Back in 2018, ASRock jumped feet first into the GPU market. ASRock has been known for making good motherboards but jumping into the GPU market with other players such as Gigabyte, Asus, and Zotac is a pretty big risk. But, no risk, no reward. I finally have my hands on an ASRock GPU and it is the ASRock Radeon RX 5500 XT Phantom Gaming GPU. The RX 5500 is the budget GPU from AMD and is designed to be lower cost but still delivers great performance at 1080p. Keeping the price right at $200.00 means that ASRock can be competitive in the budget arena and since this is from their Phantom Gaming series, a bit of bling with their colors may just top it off for you.
|Graphics Engine||AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT|
|Bus Standard||PCI Express 4.0 x8|
|Engine Clock||Boost Clock: Up to 1845 MHz
Game Clock: 1737 MHz
Base Clock: 1685 MHz
|Memory Clock||12 Gbps|
|Resolution||Digital Max Resolution: 8K HDR 60 Hz|
|Interface||3 x DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC 1.2a
1 x HDMI 2.0b
|Power Connector||1 x 8-pin|
|Accessories||1 x Quick Installation Guide|
|Dimensions||240.57 x 127.16 x 41.92 mm|
The packaging for the RX 5500 XT is wrapped in the Phanton Gaming color scheme and fonts. The front of the box clearly shows this is a Phantom Gaming card and which series it belongs to. In this case, this is the Radeon RX 5500 XT. On the back, ASRock dives into more detail on the features and specifications of the Phantom Gaming 5500 XT.
Upon opening the box, you’ll be presented with a foam top layer that lifts to reveal the Phantom Gaming RX 5500 XT securely tucked away and wrapped in an antistatic bag. You won’t find much of an installation kit and I wouldn’t expect to with this GPU. A quick start guide is all that’s included.
A Closer Look at the Phantom Gaming RX 5500 XT
After unwrapping the card, you can see the design of the fan shroud. The main body of the shroud is made of black plastic with red highlights on the ridges. The gunmetal grey brushed aluminum accent pieces are made from plastic as well. The main feature on the top side of the card is the two 90mm fans used to cool it. The dimensions of the GPU are 240.57 x 127.16 x 41.92 mm
Flipping the card over shows a metal backplate that covers the full length of the PCB and maintains the Phantom Gaming theme set by ASRock’s RX 5700 XT. While the PCB is short, it is a little unusual to see a metal backplate on a $200.00 GPU.
Making our way around the Phantom Gaming RX 5500 XT, we’ll start with the I/O. To get you connected there are three DisplayPort 1.4 connectors and a single HDMI 2.0b connector. The maximum resolution this card can support is 8K (7680×4320) at 60 Hz.
On the showing edge, the prominent feature is the Phantom Gaming logo. This is an RGB logo that can be controlled with ASRock’s Polychrome software. The shroud does a good job of mostly hiding the heat sink. As well, a single 8-pin PCIe power connector is all that is required to power the Phantom Gaming RX 5500 XT.
The very back of the card shows more of the heatsink exposed. The last part of the heatsink extends a bit past the PCB which allows airflow to pass through the fins of the heat sink with little resistance.
The motherboard side of the GPU shows a bit more of the copper heat pipes used to keep it cool. I think the contrast of copper, black, and gunmetal grey is eye-catching. Too bad it is all hidden next to the motherboard.
Dual 90mm fans are perched on the top of the Phantom Gaming RX 5500 XT. The blades are translucent and when spinning almost disappear. If you were to vertical mount the GPU, I think it would give an interesting effect.
Test System and Synthetic Benchmarks
||Product Name||Provided By|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-9700K (Retail)||Intel|
|Motherboard||Aorus Z390 Pro||Gigabyte|
|Memory||G.Skill SniperX 2x8GB @ 3400MHz 16-16-16-36 (XMP)||G.Skill|
|Drive||Samsung 240 EVO 256GB SSD, Crucial MX500 1 TB SATA III SSD||Samsung/Crucial|
|Video Cards||ASRock Phantom Gaming RX 5500 XT, Gigabyte Radeon RX 5500 XT, XFX Radeon RX 5600 XT, AMD Radeon RX 5700, EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 KO||AMD/ASRock/XFX/EVGA|
|Monitor||BenQ EL2870U 28 inch 4K HDR Gaming Monitor 3840×2160 @ 60 Hz|
|Power Supply||Cooler Master Silent Pro M2 1500W||Cooler Master|
|Operating System||Windows 10 1909 x64 Pro with latest patches and updates|
There are many ways to benchmark GPUs. With these benchmarks our goal is to do two things: first to show the performance of the card and secondly to make them easy to replicate. With a similarly configured system, you should be able to get similar results to compare your current graphics card against. There will always be a variance from system to system. All games for this review are tested with the HIGHEST IN-GAME PRESET unless otherwise specified. A fresh build of 1909 and all drivers and games were installed. No changes were made from the defaults in the BIOS, Windows 10 operating system, or provided manufactures software.
Game frame rates are averaged from the results of 3 benchmark runs at each resolution.
3DMark Firestrike from Futuremark is a Semi-synthetic DirectX11 benchmark designed for high-performance gaming PCs. Firestrike performs advanced geometry, illumination and particle tests with its Graphics benchmark and performs physics simulations using the CPU. Firestrike Ultra Kicks it up a notch and ratchets up the resolution to 4K and turns the quality up a bit.
Firestrike Ultra is pretty brutal on any graphics card and especially budget cards. However, the Phantom Gaming RX 5500 XT does well as it outscored the Gigabyte RX 5500 XT with a score of 3749 in the graphics arena.
If Firestrike Ultra is brutal, Timespy Extreme is uber brutal. Both RX 5500 XT cards scored about the same here. Only a couple of points separate them and are well within the margin of error.
The Orange Room test from VR Mark represents VR performance with the original HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. There’s a very slight advantage for the Phantom Gaming RX 5500 XT in this benchmark, but not much of one.
The Cyan Room Benchmark represents high-end VR hardware such as the Rift S. Both of the 5500 XT cards are very close in performance, however, if we were to call a leader, it would be the Phantom Gaming GPU.
Finally, there is the Blue Room benchmark. This is designed to test GPUs at future VR Hardware and brings a lot of cards to their knees. The RX 5500s are tied with no clear leader.
The Superposition benchmark sees the two RX 5500 XTs nearly tie in performance once more although a slight advantage goes to the ASRock GPU.
When we bump the resolution to 8K, only two points separate the ASRock and Gigabyte cards.
Phantom Gaming RX 5500 XT Gaming Benchmark
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Borderlands 3 is an action role-playing first-person shooter video game developed by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games. It is the sequel to 2012’s Borderlands 2, and the fourth main entry in the Borderlands series. Borderlands 3 was released on 13 September 2019 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and on 30 October 2019 for Apple macOS.
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This the only oddity in the benchmark charts. The Phantom Gaming RX 5500 XT outscored the Gigabyte 5500 XT by a large margin. I re-ran the tests on both cards multiple times with the same result with each benchmark run.
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Phantom Gaming RX 5500 XT Conclusion and Final Thoughts
My first experience with an ASRock GPU was a good one. It performed exactly as I would expect considering that I reviewed the Gigabyte RX 5500 XT a few months before. The GPU is consistently able to deliver playable framerates at 1080p which is exactly where AMD wanted this card to be. Granted, we’re not over 60 FPS in a few games I benchmarked at the highest in-game settings and dropping the graphics fidelity down a notch or two will increase performance. As I was benchmarking and playing games over the last few weeks, I really didn’t notice any performance hiccups. Gameplay remained smooth. The most time I spent in-game was with Far Cry New Dawn and while it is an AMD optimized title, it runs very well on the 5500 series.
As far as overclocking, I’ve had an extremely rough time overclocking AMD Radeon RX 5XXX series cards. I think the RX 5600 was the only card that I could get to overclock. However, stock speeds put this GPU at a base clock of 1685 MHz, a game clock of 1737 MHz, and a boost clock up to 1845 MHz and temperatures hovered right around 60°C during a heavy gaming session.
The current driver suite is much better as well. across the board, I saw a slight uptick in performance but I also experienced quite a bit more stability. Between reviews, I’ll grab the latest driver and start testing to keep benchmarks current, etc. The current AMD GPU driver is more stable now than the one released a few months ago. I didn’t experience any black screens when launching games nor did I experience any crashes. Overall, the experience was very smooth but it hasn’t always been that way. I still lack the 1600 series GPUs from Nvidia to compare against. So, I can only base the results on what I’ve actually tested.
One of my hangups with the gigabyte RX5500 XT was the price. At the time of this review, the Gigabyte RX 5500 XT retails on Newegg for 249.97. This is a $50.00 mark up over the AMD suggested price of $199. The ASRock Phantom Gaming RX 5500 XT retails on Newegg for $199 at the time of this review. This makes the Phantom Gaming RX 5500 XT a great value. The card performs well at 1080p as it should. Even better, it is as close to MSRP as you can get. If you’re looking to build a gaming rig and not break the bank, the Phantom Gaming RX 5500 XT from ASRock should really make your list.