PowerColor Radeon RX 5500 XT Red Dragon 8GB review

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Introduction

PowerColor Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB (Red Dragon)
Behold the great Red Dragon

For our next Radeon RX 5500 XT review we move towards PowerColor who is releasing their Red Dragon edition, they submitted the 8GB model of the Radeon 5500 XT this version follows a dual-fan design from the company and is clocked a notch higher. Yeah, it's time to look at NAVI14, the codename for the GPU that empowers the Radeon RX 5500 XT. AMD's new mainstream graphics card will be targeted at a still massive (and in fact biggest) 1920x1080 resolution gaming market, available in 4GB and 8GB models. NAVI14 basically is NAVI10 but then cut down. The basis of the product that we test today is the NAVI GPU, with a die fabbed as a 7nm package and 4GB/8GB of GDDR6 graphics memory running a 128-bit wide bus and an effective data rate at 14 Gbps.

The NAVI14 based product uses RDNA architecture and is manufactured at a 7nm structure width. The product will be replacing Polaris, as in Radeon RX 480/570/580/590. That originally was based on a 14nm design, the GPU die was 221mm2. NAVI14 performs at the very same performance level, however with a far smaller GPU die at 158mm2. And that brings massive gains in performance per watt ratios. The GPU contains 1408 shaders, 32 rasterizers, and 88 texture units. The 4 or 8GB GDDR6 (optional) memory runs at 1750 MHz and manages 224 GB/s over its 128-bit bus. It does all that on merely eight PCIe Gen3 or if available 4 lanes. The total board power design for this product series is tagged at 130W. The GPU game clock is dynamic at 1717 MHz with a peak boost clock to 1845 MHz. You will notice that NAVI14 cards are fitted with GDDR6 memory at 14 Gbps. The default cards are based on 4GB of graphics memory, but 8GB SKUs will be available as well. All factors combine to deliver mainstream graphics cards pushing that 5 TFLOP domain. As mentioned, the 5500 XT cards will sit in the Polaris domain of performance, thus think Radeon RX 480/570/580 and maybe even 590 with higher clocked and less power restricted AIB cards. Compared to team green the Radeon RX 5500 XT will be battling with the GeForce GTX 1650 Super 4GB.


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PowerColor Radeon RX 5500 XT Red Dragon 8GB

The PowerColor RX 5500 XT model they submitted is the Red Dragon edition, and aside from the two stickers and a backplate logo, that's really all there is 'dragon' about the card. This is an MSRP product, meaning it should sit in the $199 USD price bracket for this 8GB graphics memory-based model. The compact design card holds two fans and follows a 0dB mute fan technology, that allows the fans to stop spinning when the GPU core temperature remains below 60 Celsius.  The backside holds a backplate that adds structural rigidity. The card is pretty much reference clocked aside from a tiny little 20 MHz bump on the game clock at 1737 MHz) but has that very same boost clock of 1845 MHz that all other cards we've tested have as well.  You connect this card with an 8-pin power header. The one difference is the monitor connectors, one of each, DVI, HDMI and Display port.

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