AMD Radeon Pro W5500 Review: Navi Pro Graphics For Less

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AMD Radeon Pro W5500: Power, Acoustics, And The Verdict

Before bringing this article to a close, we'd like to cover a couple of final data points -- namely, power consumption and noise. Throughout all of our benchmarking and testing, we monitored acoustics and tracked how much power our test system was consuming using a power meter. Our goal was to give you an idea of how much power each graphics configuration used while idling and also while under a heavy workload. Please keep in mind that we were testing total system power consumption at the outlet here, not the power being drawn by the graphics cards alone.


Total System Power Consumption
Tested at the Outlet

power radeon pro w5500
Other than the Polaris-based Radeon Pro WX 7100, which comes in a few watts higher, all of the other cards consumed similar amounts of power while idle. Under a compute workload, the Radeon Pro W5500 comes in the lowest by far, but it also trails the others in terms of performance in most compute workloads. While running a graphics workload, the Radeon Pro W5500's power consumption is also among the lowest of the bunch (only a few watts separate the Quadro, WX 7100, and W5500). Considering how much better the Radeon Pro W5500 performed versus the WX 7100 in the VR and graphics benchmarks, its similar power consumption to the WX 7100 is a testament to Navi's efficiency improvements over Polaris. NVIDIA's Turing architecture, however, is even more efficient.

About Radeon Pro W5500 Acoustics

Although the Radeon Pro W5500 consumes roughly the same amount of power under a graphics workload in comparison to its predecessor, the W5500 is the quieter, cooling running card. In most scenarios, the Radeon Pro W5500's cooler will spin up to audible levels, but never to a point we would consider the card loud. The blower-style cooler design used on the W5500 isn't known for its silence, but in real-world use cases it should be quiet enough for any environment. When tested in a typical mid-tower, with the side panel removed, we could hear the card over our PSU and CPU cooler, but it remains relatively quiet and never emits more than a dull whir.

Performance Summary: AMD's new Radeon Pro W5500 offers relatively strong performance, especially considering its affordable price point. The Radeon Pro W5500 doesn't offer quite as much full prevision FP performance as the previous-gen WX 7100, but it does have stronger FP16 performance. The Radeon Pro W5500 also significantly outperformed the Radeon Pro WX 7100 in the vast majority of the rendering and graphics tests.

amd radeon pro w5500 style 1

AMD set the new Radeon Pro W5500's MSRP at $399 and cards are readily available for that price at various on-line retailers currently. At that price, the Radeon Pro W5500 is selling for roughly half of the Radeon Pro W5700's price. It also represents a much lower introductory price than the previous generation; the Radeon Pro WX 7100 was introduced at $629. Considering the Radeon Pro W5500's better overall performance in graphics workloads, it's quieter operation, and better power consumption characteristics, we can't help but like the new Radeon Pro W5500 and the value proposition it delivers. If you're in the market for an affordable, more mainstream professional GPU, the new Navi-based Radeon Pro W5500 with RDNA is absolutely worth a look.


   
  • Good Graphics Performance
  • Cool and Relatively Quiet
  • Single-Slot Form Factor
  • Aggressive Pricing
  • Lower FP32/FP64 Perf Then Previous Gen
  • No USB-C For VR HMDs



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