AMD's budget-price Radeon RX 550 is aimed squarely at esports competitors and those with a penchant for indie games.
Radeon RX 550 at a glanceHow powerful is the RX 550? It packs entry-level gaming performance designed to handle esports titles and indie games.
When did the RX 550 come out? AMD launched the RX 550 on 18 April 2017.
How much does the RX 550 cost? Depending on RAM size, the RX 550 typically ranges between $120 and $190.
What is the RX 550?
The RX 550 is the cheapest entry in AMD's Radeon RX 500 graphics card line. It's aimed predominantly at players of competitive games like DOTA 2, Counter-Strike and Overwatch as well as gamers who prefer less-graphically-demanding indie games to big budget visual spectacles like Call of Duty and Battlefield.
Rather than pit the it against other dedicated graphics cards, AMD pitches it more as a superior alternative to the integrated graphics solutions included with many basic desktop PCs. As such, it not only boasts solid entry-level gaming performance but a host of entertainment features suitable for a home theatre set-up. Enhanced power efficiency, support for 4K and compatibility with HDR and HDCP technologies make the RX 550 a versatile addition to any home theatre PC.
Like most cards in the Radeon RX 500 line, the RX 550 comes in two configurations: one with 2GB of GDDR5 memory and one with 4GB of GDDR5 memory. Both configurations are otherwise identical, sporting 128-bit memory buses, 7Gbps memory speeds and base/boost GPU clocks of 1100MHz/1183MHz.
In keeping with its affordable price tag, the minimum requirements for the RX 550 are relatively humble. So long as you have a free PCIe 3.0 slot with room for a dual-width card and at least a 400W power supply, you're good – there's no need for any external power connectors since the RX 550 only draws 50W of juice directly from the motherboard. Just bear in mind that these requirements may differ slightly depending on the specific brand and variant of card you're looking at.
What features does the RX 550 support?
AMD packs its Radeon RX 500 cards with plenty of extra features designed to enhance your gaming experience. These features span both hardware and software. The most pertinent of these are:
- Radeon Chill adaptive power-saving technology
- Eyefinity multi-display technology
- Virtual Super Resolution super-sampling
- Vulkan API support
- Radeon ReLive recording software
- DirectX 12
- HDCP 2.2
- HDMI 2.0b
- DisplayPort 1.4 HDR
- TressFX hair physics
How powerful is the RX 550?
As a budget-priced graphics card, the RX 550's performance is relatively modest compared to other graphics cards on the market. While it can run modern 3D games, you'll need to dial the settings down to Low and limit the resolution to 1080p to achieve a smooth experience in most titles. Depending on the game, this may mean a slick 60fps or a stable 30fps.
If your interest lies in less-taxing games like League of Legends, DOTA 2 and CS:GO, the RX 550 is perfectly capable of hitting 100fps+ on High settings at 1080p. This makes it an excellent option for esports players looking to build a wallet-friendly gaming rig.
Similarly, those who prefer smaller 2D and 3D indie games will find the RX 550 more than capable at resolutions of 1080p or lower. Certain games may prove more demanding than others, of course, but in general the RX 550 makes for a solid indie gaming graphics solution.
RX 550 availability and price
The RX 550 went on sale on 18 April 2017 in both its 2GB and 4GB configurations. It typically retails for between $120 and $190 depending on the configuration, the brand and any additional features a specific variant includes.
RX 550 specs
- Base clock speed
- Boost clock speed
- 2GB/4GB GDDR5
- Memory speed
- Memory bus
- Card length
- Card width
- Dual slot
- Card height
- Power draw
- Recommended system power
- Power connectors
- No external power required
- No. HDMI ports
- No. Display Ports
- No. DVI ports
- DirectX support