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.
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.
MORE: Best Graphics Cards
MORE: All Graphics Content