PowerColor Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB Red Dragon | Review

We have another Radeon Navi card to review and this one is marked towards the entry-level end of the stack. We previously looked at the some of the higher tier cards but now we have the PowerColor Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB Red Dragon for review and it’s a very interesting graphics card to look at because it is basically a gaming GPU targeted at 1080p gaming. We’ll see how it stacks up against NVIDIA’s GTX 16 series offerings later on in this review.

Radeon RX 5500XT in a nutshell

RX 5500XT – Begun Again, The Price Wars Have

Red Dragon RX 5500 XT 8GB Quick Specs

Red Dragon RX 5500 XT 8GB
Compute Units22
Boost ClockUp to 1845MHz
Game Clock (Mhz)Up to 1717 MHz
Memory Speed14Gbps
Memory Config8GB GDDR6
Memory Interface Width128bit
Minimum System Power Requirement450W

What’s in the box?

PowerColor didn’t go very far from their usual branding as the box art is the similar to their previous generation of Red Dragon graphics cards. Behind the box you have the usual product features that they include for marketing the GPU. Then inside you have the graphics card itself and a quick start guide.

A closer look

As you can see this is a relatively small graphics card with a dual bearing fans that uses PowerColor’s “Mute Fan Technology” which turns the fan off when the card is operating below 60℃ to provide silence.

On the back you have a simple looking backplate with the red dragon logo and perforations on the tail-end of the card. Over all the graphics card measures at 227mm*120*mm*42mm which makes it a cute little gpu for small gaming PC setups.

This card requires a single 8-pin PCI Express power connection and the minimum recommended system power is about 450w.

You also have access to the most basic video outputs which includes a DVI connection, DisplayPort, and HDMI.

Graphics Card Testing

We put this graphics card to the test using our Ryzen system and compared our results with different graphics cards. Our system configuration is as follows:

  • Processor – AMD Ryzen 9 3900x
  • Memory – 2×8 3400mhz DDR4 kit
  • Motherboard – Asus ROG Crosshair VI
  • Graphics cards:
    • Galax GTX 1660 Super
    • MSI GTX 1660 Super Gaming X
    • Palit GTX 1660 Ti Dual OC
    • Galax RTX 2070 Super Work The Frames
    • MSI Ventus RTX 2080 Super

For the PowerColor Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB Red Dragon review, we decided to purely go with 1080p gaming benchmarks. We had a good mix of AAA and esports titles in the line up and we also tested the stock BIOS and the updated BIOS to see what kind of performance improvements did it make with highly tweaked frequencies. We also used DirectX 12 API on all games (when available) for consistency.

Gaming Benchmarks

AMD does a great job fulfilling their statement as a 1080p solution for gaming. However, it stops there. It’s the good enough for 1080p gaming and can be a smart replacement for the GTX 1050 Ti. We do wished that the RX 5500 XT could do more but only future updates can dictate that as AMD does have the habit of surprising the community with upgrade BIOS flashes

Temperature test

When compared to their NVIDIA counterparts, the AMD Radeon Navi GPU’s are kinda toasty but these temps are “within” their specs and it shouldn’t be an issue for most users. With that in mind, we tested this card in an open test bench and temperatures would be greatly improved in a case with focused airflow.

Final Thoughts and Recommendations

The Powercolor Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB Red Dragon is provides the role of a 1080p graphics card in our current market. Enough to be a smart choice over the ever so popular GTX 1050 Ti, it sets to be a card that made for that role and other general purpose tasks.

The RX 5500 XT however stop its tracks there and we really can’t blame AMD for doing that as they only did promise a feasible 1080p card – nothing more, nothing less. Any more juice for the RX 5500 XT would mean competing with its own RX 5600 XT, any efforts that could be done to boost the RX 5500 XT should also mean boosting the other cards next to it.

We would highly recommend the RX 5500 XT for people looking to upgrade their aging GTX 1050 Ti or similarly performing cards. This card is also perfect for blocky ITX builds just because of the style that Powercolor incorporated with it.

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