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Intro

The Radeon RX 550 is an entry-level video card from AMD, based on Polaris architecture. It has 512 processing cores and 2 GiB of RAM. Let’s see if it’s faster than its competitor, the GeForce GT 1030.

The Radeon RX 550 is based on the Lexa chip, which is a new version of the chip used in the Radeon RX 460, with fewer cores, but a higher clock rate. As its predecessor, it’s manufactured under 14 nm technology.

The standard clock for the Radeon RX 550 is 1,100 MHz, with a turbo clock of 1,183 MHz. However, the tested video card, model “GV-RX550GAMING OC-2G” from Gigabyte, uses a 1,206 MHz base clock and a 1,219 MHz turbo clock, which means an overclocking of 3%.

The Radeon RX 550 has 2 GiB of GDDR5 memory (there are also 4 GiB models), running at 7 GHz with a 128-bit bus. Thus, it has a bandwidth of 112 GiB/s.

It is important to notice that the Radeon RX 550 GPU uses a PCI Express 3.0 x8 connection, and not x16. However, this does not cause a performance decrease.

Being an entry video card, the Radeon RX 550 is aimed at less demanding games, like “E-sports”, “free-to-play”, MOBA titles, and casual gaming. It is not targeted at gamers that want to play “AAA games” with high resolution and/or high image quality.

The competitor of the Radeon RX 550 is the GeForce GT 1030 from NVIDIA. So, in this review, we compare those two video cards. We also look at a GeForce GTX 1050, which is a higher-priced video card, as well as the results with the Intel HD630 integrated video, present on the used CPU.

The Radeon RX 550 supports DirectX 12, Vulkan, and hardware H.265 video decoding and encoding, being also compatible with FreeSync (to synchronize framerate on compatible displays), Eyefinity (multiple display support), and XConnect (video card on an external case) technologies.

Figure 1 shows the Gigabyte Radeon RX 550 video card.

Gigabyte Radeon RX 550Figure 1: The Gigabyte Radeon RX 550 (GV-RX550GAMING OC-2GD)

In the table below, we compare the main specs from the video engines we included in this review.

Video card

Core clock

Turbo clock

Effective memory clock

Memory bus

Memory bandwidth

Memory

Processing cores

TDP

DirectX

Price

Gigabyte Radeon RX 550 (GV-RX550GAMING OC-2GD)

1,206 MHz

1,219 MHz

7.0 GHz

128 bit

112 GB/s

2 GiB GDDR5

512

50 W

12

USD 80

Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 (GV-N1030D5-2GL)

1,227 MHz

1,468 MHz

6.0 GHz

64 bit

48 GB/s

2 GiB GDDR5

384

30 W

12.1

USD 70

Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 Mini

1,354 MHz

1,455 MHz

7.0 GHz

128 bit

112 GB/s

2 GiB GDDR5

640

75 W

12.1

USD 100

Intel HD Graphics 630

300 MHz

1,150* MHz

**

**

**

**

24

12.1

* Depends on the CPU model.

** Depends on the memory installed.

Now let’s take a closer look at the tested video card.