Power, Thermals and Noise
For power testing, we use an outlet power meter, which I know is not perfect but it’s repeatable and accurate enough to show the disparity between changes in the platform. All parts remained the same between tests with only the GPU changing. Just keep in mind this is the full system load power consumption while looping the Heaven benchmark.
The power readings are interesting as the Red Dragon RX 5500 XT shows lower idle power draw than we have ever seen to date on our testbench but its loaded jumps up to just north of the GTX 1660 edging closer to the GTX 1060 6GB card.
For our thermal testing, we ran Gaming loads rather than a power virus type of load as this represents a far more realistic loading scenario for those looking to see what you can expect when gaming on your new RTX card.
When testing the Radeon RX 5000 series Navi cards we always observe the junction temperature since the normal reported GPU or edge thermal can be much lower than the temp that actually matters. From our testing, the Junction is the one referenced for the fan and boost algorithm and therefore is the most applicable for comparison. Here we see the thermals at idle on par with the lowest we have seen from Nvidia which are partner cards with competent coolers from MSI. Under load, we find the Red Dragon RX 5500 XT in between the RTX 2060 and the GTX 1660 Ti whcih is not a bad place to be and it did this without even stressing the cooling fans.
The fan noise for the Red Dragon RX 5500 XT is nary nonexistent as even under heavy load it did not become audible above the fans on our CPU cooling radiator which means in a chassis of a built system you would be hard-pressed to hear it unless you happen to be in an extremely quiet office space or sound isolated enclosure. even then it would be hard to discern it above the other ambient noise of a normally cooled PC.