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AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT: Has AMD already borked its midrange Navi offerings?

While this is a Radeon RX 5500, it may as well be an RX 5500 XT. (Image source:
While this is a Radeon RX 5500, it may as well be an RX 5500 XT. (Image source:
The Radeon RX 5500 XT is nothing more than an RX 5500 with a wider release, according to multiple sources? The XT will share all its specifications with its non-XT sibling, although AIBs will offer it with up to 8 GB of GDDR6 VRAM, 4 GB more than the RX 5500 has. The RX 5500 XT is due to arrive on December 12 and is up for pre-order for 1,499 CNY (~US$213).

Following our last article on the impending arrival of the Radeon RX 5500 XT, some more information about AMD's next midrange card has appeared online. Sadly, it seems that the RX 5500 XT is merely a rebadged version of the RX 5500, as Videocardz had feared. The RX 5500 is only hitting the market in prebuilt systems, essentially making the RX 5500 XT the only RX 5500 series card that people can buy on its own.

The RX 5500 XT will be based on AMD's Navi 14 GPU and will feature 4 or 8 GB of GDDR6 VRAM. Meanwhile, its VRAM will operate at 14 Gbps on a 128-bit bus. The card will utilise 1,408 stream processors like the RX 5500 too, as tipster @KOMACHI_ENSAKA has confirmed. Oddly, only the Apple-exclusive Radeon Pro 5500M will support the maximum 1,536 stream processors that Navi 14 offers.

@KOMACHI_ENSAKA has also spotted that the RX 5500 XT will have a 1,685 MHz base clock, 98 MHz higher than the RX 5500 recently been reviewed by and 32 MHz lower than the one reviewed by TechPowerUp. The RX 5500 XT and RX 5500 share the same 1,845 MHz boost clock, though.

The prospect of the RX 5500 and RX 5500 XT essentially being the same cards have left us with a few questions. Firstly, it contradicts what Radeon VP Scott Herkelman remarked in July. During his now-infamous "double jebait" interview, Herkelman stated that the RX 5700 series marked the beginning of a consistent AMD GPU naming scheme "for the five to ten years". He elaborated that the 'XT' suffix denoted a top bin chip, which the performance differences between the RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT reinforced. So unless Videocardz and @KOMACHI_ENSAKA have been supplied incorrect information, then the notion of the RX 5500 and RX 5500 XT being the same cards effectively means that AMD has already abandoned that naming scheme.

In short, it seems that no true RX 5500 XT exists, or at least no true RX 5500 XT will make it to market. While the Radeon Pro 5500M has more stream processors at its disposal, it falls short of the Radeon RX 5500M in many metrics as we discovered in our recent MacBook Pro 16 review. Perhaps, the rumoured RX 5600 XT will realise the full potential of Navi 14, but that would probably make AMD's product stack even more confusing.

Videocardz has confirmed that the RX 5500 XT will launch on December 12, a date that has been reinforced by listings on Chinese retailer All RX 5500 XT SKUs are listed at 1,499 CNY, which roughly equates to US$213. However, this includes Chinese sales taxes and is not a good indication of the prices that AIBs will charge for the RX 5500 XT in other markets. According to the listings, at least the following companies will launch the RX 5500 XT on December 12:

  • ASRock
  • PowerColor
  • Sapphire
  • XFX
  • Yeston
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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 12 > AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT: Has AMD already borked its midrange Navi offerings?
Alex Alderson, 2019-12- 6 (Update: 2019-12- 6)