GPUs Graphics Reviews

Caught in frog green sandwich: MSI Radeon RX 5500 XT Gaming X in test – price will decide success


I wish the answer had been clearer and the launch as such also more optimal. In order to do justice to the RX 5500 XT, you have to invest a lot of time in the details to understand the idea behind it. The implementation of the board partners as a finished product is a second, completely independent assessment when it comes to preparing a menu that is as tasty as possible from the available products and later bringing it to the man (or woman, or even it).

Let’s start with the positive and stay in the red family for the time being. The Radeon RX 5500 XT can completely replace Polaris, yes it should and must. You save yourself (and the environment) up to 100 watts of power consumption, as a result of which the resulting waste heat and thus also the now superfluous noise emission during the cooling of the whole story. Depending on the drivers and games, the performance is sometimes above, at or just below the level of the Radeon RX 590 with the best factory overclocking. The driver’s new GUI is really good and many of the new features are convincing, even if not everything is really new and works as desired right away.

But where AMD is standing on its own two feet is the alliance with Apple, which as a result is withholding the full expansion of the Navi 14 card from the normal consumer market. Of course, as an outsider you can’t (and shouldn’t) judge which (certainly also financial) reasons led to this alliance, but as a potential customer I would feel a bit downgraded to economy seating. But with the only 22 CU of this card, AMD gets into the uncomfortable position to get between two Nvidia cards and they have to be careful not to get crushed exactly there.

Let’s leave the price aside for a moment, which will or must develop further and stay with the performance for the time being. The intention to choose the GeForce GTX 1650 Super as a counterpart is laudable, but actually the fight between bee and bumblebee when it comes to power consumption and efficiency. The huge gap has become much smaller, but it still gapes quite well. The very late launch could also be due to the desire to sell a card as fast as possible, no matter how far away you are from the sweet spot. The main thing is to grill your competitor or your own Polaris counterpart. Despite everything, this is only partially successful, but also no reason for despair, as long as the price is right.

And that’s exactly where it gets close for AMD when you look at the current street prices of Jensen’s Pixel-Supermarket. There is now such a wide spread of products and overlapping prices between the different performance classes that finding the right place on the shelf could be a hell of a job. There are already several GeForce GTX 1660s on the shelf, while some GTX 1650s are included in the pharmacy’s list as Super Susi lady of honour. In order to find the right place for the RX 5500 XT, you would need a real navigation device.

MSI RX 5500 XT Gaming X 8G

Good circuit board, even better cooling and a very confident appearance. You don’t have to write much more, because the card doesn’t allow itself any mistakes. With an MSRP of 219 Euro communicated by MSI, you are clearly below the street price of the MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X 6GB and 205 Euro for the MSI GTX 1650 Super Gaming X 4GB. If you now compare the feature set, implementation and performance, the purchase of the new navigation card within the MSI universe would be a good idea. But definitely only as an 8 GB version.

Unfortunately there are competitors and also much simpler knitted cards, where a GeForce GTX 1660 is already available for less than 200 Euro. But what does the customer want in the end? An enticingly fast asphalt pick with a roaring radiator or a solid, almost inaudible traveling executive that barely performs worse over the entire distance but reacts slower when overtaking? With this RX 5500 Gaming XT, MSI has opted for the cosy sofa corner, including wellness for the ears. You can live with that comfortably and it is also the reason why I got the buying tip from the cross. It’s the better RX 590, much more economical and quiet, so you have to look several times to see if it really works.

If you only look at the pure performance per Euro, you are definitely at the wrong place, you have to add that to be fair. But diversity is still better than simplicity and in the end everyone should be happy according to his taste. As already mentioned several times, Nvidia is in the comfortable position to offer cards for every situation in an almost inflationary fragmentation. This has to be done first of all. However, they had enough time.

MSI GTX 1650 Gaming X 4G

You can tell there’s been some savings here. Without a backplate and with only half as much memory, the almost 15 Euros that lie between this card and the MSRP for the new RX 5500 XT from MSI cannot be justified. The only small surcharge will be worthwhile in any case, as long as it should be such a MSI card. The card itself does not do anything wrong, is rock solid and above all very economical as well as whisper quiet. This makes it extremely interesting, but also makes it more expensive. The current street price is already more than 30 Euros above the cheapest model in the available range.

In particular, it has the same problem as the RX 5500 XT in general: too many chips in too many models and versions and in the end it’s just too expensive for many people.


The big gala with surprise guest and bright red champagne is unfortunately cancelled today, but Lisa’s Chip Catering offers a nice and solid saturation package, which can be packed more or less elaborately, depending on your requirements and preferences. No more, but no less. This can also lead to enthusiasm on the part of the target group, albeit not so enthusiastically. Sometimes it is not enough to be really good if there is a better one in the class. But who wants in the end the girls and the large money to have, does not have to be necessarily the classprimus. Chic clothes and clever self-marketing have always been the better idea. Just by the way, even when it comes to launches. Ask Jensen.

Navi 14 is a nice chip, which represents a genuine advancement, one may not discuss this away. However, it did not do justice to the victory today, the cards are simply (still) too expensive. If you already want to keep the super chance, then also with a super price. Well, let’s take a look in a few weeks.



Danke für die Spende

Du fandest, der Beitrag war interessant und möchtest uns unterstützen? Klasse!

Hier erfährst Du, wie: Hier spenden.

Hier kannst Du per PayPal spenden.

About the author

Igor Wallossek

Editor-in-chief and name-giver of igor'sLAB as the content successor of Tom's Hardware Germany, whose license was returned in June 2019 in order to better meet the qualitative demands of web content and challenges of new media such as YouTube with its own channel.

Computer nerd since 1983, audio freak since 1979 and pretty much open to anything with a plug or battery for over 50 years.

Follow Igor:
YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter