GTX 1650 SUPER And RX 5500 XT Vs The $200 Used Market

Recently we published a review of the SAPPHIRE Pulse Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB review and in it, we compared it to the GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER as well as the last generation cards that they were both replacing. The catch there was those older cards are now dirt cheap if you can find them on the market, but what about those sitting on about $200 cash for a new graphics card? The new features and efficiencies of the new cards are great, but what if you're trying to maximize the amount of power you're getting for the money you spend?

In new launch card reviews, I typically don't discuss the used market, not because I'm trying to pay favors to the new cards but it's because the used market is volatile as can be. And, when you're spending $400 or more on a graphics card knowing there is a standing warranty behind it and you know where it's been can go a long way in easing that purchase. But, when you're trying to squeeze the dollars as hard as possible in this price range what does the used market have to offer?

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The $120-$140 GTX 1060's and RX 4/580s are attractive but what about the likes of the GeForce GTX 1070 and the Radeon RX Vega 56? Both offer higher tiers of performance, both have 8GB of memory and both were strong contenders in the last generation. The thing is now the GTX 1070 and RX Vega 56 can be readily found on Ebay here in states for around $180-$200 respectively (at the time of writing and I cannot stress that part enough). Sure, that's more expensive than the GTX 1650 SUPER and in the price range of the RX 5500 XT (even the 8GB model) but what does that performance look like when you put it in practice?

Test System and Method

All of the testings were done on our Intel Z370 test bench powered by a 5GHz Core i9-9900K. We ran all tests involving DX11 through 3 paces and averaged the results of all metrics to come to the final numbers. For DX12 and Vulkan we used the latest release of FrameView at the time.  I took the average of average frame rates as well as the 99th percentile results from the run.  I had been using 1% and .1% results but while working on an upcoming review, before starting this one, I had decided to move to a 99th percentile to represent the bottom end of the framerates for a more simple method of charting and reading for our readers.

For those uncertain of what the 99th percentile is representing is easily explained as showing only 1 frame out of 100 is slower than this frame rate. Put another way, 99% of the frames will achieve at least this frame rate. The representation of the 99th percentile is much more consistent in experience than the 1% and .1% lows, and this was ultimately done as a way to deliver better metrics to the audience.


Test System

ComponentsZ370
CPUIntel Core i9-9900k @ 5GHz
Memory 16GB G.Skill Trident Z DDR4 3200
MotherboardEVGA Z370 Classified K
StorageKingston KC2000 1TB NVMe SSD
PSUCooler Master V1200 Platinum
Windows Version1909 with latest security patches

Graphics Cards Tested

GPUArchitectureCore Count
Clock SpeedMemory Capacity
Memory Speed
SAPPHIRE Pulse RX 5500 XT Navi 1414081685/1737/18454GB GDDR614Gbps
Zotac GTX 1650 SUPERTuring12801530/17254GB GDDR612Gbps
RX Vega 56Vega 1035841156/14718GB HBM2800Mps
GTX 1070 FEPascal19201506/16838GB GDDR58Gbps

Drivers Used

Drivers 
Radeon Settings 20.2.1
GeForce442.19

*note on the drivers* At the time of publication new drivers for both vendors have been released and the testing was all completed before those drivers went live and publication date followed immediately after.

Synthetics, Thermals, and Power

Firestrike

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Firestrike is running the DX11 API and is still a good measure of GPU scaling performance, in this test we ran the regular version of Firestrike which runs at 1080p and we recorded the Graphics Score only since the Physics and combined are not pertinent to this review.

3DMark Firestrike Graphics
Score
0
5000
10000
15000
20000
25000
30000
0
5000
10000
15000
20000
25000
30000
RX 5500 XT 4GB
14.5k
RX Vega 56
21.3k
GTX 1650 SUPER
12.5k
GTX 1070 FE
17.9k

Time Spy

Time Spy is running the DX12 API and we used it in the same manner as Firestrike Extreme where we only recorded the Graphics Score as the Physics score is recording the CPU performance and isn't important to the testing we are doing here.

3DMark Time Spy Graphics
Score
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
12000
0
2000
4000
6000
8000
10000
12000
RX 5500 XT 4GB
4.9k
RX Vega 56
6.6k
GTX 1650 SUPER
4.7k
GTX 1070 FE
6k

Thermals

Thermals were measured from our open test bench after running the Time Spy graphics test 2 on loop for 30 minutes recording the highest temperatures reported. The room was climate controlled and kept at a constant 22c throughout the testing.

Temperatures (22c Ambient)
Load
Idle
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
RX 5500 XT 4GB
66
36
RX Vega 56
75
40
GTX 1650 SUPER
69
28
GTX 1070 FE
74
36

Power Draw

Power draw numbers were taken from the total system power draw by measuring with a Kill-A-Watt. We ran Unigine Valley for 30 minutes and observed the highest sustained load. Something to keep in mind when observing total system power draw is that there are times where a GPU simply being faster and requiring more from the CPU can cause the total system power draw to increase with the like of the Core i9-9900K. That said, the total system power draw is still important as it is how much power it is taking to run the system.

Total System Power Consumption (Measured At Wall)
Load
Idle
0
70
140
210
280
350
420
0
70
140
210
280
350
420
RX 5500 XT 4GB
210
70
RX Vega 56
315
80
GTX 1650 SUPER
175
72
GTX 1070 FE
240
77

1080p Gaming Performance

Forza Horizon 4

Forza Horizon 4 carries on the open-world racing tradition of the Horizon series.  The latest DX12 powered entry is beautifully crafted and amazingly well executed and is a great showcase of DX12 games.  We use the benchmark run while having all of the settings set to non-dynamic with an uncapped framerate to gather these results.

Forza Horizon 4 1080p High
AVG FPS
99th Percentile
0
40
80
120
160
200
240
0
40
80
120
160
200
240
RX 5500 XT 4GB
121
98
RX Vega 56
147
123
GTX 1650 SUPER
125
105
GTX 1070 FE
131
103

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Shadow of the Tomb Raider, unlike its predecessor, does a good job putting DX12 to use and results in higher performance than the DX11 counterpart in this title and because of that, we test this title in DX12.  I do use the second segment of the benchmark run to gather these numbers as it is more indicative of in-game scenarios where the foliage is heavy.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider 1080p DX12 High
AVG FPS
99th Percentile
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
RX 5500 XT 4GB
75
68
RX Vega 56
93
84
GTX 1650 SUPER
74
63
GTX 1070 FE
89
77

Rainbow 6 Siege

Rainbow 6 Siege has maintained a massive following since its launch and it consistently in Steams Top Ten highest player count game.  In a title where the higher the framerate the better in a tactical yet fast-paced competitive landscape is essential, we include this title despite its ludicrously high framerates.  We use the Ultra preset with the High Defenition Texture Pack as well and gather our results from the built-in benchmarking tool.

Rainbow 6 Siege 1080p Ultra
AVG FPS
99th Percentile
0
40
80
120
160
200
240
0
40
80
120
160
200
240
RX 5500 XT 4GB
177
130
RX Vega 56
198
143
GTX 1650 SUPER
174
135
GTX 1070 FE
191
137

Far Cry New Dawn

Far Cry New Dawn brings the DX11 powered Dunia 2 engine back for another beating in Hope County.  We test this game using the High Preset and follow the built-in benchmarking tool for consistency's sake.

Far Cry New Dawn 1080p High
AVG FPS
99th Percentile
0
40
80
120
160
200
240
0
40
80
120
160
200
240
RX 5500 XT 4GB
89
73
RX Vega 56
108
84
GTX 1650 SUPER
85
67
GTX 1070 FE
102
80

Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the biggest release titles of the year on PC and we simply have to include results here. Running on the Vulkan version of the Rockstar Advanced Graphics Engine we manually set all of the graphics settings and sliders to the Medium setting and left anti-aliasing disabled. We took our results from the final 2 minute section of the built-in benchmark tool.

Red Dead Redemption 2 1080p Medium
AVG FPS
99th Percentile
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
RX 5500 XT 4GB
71
57
RX Vega 56
88
69
GTX 1650 SUPER
69
55
GTX 1070 FE
74
56

Borderlands 3

Borderlands 3 has made its way into the test lineup thanks to strong demand by gamers and simply delivering MORE Borderlands. This game is rather intensive after the Medium preset and since this is a budget-focused 1080p card Medium it is. We tested using the built-in benchmark utility

Borderlands 3 1080p Medium
AVG FPS
99th Percentile
0
40
80
120
160
200
240
0
40
80
120
160
200
240
RX 5500 XT 4GB
88
76
RX Vega 56
109
86
GTX 1650 SUPER
87
68
GTX 1070 FE
108
81

Conclusion

At the end are we really surprised to see the performance uplift for the money spent? There are some net wins with the last generation upper mid-tier powerhouses; extremely strong 1080p performance that will last you quite some time, 8GB for certain without worrying which model you get, and the ability to double up with SLI or Crossfire (if you're brave enough to fight those battles).

But, there are some downsides too. The biggest being warranty, with new cards you get that sweet sweet warranty and for anyone out there who has ever had to RMA a graphics card will tell you it is worth its weight in gold (or at least the cost of the card). The newer cards run much cooler and consume a lot less power, that's an undeniable long term saving on your wallet and ears. Game bundles, yes that's a plus on new graphics cards, especially if you can buy a card and get a couple of AAA titles to fire up without shelling out extra.

It is a tough predicament for sure and with the worry of the market becoming strained over current viral outbreaks and the apparent resurgence of crypto mining these used cards might dry up quickly and completely destroy any value proposition leaving the new cards as the only viable option until they too run out. So with the numbers laid out on the table, I'm interested in hearing where our readers would place their cold hard pair of Benjamins.

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