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AMD introduces a midrange AIB — the Radeon 5500 XT

Positioned against Nvidia’s 1660 and similar boards it does quite well

Posted: By Jon Peddie 12.14.19
Photo credit: Mark Poppin

 

AMD has been struggling to get some creed in the performance ranks for years and acceded the high-end to Nvidia. They did have an interesting counter-argument (back when Chris Hook was still with the company) that one could buy two AMD AIBs, get better performance than one Nvidia AIB, and still save money. Unfortunately, was a special case claim and didn’t universally apply. Also, the two AMD AIBs drew a lot more power than the single Nvidia AIB.

AMD doesn't want to be known as a value or low-end class company any longer and wants their products to be seen as premium and on an equal footing with Nvidia and Intel. However, you can’t do it with a stroke of the pen, or one good chip. Their latest Software Edition has really nice features but there are continuing and pervasive bugs reported on r/AMD.

Nonetheless, the 5500 XT is a lot of AIB at a reasonable price. Our collogue Mark Poppin at Babbel Tech did an extensive suite of tests on the 5500 XT, which you can enjoy here. We compiled his test results and applied them to our Pmark and came up with these results.

The Radeon 5500 XT cores are clocked at 1670 MHz for the base with a boost of 1845 MHz, which is 7% higher than the Radeon 5700 XT. However, because there are fewer cores, the TDP has been reduced from 180 watts to 150 watts. A Radeon 5500 XT 8GB sells for $219, while a Radeon 5700 XT is $380. You can find Radeon 5700 XT benchmarks here.

We averaged all the test scores Mark Poppin got 94 per AIB, plus FireStrike, Time Pry and Superposition for the Pmark calculation.

AMD Radeon 5500 XT Pmark comparison

 

Mark tested 46 games using Vulkan, DX12, DX11, and 2015-2017 DX11, a humongous amount of work, 570 data points.

Pmark scores measured on synthetic benchmarks are below. 

AMD Radeon 5500 XT Benchmark results using synthetic tests

 

The older GTX 1060 and Radeon 570 show a much better Pmark score in all the tests Mark ran.

However, in terms of just raw fps, ms, or score, in most cases, the Radeon 5500 XT out preformed the other AIBs.


Raw fps scores

The raw synthetic benchmark scores reflect the same relationships between the AIBs.

Raw benchmark scores

 

So for pure performance, the Radeon 5500 XT is the one to get. If you want to factor price and power, then use the Pmark to make your choice.

What do we think?

The Radeon 5500 XT put AMD back in the running in having a solid midrange AIB, and we still have the Navi to look forward to.

Mark said, “The two of the three older cards still provide a pretty good value. And the 4GB XT is a better deal compared with the 8GB XT.  And of course, the law of diminishing returns for value for dollars spent are in effect with the GTX 1660.  However, Nvidia's GTX 1660 Super is much faster than the vanilla 1660 but it's priced only a few dollars higher but was not included in my review.