AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT Linux Performance
Written by Michael Larabel in Graphics Cards on 12 December 2019. Page 10 of 10. 96 Comments

Through our monitoring of the GPU power consumption across all of the Linux gaming tests carried out, the RX 5500 XT had a peak draw of 121 Watts (right below the 130 Watt limit advertised) while the average power draw was 61 Watts. That average was right in line with the GTX 1650 SUPER at 62 Watts while the Radeon RX 580 had a 95 Watt average.

Here's a look at the GPU temperatures for all of the graphics cards tested throughout all of the different workloads. The Sapphire Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB ran fine with a 54 degree average and peaked at 61 degrees, just below the ASUS GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER and comparable to the Radeon RX 580/590 graphics cards.

When taking the geometric mean of all the tests carried out with these OpenGL/Vulkan Linux games, the RX 5500 XT was nearly tied with the GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER and right behind the Radeon RX 580 raw performance. It's nice that AMD is competitive with NVIDIA's current wares at the same price point -- under Linux, where as years ago the AMD Radeon Linux drivers as they were still maturing generally left the AMD GPU performance at a considerable disadvantage. But it's great to see on launch-day the RX 5500 XT performing where it should against the NVIDIA competition. Keep in mind the testing was done with the RX 5500 XT 4GB and there is the RX 5500 XT 8GB model for $199 USD that is said to provide much better uplift. At the moment I do not have any 8GB version for testing but will be working on getting my hands on one for Linux benchmarks.

While the Radeon RX 5500 XT performance is just comparable to the Radeon RX 580, it did deliver considerably better power efficiency thanks to Navi/RDNA. With time we'll hopefully see further tuning/optimizations out of the Linux driver for this new Navi graphics card. For those looking to spend less than $200 USD on a graphics card, the RX 5500 XT did show considerably better performance than the likes of the GeForce GTX 960 and other aging graphics cards.

The only real caveat with the Radeon RX 5500 XT for Linux gamers is the need to be running the very latest open-source graphics driver stack in the form of Linux 5.5 release candidates (or potentially some Linux 5.4 point release if back-ports happen) as well as Mesa 19.3 or ideally Mesa 20.0-devel. There is unfortunately no accelerated out-of-the-box support on the likes of Ubuntu 19.10 so the experience for novice Linux gamers is a bit tough if being uncomfortable in upgrading your kernel/Mesa, but at least by the time of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and other early 2020 Linux distributions all these components should be widely available should you be looking for a new affordable graphics card in early 2020. At least with Linux 5.5-rc1 + Mesa 20.0-devel, no Radeon RX 5500 XT driver troubles were encountered during our initial testing.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.


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