Final words and conclusion
Little needs to be said about the Gigabyte Gaming OC, it's their expected and rather familiar design. The product performs at baseline level, and in fact all 8GB cards we tested perform within a 2% margin from each other. Therefore if you want a 5500 XT, make your choice based on warranty, brand preference, design, cooling, and acoustics. Well, that and price of course. Albeit temps run a tiny bit higher than what I'd expected (70 Degrees C marker) the flipside of that coin is a product that is silent overall (I'll address this in the acoustics chapter below). As stated performance is given or take baseline as all cards are in a 2% baseline offset away from each other. See, the lock frequencies matter less these days, a 50 MHz might sound nice, but if it hits the TDP/TGP limiter, the cards all throttle around that 1845 MHz marker. So in that respect, all cards perform roughly the same.
If you focus in at the target resolution of 1920x1080 then I'd say AMD has got a super fun new product. Games like Battlefield V will make you aim, shoot and smile. Games like Metro: Exodus will make you cry and here you'll find yourself lowering image quality fast and swiftly. We do recommend the 8GB version over 4GB, however, that is a bit of opinionated advice from us as, in the Full HD domain, 4GB might just be enough. If you are a little more savvy with high-quality textures etc., then hey... 8GB man. Realistically the 5500 XT card makes good sense in the Full HD space (monitor resolution of 1920x1080) and can even handle games at a resolution of 2560x1440 (Wide Quad HD) if you opt for 8GB. While results with a 4GB card might look close to the 8GB version, you'll get far more irritating stutters etc. Results vary per game title though. Overall the product is faster than that 1650 Super and sits at the Radeon RX 580/590 level of performance, not bad eh?
Relative performance under the condition that you do not run out of graphics memory
The 5500 XT overall as a reference product is priced in that 150~200 USD space depending on brand and model exclusivity. A premium board should be roughly 25 bucks more expensive. The card MSRP product pricing is as follows: $169 - €185 for the 4GB models, $199 - €219 for the 8GB models. Gigabyte informed us this 8GB model will launch at €235,-
Cooling & acoustics
The cooler certainly holds its ground, the acoustics are peachy perfect at a measured 33~35 dBA, which I consider to be a totally silent operating value. However, once the temp on the GPU raised you'll hear the card ramp up in RPM, and then slowly lower itself again until a rather silent level is reached. So overall the card is very silent, but it ramps up now and then based on GPU load. Temperature-wise we're looking at roughly 67 Degrees C under full load, which I am fine with. So for an MSRP product, the lights are green here.
The TDP for this XT we measure to be roughly 125 Watts. That number varies a bit per game title, workload, resolution and even refresh rate of course. It's a really fair wattage and brings AMD to a level where the competition sits as well. That's mainly thanks to the architecture, but of course also that 7nm fabrication node.
You know, I really like the 8GB 5500 XT as it performs surprisingly well. However, during my testing, something was bothering me, and I have pinned that down to product positioning. See, IMHO AMD has got a bit of a problem at hand, it's not that the product is not sound, no Sir, it is. Who is actually going to purchase a Radeon RX 5500 XT if the performance is close to identical to the Radeon RX 580/590. Really I think that is an issue as the consumer with such a graphics card certainly is not going to update quite easily. I mean, Polaris offers 256-bit memory and pretty much all models sold are 8GB versions. The RX 5500 XT offers nothing new other than a reduction of power. So only people that own a lower performance class product, or have a defective product, might consider the Radeon RX 5500 XT. So IMHO, the 5500 series falls a little in no-where land. What AMD really needs is a product that sits in-between the 5500 and 5700 at the price of what Polaris currently is doing, which would have made sense. And considering I am still seeing a gap in the model range, the 5600 series is going to need to address that, hopefully, sooner rather than later. So yeah, there you have it, there's absolutely nothing wrong with this product all by itself and, in fact, I think the 5500 XT performs better than I would have expected with terrific wattage. It's just smack-down in the middle of a performance bracket that people have been buying for many years now. With few feature advantages, there's just little reason to upgrade. The flip-side of the coin is that if you need to build a new system and need a power-friendly easy add-in card with enough oomph for 1920x1080, here it's a proper alternative in an affordable segment. As stated, all cards will perform more or less the same as AMD will dictate the allowed board power. However, increase that power limiter slider and you will see performance crawl upwards if the card doesn't hit any other limiters.
The Gigabyte board I've learned to appreciate, it looks fine and can be a solid offering with all factors combined. I do have to say though, that I am starting to dislike that out shell more and more, it's all plastic, including the backplate. That by itself is not a bad thing, it, however, does not bring a premium feel to the product. Then again, it does help Gigabyte to bring this card closer to the MSRP pricing, so that is a fair argument as well. Overall a good design, it runs cool, but most of all, overall silent. I stated overall as fan RPOM ramps up and down a bit, which can be heard. But certainly recommended if you are in dire need for an upgrade. 4GB or 8GB? Please do go with 8GB my man, in fact, I am not even sure if Gigabyte will be offering a 4GB model.
- 3DMark FireStrike + Time Spy + Port Royale)
- Download AMD Radeon drivers
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