With unquestionably great 1080p performance, AMD's new Radeon RX 5500 XT shows that Navi is still a star... even when it has chopped down into something smaller from its flagship Radeon RX 5700/5700 XT form. We have stellar 1080p performance, and in esports games you're going to have quite the potent card in your hands for sub $200.
AMD offers some interesting tweaks through features like Radeon Boost, which will offer additional performance where it counts -- where in games like Overwatch you're boosting from already playable 68FPS average to virtually 100FPS. Better yet, this is at 2560 x 1440 on Epic graphics settings, which is an insane leap in performance.
Radeon Boost if you didn't already know, dynamically scales the rendering resolution to boost frame rates. It works as soon as it detects motion, by reducing the rendering resolution and then when it detects that the on-screen camera rotation has stopped or slows down, the rendering resolution boosts back up again. It is a subtle, but important thing to have running in the right games.
Is The Radeon RX 5500 XT Better Than The GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER?
In short, yes it is -- AMD has done an great job by offering a new card for less than $200 that beats the GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER, but the price is something we need to talk about.
At the time of writing I could find the Radeon RX 580 with 8GB for $169, while the GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER with 4GB of RAM was $159. The new Radeon RX 5500 XT can be had for $169 (4GB) and $199 (8GB) which makes the decision a little harder. Do you already have a monitor? Is it FreeSync? Grab the RX 5500 XT.
Don't have a monitor yet? Get a new FreeSync display anyway, and you should be happy with the Radeon RX 5500 XT. If you're wanting to jump into PC gaming right now and haven't even purchased a PC before, the new Radeon RX 5500 XT offers all the feels we had with Polaris when it first launched with the RX 480 -- except AMD has a much better ecosystem on offer.
AMD releasing its new Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition right at the same time as the new Navi-based Radeon RX 5500 XT is actually such a kick ass move. While NVIDIA is still stuck in the UI dark ages with its GeForce drivers (GeForce Experience is fine, but the NVIDIA Control Panel is old AF now).
Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition is actually so good I need to deep dive into it, and haven't had the time since I was in Maui, Hawaii for Qualcomm's annual Snapdragon Summit and only received my Radeon RX 5500 XT sample 36 hours before this review was due. My time was limited, and for that I apologize -- I will follow up with my review on the GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER as well, on top of a detailed look at the new Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition driver set, too.
Final, Final Thoughts
AMD loses with the new Radeon RX 5500 XT solely on price... the cryptocurrency explosion saw countless Radeon RX 500 series cards sold, and then flood the second hand markets. This means you can grab a super-discounted RX 500 series card that is $50-$80 or even cheaper than the RX 5500 XT (in 8GB form which starts from $200).
This is an issue for AMD with the Radeon RX 5500 XT, but is out of AMD's control -- they can't just sell these new cards for $100 and make anything on it, it would just bleed money. AMD now has to play the waiting game and let the Radeon RX 500 series cards disappear naturally -- while providing feature-packed cards like the Radeon RX 5500 XT that will slowly replace them.
Another nice bonus for the Radeon RX 5500 XT is that AMD is offering Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Master Edition as well as 3 months of Xbox Game Pass -- valued at $80. This isn't too bad, but I don't see anyone purchasing the RX 5500 XT for these games alone, but it's a nice bonus you can't complain about.
All in all, I think AMD has really provided a kick ass 1080p gaming card -- reducing power conusmption massively with the Navi 14 GPU and 7nm node over the Polaris 10 GPU and 14nm node on the Radeon RX 500 series cards. Huge improvements across the board with optimizations, kick ass (for the most part) 1080p performance and a newly-tweaked Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition software package that really whips the Llama's ass (and the Llama in this case being NVIDIA's Control Panel).
Last updated: Dec 13, 2019 at 06:11 am CST
Performance (overclocking, power)90%
Quality (build, design, cooling)90%
General Features (display outputs, etc)90%
Bundle, Packaging & Software95%
The Bottom Line
AMD's new Radeon RX 5500 XT launches, powered by the Navi 14 GPU and packed with GDDR6. It uses 100W+ less power than the RX 580, offering similar performance, and a STACK of new features and tech!