SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 5500 XT 8G Banner

Introduction

On December 12th, 2019, AMD launched its Radeon RX 5500 XT GPU as part of the Radeon RX 5500 series.  We reviewed a retail card at the time, the SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 5500 XT 4G GDDR6 OC video card.  That video card had the standard 4GB of GDDR6 onboard, but AMD has a trick up its sleeve with the Radeon RX 5500 XT.

The Radeon RX 5500 XT can support 8GB of GDDR6.  That’s right, at the time of the launch AMD announced two variants of the Radeon RX 5500 XT. There would be those with 4GB GDDR6 with an MSRP of $169.99 and also 8GB variants starting at a much higher MSRP of $199.99. 

Today we have the 8GB variant to test for you in the same SAPPHIRE PULSE brand.  This is a Radeon RX 5500 XT review of the 8GB version. We are going to put our video card up against the competition’s NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER factory overclocked video card, and we are going to compare both video cards overclocked head to head.

Radeon RX 5500 XT

Before we dive into the SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 5500 XT 8G GDDR6 OC video card that we are reviewing today let’s go over what the Radeon RX 5500 XT is all about.  The Radeon RX 5500 XT is geared toward the 1080p gaming experience, but not the highest-end or top-end 1080p experience.  It is geared more for a midrange to high graphics settings (but not Ultra) at 1080p. 

The Radeon RX 5500 XT is based on AMD’s 7nm manufacturing process and its RDNA architecture.  With these improvements, the GPU is up to 1.6X performance per Watt versus Radeon RX 480 and 1.7X performance per area versus Radeon RX 480.  There are 22 Compute Units, 1408 Stream Processors, 32 ROPs, and 88 TMUs.  It has a game clock of 1717MHz and a boost clock up to 1845MHz.  It has 4 or 8GB of GDDR6 at 14GHz on a 128-bit memory bus for 224GB/sec of memory bandwidth. Total board power is 130W and it supports PCI-E 4.0.

AMD touted that one advantage the Radeon RX 5500 XT has over the competition’s GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER is that that Radeon RX 5500 XT will have 4GB and 8GB variants. For comparison, GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER only goes up to 4GB in total.  Of course, this drives up the MSRP up to $199.99 from $169.99 which may make the price and value not very balanced to the competition.  At $200 there are other competing products to the Radeon RX 5500 XT.  Also, the question is if 8GB of VRAM really helps performance or not at 1080p. 

We want to be clear; we are going to publish a follow-up to this review where we put head-to-head the SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 5500 XT 4G versus the SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 5500 XT 8G to see if 8GB makes a difference in gaming performance.  That review will be published after this one.  Today’s review is more about the video card itself that we are reviewing.  We want to overclock it and compare it to an overclocked GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER to see if they can tangle head-to-head.    

Today’s Review

As we mentioned we are going to compare our SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 5500 XT 8G GDDR6 OC video card to an ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER O4G GAMING video card.  Both of these video cards are factory overclocked, so they have that going.  In addition, we will manually overclock both video cards and compare them head-to-head in gaming performance.  This will allow us to see once and for all how an overclocked GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER 4GB competes against an overclocked Radeon RX 5500 XT with 8GB of VRAM.  It should be an interesting comparison, will the 8GB framebuffer and overclock allow it to exceed GTX 1650 SUPER performance with a highly overclocked GPU?

The GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER we are using is an ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER O4G GAMING video card.  Check out our review to see what the default factory overclock frequency is while gaming.  Also, check out that review to see how high we got the overclock on that video card.  We are using the overclock and data from that recent review in this review.  That video card has a surprisingly high manual overclock, so this will be tough for the Radeon RX 5500 XT to compete, but it is worth it, especially since the Radeon RX 5500 XT, has the VRAM advantage of 8GB.     

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5 Comments

  1. Nice review. The card tested as I expected it. The additional VRAM isn’t really needed as the card just can’t crunch the #’s quickly enough to do 1440p (where the 8Gb would come in handy).
  2. Just curious… would testing it on a system with PCIE 4.0 make a discernible difference in performance? Sapphire lists it as a PICE 4.0 supporting card.
  3. Just curious… would testing it on a system with PCIE 4.0 make a discernible difference in performance? Sapphire lists it as a PICE 4.0 supporting card.

    Unlikely, unless you were constrained purely by VRAM and it was having to cache out of local VRAM often, which doesn’t seem to be the case in our testing.

    However, we will re-run benchmarks and test directly PCIe 3.0 versus 4.0 in the future. We have many good articles planned, and that is one of them.

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