AMD’s Radeon RX 5500 challenges Nvidia in the budget gaming and Notebook markets

AMD's Radeon RX 5500 challenges Nvidia in the budget gaming and mobile markets

AMD’s Radeon RX 5500 challenges Nvidia in the budget gaming and mobile markets

It’s official, AMD has finally revealed its Radeon RX 5500 series of graphics cards, bringing Navi to the mainstream PC market. The RX 5500 series aims to push AMD further into the OEM and notebook markets, while also challenging Nvidia in the budget gaming market.  

The Radeon RX 5500 is based on the same Navi/RDNA architecture as AMD’s groundbreaking RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT series of graphics cards. The Radeon RX 5500 will release with support for GDDR6 memory, PCIe 4.0, and Radeon’s latest Display and Media Engines. With Navi, AMD promises strong media encoding/decoding and support for DSC compression. 
 
Like other Radeon Navi series graphics cards, the AMD RX 5500 will support FidelityFX, Radeon Image Sharpening (RIS) on DX9, DX12 and Vulkan titles, Radeon Anti-Lag and Radeon FreeSync/FreeSync 2 HDR.  

AMD's Radeon RX 5500 challenges Nvidia in the budget gaming and mobile markets  
AMD’s Radeon RX 5500 will release in two forms, each of which are optimised for desktop and mobile use cases. The RX 5500 is the desktop variant, which features higher clock speeds and a TDP of 150W while the mobile version features a lower TDP that can be configured by notebook manufacturers. 

With this release, AMD has decided not to release base clock data for their RX 5500. This is due to the confusion which the spec presented to end-users with the RX 5700 series. In gaming workloads, AMD’s gaming clock is what’s expected from Radeon’s RDNA series GPUs, reserving the base clock for power-virus like scenarios. 

The RX 5500 will feature 154Gbps GDDR6 memory and a 128-bit memory bus. This will give the graphics card similar levels of raw memory bandwidth as an RX 580 series graphics card. Combine this with better memory compression and Navi’s other architectural changes, and the RX 5500 will deliver users more effective bandwidth than AMD’s Polaris series of graphics cards, despite using a smaller memory bus. 

 

AMD Radeon
RX 5700 XT 50th
AMD Radeon
RX 5700 XT
AMD Radeon
RX 5700
AMD Radeon
RX 5500 (Desktop)
AMD Radeon
RX 5500M (Mobile)
Process Tech/ Architecture 7nm Navi 7nm Navi 7nm Navi 7nm Navi 7nm Navi
Stream 
Processors
2560 2560 2304 1408 1408
Base
Clock 
1680MHz 1605MHz 1465MHz
Gaming Clock 1830MHz 1755MHz 1625MHz 1717MHz 1448MHz
Boost
Clock
1980MHz 1905MHz 1725MHz 1845MHz 1645MHz
Memory 8GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR6 4/8GB GDDR6 4GB GDDR6
Memory
Bus
256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 128-bit 128-bit
Memory Clock 14Gbps 14Gbps 14Gbps 14Gbps 14Gbps
Memory 
Bandwidth
448GB/s 448GB/s 448GB/s 224GB/s 224GB/s
Cooler Design Blower Fan Blower Fan Blower Fan
UK Pricing (OCUK) £429.99 £379.99 £329
US Pricing (MSRP) $449 $399 $349

AMD's Radeon RX 5500 challenges Nvidia in the budget gaming and mobile markets  

AMD’s RX 5500 is designed to replace Radeon’s ageing Polaris series of graphics cards, offering users a 1.6x increase in performance per watt and a 1.7x increase in performance per unit of die area. The Radeon RX 5500 is roughly 12% more powerful than AMD’s RX 480 while consuming 30% less power. 

The RDNA RX 5500 acts as a replacement for AMD’s RX 500 series of graphics cards, offering users greater levels of efficiency and the architectural advantages of AMD’s Navi architecture. AMD’s power consumption improvements will help allow AMD to enter more OEM systems and notebooks, two areas which AMD had difficulty entering previously. This will, in turn, open up avenues for AMD to increase their sales volumes. 

AMD's Radeon RX 5500 challenges Nvidia in the budget gaming and mobile markets  
In AMD’s slides, they compared their RX 5500 to Nvidia’s GTX 1650, showcasing huge performance advantages with team Radeon. Sadly, AMD has not listed any pricing data for their RX 5500, so at this time, it is hard to know valid these comparisons are. 

When it comes to OEM systems, Nvidia’s GTX 1650 remains incredibly popular because of its low power requirements. Perhaps this slide is designed to bring more OEM system builders into the Radeon camp. Ultimately, we need pricing for AMD’s RX 5500 to know how impactful it will be on the PC gaming market. 

AMD's Radeon RX 5500 challenges Nvidia in the budget gaming and mobile markets  

In Esports games, AMD states that their RX 5500 is 37% faster than Nvidia’s GTX 1650 on average, showcasing a huge potential win for team Radeon. However, without pricing data, it is hard to know how valid these results are. If the RX 5500 isn’t priced to match Nvidia’s GTX 1650, it begs the question of why the GTX 1660 isn’t included here. AMD has given us too little data to form proper opinions on their RX 5500 GPUs. 

AMD's Radeon RX 5500 challenges Nvidia in the budget gaming and mobile markets  

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AMD's Radeon RX 5500 challenges Nvidia in the budget gaming and mobile markets

AMD’s Radeon RX 5500 challenges Nvidia in the budget gaming and mobile markets

One of the most important aspects of the RX 5500 is that it brings Radeon back into notebook market. For the past few years, AMD’s graphics cards haven’t offered enough power efficiency to meet the demands of the gaming notebook market, giving Nvidia a stranglehold of the market. Thanks to Navi/RDNA, AMD’s power efficiency is now good enough to become a viable competitor to Nvidia in the gaming notebook market, securing AMD a new sales vector. 

This month, MSI plans to release Radeon’s first RX 5000-powered gaming notebook, the MSI Alpha 15. The Alpha 15 will utilise a Radeon RX 5500M to deliver more gaming performance than Nvidia’s competing GTX 1650 (mobile). More notebook makers are expected to adopt AMD’s RX 5500M in the coming weeks/months. 

AMD's Radeon RX 5500 challenges Nvidia in the budget gaming and mobile markets  
In the notebook market, AMD plans to deliver gamers more performance than Nvidia’s GTX 1650 Mobile, perhaps making the RX 5500M the GPU of choice for mobile gaming PCs. Ultimately, we will have to wait and see how well these Navi-powered mobile systems are priced before we can call AMD a victor here. 

MSI’s Alpha 15 will release with an AMD FreeSync display that supports 1080p at 144Hz, and RGB illuminated the keyboard and uses an AMD Ryzen 7 3750H processor. 

HP, Lenovo, and Acer all plans to release gaming systems with AMD’s RX 5500 series GPU in the coming weeks/months. 

AMD's Radeon RX 5500 challenges Nvidia in the budget gaming and mobile markets  

AMD’s Radeon RX 5500 series of graphics cards will be added to the company’s new Radeon “Raise the Game” GPU bundle. This will allow purchasers of Radeon RX 5500 GPUs or systems to gain access to a free copy of Borderlands 3 or Ghost Recon Breakpoint. This offer will be available until December 31st 2019. 

AMD's Radeon RX 5500 challenges Nvidia in the budget gaming and mobile markets  

Sadly, AMD has not specified when standalone RX 5500 series graphics cards will be made available. All that AMD has told us is that they are coming in Q4. 

At this time, we know that ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, PowerColor, Sapphire and XFX are all working on custom Radeon RX 5500 series graphics cards. So far, AMD hasn’t mentioned Radeon RX 5500 XT or 5600 series graphics cards to members of the press. 

AMD's Radeon RX 5500 challenges Nvidia in the budget gaming and mobile markets  

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