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Next-generation 1080p gaming: Radeon RX 5500 XT

AMD's cutting-edge RDNA graphics architecture is on the march. Following the debut of Radeon RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT back in July, the new Radeon RX 5500 XT is joining the party with the promise of ultra-responsive gaming at an ubiquitous 1080p resolution.

RX 5500 XT represents an important milestone for the blossoming RDNA portfolio, as it serves as the first 7nm Radeon GPU designed specifically for mainstream gamers wanting to enjoy the latest titles on a current architecture supporting a vast selection of modern image enhancement technologies. Let's take a look at where it fits in.

 
Radeon RX 5700 XT
Radeon RX 5700
Radeon RX 5500 XT
Radeon RX Vega 64
Radeon RX Vega 56
Radeon RX 580
Launch date
Jul 2019
Jul 2019
Dec 2019
Aug 2017
Aug 2017
Apr 2017
Codename
Navi 10
Navi 10
Navi 14
Vega 10
Vega 10
Polaris 20
Architecture
RDNA
RDNA
RDNA
GCN
GCN
GCN
Process (nm)
7
7
7
14
14
14
Transistors (bn)
10.3
10.3
6.4
12.5
12.5
5.7
Approx Die Size (mm²)
251
251
158
486
486
232
Shaders
2,560
2,304
1,408
4,096
3,584
2,304
Texture Units
160
144
88
256
224
144
ROP Units
64
64
32
64
64
32
Boost Clock (MHz)
1,905
1,725
1,845
1,546
1,471
1,340
Game Clock (MHz)
1,755
1,625
1,717
-
-
-
Peak SP TFLOPS
9.75
7.95
5.20
12.66
10.54
6.17
Memory Type
GDDR6
GDDR6
GDDR6
HBM2
HBM2
GDDR5
Memory Size (GB)
8
8
4 / 8
8
8
4 / 8
Memory Clock (MHz)
14,000
14,000
14,000
945
800
8,000
Memory Bus (bits)
256
256
128
2,048
2,048
256
Max Bandwidth (GB/s)
448
448
224
484
410
256
PCIe Support
Gen 4
Gen 4
Gen 4
Gen 3
Gen 3
Gen 3
Power Connectors
6+8
6+8
8
8+8
8+8
6
TDP (watts)
225
180
130
295
210
185
Launch MSRP
$399
$349
$169 / $199
$499
$399
$199 / $229

The key point, of course, is the starting price of $169 for a 4GB card, rising to $199 for an 8GB model. RX 5500 XT is by some distance the most affordable 7nm GPU to date and carries a specification that is ideally suited to full-HD gaming. These include 1,408 shaders clocked at up to 1,845MHz, 88 texture units and 32 ROPs.

4GB or 8GB of high-speed GDDR6 memory operates at an effective 14Gbps via a 128-bit bus, and as you would expect from an RDNA solution, efficiency plays a key part in the overall package. RX 5500 XT touts a frugal 130W TDP, allowing power to be sourced from just a single connector. In keeping with others in the RDNA range, there's also full support for the bandwidth-doubling PCIe Gen 4 interface championed by AMD's latest Ryzen processors.

Purpose built for silky smooth 1080p action, RX 5500 XT delivers in today's top titles and the forward-looking RDNA architecture allows for a trio of wins; RX 5500 XT is faster, more efficient and more affordable than the previous-generation Radeon RX 580.

4K60 is the obvious target, yet in the most demanding of games an option of an 8GB frame buffer provides a meaningful bump in performance while introducing an element of future-proofing. All the goodness of RDNA, at a more affordable price point that appeals to both casual gamers and eSports competitors favouring a 1080p resolution.

Radeon RX 5500 XT helps redefine what is possible in the mainstream segment, and a raft of partners - including Asus, MSI and Sapphire, to name but a few - are showing their full support with a wide range of custom-cooled cards that help deliver high-quality gameplay in a package that's cool, quiet and elegant.

Make no mistake, Radeon RX 5500 XT has restored competition in the sub-£200 space, and with RDNA architecture set to power the next generation of Xbox and PlayStation games consoles, AMD's latest desktop GPU gives PC gamers the chance to experience cutting-edge graphics without breaking the bank.