AMD has a new line of graphics cards in the form of the AMD RX 580, RX 570, RX 560, and RX 550. All, with the exception of the new RX 550, are slightly modified versions of the 400 series that debuted with RX in June. 480 and feature the company’s 14nm Polaris architecture.
The RX 580 and RX 570 launch today at a suggested retail price of £185 and £165 for a 4GB version (8GB will also be available). The 2GB RX 560 launches in early May for £99, while the 2GB RX 550 launches on April 20 for a wallet-friendly £80.
While some may call the 500 series a rebrand, AMD says an improved 14nm FinFET fabrication process has helped boost clock speeds. The reference design RX 580, which shares the same core specifications as the RX 480, including 36 compute cores and a 256-bit memory interface, is clocked at 1257MHz and boosted to 1340MHz. That’s just over 100MHz higher than the RX 480.
There are similar clock speed improvements across the 500 series, though partners are expected to push those clocks even higher. Indeed, AMD won’t produce reference cards, so generally expect higher prices than MSRP, but also better performance.
AMD tosses the 500 series on those with a typical two-year upgrade cycle. Compared to the R9 380X, AMD claims the RX 580 is a whopping 57 percent faster and will easily push more than 60FPS at 1440p in several titles. It comes in faster than Nvidia’s GTX 970 to boot. The RX 570, which is aimed at 60FPS 1080p gaming, is a whopping 2.3x faster than the R7 370, according to AMD. The RX 560, aimed at e-athletes, is about 57 percent faster than the R7 360.
The new RX 550 is the new RX 550. Like the RX 560, no additional board power is required to function, making it a convenient upgrade for standard PCs. It features a boost clock of 1180 MHz, eight compute units and 2 GB of GDDR5 memory with a 128-bit interface. The RX 560 is intended to be an ideal upgrade for those with integrated graphics, with up to four times the performance of integrated graphics solutions such as Intel HD 530.
While the 500 series isn’t the most exciting upgrade, it’s a good value. A recent spate of driver improvements has made the RX 480 (and thus hopefully the RX 580) extremely competitive with Nvidia’s GTX 1060, especially when price is taken into account. They all also support Freesync, as well as HDR and 4K. Those looking for a better bargain might even be able to buy a 400-series card on the cheap, as retailers are clearing out old stock.