AMD may be spicing up the graphics card game with the Radeon RX 5500 XT

AMD Radeon RX 5500XT
(Image credit: Future)

AMD may not keep us waiting much longer for the anticipated Radeon RX 5500, which the company unveiled back in October. The new graphics card, particularly the rumored Radeon RX 5500 XT could be coming next week, according to VideoCardz.

There's still little detail on the Radeon RX 5500 XT. We know the 5500-series graphics cards will have 22 compute units with 1408 stream processors, a bit more than half of those found on the RX 5700 XT. The new cards will use a 128-bit memory bus (half that of the 5700-series) and offer up to 8GB of GDDR6, according to an official slide from AMD, shared by Hot Hardware.

That leaves some room for guessing as to just what the RX 5500 and 5500 XT could do. The two cards would need to differentiate somehow, and if it's not in stream processors or clock speeds, it could be in memory. VideoCardz believes the RX 5500 may come exclusively with 4GB of GDDR6 memory while the RX 5500 XT could offer 4GB and 8GB variants, similar to the way the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 has come in 3GB and 6GB variants.

A contest of variety

AMD is playing a hard game against Intel on the processor side and Nvidia on the graphics processor side. This has been working for AMD in the processor fight, with Ryzen CPUs stealing market share from Intel, but Nvidia's cards still offer the most power at the high end.

AMD has still managed to make progress against Nvidia's market share, and these new Radeon RX 5500-series cards could help it snag even more of the budget market. Team Red will be positioned to challenge Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1650 and 1660 models, including the Ti and Super versions. Given that Nvidia effectively has six graphics processors in the low-to-mid-range space, it makes sense for AMD to introduce more than just one version of the RX 5500.

Leaked benchmarks have shown the Radeon RX 5500 giving the GTX 1650 serious competition, and a higher-spec 5500 XT could be the card to run against the GTX 1660. If the new graphics cards come out this month, we may get to see just how the competition heats up just in time for the next big shopping rush.

Mark Knapp

Over the last several years, Mark has been tasked as a writer, an editor, and a manager, interacting with published content from all angles. He is intimately familiar with the editorial process from the inception of an article idea, through the iterative process, past publishing, and down the road into performance analysis.