AMD Radeon RX 5500 first benchmarks leak, ‘performance’ card which competes versus GTX 1650


That ever-reliable source, the intrepid Redditor, has come up with the goods again. Someone’s dug out the official marketing materials for AMD’s upcoming AMD Radeon RX 5500 4GB graphics card, spilling all sorts of juicy new details.

AMD pits the Radeon RX 5500 directly against the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650. The next rung up is the AMD Radeon RX 5700 8GB, which is competing with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 6GB. That’s a big performance gap that needs filling, and arguably already is filled by a Radeon RX 590 8GB.

Based on AMD’s performance chart, Team Red is looking at phasing out the AMD Radeon RX 570, AMD Radeon RX 580, and AMD Radeon RX 590, replaced solely by the Radeon RX 5500. It looks a bit odd, to be honest, particularly when the cheapest video card with 8GB VRAM is the $349 Radeon RX 5700.

AMD is targeting the Radeon RX 5500 squarely at the mainstream gaming market. We’re talking solid 1080p performance for AAA games as well as top-drawer eSports performance. It’ll be the cheapest 7nm video card yet, and also the cheapest to support AMD’s new RDNA GPU architecture.

The Radeon RX 5500 and GeForce GTX 1650 have been put head-to-head in a series of performance benchmarks from AMD, with the Radeon RX 5500 obviously coming out the clear winner. The Radeon RX 5500’s performance is tested at 1080p screen resolution among modern AAA titles and eSports favourites.

As always with these things, the comparisons seem a little disingenuous. Among the tested games, AMD’s Radeon RX 5500 is faster than the GeForce GTX 1650 in all scenarios, with AMD claiming an expected 49% higher frame rates in comparison. The truth of the matter, then, is the Radeon RX 5500 is actually going to be competing with the GeForce GTX 1650 Super and GeForce GTX 1660, rather than Nvidia’s $150 GeForce GTX 1650. 

Unless, and this is a critical point, the Radeon RX 5500 is priced to match the $149 GeForce GTX 1650. If an RX 5500 is $149 and outperforms a GeForce GTX 1650 by almost 50%, then we’re beginning to see something interesting take shape. This would undercut the Radeon RX 580 while delivering faster performance.

Whatever the case, this all leaves a big performance and price gap ($200) between the Radeon RX 5500 and Radeon RX 5700 series. This is the area filled by the GeForce GTX 1660 and GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, to which AMD doesn’t quite have a current-gen answer yet. Could it be time to dig up that old rumour of a Radeon RX 5600 series again, or is it the more likely scenario that we’re looking at the Radeon RX 5500 XT? I know I’d prefer to know exactly what’s filling that gap before buying a Radeon RX 5500.

What are your thoughts on this then, is AMD looking competitive in the mainstream graphics card market once again? Or is it going to take something a little more special? Let us know below!