AMD’s RX 6500 XT runs Elden Ring far better than it has any right to

Elden Ring’s performance is a hot topic right now, but not because it’s surprisingly great. On the contrary, the game has some performance issues that are causing headaches for some Elden Lords wannabes. However, what’s surprising is the performance that the AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT is capable of delivering in-game.

To be honest, I didn’t expect that much from this budget GPU born from the chip crisis.

The AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT is the cheapest discrete graphics card in the RX 6000 series. In fact, it’s the cheapest modern graphics card you can buy today – even Nvidia’s budget GeForce RTX 3050 is more expensive than AMD’s most affordable offering. However, you get what you pay for. The RX 6500 XT is slightly slower than Nvidia’s RTX 3050 and generally leaves something to be desired even at 1080p.

For a graphics card released in 2022, the RX 6500 XT will certainly be difficult to compete with previous generations of AMD GPUs such as the RX 5500 4GB and RX 580 8GB. It doesn’t even live up to AMD’s own marketing due to the less than generous helping of 4GB GDDR6 video memory. We really hoped for something more for gaming in 2022 and beyond.

Modest specifications of the RX 6500 XT

Architecture: RDNA 2

Shader cores: 1024

Memory: 4GB GDDR6

Memory bus: 64-bit

Board power: 107 W

Price: $199

All this suggests that we did not like this card very much. We gave it just 47% in our review, and our feelings haven’t changed much since then.

However, what has changed is that we now know that the RX 6500 XT is the only graphics card regularly available for purchase at the suggested retail price. No cheats, no lotteries: just a graphics card that can be bought at a fairly fair price in 2022. This means that this card could be the choice of many gamers, whether it is particularly advantageous or not.

The 6500 XT offers a path to PC gaming at a fairly low cost, and this is actually very important right now due to the ongoing shortage of silicon and scarcity of graphics cards, which is driving exponential price increases.

And what do most gamers want to do with a graphics card in 2022? Play Elden Ring. At least, that’s how it seems because of all the hype around this game. I’m not new to this hype either. I’ve been playing the game for a while now, and to be honest, I really like it, although I basically ran around in circles attacking the same five soldiers to collect frame rate numbers.

Being able to pick the cheapest and most affordable graphics card and make a reasonable profit in Elden Ring is a real win for PC gaming right now.

The RX 6500 XT meets all the necessary requirements of the Elden Ring minimum system requirements. That’s over 3GB of VRAM and enough graphics power to handle a GTX 1060 3GB or RX 580 4GB. He scratches the skin of his chips a little, but he safely exceeds the minimum requirements for him to play Elden Ring.

However, I didn’t get too high hopes for this card’s lack of real fun when it comes to 1080p gaming. It’s also far from Elden Ring’s recommended specs, which require a GTX 1070-class GPU or higher and at least 8GB of VRAM.

But when loading into the game, it’s clear that things are actually pretty good with Elden Ring on AMD’s lowest-end GPU. I would even say that it is quite playable.

Despite the widely compulsive stuttering, that is. Elden Ring’s performance issues on PC have yet to be fully resolved, and stuttering is still a major issue in the game. I ran into my fair share with the RX 6500 XT, though at medium or low settings no more than with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super or AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT inside my machine at 4K. This stutter doesn’t appear to be related to graphical abilities but has more to do with the game engine itself. I don’t discount the stutter in terms of playability, but the RX 6500 XT is no worse of its victim than any other GPU I’ve tested today, and hopefully, that means it will also be fixed in a later game. Versions and patches.

With that in mind, I spent my little test run backstabbing and beating up some poor and defenseless soldiers along the way and wrote down some numbers. I also traveled on horseback, took an outpost near the game’s starting area, and did some sightseeing to get an idea of ​​what performance could be with this GPU for most of Elden Ring.

And, to my surprise, it’s really good.

PC Gamer test setup: Gigabyte RX 6500 XT Gaming OC, AMD Ryzen 7 5800X, 32GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM, 850W PSU, 1TB WD Black SN750, MSI Godlike X570.

As you can see above, I ran through all the main presets at 1080p to put together numbers and get an idea of ​​AMD’s budget card performance. Elden Ring has a 60fps limit if you didn’t already know, so that’s something you really want to aim for. However, this is quite affordable on the RX 6500 XT.

The high and max preset is too rich for the RX 6500 XT gore, but you can happily play with the medium or low presets and expect the 60fps average to be close enough all the time. However, you should pay attention to the minimum frame time. To ensure they stay between 50-55 fps, you will need to be careful what settings you set to medium or high, as any drop in the minimum fps value is 1% of the minimum, as we recorded – there will also be a blow to stability and a sense of smooth gameplay. Of course, the rest of my test PC is a bit overkill for a comparison system, especially the Godlike motherboard, although this won’t have a significant impact on performance. Our memory speeds should also be the same, if not slower, than many modern systems today, even budget ones (I meant upgrade), and CPU usage should not break the Elden Ring game. In my testing, CPU usage is kept at a steady 20-35%, which means that even a cheaper chip should suffice here and get similar numbers. At 1080p, the CPU will make a difference, but Elden Ring’s system requirements are pretty low when it comes to CPU requirements anyway.

I also used the best settings I had previously developed for our Elden Ring PC settings to see how far I could push them on the RX 6500 XT, and it was actually playable with those settings. However, accidentally using the “High” setting in our recommended settings results in the game running at a lower minimum fps than I really would like. This makes him more clumsy.

The best combination of settings in my testing would be to crop it to medium so that it runs better at 60fps cap most of the time, but then you’re just playing on the “Medium” preset anyway.

Overall, the RX 6500 XT delivers really great in-game performance that I didn’t expect to be too friendly to budget cards. This is very good for a number of reasons. Most importantly, however, given Elden Ring’s near-perfect review scores and the years of anticipation for this game’s release, being able to pick the cheapest and most widely available graphics card and get a reasonable bang for your buck in Elden. The ring is a real win for PC gaming right now.

Today’s Best AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT Deals.

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