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AMD Radeon RX 550 2GB Review

Temperature & Frequency

Temperature and clock rate are related to each other, so we track boost frequencies during the warm-up phase to see how heat affects performance.

The results stop us dead in our tracks. MSI specifies a maximum boost setting of 1203 MHz. However, the best that its RX 550 Aero ITX 2GB can do is 1183 MHz. That's AMD's reference clock rate, and even then it's only hit once. Otherwise, this card operates anywhere from 1141 to 1164 MHz on average in spite of a 57°C maximum temperature. In other words, PowerTune keeps MSI's factory overclock from doing anything to benefit performance.

Those numbers get worse during our stress test. The card ends up averaging just 820 MHz. That's a far cry from the 1100 MHz base clock rate promised in AMD's official specifications. At least MSI adheres to the 50W board power maximum. As a result, we see temperatures that are similar to our gaming loop measurements.

Board Temperatures

The infrared picture of MSI's RX 550 Aero ITX 2GB’s board after warming up in a closed case shows us that the package temperature of 57°C is consistent with the GPU diode’s output. The rest of the board doesn’t really exceed 60°C anywhere, which is a good result.

The memory’s temperature rises during our stress test, but not by much, and certainly not enough to necessitate more aggressive cooling.


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  • dstarr3
    Wow, can't even hit 60fps in Doom. Talk about a sheep in wolf's clothing. This is barely a step above those $30 GPUs that you buy strictly because you don't have onboard graphics.
    Reply
  • TechyInAZ
    19617624 said:
    Wow, can't even hit 60fps in Doom. Talk about a sheep in wolf's clothing. This is barely a step above those $30 GPUs that you buy strictly because you don't have onboard graphics.

    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.
    Reply
  • LucoTF
    I think if it comes down $10-$20 it will be a contender, it does solidly outperform AMD APUs and hopefully will help to keep our more budget orientated gamers away from the A8s and A10s...
    Reply
  • jaber2
    How is this even "Gaming"?
    Reply
  • MCMunroe
    I don't understand why these are all full height double width cards. Wouldn't the only purpose be to install in a small form factor case?
    Reply
  • TallestJon96
    They should be selling the old 460 as the 550, for $80, and then sold this gpu as the 540 for $50-$60.

    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
    Reply
  • Glock24
    Very dissapointing for the price. At $50 might make more sense. Then again, I would only use this for a system without IGP for video acceleration.

    On a side note, images finally load correctly using Firefox on Android.
    Reply
  • Joe Black
    Face it... Its a 720p card. Just like something like the a10-7890K using integrated graphics is good for 720p gaming too.

    That's the value proposition that should be explored. the A10 w. integrated, or the 550 discreet.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    19617777 said:
    They should be selling the old 460 as the 550, for $80, and then sold this gpu as the 540 for $50-$60.
    There is a very simple reason nobody makes new GPUs for under $80: there is next to no profit to be made from them.

    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.
    Reply
  • ohim
    The card is for E-Sports gaming and instead of starting with CS/DOTA etc you start with Doom and BF1.. games for which the card is not intended :)
    Reply