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Adit Bhutani: Don't buy a RX 5500XT 4GB (but we're still selling it!)

In a blog post from last month which seems to have gone unnoticed, https://community.amd.com/community/gaming/blog/2020/05/06/game-beyond-4gb,  Adit Bhutani, the  Product Marketing Specialist for Radeon and Gaming, talks about how 4GB VRAM isn't enough for 1920x1080 gaming these days, and even provides this chart.

What's more, is that he goes on to say this:

The issue is that he attempts to compare the 5500XT, which is available in 4GB and 8GB flavors, to the nVidia GTX 1650, which is only available in 4GB. This is an issue because the RX 5500XT doesn't compete with the GTX 1650, it competes against the GTX 1660 (vanilla) which is -only- available in a 6GB model, and sells for a very similar price point to the 5500XT 8GB (currently $10 more), and he asserts that 6GB VRAM, at least on AMD video cards, is enough to enjoy gaming at max settings.

As Techspot has shown, the GTX 1660 (vanilla) outperforms the 5500XT 8GB (slightly, a few FPS, effectively the same) despite having only 6GB VRAM and sells for the same price point as the 5500XT 8GB, and even the GTX 1650 Super, which is only available as a 4GB model, performs almost as well.

And is anyone really surprised? The majority of games just aren't affected by VRAM size at 1920x1080. Yes your loading times may be longer because unused assets will be stored off card, but with SSDs, especially NVMe SSDs, even that effect is minimal. One can even make a good argument that at 2560x1440 there's negligible performance difference between 6GB and 8GB VRAM, again comparing the 8GB 5500XT to the vanilla 6GB GTX 1660 as they perform very similarly. I think we all can reason that it comes down to the lack of power of the card shows itself, it can't generate as many frames to load into the buffer and it isn't able to take advantage of the 6GB or 8GB VRAM size, and we don't see the same drastic difference we did a few years back with the 2GB vs 4GB card models.

Now, this results in two questions: Why is there a 4GB 5500XT if it is such an inferior product, even rendering DOOM Eternal unplayable at Nightmare detail levels as stated in the blog post, and why did he attempt to compare the 5500XT to the GTX 1650? I believe the answer to the second is in the disclaimer, it's his opinion, and if it's wrong it's not AMD's fault for keeping him on the payroll. Well that and he may have forgot the 1660 existed and was still for sale for as little as $10 more as the 5500XT 8GB.

The first question, however, is likely to have a card which is superior to the GTX 1650 while selling for the same price, because there is no RX 5500 (non XT), or any other lower RX 5000 series card, in the retail market.

Yet that leads to another question: Why put out that blog post which effectively tells people not to buy a product you sell? It's one thing when you're a tech review site or an end user, but when you're an employee of AMD effectively saying, "We put this card out there that's $30 cheaper, but it's not worth using, so pay us $30 more so you can experience the full performance of the card."

Would be interesting to see what the AIBs have to say about his opinions as they attempt in vain to shift their 5500XT 4GB cards...

11 Replies
hardcoregames_
Big Boss

Re: Adit Bhutani: Don't buy a RX 5500XT 4GB (but we're still selling it!)

I posted that on my site as soon as I saw it on the newswires.

I recently took decisive action and bought a RTX 2080 as Radeon cards are not powerful enough for 4K. RTX 2080 has 2944 CUDA and it even beats Vega VII along with RX 5700 XT.

I look closely at VRAM after procuring my RX 480 which is still respectable. 8GB of VRAM is pretty much mandatory for gaming at above 1920x1080. My RX 480 can play Halo at 4K which is very eye opening.

I realize not everyone has the budget for an elite video card but with higher refresh panels etc, people do not realize how demanding that is for a video card.

Eventually something will come along and beat the RTX 2080, it's inevitable. I grabbed the card more as a bandaide for gaming.

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pokester
MVP

Re: Adit Bhutani: Don't buy a RX 5500XT 4GB (but we're still selling it!)

I agree that 4gb is not enough. There are many titles going back several years now that do better with more GPU memory.

Now at 1440p on the 6gb vs 8gb, I ran into my first game I had to dial back texture to run. Doom Eternal can run with all the highest settings but will not with the textures unless you drop down a level. I won't let you run at max settings on a 6gb card, must be 8gb or better. I have found no other games so far like this. Even Metro Exodus was fine with 6gb.

I think we will see 6gb to 8gb being a necessity far faster than the move from 4gb to 6gb, then 8gb.

Depending on how the next console generations ports to pc trickle over, will be very telling. 

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hardcoregames_
Big Boss

Re: Adit Bhutani: Don't buy a RX 5500XT 4GB (but we're still selling it!)

pokester wrote:

I agree that 4gb is not enough. There are many titles going back several years now that do better with more ram.

 

Now at 1440p on the 6gb vs 8gb, I ran into my first game I had to dial back texture to run. Doom Eternal can run with all the highest settings but will not with the textures unless you drop down a level. I won't let you run at max settings on a 6gb card, must be 8gb or better. I have found no other games so far like this. Even Metro Exodus was fine with 6gb.

 

I think we will see 6gb to 8gb being a necessity far faster than the move from 4gb to 6gb, then 8gb.

 

Depending on how the next console generations ports to pc trickle over, will be very telling. 

Redmond said not to sweat it, Tokyo on the other hand was not so sympathetic

For at least the next couple of years Xbox games will still run on older Xbox One at 1920x1080 which is what it was designed for 

The Xbox One X bumped the capability to 3840x2160 with roughly the RX 480 for a GPU, that console can play existing games at 1920x1080 and the same at up to 3840x2160

So with the Xbox Series X, the same idea as applied across 3 tiers of consoles. So if your "console" is only has Xbox One hardware not to worry.

I agree with the Xbox philosophy that games can scale up as the console performance increases. This makes perfect sense as many cannot afford new consoles all the time.

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Re: Adit Bhutani: Don't buy a RX 5500XT 4GB (but we're still selling it!)

Here's the funny thing: ASUS is releasing a 2GB 550.

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pokester
MVP

Re: Adit Bhutani: Don't buy a RX 5500XT 4GB (but we're still selling it!)

Too funny! I was just going to post the same thing! Just saw Tom's Hardware, article just out on this too!

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hardcoregames_
Big Boss

Re: Adit Bhutani: Don't buy a RX 5500XT 4GB (but we're still selling it!)

so much for the reference designs

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Re: Adit Bhutani: Don't buy a RX 5500XT 4GB (but we're still selling it!)

Here's the interesting thing though, there's already a 2GB version from ASRock, and it's -more expensive- than the Sapphire 4GB version.

pokester
MVP

Re: Adit Bhutani: Don't buy a RX 5500XT 4GB (but we're still selling it!)

I personally would not pay more than $50 bucks for one of these and only as a media card, no gaming. There are several much better cards for not much more. Not sure who these are marketed to?

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hardcoregames_
Big Boss

Re: Adit Bhutani: Don't buy a RX 5500XT 4GB (but we're still selling it!)

pokester wrote:

I personally would not pay more than $50 bucks for one of these and only as a media card, no gaming. There are several much better cards for not much more. Not sure who these are marketed to?

I would not either

mt RX 480 has lots of aces in the hole for a lot of ideas

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