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GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5500 XT + RX 5600 XT Gaming OC Review — More money, more value?
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GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5500 XT + RX 5600 XT Gaming OC Review — More money, more value?

by June 4, 2020
Overview
Highlights

We test both the GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5500 XT and the Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC. If you can afford both cards, should you save some money with the lesser card, or just splurge on the higher-end GPU? Well, we have the answer.

Warranty

3 Year Warranty

Price

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming OC: RM1189
GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC: RM1589

Positives

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming OC:
+ Triple fan design looks more aggressive than most other RX 5500 XTs
+ Fans run silently and cool effectively
GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming OC:
+ Design language fits well with GIGABYTE's AORUS motherboards
+ Windforce fans cool well while running quietly
+ Excellent cooling for all components on the card
+ Good value for money

Negatives

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming OC:
- Plastic backplate
- 8-pin power connector is absolutely unnecessary
GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC:
- Limited RGB

Pokde Scoreboard
Pokde Rating
Appearance
8.0
Efficiency
7.9
Features
8.1
Materials
8.5
Performance
8.3
User Experience
8.6
Value
7.6
Bottom Line

Get the GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC if you have the budget, or cheaper Radeon RX 5500 XT options if you don't.

8.1
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We took a look at the AORUS Radeon RX 5700 XT, which proved itself to be an impressive example of a Radeon RX 5700 XT, albeit one positioned in the premium price segment. Today we will look at two more of GIGABYTE’s more affordable Radeon Navi offerings, the GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming OC and the GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC. Both cards are pretty similar, with a number of differences. Which card should you get if you are in the market for a more wallet-friendly AMD GPU? Well, read on to find out.

Unboxing

Packaging wise, they are pretty similar. Even the highlighted features are the same, because both of these are quite nearly identical.

Over on the back, we see an identical situation. There are a few changes considering the cooler design is slightly different between the GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming OC and GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC.

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In the box you get the same stuff, i.e. a quick start guide and the card itself. Both the cards look pretty similar, as GIGABYTE utilized most of the same design elements on both cards.

Appearance

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The cards look identical to most of the recent GIGABYTE cards, with three WINDFORCE fans per piece. To break up the monotony of the predominantly black fan shroud, there are a few silver accents across the card.

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The silver accents are carried over to the side as well. This is where you will begin to notice the differences between the cards. As you might expect, the higher end GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC is thicker than the GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming OC to pack in more surface area for cooling. Meanwhile the GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming OC has the advantage of cleaner cabling, with the GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC exposing more of the wires running into the shroud from the PCB.

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The backplates on these cards are also quite the different. The GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC above sports a metal backplate, while the GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming OC offers a plastic one. Considering that the latter’s cooler is also smaller and thus lighter, the less substantial backplate should suffice.

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5500 XT + RX 5600 XT Gaming OC Review — More money, more value? 29

The tail-end of the cards illustrates their differences better. The GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC sports exposed aluminium heatsinks, which the radeon GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming OC’s backplate wraps around the rear end to meet the fan shroud. I personally prefer the GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC’s design as it looks a touch cleaner, but I also understand that it is probably not a smart decision to make the metal backplate bend over the end of the heatsink as that would make the backplate more expensive to produce.

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5600 XT RX 5500 XT Review-1

For the ports, you get the standard ensemble of three DisplayPort 1.4 outputs and one HDMI 2.0b outputs on both the Radeon RX 5600 XT and RX 5500 XT. It’s a pretty nice combination, unless you are using multiple older monitors. The connectors themselves appear to be gold-plated, or at least feature copper casings.

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The RGB lighting on these cards aren’t exactly enticing. Their AORUS lineup for the NVIDIA GeForce cards definitely offer much flashier lighting. Here all you get is the glowing RGB logo. Perfect for people who prefer sleeper builds, I guess?

Specifications

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming OC, GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC

GPUAMD Radeon RX 5500 XT (Navi 14 XTX)AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT (Navi 10 XLE)
ClocksBoost: Up to 1845 MHz
Game: 1737 MHz
Boost: Up to 1620 MHz
Game: 1560 MHz
Cores1408 SP (22 CU)2304 Compute Units (36 CU)
Memory8GB GDDR66GB GDDR6
Memory Clocks14 000 MHz14 000 MHz
Memory Interface128-bit192-bit
Display outputs3 x DisplayPort 1.4
1 x HDMI 2.0b
3 x DisplayPort 1.4
1 x HDMI 2.0b
Power connector(s)1 x 8-pin1 x 8-pin
Recommended PSU450W450W
InterfacePCIe 4.0 x8PCIe 4.0 x16
Dimensions28.1 x 11.5 x 4.0 cm28.0 x 11.44 x 4.96 cm

Test Machine

CPUIntel Core i7-5820K @ 4.125 GHz
MotherboardROG Rampage V Extreme
Memory4 x 4GB Kingston HyperX Predator 3000 MHz CL15
Storage256GB Samsung 850 EVO SATA SSD
512GB Plextor M9PeY PCIe 3.0×4 NVMe SSD
256GB Toshiba PCIe 3.0×4 NVMe SSD
1TB Seagate FireCuda SSHD
Power SupplyCooler Master V850 Gold
MonitorBenQ EL2870U
GPU DriverRadeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition 20.2.2

Testing Methodology

We will be running in-game benchmarks where available, at the specified resolution(s) and at the maximum graphics preset, unless otherwise specified. Average framerates during gameplay will be recorded with Fraps, in the event of a benchmarked game not having an in-game benchmarking tool. Temperatures will be recorded with HWiNFO, and the maximum temperature in a 45-minute long Superposition stress test run will be reported. Fan speeds will be according to the default fan curve as defined by the manufacturer. The latest drivers available will be used, unless otherwise specified. Default clocks will be used, unless otherwise specified.

Performance

Synthetic

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The GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC is the weakest Radeon RX 5600 XT we have tested in Superposition, while the GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming OC understandably slots below it. The gap between the two cards is quite significant, as you might expect.

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Superposition sees a similarly large gap between the cards, and we can see where the cards generally sit in AMD and also versus NVIDIA’s product stack.

Gaming

At 1080p, we can see that the GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming OC does a pretty good job, with it delivering above 60 FPS in most of the titles we have tested. The GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC does an even better job here, with an average of 45% higher FPS across the titles we tested.

1440p is not what the Radeon RX 5600 XT is designed for, and most definitely not the Radeon RX 5500 XT. So we can see that while the GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC holds up with decent enough frame rates in most titles at 1440p, you should still opt for a stronger GPU if you want to run a 1440p monitor. Meanwhile the GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming OC is really stumbling along at this point, with the GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC being 49% faster at this point.

4K sees the gap between the GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC and GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming OC shrink to 48%, but neither card can deliver a playable experience at this point.

Thermal

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The maximum temperatures achieved by the GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC was much lower than the GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming OC, presumably due to the beefier cooler that sports five heatpipes instead of the two that the GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming OC has to make do with.

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Taking a closer look at the GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming OC, we can see that it maintains clocks of around 1849 MHz, just a touch above the 1845 MHz boost frequency that GIGABYTE has claimed for this card. Temperatures are quite well controlled, with the hotspot temperatures averaging at at around 83°C. The fan curve of this card appears to be quite effective, balancing silent operation with cool operating temperatures.

Memory temperatures are also maintained well throughout the run. However we did not have a method to observe the VRM temperatures, which was not reported in HWiNFO. Meanwhile its Radeon RX 5600 XT sibling reported the VRM temperatures.

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GIGABYTE deployed a much better cooling system for the GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC, with hotspot temperatures maintained at around 76°C. The GPU averaged 1735 MHz throughout the 1 hour Superposition run. VRM temps stabilized at just 63°C, while the GDDR6 memory was also kept at a cool 71°C. Overall, these are some pretty nice temperatures for a RX 5600 XT. While the fan speeds appear rather erratic, the GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC ran quietly, barely noticeable above the other fans on our test bench.

Conclusion

Both cards serve very different target markets, and it goes without saying that you should get the card that’s within your means. But if you can afford both cards, the GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC is definitely the card to get. It offers significantly better performance to the tune of at least 45%, while being priced rather reasonably at just RM1538, a mere 29% over the RM1189 price tag that GIGABYTE Malaysia has slapped on the GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming OC.

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5500 XT + RX 5600 XT Gaming OC Review — More money, more value? 36

It also runs significantly cooler than the other Radeon RX 5600 XTs we have tested, thanks to a more aggressive default fan profile, although it is worth noting that you most probably won’t be able to hear it in a well-designed case. The Windforce fans used on both coolers are excellent.

Our thanks to GIGABYTE Malaysia for sending us the GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming OC and GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC used in this review.

About The Author
Vyncent Chan
Technology enthusiast, casual gamer, pharmacy graduate. Strongly opposes proprietary standards and always on the look out for incredible bang-for-buck.