio aspect ratio. UWQHD adds width to the display to get a 21:9 aspect ratio for the “ultra wide” so we end up with a 3440×1440 resolution. It’s the space in between QHD and 4K. I’ve also found that after gaming in UWQHD, it’s hard to go back as the extra screen width is great for both gaming immersion and productivity.

The 5600 XT is marketed as “Ultra 1080p” and “entry-level 1440p” so I initially decided not to test it at 4K or UWQHD, places where the 6GB of video memory wasn’t intended to go. It’s important to note that we are pushing the 5600 XT out of its comfort zone.

Because enough people asked for it and I still had the card, I retested all the synthetic gaming tests at 3440×1440 for comparison against the original results. The test setup is essentially the same as the formal review – see the spec below. The key difference was from the BenQ EL2870U 28″ 4K monitor for the BenQ EX3501R 34″ curved 3440×1440 UWQHD display that is rocking a VA panel, FreeSync and a 100Hz refresh rate.

Test Bench Setup

In-Game Benchmarks

The in-game benchmarks are repeatable and consistent, unlike subjective gameplay where I take stats from MSI Afterburner. These results are provided directly from the in-game benchmark functions.

Far Cry 5

Hitting 64 or 68 FPS at Ultra and High respectively is not a bad score for the 5600 XT – I’d go so far as to say that it’s a pass and would be acceptable for casual gamers; you can thoroughly enjoy the game at this frame rate.

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2

Ultra isn’t going to be an option for the 5600 XT at UWQHD here. The High pre-set is ok at 65FPS and there are a few settings you can tweak to bring that up another 5-10FPS or so without any noticeable visual sacrifice. The Division 2 is a solid looter shooter that is a lot more immersive in an ultra wide aspect ratio.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

The benchmark results demonstrate that the 5600 XT is an option for medium or low settings at 3440×1440. This result wasn’t a surprise as Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a hard task master on graphics cards and given how far out of its comfort zone the 5600 XT was operating, I was actually expecting far worse.

Rainbow 6: Siege

A result of 125FPS at Ultra in UWQHD is pretty good here – especially given that it was over the video memory limit. The aspect ratio is immersive and the frame rate is where most gamers would want it. I’d probably drop it down to Very High from Ultra to keep under the 6GB limit as I can’t notice the quality difference between those pre-sets. 

Hitman

Hitman was tested using DX12 and ultra settings.

I’d consider this a pass with an average of almost 80FPS on the benchmark in the DX12 testing. 

GTA V

GTA V is fun at the best of times but at UWQHD it’s even better with the 21:9 aspect ratio. The settings below were used in the interests of being consistent with our other testing.

If GTA V is your thing I’d suggest backing off a little on the settings we used for the benchmark. That said, the average was slightly over 60FPS and with a FreeSync display, dips in rame rate when things get crazy are less noticeable so it’s not that bad. 

Overall, the in-game benchmarks were encouraging – Let’s move on to the subjective, real-world test results of some actual gameplay.

Subjective Testing

I’ve tried to go ‘all out’ where I can here because that’s the logical place to start as a gamer who wants everything. I’ve then scaled back where noted to get frame rates in the 60FPS+ zone. The titles are a mixture of what I usually test and some special requests from readers.

Please note that I disabled FreeSync in the Radeon software along with any other helpful features. I also disabled V-Sync in the games in order to get the frame rates. I would run this setup with FreeSync enabled as a daily driver rig.

I didn’t test Overwatch because the game nerfs widescreen and crops the top and bottom of the screen to avoid an aspect ratio/field of view advantage.

Battlefield V (DX12)

The Ultra pre-set at 3440×1440 proved to be laggy and under 20FPS due to the 6GB video memory limit being hit, effectively choking the 5600XT. Dropping the quality pre-set down to High gave us a steady frame rate in the training scenario of around 65-72FPS with an average of 70. Dropping the quality from Ultra to High is not noticeable and a worthy trade-off.

All up this is a good experience given the tier of video card and the quality level.

Apex Legends

Texture Streaming Budget set to Very High due to 6GB limit. Insane graphics requires 8GB of video memory. All other settings were High. Typical performance was around 70FPS on the practice range.

Fortnite

Graphics quality options at the Ultra pre-set delivered about 60FPS as a typical average give or take 10FPS. Dropping the pre-set to High, but setting the 3D texture to 100% gave a typical experience of 85FPS outside and 90-100FPS inside.

Project Cars 2

At the settings in the gallery below we saw 105-115 as a typical frame rate. This was dependant on the lighting but in a practice lap the experience was very immersive and smooth at UWQHD.

Elite: Dangerous Horizons

Elite Dangerous is an oldie but the developer, Frontier, is still releasing DLC and there is a large following online for the game. I started with Ultra settings and planned to scale back if needed – but there was no need in the end.

I saw 140FPS in the combat training run so yes, if you’re into Elite: Dangerous, the 5600 XT has it covered.

War Thunder

The settings were at the upper end of the scale in this free title.

I played this in cockpit mode and using the external camera. The frame rate with the settings maxed out was averaging 100FPS. War Thunder is another one of those games that benefits from the ultra-wide screen in terms of immersion.

Elder Scrolls Online

The frame rate for ESO can fluctuate quite a bit but generally speaking, I was able to get a typical range of around 75-85FPS when moving around outdoors.

The quality settings were maxed out but keep in mind that in-game weather, action and the latency can have a noticeable impact on frame rates.

COD: Modern Warfare Warzone

With the settings below I saw a typical experience of 85-100FPS with a rough average of 90FPS.

The experience varies depending on the surroundings with inside areas giving higher FPS. Given the nature of the maps, the game transitions a lot from inside to outside as the action moves – especially in multiplayer.

Late entry – Assetto Corsa

This racing sim with a long history and strong following made the cut with a day to spare so I ran the benchmark and I’m pleased to say that the frame rate stayed in the 90’s for the whole thing. The benchmark result lists the minimum and maximum frame rates but all I saw as the test ran was double-digit numbers starting with a ‘9’. 

For the gentleman that asked us so politely to run this test – please see the gallery below for the settings I used and the result.

So… Can you get away with a 5600 XT for UWQHD?

I’m going to call it as a “Yes“. Based on the results I saw in the games I played, you can certainly “get away with” a 5600 XT for UWQHD and have enjoyable gameplay at generally high settings. The 6GB video memory limit will create a barrier at max quality settings in some titles and the frame rates won’t necessarily be amazing, but generally speaking the performance/quality ratio is more than adequate for a typical gamer to enjoy a wide range of games at UWQHD. If your monitor has a refresh rate of 100Hz or more then you probably won’t be getting the most of the panel but the result is still more than adequate for PC gaming. Don’t forget, this is why there is another tier (or two) of graphics cards for these resolutions.

I’ve used the 5600 XT for gaming at UWQHD for 3 weeks now and although I noticed the drop from my usual GTX 1080 Ti the question wasn’t if the 5600 XT crushes games at 3440×1440, it was more along the lines of can you have fun at that resolution and does it perform at an acceptable level. It actually does ok – especially for the price of ~$540 AUD.

I know a few people who have an UWQHD monitor for productivity reasons and ‘also’ play games. The 5600 XT would suit their needs without breaking the bank.

I was looking for anything above 60FPS to be honest and I was pleasantly surprised. Enthusiast gamers and competitive FPS junkies will need to go up at least one tier of GPUs to get the top-shelf results – it’s a given. This experiment was for anyone else who wanted to know how capable the 5600 XT was when used well beyond it’s intended purpose.

The more I use the 5600 XT, the more I like it.

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