Introduction, Design Features
[Editors’ Note: Be wakeful that pricing and facilities for video cards formed on a given graphics chip can vary, depending on a tangible label maker. AMD and Nvidia make video “reference cards” formed on their graphics processors, that they infrequently send out for review. Third-party partners—Asus, MSI, Sapphire, Gigabyte, and others—make and sell cards that mostly belong closely to those anxiety designs (“stock boards”), as good as versions with slight differences in pier configuration, clocking, onboard memory, and fans or feverishness sinks installed. Be certain a specs and ports/connections on any “partner” house you’re looking during compare what we’ve reviewed before creation any assumptions. Here, we’re reviewing an Asus chronicle of AMD’s Radeon RX 550, for that we did not see an AMD anxiety board. Versions of a RX 550 are accessible with 2GB and 4GB of memory, as we’ll plead below.]
The video-card marketplace has been enmeshed in disharmony of late, due to a ongoing Ethereum/Bitcoin-mining craze. Although this stream call seemed to be cresting during a time of this late-August 2017 writing, would-be miners were still snatching adult many midrange cards on a market, causing label prices to arise and shortening accessibility to radically 0 on certain classes of label for some stretches of time.
However, both a high-end and a low-end marketplace have remained mostly unaffected, since they aren’t optimal mining cards; possibly too pricey for their calculation output, or too underpowered. The Asus Radeon RX 550 we are looking during currently is one of a low-end crypto-dodgers, so if you’re looking for a ideal label for silver mining, you’ve come to a wrong place. This is a bill desktop graphics label that’s meant as an affordable ascent over integrated graphics, or to reinstate an comparison bill card.
In general, cards formed on AMD’s Radeon RX 550 chip, with 4GB of memory, were labelled during or around $110 during this writing, with 2GB versions hovering around $90. Radeon RX 550 cards are unequivocally directed during bill gamers: maybe cash-strapped, first-time PC builders, or some-more gifted builders who wish to ascent from an aging bill card. In this market, a categorical foe is done adult of cards formed on AMD’s somewhat comparison Radeon RX 460Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Radeon RX 570Radeon RX 480, removing tighten to a comparison card’s numbers on many of a benchmark tests. In theory, that might mean a Radeon RX 550 could be not too distant behind a RX 460, nonetheless how it competence smoke-stack adult opposite a GTX 1050…well, we’ll have to wait until we get to a benchmark contrast to answer both of those questions.
We’ll see how a Asus Radeon RX 550 performs opposite these and other cards we’ve tested in a bit. But first, let’s take a demeanour during a earthy facilities of this GPU.
Of all a graphics chips in AMD’s Radeon RX 500 series, the RX 550 is a many trimmed-down chronicle we’ve seen so far. Due to this, Asus usually indispensable to embody a singular fan for cooling on this card. Here, it’s a sincerely compress spinner, surrounded by a tiny red-and-black hide that covers only about half a card’s PCB…
The single-fan pattern helps keep this label small. At 7.2 inches long, 4.4 inches wide, and 1.7 inches deep, this RX 550 should fit in all nonetheless a smallest PC cases. It’s still a full-height, dual-width card, though, so keep that in mind if you’re deliberation a tiny framework or have a compress building you’re looking to upgrade.
In terms of energy requirements, this Asus label has no delegate PCI Express connectors, instead drawing a energy true from a motherboard. The label comes with 3 video connectors: one DVI, one HDMI 2.0, and one unchanging DisplayPort…
A contingent of ports is flattering customary for a bill graphics label like a RX 550, and a 3 here should yield a tie choice for many monitors, aged and new.
The AMD Radeon RX 550 comes in dual memory flavors: 4GB and 2GB versions. Our Asus Radeon RX 550 is of a 4GB variety, with memory clocked during an effective 7,000MHz. As mentioned previously, right now a cost disproportion between 4GB and 2GB Radeon RX 550s is about $20. Doubling a volume of memory should lead to conspicuous opening gains, quite during aloft resolutions.
We haven’t nonetheless had a event to exam a 2GB Radeon RX 550, so how many of a disproportion there is between a dual we can’t contend for sure. More memory is, again, essentially a advantage for those gaming during high resolutions. But given this card’s mainstream focussed and medium abilities, it’s unequivocally usually matched for gaming during 1080p or reduce resolutions.
This card, and many others from Asus, are concordant with a company’s GPU Tweak II software. The program can be grabbed for giveaway from the company’s Web site. It allows for one-click overclocking. Running a program will arrangement a Home menu, with a concentration on 3 preset modes: OC mode, Gaming mode, and Silent mode…
In Gaming mode, a label runs during a bottom time speed of 1,183MHz. Putting a label in Silent mode drops a time by 20MHz, while OC Mode raises it by 20MHz. We were means to endorse this in a Info tab, that displays a stream GPU time speed, a default time speed, and other sum about a card…
The comparatively tiny speed boost from one mode to a subsequent should outcome in unequivocally tiny opening differences, that is what we got stepping adult from Silent to Gaming. However, a switch from Gaming to OC indeed resulted in performance decreases in a testing, instead of a approaching increases. This apparently isn’t what we’d expect, nonetheless can substantially be mostly chalked adult to a bill inlet of a chip and a compress cooling apparatus. Power pull competence be an emanate as well, given that a label has no delegate energy connectors from that to pull additional juice. The dignified of a story: This is a $110 label that unequivocally isn’t meant to be overclocked.
There is, nonetheless a Professional mode, in that we can fine-tune aspects such as memory speed, voltage, and temperature/power targets…
It’s probable that fiddling with these settings will outcome in some improved overclocking outcomes. But really, if you’re looking for improved opening than this card’s out-of-the-box settings can get you, we should step adult to a higher-powered card. Even if it were delicately overclocked, we can’t see this label and a medium cooling removing we to a subsequent level.
Also accessible from Asus in tie with this label is XSplit Gamecaster software, that allows for streaming and recording diversion play. It enables an conceal that shows live info about your graphics card, such as time speed and temperature. The program also integrates GPU Tweak II controls into a conceal interface. Users who squeeze this Radeon RX 550 or certain other subordinate cards from Asus can get a 14-day giveaway trial. Other (generally higher-end) cards come with a giveaway one-year Gamecaster permit after a emancipation process. If this interests you, we suggest checking a sum on Asus’ Web site, as a offer could change between when we wrote this and when we competence be reading it.
Just as we did while regulating this program with a Asus GeForce GTX 1060 OC Edition (9Gbps GDDR5), we found GPU Tweak II to be discerning and easy to use. However, given a reduce opening we gifted when switching to OC mode, and a fact that a label is during batch settings (thus shortening a need to switch it to Silent Mode), many users can substantially skip a GPU Tweak II program altogether.
A Few Words About Testing
As we’ve mentioned in other new video-card reviews, things are in motion these days when it comes to contrast graphics cards, since dual pivotal technologies—despite being accessible in some form for over a year now—are proof formidable to exam definitively.
The initial of these is DirectX 12 (DX12). DX12 is usually now starting to turn common in AAA titles, nonetheless there are still comparatively few real-world benchmarks for it. Still, DX12 will expected be a customary graphics API in a future, and this label was designed to final for, during a unequivocally least, a few years. So it’s critical to know if a label can hoop DX12 good before buying. We tested a Asus Radeon RX 550 with a newest DX12-capable games we had on hand, including Hitman (the 2016 edition), Rise of a Tomb Raider, and Tom Clancy’s The Division, as good as Futuremark’s DX12 benchmark, 3DMark Time Spy. We tested a garland of games regulating DirectX 11, too, since that API will still be in far-reaching use for during slightest another year, and substantially many longer.
The second record that’s a small wily to test, during present, is support for practical reality. At this writing, there are dual vital competing VR headsets, the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, with some-more entrance to marketplace soon, and it’s formidable to settle a sole exam that is germane to all VR scenarios. At a moment, we’re regulating Futuremark’s new VRMark exam to magnitude VR capability. It consists of an “Orange Room” exam designed to magnitude a card’s ability to hoop today’s games, and a “Blue Room” exam for fanciful intensely perfectionist destiny titles. The Blue Room test is so tough, no label we’ve tested to date gets a flitting class in it. So, for a moment, we’ll usually news Orange Room results.
The pivotal thing to know about VR, though: It’s usually a non-starter here. At a moment, baseline VR support for a Rift and Vive headsets starts with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060AMD Radeon RX 480Radeon RX 580Radeon RX 570. That means this Asus RX 550 is not dictated for VR use. If being VR-ready is a must, you’ll need to squeeze a some-more absolute card.