When the Radeon RX 550 first debuted, cryptocurrency mining was just getting its legs, and Ethereum had not yet shot up in value. It's a much different landscape now two and a half years later, though be that as it may, ASRock has quietly introduced another RX 550 graphics card.
As odd as that may seem, it's not completely nonsensical. There are no budget Vega cards, and the latest round of 7nm Navi GPUs has not yet dipped into entry-level territory yet, either. So, hardware makers (or at least ASRock) are apparently not finished milking Polaris.
The new Phantom Gaming Radeon 550 2G is ASRock's second RX 550 card. It's also the faster of the two. Here's how the GPU and memory clockspeeds break down in the three different mode it can run in:
- OC mode—1,230MHz (GPU) / 7,028MHz (memory)
- Default mode—1,183MHz (GPU) / 7,000MHz (memory)
- Silent mode—1,136MHz (GPU) / 6,972MHz (memory
It mainly boils down to faster clocked memory. The GPU speed is virtually unchanged from ASRock's previous RX 550 card (the only difference is in Silent mode, the clockspeed on the older model is listed at 1,135MHz), but in each of the three modes, the effective memory speeds are much higher—7,028MHz in OC mode (versus 6,024MHz), 7,000MHz in Default mode (versus 6,000MHz), and 6,972MHz in Silent mode (versus 5,976MHz).
Everything else looks the same. This is still a shortened, two-slot graphics card measuring 169.58 x 130.89 x 42.05 mm, and it looks to be using the same single-fan cooling solution.
As is the case again, no external PCIe power source is required—the card draws the necessary power from the PCIe slot. It has a 50W TDP, and ASRock recommends a 350W PSU.
It's not clear when this card will be available or how much it will cost. That said, there will likely be a lot of Black Friday deals on Polaris cards, particularly in the mid-range section as vendors look to clear room for Radeon RX 5500 cards. If you're looking for a sub-$100 GPU in the meantime, the RX 550 might suffice, though we'd generally point toward the RX 570 and above as the bare minimum most people should buy these days.