December 11, 2019 | 13:00
Sapphire's take on the AMD RX 5500 XT has been spotted for preorder, and it's an interesting if expensive card.
Priced on Amazon.com for $259, the Sapphire Radeon Nitro+ RX 5500 XT SE seems rather pricey for a graphics card that's intended to compete with others in the mid-range field. Despite that, the name suggests that this might be a bit higher end for a mid-range card. Confused yet? We'll explain - the Sapphire Nitro line typically involves a more generous factory overclock than the non-Nitro variety. There's also the matter that there's an SE thrown in at the end of the name, suggesting it's a special edition model.
While Amazon doesn't provide many specifications (including those all-important clock speeds), and Sapphire hasn't listed the card on its site yet (despite the card supposedly being available from 12th December), it seems pretty likely from the name that it'll be a higher-end but mid-range card.
What we do know is that it'll carry 8GB of GDDR6 memory. A look at the images via Amazon also demonstrate that there's the typical Sapphire Dual-X cooling system. This means it'll probably offer Sapphire's Zero dB cooling feature which means it won't spin unless the graphics card is under heavy load. That's the kind of feature that would ordinarily be a tad excessive for a mid-range GPU so perhaps, that means there will be some hefty overclocks factoring in here somewhere.
There's also the somewhat different design than usual. It has a reduced PCB design with the shroud and backplate adding length to the card artificially, so it can increase space for the Dual-X cooling system. Is that a good idea? We're not so sure, but it's certainly distinctive.
To add to that, there's a geometric pattern etched on the otherwise black shroud too, with grey metal surrounding it to theoretically add structural integrity. Making things even more busy, the backplate extends further than the PCB itself, with some more distinctive designs and cut outs. We'll give it points for going a different route at least.
In terms of power, the Sapphire Radeon Nitro+ RX 5500 XT SE looks to rely on a single 8-pin PCIe power connector near the middle of the card. Display outputs will include 2 HDMI ports, along with 2 DisplayPort outputs.
Once we know clock speeds, we can see if this is actually worth the price tag or whether it's an expensive but distinctive looking card.
February 17 2020 | 09:00