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Sapphire RX 5500 XT Pulse 4GB Review

Rating: 8.0.

It has been over two months since AMD first announced the RX 5500 series of GPUs. Since then, Nvidia has launched both the GTX 1660 SUPER, and more recently the 1650 SUPER, in a pre-emptive attempt to render AMD's new GPUs dead on arrival. Today, we can finally assess the performance of the Navi-based RX 5500 XT.

The first thing to note is that this review is concerned with Sapphire's RX 5500 XT Pulse 4GB. 5500 XT is available in both 4GB and 8GB models (the only difference is the VRAM capacity), so if you want to see our review of an 8GB card, head over to the ASRock Challenger HERE.

Secondly, AMD disclosed pricing to us yesterday, with the 4GB model retailing for £159.99 here in the UK, while the 8GB model is £20 more expensive at £179.99. Considering GTX 1650 SUPER cards start at £149.99, this really is a head-to-head battle between Team Red and Team Green in the ~£150 market segment.

The last point to note in this introduction is how RX 5500 XT fits in with the rest of the RX 5500 series. When AMD made the initial announcement back in October, core spec was announced for the RX 5500 ‘series', but the 5500 XT was not explicitly mentioned. As it transpires, both the RX 5500 and RX 5500 XT use the exact same GPU, with the same core count. The primary differences are that RX 5500 (non-XT) has slightly lower clocks, is only available as a 4GB model, and is only available to OEMs. RX 5500 XT is available as a standalone part, so unless you want to buy a pre-built system, you can forget about the non-XT version of the 5500.

GPU RX 5500 XT RX 5700 RX 5700 XT   RX Vega 56 RX Vega 64 
Architecture  Navi  Navi Navi Vega 10 Vega 10
Manufacturing Process  7nm  7nm 7nm 14nm 14nm
Transistor Count 6.4 billion 10.3 billion 10.3 billion 12.5 billion 12.5 billion
Die Size  158mm² 251mm² 251mm² 486mm² 495mm²
Compute Units  22 36 40 56 64
Stream Processors  1408 2304 2560 3584 4096
Base GPU Clock n/a Up to 1465MHz Up to 1605MHz 1156 MHz 1274 MHz
Game GPU Clock Up to 1717MHz Up to 1625MHz Up to 1755MHz n/a n/a
Boost GPU Clock Up to 1845MHz Up to 1725MHz Up to 1905MHz 1471 MHz 1546 MHz
Peak SP Performance Up to 5.20 TFLOPS Up to 7.95 TFLOPS Up to 9.75 TFLOPS Up to 10.5 TFLOPS Up to 12.7 TFLOPS
Peak Half Precision Performance Up to 10.4 TFLOPS Up to 15.9 TFLOPS Up to 19.5 TFLOPS Up to 21.0 TFLOPS Up to 25.3 TFLOPS
Peak Texture Fill-Rate Up to 162.4 GT/s Up to 248.4 GT/s Up to 304.8 GT/s  Up to 330.0 GT/s  Up to 395.8 GT/s
ROPs 32 64 64 64 64
Peak Pixel Fill-Rate Up to 59.0 GP/s Up to 110.4 GP/s Up to 121.9 GP/s Up to 94.0 GP/s Up to 98.9 GP/s
Memory Bandwidth 224 GB/s 448 GB/s 448 GB/s 410 GB/s 483.8 GB/s
Memory Interface  128-bit 256-bit 256-bit 2048-bit 2048-bit
Board Power  130W 185W 225W 210W 295W

With that in mind, GPU specs for the RX 5500 XT have therefore been online for two months, so nothing new is revealed to us. Built on the same Navi architecture as the RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT, and fabbed on TSMC's 7nm process, the RX 5500 XT consists of 22 Compute Units (CUs) and 1408 Stream Processors.

The same 14Gbps GDDR6 memory has also been brought down from the RX 5700 series, with 4GB or 8GB models. The 5500 XT however has a narrower, 128-bit memory interface, meaning total memory bandwidth is 224 GB/s, or half that of its pricier brethren.

As for clock speeds, the Sapphire card here follows the reference specification with a 1845MHz boost clock. Total board power is rated at 130W, or 30W above GTX 1650 SUPER.

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