So far 2017 has been a huge success for AMD.
With the release of the Ryzen processors, AMD has taken the CPU market by storm and have put some serious pressure on Intel in the mainstream and also high-end market.
Last year, AMD introduced the first Polaris generation of GPUs and about two weeks ago, AMD revealed the Radeon RX 500 series which is a refresh of their mainstream and budget offerings based on the existing Polaris architecture.
The new RX 500 series come with bumped up clock-speeds and slightly adjusted prices.
The Radeon RX 500 series takes aim at the mainstream and lower-end market while RX Vega which will be released in the current quarter is aimed at the high-end market.
AMD is targeting the new RX 500 series cards at PC gamers who are on a 2 year old graphics card and have not made the move to 14nm technology. Some of these PC gamers are still on 28nm technology and are using graphics cards such as the Radeon 300/200 series and will benefit greatly by upgrading to 14nm technology. So in the RX 500 series, we have the RX 580, RX 570, RX 560, and RX 550 and the prices will be from $79 and up to $229. Today, we will be looking at the Radeon RX 550 that retails at $80 and is designed for PC gamers who are mainly into eSports or for people that build HTPCs.
The Radeon RX 550 does not require any additional power connection so installing it is as easy as plug and play concept. AMD says that the Radeon RX 550 is engineered for smooth 1080p/60fps in eSports titles, and this makes the Radeon RX 550 an excellent upgrade over integrated graphics processors. The Radeon RX 550 comes with many features and capabilities found in other Radeon RX 500 series products such as Free Sync, HDMI 2.0, DP 1.4 HBR, HEVC 4K decoding, Radeon Chill, Radeon ReLive, and much more.
Let's talk a bit more about the pricing of the RX 550. AMD has priced the Radeon RX 550 at $80 which I strongly think it's priced too high and should have been more around $70. The reason why I think the RX 550 is priced too high at $80 is because the RX 460 which also retails for $80 and also doesn't require a PCIe power connector, is much faster than the RX 550 while costing the same. People who are on a budget will not being going with the much slower RX 550 over the similarly priced RX 460 that has 896 Stream processors compared to 512 Stream processors in the RX 550. If the RX 550 was about $10 less, it would have been perfect and it would have no problems selling like hot cakes.
|AMD Radeon RX 500 Series Lineup|
|Model:||Radeon RX 550||Radeon RX 560||Radeon RX 570||Radeon RX 580||Process Node:||14nm FinFET||14nm FinFET||14nm FinFET||14nm FinFET||GPU Model:||Polaris 12|
|Polaris 20 XL|
|Polaris 20 XLX
|Architecture:||4th Gen GCN||4th Gen GCN||4th Gen GCN||4th Gen GCN||Cores:||512||1024||2048||2304||Base Clock:||1100 MHz||1090 MHz||1168 MHz||1257 MHz||Boost Clock:||1183 MHz||1287 MHz||1244 MHz||1340 MHz||Compute Units:||8||16||32||36||Memory Clock (Effective):||1750 (7000) MHz||1750 (7000) MHz||1750 (7000) MHz||2000 (8000) MHz||Computing Power (FP32):||1,126 GFLOPS||2,232 GFLOPS||4,784 GFLOPS||5,788 GFLOPS||Memory Size:||2GB GDDR5||2GB GDDR5||4GB GDDR5||8GB GDDR5||TDP:||50W||80W||150W||185W||Memory Bus Width:||128-bit||128-bit||256-bit||256-bit||Memory Bandwidth:||112 GB/s||112 GB/s||224 GB/s||256 GB/s||Interface:||PCIe 3.0 x8||PCIe 3.0 x8||PCIe 3.0 x16||PCIe 3.0 x16||Transistors:||2.2 Billion||3 Billion||5.7 Billion||5.7 Billion||Die size:||101 mm²||123 mm²||232 mm²||232 mm²||TMUs:||32||64||128||144||ROPs:||16||16||32||32||Pixel Rate:||18.93 GPixel/s||20.40 GPixel/s||39.8 GPixel/s||42.9 GPixel/s||Texture Rate:||37.9 GTexel/s||81.6 GTexel/s||159.2 GTexel/s||193.0 GTexel/s||Price:||$79||$99||$169||$229||Release Date:||April 20, 2017||May ???, 2017||April 18, 2017||April 18, 2017|
The Radeon RX 550 is built using Polaris 12, code-named Lexa Pro and it is based on a 4th gen GCN architecture. It is composed of 2.2 billion transistors and measures 101 square millimeters. The RX 550 has a 50W TDP, a full 128-bit memory bus, and a 1100 MHz base and a 1183 MHz boost. It comes with 8 compute units, 32 TMUs, and 16 ROPs. All RX 500 series support features such as Radeon Chill which is a gameplay adaptive power saving feature, Radeon ReLive which can be used to capture, stream and share your greatest moments, AMD FreeSync Technology, and also AMD Eyefinity Technology.
AMD has sent us the MSI RX 550 Aero ITX OC 2GB model for our review. This card comes with a slight factory overclock of 1203 MHz boost clocks which shouldn't make too much of a difference in performance. With factory overclocked cards, keep in mind that you're often paying for a better cooler than for the factory overclock.
As far as dimensions go, this card measures 155mm long, 112mm tall, and 38mm wide and it weighs around 285g. This is a compact card and weighs dramatically less than a full size graphics card. It comes with three display outputs, an HDMI 2.0 port, a Dual-Link DVI port, and a DisplayPort.
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