Gigabyte Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming OC 8 GB Review 24

Gigabyte Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming OC 8 GB Review

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Introduction

GIGABYTE Logo

AMD last week launched its all-important 1080p workhorse, the Radeon RX 5500 XT. Designed to replace the likes of the RX 580 and RX 570 from the product stack, the RX 5500 XT leverages AMD's latest RDNA graphics architecture and is based on its brand new 7 nm "Navi 14" silicon. Other forms of generational updates come from GDDR6 memory and support for PCI-Express Gen 4.0. Gigabyte released its premium rendition of the RX 5500 XT in the form of its Radeon RX 5500 XT 8 GB Gaming OC graphics card.



The Radeon RX 5500 XT comes in two variants based on memory size, 4 GB and 8 GB. Besides memory, the two choices have an identical GPU core-configuration and clock speeds. Interestingly, the RX 5500 XT shares its configuration with the RX 5500 4 GB, which was exclusively launched to desktop OEMs. We had a chance to review one of these last month. At the time we thought the RX 5500 XT would max out the "Navi 14" silicon, which it ended up not doing.

The 7 nm "Navi 14" silicon physically has 24 RDNA compute units, of which only 22 are enabled on the RX 5500 XT. This works out to 1,408 stream processors. Other vital specs include 88 TMUs and 32 ROPs. The memory interface is interesting: a 128-bit wide GDDR6 memory bus is used to keep costs low (just four memory chips on the card). 8 GB is achieved on cards such as the one we're reviewing today, using high-density 16 Gbit chips that were previously exclusive to professional or halo products such as the TITAN RTX. The memory ticks at 14 Gbps, yielding 224 GB/s memory bandwidth.

The RX 5500 XT is designed to offer high-setting AAA gaming at 1080p, as well as high framerate e-Sports gaming. It competes with the likes of the GeForce GTX 1650 and GTX 1650 Super. The 4 GB variant is designed to be plenty for today's titles and occupies a $169 (MSRP) price point, forming the SKU's baseline. The 8 GB variant is designed to offer some future-proofing and access to some of the higher graphics settings that are locked out below a certain VRAM limit. AMD priced the 8 GB variant at $199 (MSRP). The Gigabyte Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming OC we're reviewing today is priced at $220, a $20 premium.

The Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming OC from Gigabyte is based on a custom-design PCB and implements the company's WindForce 3X cooling solution. Under the shroud, it uses a compound fin-stack heatsink with two copper heat pipes that make direct contact with the GPU at the base. A trio of 80 mm fans ventilates the heatsink. Gigabyte has also overclocked the RX 5500 XT to offer up to 1737 MHz game clocks (vs. 1717 MHz reference) and 1685 MHz base clock (vs. 1607 MHz reference), while the boost clock remains a unicorn at 1845 MHz. In this review, we put the card through our entire gaming test bench.

Radeon RX 5500 XT Market Segment Analysis
 PriceShader
Units
ROPsCore
Clock
Boost
Clock
Memory
Clock
GPUTransistorsMemory
GTX 1650$150896321485 MHz1665 MHz2000 MHzTU117unknown4 GB, GDDR5, 128-bit
RX 570$110 2048321168 MHz1244 MHz1750 MHzEllesmere5700M4 GB, GDDR5, 256-bit
RX 5500unknown1408321670 MHz1845 MHz1750 MHzNavi 146400M4 GB, GDDR6, 128-bit
RX 5500 XT$1701408321717 MHz1845 MHz1750 MHzNavi 146400M4 GB, GDDR6, 128-bit
RX 5500 XT 8 GB$2001408321717 MHz1845 MHz1750 MHzNavi 146400M8 GB, GDDR6, 128-bit
Gigabyte RX 5500 XT
Gaming OC 8 GB
$2201408321737 MHz1845 MHz1750 MHzNavi 146400M8 GB, GDDR6, 128-bit
GTX 1650 Super$1601280321530 MHz1725 MHz1500 MHzTU1166600M4 GB, GDDR6, 128-bit
RX 580$160 2304321257 MHz1340 MHz2000 MHzEllesmere5700M8 GB, GDDR5, 256-bit
GTX 1060 3 GB$1701152481506 MHz1708 MHz2002 MHzGP1064400M3 GB, GDDR5, 192-bit
GTX 1060$2101280481506 MHz1708 MHz2002 MHzGP1064400M6 GB, GDDR5, 192-bit
RX 590$1802304321469 MHz1545 MHz2000 MHzPolaris 305700M8 GB, GDDR5, 256-bit
GTX 1660$210 1408481530 MHz1785 MHz2000 MHzTU1166600M6 GB, GDDR5, 192-bit
GTX 1070$3001920641506 MHz1683 MHz2002 MHzGP1047200M8 GB, GDDR5, 256-bit
RX Vega 56$2703584641156 MHz1471 MHz800 MHzVega 1012500M8 GB, HBM2, 2048-bit
GTX 1660 Super$2301408481530 MHz1785 MHz1750 MHzTU1166600M6 GB, GDDR6, 192-bit
GTX 1660 Ti$2801536481500 MHz1770 MHz1500 MHzTU1166600M6 GB, GDDR6, 192-bit

Packaging

Package Front
Package Back


The Card

Graphics Card Front
Graphics Card Back
Graphics Card Front Angled

Visually, the Gigabyte Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming OC looks identical to the RX 5700 XT Gaming OC because they are the same physical size, and Gigabyte is using the same fan shroud for both models. On the back, you'll find a plastic backplate.

Graphics Card Dimensions

Dimensions of the card are 28.5 cm x 11.5 cm.

Graphics Card Height
Graphics Card Back Angled

Installation requires two slots in your system.

Monitor Outputs, Display Connectors

Display connectivity options include three DisplayPort 1.4a outputs and one HDMI 2.0b.

Graphics Card Power Plugs

The board uses one 8-pin power connector. This input configuration is specified for up to 225 watts of power draw.

Multi-GPU Area

AMD's Navi generation of GPUs no longer supports CrossFire. DirectX 12 does include its own set of multi-GPU capabilities, but the implementation requires game developers to put serious development time into a feature only a tiny fraction of their customers might ever use.

Disassembly

Graphics Card Cooler Front
Graphics Card Cooler Back

Gigabyte's WindForce 3X cooling solution uses three 80 mm fans. The fan in the center rotates clockwise, while the other two rotate counter-clockwise. All three blow air down onto the heatsink, but according to Gigabyte, the difference in rotation for the central fan minimizes turbulence between fans.

The heatsink consists of three aluminium fin stacks that are skewered by two copper heat pipes in direct contact with the GPU at the base.


The backplate is made out of plastic; it adds to the card's aesthetic and should protect components on the PCB when handling the card.

High-resolution PCB Pictures

These pictures are for the convenience of volt modders and people who would like to see all the finer details on the PCB. Feel free to link back to us and use these in your articles or forum posts.

Graphics Card Teardown PCB Front
Graphics Card Teardown PCB Back


High-res versions are also available (front, back).

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