Review ASRock RX 5500 XT Phantom Gaming D Review: Inexpensive, well-performing

JarredWaltonGPU

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The table on the first page of the review, with the specs for the 4 cards has the wrong information for the Asus ROG Strix 5600 XT for memory capacity, bus, and bandwidth.
Sorry, I've corrected this. It was the name: it's supposed to be the Asus ROG Strix RX 5500 XT O8G Gaming (not the Asus ROG Strix RX 5600 XT O8G Gaming, which isn't even a real product given there aren't 8GB 5600 XT cards). The specs were correct, the name was not.
 
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JarredWaltonGPU

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LOL, I didn't even look fully at the name, I just zoomed in on 5600XT and, when I got to the memory specs, my brain did the record-scratching noise and said "wait, what??"
I actually googled the name for the Asus specs page and got the 5600 XT O6G page. I started editing, and thought, "How did we get these specs SO WRONG!?" Then I realized it was actually the product name that was an error. I was about to redo the whole table, thinking I was somehow looking at the 5600 XT review (which I edited a few weeks back). LOL
 

JarredWaltonGPU

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Sort of reminds me of when the RTX cards first came out. It got really funny trying to remember whether to type RTX, RX, or GTX...
It's still bad! Muscle memory for typing is a harsh mistress. I've had some very odd 'typos' crop up over the years, including just stupid stuff like writing "their" instead of "there" or "they're". Like, I know the difference, but sometimes in my brain I think "they're" and my fingers receive "their" and I look like an idiot. I have typed GTX 2080 more times than I can count, though now it's starting to go the other way -- I've typed RTX 1660 quite a few times now.
 

King_V

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It's still bad! Muscle memory for typing is a harsh mistress. I've had some very odd 'typos' crop up over the years, including just stupid stuff like writing "their" instead of "there" or "they're". Like, I know the difference, but sometimes in my brain I think "they're" and my fingers receive "their" and I look like an idiot. I have typed GTX 2080 more times than I can count, though now it's starting to go the other way -- I've typed RTX 1660 quite a few times now.
That happens to me a lot as well - oh, on a cellphone, I can blame it on autocorrect. But I know EXACTLY what you mean! My brain says ONE version of their/they're/there, and my hands just on their own type one of the others out. And I'm someone who generally cringes when I see other people mix those up, so it's particularly strange and embarrassing for me!
 
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siborg99

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I feel the picture is somewhat clearer as regards this line of AMD graphics cards. What we seem to have is the 5500 XT as the replacement for the RX 580/590 card, while in my mind the 5600 XT is more akin to the Vega 56 (helpfully they both have "56" in the name). I still feel that it was somewhat odd to have offered a 4 GB version of the 5500 XT - yes, there was a 4 GB 580 card, but why offer the newer cards with this specification?

If I'm honest, I was expecting that this generation of cards would be one where you didn't need to drop settings to Medium to maintain a 60 FPS frame rate (apart from exceptional titles like Metro: Exodus), whereas this review shows that this isn't always possible with the 5500 XT, at least not with a card that is hamstrung by the combination of only 4 GB VRAM and a PCI-e 8.0 interface.

So if the 5500 XT is just about capable of 60 FPS at 1080p Ultra in the majority of titles, is it wiser to buy a slightly more powerful card to ensure you can consistently achieve high frame rates, especially if you have a high refresh rate monitor? The next model up in the AMD range is the 5600 XT, so would the 5600 XT be the better 1080p card, if the price is right?

What makes things more complicated is that it has 2 GB less VRAM than the 5500 XT. If you remember, I likened the the RX 5600 XT to the Vega 56, and it seems to outperform it at 1440p, so the RX 5600 XT (like the GTX 1660) should be fine for high frame rates at 1080p Ultra. This is assuming that only having 6 GB of VRAM doesn't become a performance choke point in the same way that 4 GB currently is on the 5500 XT, but we won't know until such time as it does or doesn't happen.

Other than that, you have to start thinking about whether the GTX 1660 is the better option - either way, I'm not convinced the 5500 XT is the card to buy for 1080p gaming if you're after high frame rates and/or running with the highest settings. I guess my take home message from this is that there may always be a need to overspec your graphics card to achieve the level of performance that we are told we should be looking for - either that, or be prepared to dial back the settings to maintain those high frame rates.
 
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JarredWaltonGPU

Senior GPU Editor
Editor
Feb 21, 2020
285
247
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I feel the picture is somewhat clearer as regards this line of AMD graphics cards. What we seem to have is the 5500 XT as the replacement for the RX 580/590 card, while in my mind the 5600 XT is more akin to the Vega 56 (helpfully they both have "56" in the name). I still feel that it was somewhat odd to have offered a 4 GB version of the 5500 XT - yes, there was a 4 GB 580 card, but why offer the newer cards with this specification?

If I'm honest, I was expecting that this generation of cards would be one where you didn't need to drop settings to Medium to maintain a 60 FPS frame rate (apart from exceptional titles like Metro: Exodus), whereas this review shows that this isn't always possible with the 5500 XT, at least not with a card that is hamstrung by the combination of only 4 GB VRAM and a PCI-e 8.0 interface.

So if the 5500 XT is just about capable of 60 FPS at 1080p Ultra in the majority of titles, is it wiser to buy a slightly more powerful card to ensure you can consistently achieve high frame rates, especially if you have a high refresh rate monitor? The next model up in the AMD range is the 5600 XT, so would the 5600 XT be the better 1080p card, if the price is right?

What makes things more complicated is that it has 2 GB less VRAM than the 5500 XT. If you remember, I likened the the RX 5600 XT to the Vega 56, and it seems to outperform it at 1440p, so the RX 5600 XT (like the GTX 1660) should be fine for high frame rates at 1080p Ultra. This is assuming that only having 6 GB of VRAM doesn't become a performance choke point in the same way that 4 GB currently is on the 5500 XT, but we won't know until such time as it does or doesn't happen.

Other than that, you have to start thinking about whether the GTX 1660 is the better option - either way, I'm not convinced the 5500 XT is the card to buy for 1080p gaming if you're after high frame rates and/or running with the highest settings. I guess my take home message from this is that there may always be a need to overspec your graphics card to achieve the level of performance that we are told we should be looking for - either that, or be prepared to dial back the settings to maintain those high frame rates.
I've done charts in the past looking at fps per dollar (or fps per pound / Euro). What's really telling is when you start considering the rest of a PC's cost. Even if it's only a 'cheap' $500 PC, it makes the budget and even mid-range GPUs look far less enticing. Basically, I always trend toward the $300 or higher mark for gaming purposes.

RX 5500 XT is okay, GTX 1660 is clearly faster in most games, and RX 5700 is arguably the best overall value right now. It's only a bit more expensive than RX 5600 XT and typically 10-15% faster.
 

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