MSI always keeps things under wraps when it comes to the temperature of their GAMING X-branded graphics cards, with the new Radeon RX 5500 XT GAMING X no different. We have 69C at its peak, after an intense 30-minute 4K run of Heaven. This is pretty good, and virtually in line with the MSI Radeon RX 5600 XT GAMING X which has an identical cooler.
As for power consumption, it once again falls perfectly in line with therest of our graphics cards -- with my entire Intel Core i7-8700K test bed using 190W.
AMD's new Radeon RX 5500 XT graphics card is a kick ass 1080p gaming card, but what about when it's over $200? The 4GB variant of the Radeon RX 5500 XT -- like the SAPPHIRE Radeon RX 5500 XT PULSE OC 4GB that I reviewed, can be found for under $200 but the 8GB version of the card, was priced at $220 to $225 at the time of writing.
Would I recommend getting the 8GB version over the 4GB version? I don't think so. There's no "future proofing" here with the Radeon RX 5500 XT outside of "yeah, I have 8GB of VRAM". You won't be playing AAA games at 4K at 60FPS on this card, I doubt you'd even want to buy the Radeon RX 5500 XT for anything more than 1080p and 1440p gaming.
Does that make the MSI Radeon RX 5500 XT GAMING X a bad card? Definitely not. It makes it a card that would have you second guessing why you'd purchase it unless it were on the cheap. I would go for the 4GB version of the card, or spend a little more and get the much-faster Radeon RX 5600 XT which has 6GB of VRAM.
It's in the middle -- as AMD and its AIB partners have custom Radeon RX 5500 XT graphics cards on the market with both 4GB and 8GB, but the faster Radeon RX 5600 XT has 6GB of VRAM. The new BIOS on the Radeon RX 5600 XT (my review on the MSI Radeon RX 5600 XT GAMING X is here) showed the new BIOS gave it a huge kick in performance -- bringing it closer to the Radeon RX 5700 which has 8GB of VRAM.
At the time of writing this review (first week of March 2020) these were the prices on Amazon for the following AMD Radeon graphics cards:
- AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB - $180
- AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB - $220 (or so)
- AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT 6GB - $280
MSI has yet another great member of its GAMING X family of graphics cards, with the custom Radeon RX 5500 XT GAMING X kicking enough ass to have you take a look at it. Would you want to spend the extra $20-$40 or so buying the 8GB variant over the 4GB variant? I don't think so.
Check out the 4GB version of this card if you're in the market for it, and only grab the 8GB version if you really want to say you've got 8GB (it won't do much at 1080p/1440p) -- or alternatively, if you can get it discounted.
The Bottom Line
MSI has yet another great card on its hands with the Radeon RX 5500 XT -- but do you really need 8GB of VRAM? Probably not. Still, Navi shines at 1080p here with the RX 5500 XT and it's worth a look.