AMD's total board power rating for the Radeon RX 550 is 50W, and we measured worst-case gaming power consumption at 47W. Due to aggressive throttling, MSI's RX 550 Aero ITX 2GB does even better during our stress test (though not by much).
The RX 550 Aero ITX 2GB’s idle results could be improved by a watt or so if MSI slowed down its fan. As it stands, the fan spins at 1600 RPM, which isn’t necessary. Still, a 7W reading at idle is pretty low.
Gaming Power Consumption
The power consumption curve shows large fluctuations. In spite of our low-pass filter, the peaks reach 59W. At least our calculated average remains under AMD's board power specification.
The current curve follows suit. AMD's PowerTune technology intervenes when needed, and those events are easy to spot. Every time there is a spike, clock rates are throttled and the current drops massively.
Stress Test Power Consumption
The load is a lot more constant during our stress test, and we don’t observe any peaks. The RX 550 Aero ITX 2GB’s power consumption stays under 50W due to the throttling of clock rate and voltage. This is where MSI's card hits its limit. Not even manual overclocking can extract anything else out of it.
The current curve turns out as we'd expect it to during the constant load.
Motherboard Slot Utilization
Finally, let’s take a look at how well MSI's RX 550 Aero ITX 2GB conforms to the PCI-SIG’s motherboard slot specifications.
The card’s low power consumption suggests that there shouldn't be a problem, and our measurements confirm this to be true. The maximum peak of 4.6A lands well below the 5.5A ceiling.
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This is an 85$ GPU, competing with more the likes of a GT 740. So don't expect good details at such a low price point. $30 GPUs are worse than IGPUs BTW.
However, you can still find GTX 750s and 750 tis used for the price of a 550 and it performs much better.
Its hard to buy a card that you know can't keep up with the consoles. What happens when a big game comes out and you don't have the horse power to actually play it? The 460 and 560 can keep up, but the 550 might he left behind.
Save your pennies for another couple weeks and buy something better, its worth the wait
On a side note, images finally load correctly using Firefox on Android.
That's the value proposition that should be explored. the A10 w. integrated, or the 550 discreet.
Keep in mind that out of that $80 MSRP, there is a ~60% distributor and retailer markup on the manufacturer's own price, so the manufacturer itself only sees ~$50 of it to cover DRAM, GPU chip, PCB, support components, HSF, assembly, testing, packaging, R&D, marketing, gross profit margin, etc. In other words, manufacturers barely break even on those and don't want you to buy them unless your choice boils down to either that or nothing. They'd much prefer that you buy the RX560 for $20-30 more which translates to $10-20 more gross profit for the manufacturer.
Who are you going to get an alternative sub-$100 GPU from? Nvidia has bailed out of that market altogether to focus on $150+ (launch-time MSRP) GPUs.