AMD’s Radeon RX 5500 – a graphics card which was revealed back at the beginning of October, but is still yet to officially launch – has been the subject of another performance leak, which pretty much confirms what we’ve heard previously.
The RX 5500 has already been the subject of a leak of apparent marketing slides direct from AMD (allegedly), which showed that the GPU maker is pitching this budget graphics card against Nvidia’s GTX 1650, with favorable comparative benchmarks highlighted by AMD.
Of course it’s one thing to see hand-picked benchmarks from the manufacturer, but this fresh leak is of the first independent testing to put the RX 5500 through its paces, courtesy of Heise.de (as spotted by Videocardz).
So, assuming these benchmarks are genuine and accurate – as ever, any such rumor or leak needs to be treated with a suitable degree of caution – they paint about the same picture of the RX 5500 as being around the same performance level as an RX 580.
Remember that the RX 580 (and indeed the RX 570, and RX 590) might be outgoing models as per the previous rumor – and that leak showed that the performance level of the RX 5500 would slot somewhere between the RX 580 and RX 590, so everything roughly lines up with these rumors.
Note that as Videocardz clarifies, the German site benchmarked a desktop OEM version of the RX 5500 which was allegedly obtained from an HP Pavilion PC (the Pavilion TP01-0004ng to be precise, although on HP’s official product page for the machine, the GPU is misidentified as the RX 5300XT, the German site notes).
So effectively this is a reference model for PC manufacturers as opposed to the consumer cards you will be able to buy on the shelves (from the likes of Asus, MSI, Zotac and so forth).
As you’re probably aware, those third-party cards will be a little faster – of course, as ever performance will vary a little between them – but they will all be in the same rough ballpark.
And specifically, the frame rates achieved by the RX 5500 – when removed from the HP machine, and paired up with an Intel Core i7-8700K (backed by 32GB of RAM) – were 59 fps (frames per second) in Shadow of the Tomb Raider and 72 fps in Far Cry 5. That’s at Full HD (1080p) resolution, of course.
That compares to 65 fps and 75 fps respectively for the Sapphire RX 580 Nitro+, so the RX 5500 is just a touch slower – and remember that sapphire GPU is a third-party overclocked spin, so we can expect slightly faster performance from the non-reference versions of the 5500.
The Fire Strike result for the RX 5500 came in at 12,111 points, so just a tad less than the Sapphire RX 580 Nitro+ at 12,744 points. It’s also worth bearing in mind here that AMD will be optimizing its drivers better for the GPU when it actually launches.
The power consumption of the new card is striking, and far more efficient as you would hope from Navi. Under load, the RX 5500 is measured at 133W, way less than the aforementioned Sapphire RX 580 which demands 207W.
The German site also compared the RX 5500 to a Gigabyte GTX 1660 OC which managed 69 fps and 85 fps in Tomb Raider and Far Cry 5 respectively, although as we mentioned, AMD is targeting this at the GTX 1650, not this model up – so it’s not really a fair comparison. And it looks like the RX 5500 is set to dominate Nvidia’s GTX 1650…
Overall, then, the RX 5500 is targeted squarely at 1080p gaming and it appears to do a great job in this arena – but pricing will be vital, as ever. Where it will be pitched against the GTX 1650 will be the key point, with the expectation that AMD’s GPU should debut around the $150 mark (and likely £150), or possibly a touch higher.
That would leave AMD sitting pretty at the budget end of the GPU market with this new offering, although Nvidia’s GTX 1650 Super could muddy things, as the more powerful spin on the card is expected to launch imminently (supposedly later today).
Again, though, we’ll have to see how these respective prices stack up – and indeed get these GPUs properly benchmarked ourselves – before we can make any real informed decision on whether AMD or Nvidia is winning this battle at the budget end of the market. But suffice it to say, going by what we’ve seen leaked thus far, things are looking good for AMD…