On today’s testbed, we have the XFX Radeon RX 5500 XT THICC II Pro (RX-55XT4DFD6) in the 4GB variety. This GPU, like all 5500 XT GPUs, comes in an 8GB variant, but performance is largely the same between the 4GB and 8GB models. This is largely due to running out of GPU muscle the moment you actually need to use the full set of video memory. This makes the 4GB models a little bit more attractive in my eyes, as they are priced more reasonable in comparison. The natural competition in this price range ($169-$200) is the 1650 Super from NVIDIA. In this review, we will be using the 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 our overclock on that video card.
AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT
When the Radeon RX 5500 XT launched in the holiday season of 2019 it marked the end of AMD’s Polaris architecture and the beginning of AMD’s Navi architecture. Performance at the low end was not radically altered when Navi 14 was introduced, but efficiency at the low end got a substantial increase. Between architectural improvements and a new process node, this GPU is up to 1.6 times the performance per Watt versus the Radeon RX 480 and 1.7 times performance per area versus the Radeon RX 480. As a result, the RX 5500 XT graphics has proven to be quite the capable budget gaming card at midrange to high graphics settings at 1080p.
The XFX Radeon RX 5500 XT THICC II Pro is powered by the Navi 14 RDNA architecture. For those who have forgotten, Navi 14 packs 1408 Stream processors, 88 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and 22 Compute Units on a 158 mm² and 7nm die.
This GPU can be paired with 4GB or 8GB of VRAM, but in this instance we are working with a 4GB model. The clock speeds given for this card range from 1607MHz base clock, 1717Mhz Game Clock, and 1845MHz Boost Clock, which mirrors the AMD specifications – no fancy overclock here.
Memory on the XFX Radeon RX 5500 XT runs at 14Gbps with GDDR6 on a 128bit bus giving the GPU a total available bandwidth of 224 GB/s. Again, there is no factory OC being applied here when it comes to the VRAM on this XFX model. All of this is provided at a total board power of 130W and like most AMD products right now it supports PCI Express 4.0.
XFX Radeon 5500XT THICC II PRO 4GB
The XFX RX 5500 XT THICC II Pro 4GB lives up to its name by proving to be a fairly large midrange affair. Right now you can find the XFX Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB THICC II Pro online and available sold from Newegg for $179.99.
The GPU measures in at 11.06 inches (28.1 cm) in length, 5.71 inches (14.5 cm) in height, and 1.73 inches (4.4 cm) in width. XFX provides its standard XFX 3-year warranty on this GPU, which is a solid warranty for an AIB in the AMD ecosystem.
The cooler appears larger than it is in reality due to the nature of the shroud. In terms of aesthetics, I quite enjoy the look of the GPU even if the name isn’t exactly something I am fond of. The card itself has a much more sedated look than the name might imply. On top of that, you get XFX’s great customer service and a 3-year warranty.
XFX ‘s PCB comes with a dual bios solution, as seen near the 8-pin power connector at the top right. With XFX, performance mode is enabled when the switch toggled closest towards the 8-pin power connector; toggle it the other way and you get a quiet mode for noise-sensitive situations.
In XFX’s own words, this is their description of their thermal solution.
“The THICC II Pro line of coolers expands on previous THICC II designs. Featuring copper GPU and Memory cooling components, copper composite heatpipes, and an open airflow design for improved thermal performance.”
I took apart the cooler in order to verify some of these claims and satisfy my curiosity. Needless to say, the claim was accurate, and I have included photos to show what I saw. The cooler on this GPU is comprised of an aluminum heatsink with copper cold plates that connect with a copper cold plate that makes direct contact with the GPU die. The memory modules then also connect to a copper cold plate which directly contacts the copper heat pipes.
The fans on this model implement “XFX Zero DB Auto-Load Sensing Fans” that allows this GPU to bring its fans to a complete stop when thermals allow, which I witnessed on multiple occasions during testing. The cooler is not a particularly beefy affair, but in testing, it was very quiet and more than capable of keeping a Navi 14 GPU from throttling. I do wish they reduced the size of the plastic shroud so that the GPU could be a bit slimmer, but all in all, it’s a solid design for this AIB 5500 XT.
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