PowerColor Red Dragon Radeon RX 5500 XT Review!

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PowerColor Red Dragon Radeon RX 5500 XT Up Close!

PowerColor Red Dragon Radeon RX 5500 XT Up Close!

Here are some close-up shots of the PowerColor Red Dragon Radeon RX 5500 XT.

This is a simple but performance-focused design, with the backplate being the only aesthetic frill.

PowerColor RX 5500 XT front

It’s notable that this card not only comes with 8 GB of GDDR6 memory, but also a beefy heat pipe cooler with dual fans.

PowerColor RX 5500 XT back

This card has a TDP of 130 watts, and requires an 8-pin PCI Express power cable.

PowerColor RX 5500 XT top

There is one bad thing about the cooler though – it exhausts upwards and downwards, instead of out the back of the card. This means the hot exhaust gets recirculated within the case.

PowerColor RX 5500 XT bottom

The PowerColor Red Dragon Radeon RX 5500 XT has three output options. From left to right, they are DVI, DisplayPort and HDMI. Incidentally, the vents above them are purely decorative.

PowerColor RX 5500 XT left PowerColor RX 5500 XT right


AMD RDNA Architecture

The new RDNA architecture replaces the GCN (Graphics Core Next) architecture that powered the Vega 64 and Vega 56 cards.

The AMD RDNA architecture offers these advantages over the older GCN architecture :

  • New Compute Unit and SIMD design that delivers 1.25X better performance per clock
  • New multi-level cache hierarchy for reduced latency and power
  • Adds support for GDDR6 memory and PCI Express 4.0
  • New Radeon Media Engine with 4K encode and 8K decode capability for VP9, H.264 and HEVC


7 nm Process Technology

A key advantage the AMD Navi GPU has over the previous AMD Vega GPU is the finer 7 nm process technology it uses.

This change, together with the RDNA microarchitecture, lets the AMD Navi deliver 60% more performance per watt than the AMD Vega.

AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT slide 03


PowerColor Red Dragon Radeon RX 5500 XT Thermal Output

We recorded the peak exhaust temperatures of those cards, to see how much heat they throw out. Take a look…

PowerColor RX 5500 XT temperature

Note that these are not the recorded temperatures, but how much hotter the exhaust air is above ambient temperature.

Not surprisingly, with the lowest total card power of 130 watts, the PowerColor Radeon RX 5500 XT has the lowest exhaust temperature in this comparison, by far!

Next Page > PowerColor Radeon RX 5500 XT Benchmarking Notes | 3DMark Results

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