AMD has finally put an end to all the rumours and announced the mid-range Radeon RX 5500 series. Well, it’s sort of put an end to the rumours but we’re still waiting on a few crucial details from this paper launch. Namely, the all-important price.
Anyway, onward with what we do know, and just like the 5700 range there will be three distinct graphics card in the Radeon RX 5500 series - the AMD Radeon RX 5500 4GB, AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB, and the Radeon RX 5500M for mobile platforms (more on that shortly).
The Radeon RX 5500 series is placed as a direct competitor to Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 16 series, both the graphics cards that are announced and Nvidia’s expected upcoming GTX 16 models such as the GeForce GTX 1650 Ti.
AMD’s Radeon RX 5500’s will all use a variant of the 7nm Navi 14 GPU. Coming in with a die size of 158mm2, it’s roughly 71% the size of the 14nm Polaris 221mm2 GPU used for the Radeon RX 480. Actual performance doesn’t actually look markedly difference so AMD is choosing to focus on the improved power efficiency and performance per watt. We’re looking at 1.6x performance per watt, which may prove exciting to people who love staring at their smart meters for entertainment.
Top of the pile is, naturally, the Radeon RX 5500 XT. Its GPU core has 1408 Stream Processors, 88 TMUs, and an undisclosed number of ROPs. It’s got a base clock speed of 1670 MHz and a maximum boost clock of 1845 MHz. On the memory front it’s got 8GB GDDR6 memory through a 128-bit memory interface, offering up 224 GB/s memory bandwidth. The Radeon RX 5500 XT will chow down just 110W TDP, providing 5.19 TFLOPs of compute performance.
Then we have the Radeon RX 5500, which is pretty much identical to its XT sibling. The only change is to the video memory. The RX 5500 packs just 4GB GDDR6 VRAM vs 8GB on the RX 5500 XT.
Performance-wise, AMD is claiming both the Radeon RX 5500 and the Radeon RX 5500 XT are ‘up to’ 37% faster than a GeForce GTX 1650. Due to the nearly identical specs, both GPUs will have similar performance but the higher VRAM RX 5500 XT will be better equipped to deal with higher resolutions and high resolution textures.
Based on these figures, that puts the Radeon RX 5500 Series slap bang in the middle of the GeForce GTX 1650 and GeForce GTX 1660. In other words, this is the exact market that the rumoured GeForce GTX 1650 Ti is expected to hit.
It’s not exactly the performance which is conducive to sizzling headlines but it’s really going to come down to price. These are 1080p video cards which will offer performance which can rival AMD’s own Radeon RX 590, as well as the GeForce GTX 1650 Ti. The Radeon RX 590 can typically be bought for around $220 these days, while the Radeon RX 5500 and Radeon RX 5500 XT are rumoured to be priced at around $130 and $150 respectively.
That would be very cheap 1080p performance that will absolutely do the job. If they're not markedly cheaper than the previous-gen though, then this would beg a few questions as to what the purpose of this line-up is. But, considering the GeForce GTX 1650 retails for around $160 then we should expect AMD's Radeon RX 5500 to be in a similar ballpark.
The AMD Radeon RX 5500 has had a paper launch today and you should expect to see the first variants heading out to stores shortly. Once that happens we'll finally be able to get a grip on the pricing.
What do make of AMD's latest mid-tier GPU line-up then? Are you seeing anything here to tempt you into an upgrade? Let us know what you make it all in the comments section below!