8GB vs 6GB VRAM For Budget Gamers – AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT vs 5600 XT

When AMD revealed the Radeon RX 5600 XT for 1080p gaming, many were confused over the lower VRAM amount present. When compared with the RX 5500 XT, the 5600 XT has 6GB of VRAM. The former though has 8 gigs. This was a confusing move as the newer card is supposed to be more powerful, so when asked about it, AMD had the following to say:

“It’s very unfortunate that the general public thinks more VRAM means more performance. Raw frame buffer size is only one part of the equation. What’s more important is the ability of that buffer to feed the GPU. The RX 470/480 had 8 GB SKUs but with GDDR5 memory. The RX 500 series (8GB SKU) is popular, hence we decided to make the 5500 XT with an 8GB option.”Mithun Chandrashekhar, Product Management Lead, AMD

AMD Radeon 5600 XT - 6GB GDDR6 VRAM
AMD Radeon 5600 XT

As we’ve tested many GPUs over the years here, we’ve seen that at lower resolutions like 1080p, most games max out at 4GB of VRAM. It’s one of the reasons why NVIDIA’s GTX 1050 Ti and 1060 cards were so popular among budget gamers. Mithun went on to explain:


“As we move up the ladder, the user becomes more educated & more sophisticated, and they understand that in addition to 6GB memory, they have a lot more memory bandwidth because there is a wider memory bus (192 bit) and it’s GDDR6. Compared to RX 480, 5600 XT is 50-70% faster. It’s not about raw frame buffer, it’s finding the right balance of frame buffer size and mem bandwidth.”

AMD Radeon RX 5500 Spider Chart_board.jpg

So there you go. The RX 5600 XT marks a new step for team red as they venture out to have a complete lineup of Radeon Navi GPUs at different price points. While the much-awaited ‘Big Navi’ card has still not been revealed, the RX 5000 series thus far should make up for competing with NVIDIA. At least until raytracing arrives on team red’s cards.

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