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

AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT - Shadow Of War, Tomb Raider, Strange Brigade

Monolith’s surprisingly fun Orc-slaying title Middle Earth: Shadow of War, delivers a ton of visual fidelity even at its lower quality settings. So, to maximize the eye-candy on these high-end graphics cards, we used the game’s Ultra quality preset and ran the benchmark routine at a couple of resolutions, topping out at 4K -- or, excuse us, 3840x2160 for the sticklers out there. All of the game's graphics-related options were enabled, along with Temporal AA and Camera Blur. We should note this is the latest installment in the successful game series and our review of Shadow of War is right here, if you'd like to catch up on the happenings in Middle Earth.

Middle Earth: Shadow of War Performance
Glorious Orc-Slaying Action

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Middle-Earth: Shadow of War

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In the Middle Earth: Shadow Of War benchmark, we see the Radeon RX 5500 XT cards offering up 83 FPS at 1080P, which puts them behind the Vega 56 and RX 590, but ahead of all of the mainstream GeForce cards we tested. With the resolution cranked up to 1440P, the GeForce GTX 1660 cards are able to overtake the Radeon RX 5500 XTs, however, and we see the 4GB variant trailing the 8GB card by a couple of frames per second.

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The frame and render time data in Shadow Of War jibes with the frame rates above (as you would expect), and shows the Radeon RX 5500 XT cards taking a touch longer to crank through the workloads than the Radeon RX 590.
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
DirectX 12 Benchmarks
Rise of the Tomb Raider is a sequel to the 2013 reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise, which takes protagonist Lara Croft back to her explorative “tomb raiding” roots in a deep origin story. The game, however, was updated and enhanced with new gameplay and combat mechanics. The engine was updated as well, and offers DirectX 12 support, along with some stunning visuals. The benchmark outputs results from a number of maps; we’re reporting numbers from the “Geothermal Valley” here, along with the average score of all the maps. The game’s maximum “Very High” graphics preset was used, and all graphics-related options were enabled as well.

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Shadow Of The Tomb Raider

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Shadow Of The Tomb Raider, when tested using the highest quality graphics options, is one of those titles that will highlight the disadvantages of a smaller 4GB frame buffer. Here, the 8GB Radeon RX 5500 XT finishes right on top of the Radeon RX 590, whereas the 4GB card trails by a fairly large margin at both resolutions (especially in terms of minimum frame rate). The GeForce GTX 1660s have a clear advantage in this game as well.

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The 95% frame rate data shows a similar trend, with the 8GB Radeon RX 5500 XT clearly outrunning the 4GB version at both resolutions.

Strange Brigade
DirectX 12 (Or Vulcan!) Benchmarks
Strange Brigade is a third-person action game set in Egypt in the 1930s that takes gamers on an various adventures to explore ruins, solve puzzles, and uncover valuable treasures, while also blasting through an array of un-dead enemies. This game has both DirectX and Vulcan code paths and makes use of Asynchronous Compute as well. We tested Strange Bridge with its Ultra graphics preset with A-Sync compute enabled at a couple of resolutions.
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Strange Brigade

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The new Radeon RX 5500 XT cards finish right on top of the GeForce GTX 1660 at 1080P in Strange Brigade, but once again trail the Radeon RX 590. With the resolution cranked up to 1440P, the Radeon RX 5500 XTs are able to break the 60 FPS mark with high-quality settings, but still trail the RX 590.

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Render times in Strange Brigade tell essentially the same story as the frame rate date and show the new Radeon RX 5500 XT cards cranking out the frames at a lower pace than the Radeon RX 590, but faster than the GeForce GTX 1660, 1650, and 1060 (at 1080P).

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