AMD and its AIB partners have officially launched the custom variants of the Radeon RX 5500 XT graphics cards. The card was announced a few weeks ago and its OEM version is already available in pre-built PCs.
AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT graphics card is the first entry-level Navi based offering from the company. It aims to supersede AMD’s Polaris GPU products that include the RX 570, RX 580, and RX 590. Nvidia’s GTX 1650 Super and GTX 1660 Super are the products that the Radeon RX 5500 XT will be competing with.
AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT Hardware Specifications
The Radeon RX 5500 XT graphics card uses a GPU based on the RDNA architecture and with codename Navi 14. The die measures 158mm2 and features 1408 cores (stream processors) along with 88 texture units. In comparison, the RX 5700 has 2304 cores and 144 texture units, while the RX 5700 XT has 2560 cores and 160 texture units. The ROPs on the RX 5500 XT have also been halved to 32, which in turn has reduced the memory bus to 128-bit. It uses 14Gbps GDDR6 memory with a maximum memory bandwidth of 224GB/s. There will be two versions of the RX 5500 XT available – one with 4GB of VRAM and the other with 8GB of VRAM.
It has a base frequency of 1670MHz with a game frequency of 1717MHz. AMD specifies a boost clock of up to 1845 MHz, but the game frequency will be a more realistic representation of its expected boost behavior. The custom variants of the Radeon RX 5500 XT graphics cards have a TDP rating of 150W which is 20W higher than the TDP rating of the OEM versions (130W). It will use a single eight-pin power connector.
AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming Performance
AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT aims to be a budget card. It is aimed at the gamers who want to play games at 1080p resolution without having to break the bank. The card faces competition from Nvidia’s recently released GTX 1650 Super and GTX 1660 Super graphics cards. It also has to compete with AMD’s own RX 580 and RX 590 GPUs.
When it comes to 1080p gaming performance, the AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB lies between the RX 580 and the RX590 in most titles. It manages to match the RX 590 in a few games but is behind it in most.
Nvidia GTX 1650 Super is close on the heels of the AMD RX 5500 XT 8GB in titles like Call of Duty Modern Warfare and Rainbow Six Siege. It even manages to edge past the RX 5500 XT in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. However, the GTX 1650 Super does lag behind in quite a few titles but it is also cheaper. When compared to the Nvidia GTX 1660 Super, the AMD RX 5500 XT falls significantly behind (about 12 to 14% depending on the game).
To sum up the performance of the AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT graphics card, it would be safe to say that it is lackluster. The product is nothing exciting nor too disappointing. However, what disappoints is its price.
AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT Value Proposition
The 4GB variants of the Radeon RX 5500 XT graphics cards have been priced at $170 and the 8GB models will cost $200. AMD had launched its RX 580 graphics cards at $229 in 2017. The RX 5500 XT delivers near about the same performance at a slightly lower price. At the very least, there should have been a decent performance gain, but it is not so.
If Nvidia had not introduced its Super graphics card variants, the RX 5500 XT would have comparatively seemed a better proposition. It would have easily beaten the GTX 1650 and matched the GTX 1660 in performance. The launch of Nvidia’s GTX 1650 Super and 1660 Super has changed the market landscape. The GTX 1650 Super priced at $159 offers better overall value as compared to the RX 5500 XT 8GB that is priced at $200. The GTX 1660 Super costs $230 but also provides a decent bump in performance.
The lower memory does not significantly handicap the 4GB variant of the RX 5500 XT at 1080p resolution in most games, although it may suffer at 1440p. A few texture-heavy games like Call of Duty Modern Warfare and Shadow of The Tomb Raider did see the performance gap increase at 1080p. Still, the GTX 1650 Super offers similar performance while being cheaper and having the same memory as the RX 5500 XT 4GB.
AMD’s own Polaris based offerings will offer stiff competition to the RX 5500 XT as well. You can grab an RX 580 8GB for around $160. The holiday season may bring rebates that might lower the prices further. You will get the same performance while saving some money.
AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT – Should You Buy?
Overall, we at PCPepper would recommend the Nvidia GTX 1650 Super over the RX 5500 XT as a budget offering considering the current prices. In case the price of the AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB variants falls to around $170, we would be more than happy to recommend it. Buyers who live in an area where the prices of the Nvidia GTX 1650 Super and the AMD RX 5500 XT 4GB are the same can consider either graphics card.
If you are looking to spend around $200, then think about the GTX 1660 Super by upgrading your budget a bit. The performance gains will be worth the price increase. Customers who want something from the red team can consider the AMD RX 580 8GB for $160. If you are on the market looking for the cheapest graphics card, AMD’s RX 570 4GB can be bought for as low as $110.