AMD RADEON RX 550

rx-550The AMD Radeon RX 550 is a mainstream video card that launched at $79. AMd suggests the RX 550 is about 5x more powerful than Intel IGP in the i7-6700. The RX 550 is also about double the performance of the R7 240.

  • AMD  Polaris 12 (Lexa Pro)
  • PCI Express 3.0 x8
  • 14nm FinFET
  • 512 cores
  • 8 GCN cores
  • 32 TMUs
  • 16 ROPs
  • 2048MB or  4096MB GDDR5
  • 128-bit memory
  • 1100 MHz GPU clock, 1183 boost
  • 1211 GFLOPS
  • DX12
  • OpenGL 4.6
  • Mantle 1.0
  • Vulcan 1.0
  • DVI, VGA, HDMI
  • 50W TDP

The AMD Radeon RX 550 uses the new Lexa Pro GPU which has 8 GCN cores to exceed 1 TFLOP in performance. The card uses a dual slot to afford a better cooler however some OEM models may use a single slow cooler to allow the card to be installed into smaller format chassis.

The lower cost 2GB version is quite adequate. The 4GB version is popular with those who have more than 8GB of RAM installed. Today almost all machines are now using 64-bit Windows so the VRAM will be fully available for gaming.

At idle you can expect a temperature of 28-35° C but once pushed to 100%, the temperatures will rise to ~70° C.

AS TESTED

CHASSIS RaidMax Mid Tower Chassis
MB Asus P8H61 LE/CSM
CPU Intel i3-2100
RAM 4096MB Kingston DDR3-1333
GPU AMD Radeon RX 550
PSU Corsair CS450M
MON Asus PA238QR
KB/M Microsoft Wireless Desktop 2000 & Wacom Bamboo Capture
HD WDC WD5000AAKX
OS Linux

rx-550PERFORMANCE

All of the benchmarks are available here.

This card is more than sufficiently powerful to play contemporary games at 1920×1080.

The RX 550 competes with the GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti.

GAMES AT 1920×1080

  • Counter Strike: Global Offensive (Ultra Presets, DX9) 96.6 fps
  • DOTA 2 (Best Looking Preset, DX9) 84.2 fps
  • Overwatch (Medium Presets, DX11) 98.0 fps
  • Rocket League (High Presets, DX9) 81.5 fps
  • World of Warships (High Presets, DX9). 71.2
  • Doom (Vulkan, low) 42 fps

The RX 550 clearly has enough horsepower to play many recent titles Most have standard 1920×1080 60 Hz panels and the results show all the game are rock steady.

While Doom is more demanding, there are many other games that are very playable.

VIDEO CONVERSION

We use video conversion tools as part of the creation of game video files. Using a CUDA enabled converter with H.264 can be as much as 2x faster. Using 2 threads is enough to raise the GPU usage to 90% as the encoder executes discrete cosine transforms in vast numbers. Most modern video tools now have options for both AMD and NVIDIA users.

CONCLUSION

The RX 550 for $79 is a tough competitor to the offerings from NVIDIA. The RX 550 can step your game with a vengeance.