Conclusion

In today’s review, we checked out the XFX Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB THICC II Pro video card. This video card model comes paired with AMD’s latest budget offering the Radeon RX 5500 XT GPU and pairs it with much more cooling than it could ever need. AMD has set the 4GB variant of the Navi 14 GPU at $169.99, with 8GB models commanding a higher $199.99 price bracket.

Right now you can find the XFX Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB THICC II Pro online and available sold from Newegg for $179.99. This is therefore just spitting distance from MSRP, and for the $10 premium, you get better custom cooling that allows a good overclock and quiet operation. The Asus card on the other hand was above its $159.00 MSRP with Amazon selling the card for $189.99 which is $10 more than the XFX video card.

As expected for a video card at this position in the product stack we focused on what experience you can get while gaming at 1080p. This is the resolution AMD paired this card within its marketing materials and given the makeup of this card it’s a smart choice. We tested both GPU’s in their stock and overclocked configurations, as high as we could get them. This would show us where your money is better spent if looking to purchase a GPU in this lower end of the market.

Gaming Performance

One conclusion we can immediately come too is that both of these GPU’s are not intended for anything above 1080p. They simply lack the performance to play titles at their maximum settings at this resolution though and as a result high setting are typically the sweet spot when playing most titles.

For titles like Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Wolfenstein Youngblood we had to turn things down from the highest settings in order to find any playability. With Horizon Zero Dawn and F1 2020, we were able to bring things up to their maximum in-game settings and still maintain a playable gaming experience. Needless to say, you won’t be buying this card or the competition to game at 1440p and higher unless you enjoy playing a slideshow.

Comparison to GTX 1650 Super

We settled on comparing this 4GB RX 5500XT with the 4GB GTX 1650 Super as they both are listed with MSRP’s below $200 as per AMD and Nvidia. It has to be noted that the 1650 Super in this comparison is not operating at stock clocks as it’s the ASUS Strix model that comes loaded with a relatively high factory OC. This isn’t an easy comparison for the XFX card and the results bare that out.

When both cards are stock the XFX AMD Radeon™ RX 5500 XT 4GB GDDR6 THICC II Pro comes out ahead in most titles winning 3/5 of the games we tested. Once the cards have both been manually overclocked the result is that the ASUS ROG STRIX GTX 1650 Super is the faster card, winning 4/5 games in our test suite.

This can really be attributed to how well the ASUS ROG STRIX card managed to overclock and its not something that every user buying either of these GPUs can reasonably expect when seek to purchase either of these GPUs. The reality is the clock speeds seen here are a matter of luck since every piece of silicon will behave differently. Given how random silicon quality is for anyone purchasing a new GPU I would essentially call it a tie with an overclock breaking that tie depending on the quality of the silicon under your cooler.

Overclocking

When overclocking the XFX Radeon RX 5500 XT THICC II Pro, you quickly find that many limitations are placed on your from within the bios of the GPU. For starters memory on this video card is locked down to a maximum of 14.8GHz when compared to its 14GHz stock configuration. This was achieved without any issue and we are left wondering how much performance was left on the table had we not been limited in this way.

Voltage was also limited with a maximum adjustment of 1150mV which I quickly set in MSI Afterburner. With the voltage and power limits cranked to their maximum I found that we were able to maintain an average GPU clock speed of 1936MHz. This is 21MHz higher than the overclocked SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 5500 XT 8G that we reviewed in March. This also translates into a 3.97% clock speed increase over the XFX Video cards default average clock speed.

I have to quote Brent in that review as I simply do not think it can be stated much more clearly. “Considering the small overclock we achieved on the SAPPHIRE PULSE Radeon RX 5500 XT 8G we received a larger than expected performance gain.  This tells us that if we could only overclock the Radeon RX 5500 XT higher, we think it has what it takes to actually beat an overclocked GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER.” I cannot help but think that if the limitations on this card were removed, one could easily push this XFX AMD Radeon™ RX 5500 XT 4GB GDDR6 THICC II Pro past the performance of the 1650 Super in most scenarios.

As long as your cooling is sufficient you are likely to see average GPU clock speeds in excess or equal to AMD’s stated boost clock. This is possible due to the well-built cooling solution that XFX couples with the card. The four heat pipes making direct contact with the Memory modules and GPU die prove to be effective for keeping heat in check and the open design on the shroud allows hot air to get circulated away from the GPU reducing the possibility of a GPU hot spot from uncirculated hot air. When in stock operation I could not hear the fans at all.

4GB and 8GB Price

As multiple reviews have shown the 4GB of Video Memory on this card is hardly a limitation considering the GPU under the heatsink. While an 8GB version exists its hard to recommend it over the 4GB version because it does not garner any increases in frame rate or fidelity. The good news is that prices are not absurd and if you really want that 8GB of Video Memory you can get it for very close to MSRP on both Newegg and Amazon. With the 4GB model at $179.99 and the 8GB model retailing for $209.99. As noted earlier these prices are above MSRP but still very reasonable at a mere $10 extra. On the other hand, the competition in this review was hovering much higher above its stated MSRP, price goes to XFX here.

Final Points

Let’s face it, you are here because you are looking to buy a Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB based video card and just trying to find the best one for your needs. That said, the XFX Radeon RX 5500 XT THICC II Pro is an excellent offering and provides a good video card based around the Radeon RX 5500 XT GPU. We found that at default it does outperform a GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER 4GB video card in gaming, especially without any factory overclocks.

The XFX THICC II Pro cooling keeps the Radeon RX 5500 XT GPU well cooled, and quiet, at default operation. It also allows some light overclocking. There are limitations, but you can still get about 5% more performance out of the video card from overclocking, which will certainly help at 1080p gaming. After spending a decent amount of time reviewing the XFX Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB THICC II Pro I can easily say that this card offers a great budget 1080p experience. The aesthetic of the video card is also well done and looks quite nice in a PC. If you are on the prowl for a Radeon RX 5500 XT GPU based video card, give the XFX Radeon RX 5500 XT THICC II Pro some attention.

Discussion

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13 Comments

  1. Congratulations on your first Review here! I enjoyed it, although the product had no relevance to me and my use-cases.

    Hopefully they toss you more "real" hardware to crunch down the #’s for!

  2. Good read. I happen to be looking out for a decent 1080/1440 card, this one may not quite be it, but there’s still room for reviews on budget hardware out there – even if it’s not the sexiest hardware.

    Let’s face it, you are here because you are looking to buy a Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB based video card and just trying to find the best one for your needs…..

    If you are on the prowl for a Radeon RX 5500 XT GPU based video card, give the XFX Radeon RX 5500 XT THICC II Pro some attention.

    So this isn’t a recommended budget card in general? This sounds like a polite way of saying you don’t really recommend this over, say, the 1650, even though in these paragraphs that you mention it’s generally faster than a 1650.

    I’m reading the article because I’m interested in a <$200 solution right now, and the 5500 happens to fit that bill.

    And if the purpose of the review was to find the best 5500XT, well, you’re only looking at one of several SKUs..

    Just a small thing that got my attention – not trying to bust balls. Good writeup overall!

  3. but there’s still room for reviews on budget hardware out there – even if it’s not the sexiest hardware.

    I totally agree. Many people look to the budget side of hardware (me included at times). Many can’t afford the bigger, faster, more top end hardware and look for reviews on the budget parts. Sometimes budget parts can be an issue to find decent reviews on.

    As mentioned above @Eduardo_Domingot , congrats on the first review!!! Great write-up and review man!!!!!

  4. Good read. I happen to be looking out for a decent 1080/1440 card, this one may not quite be it, but there’s still room for reviews on budget hardware out there – even if it’s not the sexiest hardware.

    So this isn’t a recommended budget card in general? This sounds like a polite way of saying you don’t really recommend this over, say, the 1650, even though in these paragraphs that you mention it’s generally faster than a 1650.

    I’m reading the article because I’m interested in a <$200 solution right now, and the 5500 happens to fit that bill.

    And if the purpose of the review was to find the best 5500XT, well, you’re only looking at one of several SKUs..

    Just a small thing that got my attention – not trying to bust balls. Good writeup overall!

    It’s both. It is recommended as a budget card, and itis also true many people are reading the review because they are looking specifically at the 5500 XT as their budget card and trying to find a good one. After all, many people will be waiting to see what budget RDNA2 brings. So the people looking for a card now, are here to see if this is a good 5500 XT worth buying.

    The 1650 does also exist below $200 and also fits that bill though. So just cause you are looking for a sub-200 card doesn’t restrain you to just the 5500 XT as an option. I think you might be getting caught up in semantics a bit. The testing and conclusion stand pretty solid. If you want a 5500 XT here’s a good one, and also if you are looking under 200 the 5500 XT is a good option.

    If you are here its because you are interested in a 5500 XT, otherwise you are probably waiting for the next gen.

  5. I miss the simpler times when I gamed @1080p so I could consider sub $250 cards

    But since I switched to 4k I just can’t go back. So I’ll have to spend at least twice that for a RTX3070 as a bare minimum.

  6. Given that both vendors are releasing brand new GPUs in November, this is a little late to the party…..like the only ones left at the party are the clean-up crew.
    Nice article, neutral conclusion,nice pictures.
    I guess you need to review older GPUs because there’s no new stock to buy otherwise……
  7. Given that both vendors are releasing brand new GPUs in November, this is a little late to the party…..like the only ones left at the party are the clean-up crew.
    Nice article, neutral conclusion,nice pictures.
    I guess you need to review older GPUs because there’s no new stock to buy otherwise……

    They aren’t replaced just yet and depending on how long NVIDIA and AMD take to replace the lower-end, it could be months. Therefore people still looking for this price range, or this specific GPU, here you go. :) Until they are replaced, I would expect more reviews.

  8. They aren’t replaced just yet and depending on how long NVIDIA and AMD take to replace the lower-end, it could be months. Therefore people still looking for this price range, or this specific GPU, here you go. :) Until they are replaced, I would expect more reviews.

    Here’s an addendum: simply look at Polaris cards, they are still out there. I bought an RX570 earlier this year to replace my ancient HD5770 simply because it was still a decent enough card and I was able to get it for $120. My preference would have been for a 5500XT simply because of the newer architecture but I was severely restrained with regards to price.

    Once you get to the price point of cards such as this, the price becomes a larger factor than performance. This is the penny pinching tier but also a high volume tier so you must have a card in this area to get those sales. It’s also the tier which tends to get the fewest upgrades or refreshes simply because the margins are so low. New cards are coming out at the high end and maybe in a couple of months we might see some midrange cards but we still have no idea when new low end cards will appear or even if they will appear. Both companies may not even bother to move the new architectures into this low tier leaving the current offerings as the only offerings.

    This means the review is anything but too late much less useless. There are no indications at this time there are any imminent replacements for these cards.

  9. Thank you to everyone for the input, I appreciate all of it.
    Brian _B, the reply from Brent basically nailed my reply. As others have started these GPUs are still relevant to buyers seeing as no replacement has come out.
  10. Thank you to everyone for the input, I appreciate all of it.
    Brian _B, the reply from Brent basically nailed my reply. As others have started these GPUs are still relevant to buyers seeing as no replacement has come out.

    To pile on here, the 5500 XT shipped months after the "flagship" of its line. At this point, the next gen "flagship" has not launched yet, so I’d say this card is relevant for at least 6+ months, minimum, just as the 16×0 series is from NVIDIA. If you’re buying a card between now and then at the $200 price point, you’re looking at the 5500 XT and GTX 1650 Super.

  11. To pile on here, the 5500 XT shipped months after the "flagship" of its line. At this point, the next gen "flagship" has not launched yet, so I’d say this card is relevant for at least 6+ months, minimum, just as the 16×0 series is from NVIDIA. If you’re buying a card between now and then at the $200 price point, you’re looking at the 5500 XT and GTX 1650 Super.

    I concur, I think nvidia will go as "low" as a RTX3060 and may not even have a lower end RTX card. The 16xx replacement will probably have tensor cores to take advantage of DLSS but no RT cores.

    AMD could just keep the RX5700 and lower its price. Maybe even rebrand as RX6500

  12. AMD could just keep the RX5700 and lower its price. Maybe even rebrand as RX6500

    Good odds on them doing exactly that. AMD has a long history of rebranding an older card under the new generation name, with just a minor tweak here or there.

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