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

Discussion created by black_zion on Jun 7, 2020
Latest reply on Jun 8, 2020 by hardcoregames™

In a blog post from last month which seems to have gone unnoticed, 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...