AMD has officially launched the Radeon RX 5500 XT graphics card, a new 1080p focused entry-level GPU which is available in both 4GB and 8GB variants.
The AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB will retail for $169 while the AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB will be slightly more expensive at $199. Specs-wise, the two variants are absolutely identical aside from the quantity of VRAM. AMD's nearest competitor at this price point would be the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Super 4GB at $159. That tells you there really isn't a lot of wriggle down at this end of the market and AMD is going to have to push hard to make the Radeon RX 5500 XT a tempting proposition.
Under the hood we're looking at much the same RDNA architecture found on the AMD Radeon RX 5700 8GB series. It's got 61% the number of TMUs and, therefore, 61% of the Stream Processors (cores) of the 5700 series. The end result is the Radeon RX 5500 XT is far outstripped by the Radeon RX 5700 XT, particularly if you're thinking of gaming at resolutions higher than 1080p.
|Radeon RX 5500||Radeon RX 5500 XT||Radeon RX 5700||Radeon RX 5700 XT||Radeon RX 5700 XT 50th Anniversary Edition|
|GPU Architecture||7nm Navi||7nm Navi||7nm Navi||7nm Navi||7nm Navi|
|Base Clock||1500 MHz||1717 MHz||1465 MHz||1605 MHz||1680 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1845 MHz||1845 MHz||1725 MHz||1755 MHz||1930 MHz|
|Compute Performance||5.2 TFLOPS||5.2 TFLOPS||7.95 TFLOPS||9.75 TFLOPS||10.14 TFLOPS|
|VRAM||4 GB GDDR6||4/8 GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6|
|Memory Bandwidth||224 GB/s||224 GB/s||448 GB/s||448 GB/s||448 GB/s|
|Release Date||October 7th, 2019||December 12th, 2019||July 7th, 2019||July 7th, 2019||July 7th, 2019|
Initial performance benchmarks put the Radeon RX 5500 XT ever so slightly faster than the GeForce GTX 1650 Super at 1080p, and pretty much exactly on par with a Radeon RX 580. At 1440p resolution and upward the RX 5500 XT 4GB begins to fade away, although this is certainly isn't a video card you should planning to use to play at the latest games at QHD 1440p screen resolution.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as if either of these RX 5500 Series graphics cards are going to set the world alight. It’s impressive that AMD has been able to squeeze out as much performance from 22 Compute Units on its RDNA architecture as it managed to achieve with 36 CUs on GCN with the RX 580 but that’s also exactly the point - the Radeon RX 5500 XT is no more impressive than a Radeon RX 580, which itself was just a small step up from the RX 480, a mid-tier graphics card which is 3.5 years old.
Right now I can see Radeon RX 590s for less than $200 on Amazon. It might guzzle more juice but it’s a faster graphics card than either of the Radeon RX 5500 XTs, plain and simple. Likewise, I can see a Radeon RX 580 8GB for $170. We’re being asked to pay $30 more for what’s essentially just a slightly smaller, slightly cooler GPU.
Likewise, while AMD used to have a great time down at this price tier, Nvidia has been really busy stuffing the market full of its own budget variants. It depends how flexible your pricing is but, at $199, you’re really not terribly far off a $249 GeForce GTX 1660 Super, a graphics card which will far outstrip what the Radeon RX 5500 series is capable of, or perhaps a $209 GeForce GTX 1660.
It’s strange then. Based on the specs, the initial performance results and the pricing, it’s difficult to gauge in what situation, if any, either of the Radeon RX 5500 XT GPUs could be vital purchases. Who knows though, give it a few weeks/months and the inevitable price cuts will eat into the 5500 series and we begin to see better value.
What are your initial thoughts on the Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB and 8GB? Has AMD a got potential entry-level gem on its hands, or do you think the price tag's a little too high?
Let is know!