The RX 550 is AMD’s entry-level GPU, designed to deliver decent performance for eSports titles and general productivity, at a very affordable price point. Built on the 14nm process, it features 2GB of GDDR5 memory, and offers an extremely compact design that doesn’t require any additional power connectors.

We took Gigabyte’s version of this card to the test, and here are our findings.

Design

The Gigabyte RX 550 sports a compact form factor, and is an ideal solution for those who are using pre-built systems looking for a boost in graphics performance, as well as those rigs with small cases that would not fit larger cards.

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As mentioned before, another great thing about its design is that it doesn’t need additional power connectors, all you have to do is connect it to your motherboard, and you’re good to go. It’s cooled by a custom designed 90mm fan, which does a good job of keeping temps in check.

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Being an entry-level card, you won’t find any RGB lighting of sorts, but Gigabyte didn’t skip on adding their own personal touch with the orange lines, and carvings on the housing.

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The card has 1 Display port, 1 HDMI port, and 1 DVI-D port, which are most likely enough for systems that would make use of it.

Performance

Key Specs:

  • Core Clock: OC mode: 1195 MHz, Gaming mode: 1183 MHz
  • Process Technology: 14 nm
  • Memory: 128 bit, 2 GB, GDDR5
  • Ports: 1 x Dual-link DVI-D, 1 x HDMI-2.0 (Max Resolution: 4096×2160 @60 Hz), 1 x
    Display Port 1.4 (Max Resolution: 7680×4320 @60 Hz)
  • Card size: 29.2 x 170 x 114.6 mm (H x L x W)
  • DirectX 12
  • OpenGL 4.5
  • Recommended PSU: 400W

Test Rig Specs:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5 6500 @ 3.2GHz
  • Motherboard: MSI B150M Night Elf
  • RAM: 16GB HyperX Fury Black Edition 2133MHz
  • GPU: Gigabyte Radeon RX 550 D5 2G
  • HDD: 1TB 7200RPM Seagate HDD
  • PSU: Silverstone Strider ST60F-PS 600W 80+ Silver
  • OS: Windows 10 Home

On 3DMark, the scores are of course, far from stellar. But that’s okay, since we’re dealing with a budget card here. The real test, is using it with actual games right?

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We tested the RX 550 with a mix of eSports and some demanding titles: PUBG, Dota 2, Project Cars, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Overwatch, and Mirror’s Edge Catalyst.

PLAYERUNKNOWN’s BATTLEGROUNDS

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Surprisingly, you can play PUBG with this card. Though you’re going to have to settle for the Very Low preset with Scaling set to 70% to get decent frame rates. You can also set your resolution to 720p, and go window mode for even better performance.

Overwatch

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Overwatch runs well with this card. In fact, very well. You get decent frame rates across all settings, even Epic. Of course, I’d suggest going to Ultra for smoother gameplay.

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

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I was also surprised at how the card performed for this game, considering how demanding it is. It’s not all buttery smooth until you go to the lowest preset, but you still get decent performance even in medium. Don’t even think about going for High Preset, unless you’re okay with clunky visuals.

Dota 2

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The performance figures show that this card is actually meant for eSports titles. No worries here, as gameplay is buttery smooth even at the highest setting.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

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Rise of the Tomb Raider is a very demanding game, and a handful even for more powerful cards. As such, you’ll need to settle for low or the lowest setting to get smooth frame rates. But at least it’s playable right?

Project Cars

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Project Cars is also quite a visually appealing game. Fortunately, this card can handle it on Ultra, but I do suggest going for High or Medium settings for an even better experience.

Temperatures

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Despite having a single fan, this card manages to keep the temperatures in check, only going as high as 70°C in full load.

Software

The Radeon Software is quite easy to use, and gives you all the information you need about your card. It also lets you optimize the graphics settings for each game in your system, with a slew of options that you can disable or enable for each individual game.

You can also choose from a number of presets for watching videos. I did try cycling over them, but the effect is very minimal and sometimes, hardly noticeable.

Verdict

Gigabyte Radeon RX 550 is a card that’s aimed at those who are into eSports titles, and are in need of a decent GPU for a budget-friendly price.

The compact design also makes it a good solution for those who are using rigs with small cases, and those coming from integrated graphics. Since it doesn’t require an additional power connector, it’s also ideal for upgrading pre-built rigs.

The performance isn’t stellar, but for what it’s worth, this card can play some demanding games at decent frame rates. It also manages temperatures well, despite having a single fan. It won’t impress enthusiasts, but at just PhP4,650, it’s a great start for those who want to game on a budget.

The Good

  • Design should fit even small cases
  • Great solution for upgrading a number of pre-built systems
  • Excellent performance in eSports titles
  • Acceptable performance for some demanding games
  • Manages temperatures well
  • Price

The Not So Good

  • Very limited VRAM at 2GB

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Author

Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.

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Tokyo Game Show Special Coverage

Tokyo Game Show 2018

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Witness this year’s biggest gaming convention in Asia, the Tokyo Game Show 2018. This September 19, our team will fly to Tokyo, Japan, to be part to TGS 2018. Special thanks to our brand partners Huawei Mobile, PLDT Home, Smart Communications and Cherry Mobile for making this coverage possible.

The Gadget Pilipinas Team was given access to a press briefing with Hidetaka Miyazaki, Director from From Software and a bit of hands-on gameplay. Here’s our take on the hands-on gameplay and the insights from the press interview. We also  figured a listicle is in order to rundown why this game will match the hype surrounding it.

Here’s our Top 5 reasons why “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” is to die for.

1) The game is Tenchu-inspired

sk8lqukaqalhq2mrzkqd 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forIf you’ve played any of the Tenchu games in previous game consoles, you know that the use of the grappling hook to set-up a one-slash-stealth kills from above is a hallmark of the series. Zipping to rooftops and treetops will be the go-to move in this game to get rid of sentries. And yes, those ever-so glorious decapitations and dismemberments with the stealth kill are present.

2) Casual or hardcore can play

sn1rmqcvrwomyuttaoyq 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forFrom Software is notorious for challenging games and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is no exception. However, Hidetaka Miyazaki, Director of From Software, revealed that he himself is a casual gamer and has made it clear that the game should be accessible to beginners and experienced players alike.

3) Upgradeable prosthetic arm

jjn6e6ivua5u142iukql 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forThat prosthetic arm that Sekiro has isn’t just for looks. It can launch a grappling hook and is upgradeable too. No details were revealed but its good to know that a skill-tree based system is in place. Think Horizon Zero Dawn or Spiderman on the way skill and gadgets are upgraded. Tech upgrades set in feudal Japan? What’s not to like?

4) Play the style that suits you

jo1pi5md3myj0pxynz9p 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forStealth like Tenchu or head-on like Dark Souls? It’s up to you. What’s clear is that you can’t use stealth for the whole campaign since the game wasn’t designed that way. Stealth can be used to thin enemy numbers and to preserve your health before confronting the big boss. The mix of stealth and hack and slash is always a good mix to change-up the pace and should suit any gameplay style.

5) Single-player only campaign can last 20 to 30 hours 

ocxemodvr6oa72argpyo 770x433 - Top 5 reasons "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" is to die forThat’s the length of the campaign as per Miyazaki. The game is focused-solely on the single-player experience. No more wayward players who can just jump-in and help or derail your campaign. From Software also focused on the story-telling. Given that no resources were spent in developing the multiplayer aspect, expect the campaign to take it up a notch.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will be released on March 22, 2019 on PC, Xbox One and the Playstation 4.

Our Tokyo Game Show 2018 Coverage is brought to you by our brand partners: Huawei Mobile Philippines, PLDT Home Fibr, Smart and Cherry Mobile. Access our coverage here.

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Heads-up, Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) players. The PES game you’re playing on your phone is going to get a major upgrade.

For starters, the visuals will get a major overhaul and will be using Unreal Engine 4 – the same graphics engine used in triple A games for consoles and PCs. With the use of Unreal Engine 4, PES will be inching closer to how it looks versus its console port. It

Next, over 3,000 new animations, improved player AI with every playstyle accounted for, and realistic ball movements has been optimized for fans to enjoy the ultimate soccer game.

And lastly, 10 new league licenses from Europe, South America and Asia have been added, including Japan’s J. League.

The best part? Despite these updates,  Winning Eleven 2019 is still free-to-play (with in-game purchases).

PES 2019 promises to give a life-like behavior of the beautiful game and should take competitive mobile sports gaming to new heights.

Screen Shot 2018 09 21 at 1.16.38 AM 640x327 - TGS 2018: PES mobile game to be updated to "Winning Eleven 2019" this December!

More about the game and new features, here.

Our Tokyo Game Show 2018 Coverage is brought to you by our brand partners: Huawei Mobile Philippines, PLDT Home Fibr, Smart and Cherry Mobile. Access our coverage here.

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