AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT Review: Navi Targets 1080P Gamers

AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT - Setup, VR Mark, and Unigine Superposition

How We Configured Our Test Systems: We tested the graphics cards represented in this article on a Gigabyte Aorus X299 Gaming 7 Pro motherboard powered by an Intel Core i9-9980XE 16-core processor and 32GB of G.SKILL DDR4 RAM clocked at 2,666MHz. The first thing we did when configuring the test system was enter the UEFI and set all values to their "high performance" default settings and disabled any integrated peripherals that wouldn't be put to use. The memory's clock was manually dialed in to ensure optimal memory performance at the processor's maximum supported speed of 2,666MHz (without overclocking), and the solid state drive was then formatted and Windows 10 Professional x64 was installed and fully updated. When the Windows installation was complete, we installed all of the drivers, games, and benchmark tools necessary to complete our tests.

radeon 5500xt installed

We should note that the AMD Radeon RX Vega card was tested in its default "Balanced" power mode throughout. Power Saver (slower) and Turbo (faster) power modes are also available with Vega, which would affect performance, noise output, and peak power consumption.

HotHardware's Test System
Intel Core i9 Powered
Hardware Used:
Intel Core i9-9980XE
(3 - 4.4GHz, 18-Core)

Gigabyte X299 Gaming Pro 7
(Intel X299 Chipset)

Radeon RX Vega 56
Radeon RX 5500 XT (4GB and 8GB)
Radeon RX 590
GeForce GTX 1060
GeForce GTX 1070
EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XC
EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 XC
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 Super
GeForce GTX 1650 XC

32GB G.SKILL DDR4-2666
Samsung SSD 860 Pro
Integrated Audio & Network
Relevant Software: 
Windows 10 Pro x64

NVIDIA Drivers: v441.07
AMD Drivers: Adrenalin v19.12.2

Benchmarks Used:
Unigine Superposition
3DMark "Fire Strike"
3DMark "Time Spy"
Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
Strange Brigade
Final Fantasy XV
FarCry 5

Unigine Superposition
Pseudo-DirectX / OpenGL Gaming
Superposition is a relatively new benchmark from Unigine, powered by the UNIGINE 2 Engine. It offers an array of benchmark modes, targeting gaming workloads as well as VR, with both DirectX and OpenGL code paths. There is an extreme hardware stability test built-in as well. Unigine Superposition uses the developer’s unique SSRTGI (Screen-Space Ray-Traced Global Illumination) dynamic lighting technology, along with high quality textures and models, to produce some stunning visuals. We ran Superposition in two modes using the DirectX code path – 1080p Extreme and VR Future -- to compare the performance of all of the graphics cards featured here.

unigine superposition
Unigine Superposition

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The new Radeon RX 5500 XT cards land well ahead of the GeForce GTX 1060 and GTX 1650 here, but ultimately finish behind the Polaris-based Radeon RX 590 and GeForce GTX 1660 cards. The 4GB card also manages to squeak out a victory over the 8GB card, which proves this benchmarks doesn't use more than 4GB of memory at 1080P -- this won't always be the case, though.

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Unigine's VR Future benchmark has the new Radeon RX 5500 XT cards moving up a rung and outpacing the Radeon RX 590, but finishing a good 20% behind the GeForce GTX 1660 cards, not to mention the higher-end, more expensive offerings.

Futuremark VRMark
Testing Rift And Vive Readiness
Futuremark’s VRMark is designed to test a PC’s readiness for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets. The benchmark does not, however, require that one of the headsets is attached to the PC to run and it uses an in-house graphics engine and content to ensure comparable results between different platforms. We ran the "Blue Room" VRMark test at defaults settings here, which is currently the most taxing test offered by the tool.

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Futuremark VRMark

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In VR Mark, the Radeon RX 5500XT cards slip back down a spot and just barely fall behind the Radeon RX 590. They do manage to outrun the GeForce GTX 1060, however, and clearly outperform the GeForce GTX 1650.

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