Published in Graphics

AMD nobbles its own GPU cards

by on06 December 2017

Budget chips just got worse and AMD hopes no one noticed

AMD is rather good at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory and just as its offerings start to look good it is expected that it is going to do something wrong to stuff it all up.

AMD and its partners have quietly begun selling Radeon RX 560 cards with fewer compute units and stream processors than originally advertised, without changing the name or otherwise identifying the lesser-powered model.  What makes it worse is that you have no way of telling if you have got the cut down version or the full-fat version you thought you were getting.

The Radeon RX 560 was the only RX 500-series card with a meaningful under-the-hood tech boost compared to the RX 400-series. The graphics processor in the older RX 460 cards packed 14 compute units and 896 stream processors and the upgraded Radeon RX 560 bumped that to 16 CUs and 1,024 SPs.

If you look on the shelves now you will find some if the Radeon RX 560s you’ll find online have specs that match the older 460 cards, and sometimes run at lower clock speeds to boot. discovered that AMD’s Radeon RX 560 page was quietly altered to include the new configuration.

This basically meant that AMD can produce a card to get great reviews and replace it with a cut down knobbled version and hope that no one notices.

PC World had a quick look and found these cards include 896 stream processors which are best avoiding:

$125 PowerColor Red Dragon RX 560 (4GBD5-DHAM)
$130 PowerColor Red Dragon RX 560 (4GBD5-DHA)
$140 Asus ROG Strix RX 560 EVO Gaming OC Edition
$167 Asus Radeon RX 560 EVO OC Edition

Meanwhile, the following cards ship with the full 16 CUs and 1,024 stream processors, and either 2GB or 4GB of memory:

$125 MSI Radeon RX 560 Aero ITX (2GB)
$137 MSI Radeon RX 560 Aero ITX (4GB)
$130 Gigabyte Radeon RX 560
$137 Asus Radeon RX 560 2GB OC Edition
$200 PowerColor Red Dragon RX 560 (dual-fan)

You might want to pay close attention to the detailed technical specifications so you don’t wind up with one of the secret clunkers.

An outfit which does a stunt like this is probably not worth bothering with particularly when at this level there is Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050 which is not bad.

To be fair, Nvidia does this sort of rubbish too. The 3GB GeForce GTX 1060 is a cut-down version of the 6GB GTX 1060’s GPU but at least we had a warning. AMD seemed to just hope that no one noticed.

Last modified on 06 December 2017
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