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ASRock Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB Challenger D OC Review

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Today we are going to look at AMD’s entry level NAVI GPU in the form of the Radeon RX 5500 XT. AMD released two variants, a 4GB and an 8GB. The specific graphics card that we have here is the ASRock Radeon RX 5500 XT Challenger D 4G OC; it only has a 4GB memory size but the rest of the specs are basically similar with the 8GB variant. The RX 5500 XT 4GB starts at $169, while the 8GB variant starts at $199. Expect that graphics cards from partners are priced a tad higher from these MSRPs. This price rage has a very stiff competition, as graphics cards are very saturated from the $160~$260 price range. So, let’s see how the RX 5500 XT 4GB fares in this very saturated market. Please continue reading our ASRock Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB Challenger OC review below.

ASRock Radeon RX 5500 XT Challenger 4G OC Review

ASRock Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB Challenger Review – Can It Keep Up?

We previously reviewed the RX 5700 XT, then followed by the RX 5600 XT and now it is time for the entry-level RX 5500 XT NAVI GPU. The Radeon RX 5500 XT is designed for 1080p gaming and will compete directly with NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 1650 Super graphics card.

Like the 5700 and 5600 GPUs, the RX 5500 XT is also powered by AMD’s RDNA architecture and features 7nm process technology; offering a much better power efficiency than its Polaris predecessor. It also comes with features like Radeon Image Sharpening, Radeon Anti-Lag, Radeon Boost, Integer Scaling and AMD Link.

The Radeon RX 5500 XT features 22 compute units and 1408 streaming processors. It has a base clock speed of 1607 MHz, with a game and boost clock speeds of 1717MHz and 1845MHz respectively. It also has a peak single precision performance of up to 5.20 TFLOPs and a peak half precision performance of up to 10.4 TFLOPs.

There is a 4GB and 8GB variant, both are GDDR6 memory with 14Gbps memory speed running on a 128-bit memory bus width. The GPU is a NAVI 14 chip based on a 7nm TSMC process with a transistor count of 6.4 billion and a die size of 158 mm². You can check out the rest of its specifications below, and after that let’s take a closer look at the ASRock RX 5500 XT Challenger D 4G OC itself.

AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT Specifications

 ASRock RX 5500 XT Challenger D 4G OCAMD Radeon RX 5500 XT
ArchitectureNaviNavi
Manufacturing Process7nm7nm
Transistor Count6.4 billion6.4 billion
Die Size158 mm2158 mm2
Compute Units2222
Stream Processors14081408
ROPs3232
Peak SP PerformanceUp to 5.20 TFLOPS
Peak Half Precision PerformanceUp to 10.4 TFLOPS
Peak Texture Fill-RateUp to 162.4 GT/sUp to 162.4 GT/s
Peak Pixel Fill-RateUp to 59.0 GP/sUp to 59.0 GP/s
Game GPU Clock1737 MHzUp to 1717 MHz
Boost GPU Clock1845 MHzUp to 1845 MHz
Base GPU Clock1685 MHz
Memory4GB GDDR64GB/8GB GDDR6
Memory Clock14 Gbps14 Gbps
Memory Bandwidth224GB/s224GB/s
Memory Interface128-bit128-bit
Board Power~130W ?130W
Recommended PSU500 W450W
Connector8-pin

Radeon RX 5500 XT graphics cards latest pricing and availability:
Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB: available on Amazon.com here and Amazon UK here
Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB: available on Amazon.com here and Amazon UK here

Packaging and Closer Looks

It’s been a while since I last saw a small box for a graphics card. The Challenger’s box is quite small, measuring only 300mm x 90mm approximately. There’s not much included in the box except for the graphics card itself and the thick foam protecting the card.

The ASRock Radeon RX 5500 XT Challenger 4GB is quite small as well. It’s a two-slot graphics card, measuring 241mm x 127mm x 42mm. The cooler shroud is actually longer than the PCB of the graphics card. The PCB measures approximately ~80mm in length, while the cooler shroud measures 127mm in length. The cooler shroud is made of plastic but the back plate is metal.

The color scheme is a combination of black, silver and yellow. It’s a nice color scheme, but personally I prefer the color scheme on ASRock’s Phantom Gaming series. Unfortunately, there is no 4GB variant of the Phantom Gaming, only 8GB; and the 8GB variant is a little bit hard to recommend. I’ll get more into that later. Out of the box, the back panel and the front shroud have a protective plastic cover.

On the output ports area, the Radeon RX 5500 XT Challenger D 4G OC has three DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC 1.2a and one HDMI 2.0b. There is a single 8-pin PCIe power connector and the graphics card requires at least a 500W power supply.

ASRock has a total of three RX 5500 XT variants at this time. The Phantom Gaming 8GB variant and two Challenger OC series, one 4GB and one 8GB. All three graphics cards seem to have the same specs and clock speeds; 1845 MHz boost, 1737 MHz game and 1685 MHz base clock speeds. The only real difference aside from the cooler shroud and design is the 4GB memory capacity.

The Test Setup Used

I tested the ASRock Radeon RX 5500 XT Challenger D 4G OC on an MSI MEG Z390 ACE motherboard powered with an Intel Core i7-8700K overclocked to 4.9GHz. The rest of the specifications of the system are as follows:

Operating System: Windows 10 Pro 64bit ver. 1903
MotherboardMSI MEG Z390 ACE
Processor: Intel Core i7-8700K
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i RGB Platinum AIO
Memory: Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR4-3200MHz 16GB
Graphics card: ASRock Radeon RX 5500 XT Challenger D 4G OC
Storage Drives: Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe SSD, Crucial MX500 2TB
Power Supply: Seasonic 850W Prime Titanium
Chassis: Thermaltake Core P3

I am also using the Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 edition 20.2.2 for Windows 10 64bit. The graphics card was tested in two gaming resolutions – 1920×1080 FHD and 2560×1440 WQHD. The RX 5500 XT is intended for 1080p gaming; but in most cases especially with AAA title games, you may want to set graphics quality to medium or high to get higher frame rates.

For the synthetic benchmarks, I used the benchmark tools from 3DMark. I also used the following games to test the ASRock RX 5500 XT 4GB graphics card: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Metro Exodus, Middle Earth Shadow of War, Monster Hunter World, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt.

Below is the GPUz screenshot of the ASRock RX 5500 XT 4GB Challenger:

Noise and Temperature

ASRock RX 5500 XT 4GB Challenger idle temperature

The ASRock Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB Challenger is generally a very silent or dead silent graphics card. It has a fan stop feature, so if you are not gaming or load is light to medium; the fans will not start spinning unless it hits a certain temperature.

I got around ~44°C during idle or light load with this RX 5500 XT. The NAVI GPU is very efficient compared to the Polaris, thanks to the smaller 7nm fab process.

ASRock RX 5500 XT 4GB Challenger Furmark full load temperature

Once I started to stress the graphics card, the fans went up to around ~2000 RPM. It’s not very loud, but it’s a bit audible already. I’m using an open test bench chassis, so the noise is a bit audible compared to a closed-case setup.

There are two scenarios where I tested the cooler’s capabilities. I tested it first using FurMark and the temperature I got was 66°C for the GPU, 86°C for the memory and 81°C for the GPU hot spot. Meanwhile, when I stressed the RX 5500 XT using 3DMark Time Spy on a loop, I got 71°C for the GPU, 78°C for the memory and 92°C for the hot spot.

It seems that depending on the application, the temperature would vary. The VRAM runs hot at 78°C to 86°C but it’s still within the specs. GPU temperature seems to be within reasonable limit as well; at round 66°C to 78°C. The GPU hotspot varies though.

Regarding the hotspot, according to AMD:

“Paired with this array of sensors is the ability to identify the ‘hotspot’ across the GPU die. Instead of setting a conservative, ‘worst case’ throttling temperature for the entire die, the RadeonTM RX 5700 series GPUs will continue to opportunistically and aggressively ramp clocks until any one of the many available sensors hits the ‘hotspot’ or ‘Junction’ temperature of 110 degrees Celsius. Operating at up to 110C Junction Temperature during typical gaming usage is expected and within spec. This enables the RadeonTM RX 5700 series GPUs to offer much higher performance and clocks out of the box, while maintaining acoustic and reliability targets. We provide users with both measurements – the average GPU Temperature and Junction Temperature – so that they have the best and most complete visibility into the operation of their RadeonTM RX 5700 series GPUs.”

Of course, the statement also applies to their RX 5600 and RX 5500 series, since these cards also have GPU hotspots. Now time to see some benchmark results.

RX 5500 XT 4GB Synthetic Benchmark Results

Let’s check out first the results I got with the synthetic benchmarks. Some of you might not be interested in synthetic benchmarks, but there are others who would like to see them. This also gives us an idea of the general performance of the ASRock Radeon RX 5500 XT Challenger D 4G OC graphics card and its standing.

For the synthetic benchmark results, I included 3DMark Fire Strike, 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme, 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra, 3DMark Time Spy and 3DMark Time Spy Extreme; and Unigine’s Superposition. Below are the results I got.

Well, I was already expecting that the RX 5500 XT would end up at the bottom of our graphs. Unfortunately, I don’t have a GTX 1650 Super or some older AMD cards like the RX 480 and RX 580 series to compare it with.

RX 5500 XT 4GB 1080p Game Benchmark Results

The Radeon RX 5500 XT is primarily a 1080p graphics card; although it is not the “ultimate 1080p card”. This is an entry-level NAVI GPU in the first place. I tested the games at their highest or ultra-graphics quality. So, expect that if you tone down the graphics quality to medium or just high, you will get higher frame rates.

Below are the game benchmark results I got with the ASRock RX 5500 XT 4GB Challenger card:

As you can see from the benchmark results above, the RX 5500 XT can handle around 60 fps even on the highest graphics quality depending on the game. But for some, you will need to lower the graphics quality just to maintain and average of 60 fps.

RX 5500 XT 4GB 1440p Game Benchmark Results

1440p gaming resolution or high refresh rate gaming is not really the target of the RX 5500 XT. But let’s see how this graphics card fare in this resolution. Below are the results I got using the RX 5500 XT on a 2560×1440 resolution.

Well, it wasn’t able to at least get near the 60-fps mark. I would not recommend that you get this graphics card if you have a 1440p monitor at all.

By the way, some AAA games require a certain amount of VRAM. For example, Monster Hunter World requires around 4.78 GB of VRAM on a 1080p resolution at highest graphics quality. Setting the graphics setting to “high” only requires 2.71GB.

AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT vs GeForce GTX 1650 Super Benchmark

Like I said, I don’t have a GeForce GTX 1650 to compare the RX 5500 XT with. However, AMD provided their own internal testing results. Below are the results they got comparing the RX 5500 XT to the GTX 1650 Super.

Radeon RX 5500 XT vs GTX 1650 Super Benchmarks

Again, this is AMD’s internal testing. So, I can’t confirm if these are unbiased or cherry-picked results. However, based on other reviews I have read, the RX 5500 XT and GTX 1650 Super seems to have similar performance.

Also below are the specifications of AMD’s test system:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X (3.8GHz)
Motherboard: GIGABYTE X570 AORUS MASTER
Memory: 16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX (2x8GB) DDR4-3200MHz
HDD: 4TB Seagate Barracuda 7200 RPM
Display: Samsung U28D590D 3840×2160 Display
AMD Radeon Display Driver Version: 19.50-191121a
Competitor Display Driver Version: 441.41 WHQL
Operating System: Windows 10 64-bit Version 1903 (18362.476)

Pricing and Availability

The Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB/8GB graphics cards are now available. The 4GB variant comes with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price starting at $169 USD. Most RX 5500 XT 4GB variant from partners are priced $180 and up. Meanwhile, the 8GB variant comes with an MSRP starting at $199 USD. The RX 5500 XT 8GB from partners are priced around $200 USD to $230+ USD. For the latest pricing and availability of these RX 500 XT series graphics cards, kindly check out the links below.

Radeon RX 5500 XT graphics cards latest pricing and availability:
Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB: available on Amazon.com here and Amazon UK here
Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB: available on Amazon.com here and Amazon UK here

For ASRock specific graphics cards, you can get them here:
ASRock RX 5500 XT 8GB Phantom Gaming: available on Amazon.com here and Amazon UK here
ASRock RX 5500 XT 4GB/8GB Challenger: available on Amazon.com here and Amazon UK here

AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB Review Conclusion

Performance wise, the RX 5500 XT 4GB graphics card looks like a decent entry-level graphics card. It’s okay for 1080p gaming but I generally would not recommend it for 1440p gaming. You can get higher frame rates by lowering the graphics quality. If you plan to game on a 1080p high refresh rate gaming monitor or play some AAA games at ultra graphics quality, you might want to increase your budget as the RX 5500 XT 4GB is simply not enough.

I don’t have a GTX 1650 Super to compare it with, so I can’t recommend when it comes to performance. However, when it comes to pricing, the RX 500 XT 4GB and GTX 1650 Super seems to have similar pricing at the time I published this review. I think this would come down to set of features that you require or if you like AMD more.

As for the RX 5500 XT 8GB variant, I think it will be a different story. As I look at the current pricing, most of the RX 500 XT 8GB variant are priced around $200 to $230 USD. That’s already GTX 1660 to GTX 1660 Super territory. And I think the 8GB variant is a bit hard to recommend, considering that a GTX 1660 Super is just a few dollars away while offering a substantial performance increase.

As for the ASRock RX 5500 XT Challenger D 4G OC itself, I don’t find any fault as to not recommend it. If you’re on a tight budget, this graphics card is a feasible solution for your 1080p gaming needs. AMD is currently offering a game bundle for the RX 5500 XT. You can get Resident Evil 3 and Ghost Recon Breakpoint, and a 3-month Xbox Game Pass for PC. This offer is for a limited time only and it will end soon.

Amazon and Newegg links in the post are affiliate links. As an affiliate, we may earn from qualifying purchases.
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I love computers since I was a kid. I’m always fascinated with new technology, especially in the PC world. Many years ago, I was curious if the reviews I read were true and real. So, why not test them myself and share my first-hand experience? And thus, here we are. Thanks for reading!

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