MSI Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming X 8 GB Review 68

MSI Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming X 8 GB Review



MSI Logo

AMD today launched the Radeon RX 5500 XT graphics card, and we have with us its premium rendition, the MSI Radeon RX 5500 XT 8 GB Gaming X. The RX 5500 XT is based on AMD's second 7 nm "Navi" family graphics chips, the "Navi 14." It comes with the entire feature-set of "Navi," including the latest RDNA compute units, GDDR6 memory, PCIe gen 4.0 capability, and all the software features the RX 5700-series support.

The RX 5500 XT is an interesting card to review given AMD originally announced the RX 5500 series way back in October, while being rather quiet about its retail availability. It debuted in the OEM channel with the RX 5500 4 GB. We reviewed one of those cards last month. We were expecting the same card to launch in December, alongside a premium "XT" variant that maxes out "Navi 14." It came as a surprise then that AMD announced that the retail channel implementation of "Navi 14" will exclusively be called RX 5500 XT and come with two variants based on memory size: 4 GB and 8 GB.

What's unexpected about the RX 5500 XT is that it does not max out "Navi 14." It has the same exact core configuration as the RX 5500 OEM card we reviewed last month, with 22 RDNA compute units making up 1,408 stream processors, 88 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and a 128-bit wide GDDR6 memory interface. The "Navi 14" silicon features 24 compute units (1,536 stream processors); currently, the only contraption that maxes it out is the Radeon Pro 5500M found exclusively in Apple's MacBook Pro 16-inch. The RX 5500 XT has slightly higher reference clock speeds as the RX 5500 OEM, with up to 1845 MHz boost and 1717 MHz "gaming" clocks. The memory ticks at 14 Gbps (GDDR6 effective) on both 4 GB and 8 GB variants. The MSI RX 5500 XT ships with factory-overclocked speeds of 1737 MHz Game Clock and 1845 MHz maximum Boost.

NVIDIA has been busy since October with the introduction of the GeForce 16 SUPER series. The GTX 1650 Super was launched recently as AMD was claiming "the RX 5500 beats the GTX 1650." The price-performance of the GTX 1650 Super disturbs the GTX 1660, and so NVIDIA launched the GTX 1650 Super, possibly to preempt the "RX 5500 XT," which it thought would max out "Navi 14" and ship with higher clocks.

The new RX 5500 XT is being launched at sub-$200 price-points, with the 4 GB variant being priced at $170 and the 8 GB variant at $200. The MSI RX 5500 XT 8 GB Gaming X is priced at $225, a $25 premium. It implements the company's Twin Frozr 7 cooling solution with the same aesthetic as the RX 5700 Gaming X series, which appears to be exclusive to the AMD Radeon series. The card offers several premium features, such as idle fan stop and a metal backplate.

Radeon RX 5500 XT Market Segment Analysis
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
MSI RX 5500 XT 8 GB
Gaming X
$2251408321737 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


Package Front
Package Back

The Card

Graphics Card Front
Graphics Card Back
Graphics Card Front Angled

MSI is using the same style on their RX 5500 XT Gaming X as on other Navi-based Gaming X cards. The card is dominated by black and gray, with some red highlights; I very much like the design. A high-quality metal backplate is included, too.

Graphics Card Dimensions

Dimensions of the card are 24.5 cm x 13.0 cm.

Graphics Card Height
Graphics Card Back Angled

Installation requires a little bit more than 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.


Graphics Card Cooler Front
Graphics Card Cooler Back

MSI's cooler uses two 90 mm fans and four heatpipes to keep the card cool. The cooler's base provides cooling for the GPU, memory chips, and VRM circuitry.

A metal reinforcement plate is installed on the card to provide additional rigidity. It doesn't cool any components.

The backplate is made from metal and protects the card against damage during installation and handling.

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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Jul 5th, 2022 00:19 EDT change timezone

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