AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB Evaluate

The Radeon RX 5500 XT is AMD's answer to Nvidia's recently released GeForce GTX 1650 Super. With the code name Navi 14, we finally have the new budget-oriented Radeon at hand. Although technically this is a first day review, it is not the first 5500 XT review to come online. Some lucky press representatives were able to get their hands on OEM versions and test them before they were released. The results didn't look particularly good, but without confirmed pricing information it was obviously difficult to assess how good or bad Navi 14 would be.

To assess how good the Radeon RX 5500 XT is, we have a card from MSI and one from Gigabyte. From MSI we have their & # 39; Gaming X & # 39; model and Gigabyte has their & # 39; Gaming OC & # 39; version sent, both look very good.

The RX 5500 XT GPU uses a tiny 158mm2 chip with only 1408 cores and 88 texture units, almost 40% less than the RX 5700. There are also half as many ROPs, reducing the memory bus from 256 bits to 128 bits wide. This halves the memory bandwidth to 224 GB / s.

AMD has retained the GDDR6 memory and you can purchase the 5500 XT with 4 or 8 GB VRAM. We also have a 5500 XT 4GB card on hand and will soon provide a detailed comparison between 4GB and 8GB. In this review, however, our focus will be on the 8 GB version.

Back to the cores: they are clocked at 1670 MHz for the base with a boost of 1845 MHz, which means that they are clocked 7% higher than the 5700. However, since there is much less, the TDP has been reduced from 180 watts to 150 watts.

The 8GB version of the 5500 XT costs $ 200 (RRP), and frankly, this seems a bit too ambitious for the hardware specifications. The 4GB model costs $ 170, and that seems to be a lot of money for a 4GB graphics card in 2019 as well. In either case, we'll check the 5500 XT's price / performance ratio toward the end of this test. Check out these benchmark numbers.

Our GPU test system is operated by a Core i9-9900K with 5 GHz and 16 GB DDR4-3400 memory. We only used the Gigabyte RX 5500 XT Gaming OC to test the 5500 XT in this test. We saw 12 games, all tested at 1080p and 1440p using presets or medium to high quality settings.


First we have Shadow of the Tomb Raider and with the high quality 1080p preset, the 5500 XT was good for 77 fps on average. Not a bad performance, but not great as the RX 590 was a bit faster and the 1660 Super was almost 20% faster.

Even at 1440p we see almost the same thing and despite the additional VRAM the 5500 XT cannot win the 1660 Super.

We see that the 5500 XT manages to displace the RX 590 in Assassin's Creed Odyssey with an average of 71 fps, making it 4% faster or only 3 fps. The GTX 1660 Super was 11% faster, although the 5500 XT was 8% faster than the GTX 1650 Super.

At 1440p we see similar margins. The 5500 XT is still at the same level as the GTX 1660, which also brings it up to par with the RX 590 and the GTX 1650 Super. So this isn't a great result for AMD's new $ 200 offer.

Using the high-quality preset in Red Dead Redemption 2 may have been a mistake with these lower-priced GPUs because the frame rates are quite low. The 3 GB 1060 did not work either because the texture setting was too high and you cannot overwrite the memory restrictions in this title. Instead of giving the 3 GB 1060 an advantage with the medium texture setting, we decided to skip this for it.

The performance of the 5500 XT at 1080p is disappointing, it only suited the RX 580 and GTX 1650 Super.

It wasn't much better at 1440p and with the high quality settings the game wasn't really playable. So you have to drop to medium if you want to play with less than one RX 5700 or RTX 2060 at this resolution.

The 5500 XT delivered a smooth average of 106 fps at 1080p in World of Tanks, but that was only enough to position it in our tests as a midfield runner that matches the 3GB 1060 and equates it to the RX 590, a pretty exciting result.

The 1440p result for the 5500 XT is not much better, here it is a fraction slower than the RX 590 and not better than the much cheaper GTX 1650 Super.

The performance in Far Cry New Dawn is typical of what we've seen so far. The 5500 XT is a bit faster than the 590 and ~ 6% faster than the 1650 Super, which is frankly a pretty miserable result as they want to charge $ 200 for this thing.

It's not much different at 1440p: the 5500 XT and 590 are neck to neck, while the $ 230 GTX 1660 Super is way ahead and offers almost 20% more power. This is not particularly good for AMD, as Nvidia only charges 15% more.

The frame rates in Rainbow Six Siege are strong at 1080p using the very high quality preset, which is one level below "Ultra", although we manually turn the render scale back to 100%. The GPU performs well overall, although the 5500 XT was still slower than the RX 590 and not much faster than the cheaper ($ 160) GTX 1650 Super.

The situation is similar when testing with 1440p. The 5500 XT only manages to keep up with the GTX 1650 Super and the RX 580.

The performance of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order at 1080p is average. Here the 5500 XT is slower than the GTX 1650 Super and the old GTX 1060 6GB. Basically, it is between 590 and 580.

By switching to 1440p, the 5500 XT can match the 1650 Super and 3 GB 1060, which is not a particularly good thing.

By using the high quality 1080p preset in Battlefield V, the 5500 XT achieved an average of 83 fps in our test, which unfortunately meant that it could only match the RX 580 and render 3 fps more than the 1650 Super on average.

The limited 4 GB VRAM buffer seems to hurt the 1650 Super at 1440p, and now the 5500 XT can deliver 13% more power at an average of 62 fps, but the Radeon costs ~ 25% more.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's results are very similar to those we've seen so far. The 5500 XT is basically on par with the RX 590 and the GTX 1650 Super. Even at 1440p, the 5500 XT can't get away from the 1650 Super, although it falls behind the RX 590.

Metro Exodus was tested with the default Ultra quality as the 5500 XT and equivalent Nvidia GPUs at 1080p averaged over 60 fps. The 5500 XT came behind the RX 580 and was also 10% slower than the 590.

When switching to 1440p, the 5500 XT dropped to an average of 51 fps, which meant that it was a few frames slower than the RX 580, although at least in this title it was slightly faster than the GTX 1650 Super, especially when you looked at it 1 % low performance.

Here we see that the 5500 XT follows the RX 580 again, this time in F1 2019 at 1080p using the high quality preset. While 121 fps is great gaming performance on average, it's still lower than the 580, 590, GTX 1660, and 1660 Super models.

The 5500 XT corresponds to the 580 at 1440p and is 5-6 fps slower than the 590 and 11% slower than the GTX 1660 Super.

Last we have Gears 5 and here the 5500 XT can reach the RX 590 with an average of 75 fps at 1080p using the high quality preset.

The 1660 Super is 14% faster and costs 15% more. It looks like AMD has just worked into Nvidia's current pricing schedule instead of competing with it.

power consumption

Here is a brief overview of the total system consumption in gears 5 and F1 2019: As you can see in the following graphic, the 5500 XT is a big improvement over the RX 580 and RX 590 and reduces the total system consumption by around 30%.

The GTX 1660 Super used a little less power, but at this point this is not a problem and they are more evenly matched. The total power consumption is good, not surprising for a 7 nm GPU, but comparable to the current state of Nvidia.

Service summary

Given the price, we have to say that the 8 GB 5500 XT didn't look too hot in most of these benchmarks.

Before we start analyzing the cost per frame, let's look at the average performance of the dozen games tested at 1080p and 1440p.

On average, the 5500 XT was slower than the RX 590 and only ~ 3.5% faster than the RX 580. It was also only 5% faster than the GTX 1650 Super and 13% slower than the GTX 1660 Super.

Playing at 1440p brings the same conclusion: it's a whisker that's faster than the old RX 580 and a bit slower than the RX 590. Now let's check the cost per frame data …

Basically, the Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB offers the same value as the GTX 1660 Super and costs $ 2.27 per frame, based on our 12-game example. That means you pay a premium of ~ 4% per frame over the RX 590 at current prices. It's not a bad value in general, but it stems from other Navi-based GPU offerings where AMD was aggressive and went beyond the scope. Here it is only between current GeForce offers or worse.

The 5500 XT offers almost 20% more per frame than the GTX 1650 Super, which appears to be very affordable and works great for Nvidia, as it is a similar level of performance compared to the new Radeon. Granted, the 8GB 5500 XT offers twice as much VRAM, but it's still not a good result for AMD and those looking for an affordable graphics card.

It's also worth noting that the 8 GB 5500 XT costs ~ 14% more per frame compared to existing 8 GB RX 580.

Miss the time

If you expected AMD to come in and Rock the boat You will be disappointed as we were. The Radeon RX 5500 XT was never meant to blow your socks off from a performance perspective, but we're struggling with pricing. AMD did not attempt to undercut Nvidia, but integrated the 5500 XT into Nvidia's existing pricing structure. In other words, they came to the party late and didn't offer us anything new.

It's kind of crazy, they sold us a 232mm2 cube for $ 200 or less and have been doing it for over a year. We finally get an update that is significantly smaller at 158mm2, a 32% smaller chip that offers a similar level of performance and costs just as much. There is no doubt that the 7nm supply plays a big role here, but we doubt that many of you will take care of it. This is more of an AMD problem to be solved.

For some time, AMD has been very aggressive in pricing its mainstream GPUs to stay competitive with 3 year old Polaris GPUs. This started with the RX 480 in June 2016 at $ 240 for the 8GB model. A year later, it was updated as the RX 580 with a $ 10 discount, and by the end of 2018, the same GPU was retailing for well under $ 200.

If you leave AMD's own products aside for a moment, the 5500 XT cannot compete with what Nvidia already offers in the GTX 1650 Super and 1660 Super. One could also argue that Nvidia has taken the right steps to secure the mainstream segment before the release of AMD, since the super cards are both Q4 releases. So we see no reason to wait for the RX 5500 inventory to arrive and then try to find one at the MSRP. There are many 1650 Super and 1660 Super graphics cards that are sold at or near the MSRP. So we would just grab one of them or alternatively grab a cheap RX 580.

The 5500 XT's power consumption has been significantly improved over the RX 580. But do gamers really care? It's not that you can't just power the 580 or 590 with a cheap 400-watt power supply. Remember that the energy results in this test were recorded in our overclocked Core i9-9900K test system. Therefore, expect that the total power consumption of the system with a Core i5 or Ryzen 5 processor will be significantly lower.

While lower power consumption is certainly a nice bonus and should lead to cooler and quieter graphics cards, we believe that most players who want to spend $ 200 or less on a graphics card mostly care about value for money and the 5500 XT offers nothing new here. Ultimately, we have to wait to see if retail prices will move anywhere in the coming weeks and months to make the 5500 XT more attractive.

Finally, a brief side note on the new Radeon software functions from AMD in the Adrenaline 2020 Edition drivers. They are impressive and AMD should be commended for their work. Adding features like integer scaling to all Radeon GPUs is great and Radeon Boost looks interesting, although we doubt that we would use it, it is still a good option and we are sure that some players will find it useful.

Purchasing links:
  • AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT on Amazon
  • GeForce GTX 1650 Super on Amazon
  • GeForce GTX 1660 Super on Amazon
  • GeForce GTX 1660 Ti on Amazon
  • GeForce RTX 2060 Super on Amazon
  • AMD Radeon RX 590 at Amazon
  • AMD Radeon RX 580 at Amazon
  • AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT on Amazon
  • AMD Radeon RX 5700 on Amazon
  • GeForce RTX 2070 Super on Amazon
  • AMD Ryzen 5 3600 on Amazon

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