When it is all said in done I think that AMD has put together an excellent product in their RX 5500 XT. As we mentioned this card is made to replace the aging RX 580/570 cards and it does that as it has better performance and does it with better power efficiency. I think AMD is smart by allowing gamers to choose between a 4GB variant ($169) and 8GB variant ($199). So if you have a 1080p (1920 x 1080) monitor all you need is the 4GB variant, but if you wanted to maybe squeeze in 1140p (2560 x 1140) gaming or play at 1080P with the settings turned all the way up you can go for the 8GB variant.
The problem with this card really comes down to the massive amounts of “Polaris” based RX 580 and 570 cards that are still out there and how you can pick them up for around $100 used. These cards provide similar performance and if you can get one for $100 less than this card, that extra $100 can go pretty far in a budget build. This also means that there really is no need to update if you are rocking an RX 580/570. This really is not AMD’s fault, it is just going to take time for those older cards to disappear.
Getting more into performance this really is a card that was specifically made for 1080p gaming. We were able to achieve over 60 FPS in most of our test games with the settings cranked all the way up. You should easily be able to get 60+ FPS in your favorite esports titles too. Again this cards does this with better power efficiency than the RX 580 / RX 570. In our testing this card traded blows with NVIDIA’s GTX 1660 ($199), but like all AMD vs NVIDIA comparisons it really comes down to each title, as this card excelled in Battlefield V and FarCry 5, but did pretty bad in Final Fantasy XV and Metro Last Light.
Another thing this card has going for it is AMD’s new Adrenalin 2020 software. Not only is this software better than NVIDIA’s Control Panel (not GeForce Experience), but you also get features like Radeon Boost which will give you more performance in specific titles. I haven’t had time to test this feature, but from what I’ve seen it definitely helps out a lot. The big games that support this are PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Overwatch, and Borderlands 3.
Sapphire’s Pulse card in particular is a great choice when it comes to an RX 5500 XT. It is going to give you a factory overclock, custom cooling solution and a pretty sleek aluminum full-cover backplate. Being that the Pulse line sits below Sapphire’s top of the line Nitro+ line it is nice to see an aluminum backplate. We’ve seen other companies only offer a metal backplate on their top-end models. Right now this card is selling at our favorite online retailer for $209.99, which is only a $9.99 premium over a reference card. Another thing to consider is that you do get Monster Hunter World + 3 months of Xbox Game Pass for free when you buy this card. Overall ThinkComputers gives the Sapphire Pulse RX 5500 XT 8GB Graphics Card a 9 out of 10 score.
– Better power efficiency than the previous generation
– Excellent 1080P performance
– Pretty quiet during gaming scenarios
– Adrenalin 2020 software and Radeon Boost
– Sapphire’s TriXX software
– Not worth upgrading if you have a Polaris-based RX 580