• Nandan V

RX 5500 - is Nvidia sweating?

AMD just introduced a new lineup of Radeon graphics cards, the RX 5500 series.

RX 5500 GPU

The latest arrival incorporates the RDNA 7nm node technology found on the RX 5700 series launched in June, 2019. There are two GPUs in the RX 5500 series aimed at mobile gaming and desktop. The RX 5500M will take care of the former and RX 5500 for the latter.


Performance

The RX 5500 is optimized for Full HD (1080p) gaming and provides 60 fps or more in popular titles according to AMD. We will know the real-world performance as soon as AMD sends out review samples.


Expected FPS numbers in modern titles. Source: AMD

The RX 5500 will be available with up to 8GB of GDDR6 memory clubbed with a 128-bit memory interface. The RDNA architecture results in the RX 5500 boasting the latest PCI 4.0 standard. Clocked at 1717 MHz (maximum, not sustained) and capable of boosting up to 1845 MHz, the RX 5500 is faster than the RX 5700 vanilla. We will find out exactly what this means once the test results come in.

The 7nm node process ensures low power consumption (by extension low TDP), rated at 150W.


Competition

The RX 5500 is designed to compete in the mid-tier with the likes of the GTX 1650 and GTX 1660 from Nvidia. The lack of ray-tracing will not be a hindrance here (like it was for the RX 5700 series) as Nvidia doesn't if offer it either.

It is not possible to predict how the RX 5500 will fair based on the specifications alone, but the price will play a huge role in this segment. AMD can cut corners here very well just like how it did with the Ryzen CPUs.


Pricing

A product that caters to the mid-tier sub $200 range will be successful only if the price is absolutely spot on. The predecessor from AMD that catered to this price point was the RX 500 series which still gets votes after around 4 years of launch!

AMD might launch two graphics cards, one with 4GB GDDR6 VRAM competing head-on with the GTX 1650 and another RX 5500 equipped with 8 GB VRAM competing with the GTX 1660 Ti which only has 6GB of VRAM.

There will not be a reference GPU for this one.


RX 5500M

The mobile edition of the RX 5500 series is set to make its debut in the MSI Alpha 15 laptop.

The RX 5500M has a lower game clock and boost clock at 1448 MHz (maximum) and 1645 MHz respectively. The RX 5500M will be limited to 4GB of GDDR6 memory utilizing the same 128-bit memory interface.


MSI Alpha 15 laptop. Source: MSI

The RX 5500M will have a nominal TDP of 85W in contrast to 60W of the GTX 1650 mobile and 80W of GTX 1660 Ti mobile. Comparing TDP is a really bad idea as test processes vary between the manufacturers.


Conclusion

The RX 5500 series brings a lot to the table for entry-level gamers. The fresh competition is really good to see and AMD is shaping the entire gaming industry since the first-gen Ryzen launch.


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