AMD launched its mid-range Radeon RX 5500 XT in December 2019, with the new mainstream graphics card dropped into the market to disturb the 1080p gaming market. I started off the Radeon RX 5500 XT review fun with SAPPHIRE's custom Radeon RX 5500 XT PULSE OC which you can check out here.
MSI has sent over their Radeon RX 5500 XT GAMING X 8GB for review, beefing up the VRAM amount from 4GB (where most Radeon RX 5500 XT cards will fall) to 8GB. It's a bit overkill considering how much faster the Radeon RX 5600 XT is, and that has 6GB of VRAM -- but here we go.
- AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB: $179
- AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB: $199
- MSI Radeon RX 5500 XT GAMING X: $225
Navi >>> Polaris
AMD has pulled off a rather large 1.6x performance per watt over the Radeon RX 480 with its new Radeon RX 5500 XT, thanks to a bunch of changes in the new (and much smaller) Navi 7nm GPU versus the Polaris 14nm GPU. We have 12% more performance on average, while using 30% less power.
The Navi GPU on the new Radeon RX 5500 XT comes in at 158mm2 compared to the larger 221mm2 on the Polaris GPU inside of the Radeon RX 480. This means AMD has crammed in 1.7x performance per area with its new Radeon RX 5500 XT over the previous-gen Polaris-based Radeon RX 480.
As usual, the GAMING X branding really stands out on a retail shelf -- with MSI's new Radeon RX 5500 XT GAMING X packaging looking great. It might only be a Radeon RX 5500 XT, but MSI is definitely saying otherwise with the retail packaging here and I think they deserve props for that. I worked in IT retail for 10 years selling these types of PC components and it would look great on a shelf and attract any consumers eye to it.
The card itself: MSI's custom Radeon RX 5500 XT GAMING X graphics card with its dual-fan cooler and brushed metal look. It looks mean out of the box, and even better when it's in your gaming PC.
The brushed aluminum metal backplate looks awesome, and once again this is the lowest tier Navi-based graphics card on the market and MSI still puts premium looks and feels into it.
From the top, we have a 2.5-slot graphics card with a single 8-pin PCIe power connector.
The single 8-pin PCIe power connector is all that is required.
From the top we have that huge heat sink array, all for a mid-range Radeon RX 5500 XT which means we'll have a cool-operating, and virtually silent graphics card with the MSI Radeon RX 5500 XT GAMING X.
Display connectivity remains the same, with MSI offering up 3 x DisplayPort 1.4 and a single HDMI 2.0 connector.
Cooling Tech: TWIN FROZR 7
Most gamers will know about MSI's iconic TWIN FROZR cooling technology by now, but if not -- here's the run down. MSI uses its slick black and gunmetal grey styling on its GAMING X branded cards which looks awesome in a PC, with great RGB lighting effects that aren't too over-the-top, either.
The brushed look on the back plate looks great, but it also protects the back of the card from any damages -- not just that, but MSI has placed thermal pads to keep the temperatures lower on your new Radeon RX 5600 XT GAMING X, too.
Another nice, and very small trick MSI has done with the Radeon RX 5600 XT GAMING X and its TWIN FROZR 7 cooler is the 'SPACED ARMOR'. This sees MSI increasing the space between the backplate and the PCB so that more air can flow through the gap, cooling the card down even more -- even if its another 1-2C, every little bit matters.
MSI uses some kick ass copper heat pipes here.
The same Torx 3.0 fans are used on the new Radeon RX 5600 XT GAMING X.
The fans won't spin up until the GPU gets to over 60C, thanks to MSI's own ZERO FROZR technology that has been around since 2008.
MSI uses a dedicated aluminum plate that covers the power delivery components, which are becoming more and more important over the years.
MSI has 'mastered the art of Aerodynamics'.
MSI puts some serious love and care into their GAMING X graphics cards and TWIN FROZR 7 cooling.
This is how the card keeps so cool.
More on that with the GPU baseplate.
MSI uses Thermal Compound X on its GAMING X series graphics cards.
The company also uses thermal padding on the GDDR6 memory and VRMs.
- Page 1 [Introduction and Detailed Look & Cooling Tech]
- Page 2 [Test System Specs & Benchmarks - Synthetic]
- Page 3 [Benchmarks - 1080p]
- Page 4 [Benchmarks - 1440p]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks - 4K]
- Page 6 [Thermals & Power and Final Thoughts]