Radeon RX 540 offers a tiny slice of Polaris power to notebooks


— 9:30 AM on April 19, 2017

AMD's high-octane Radeon RX 500-series graphics cards are powered by respins of existing Polaris silicon, but the entry-level Radeon RX 550 features a tiny (and as-yet-unnamed) new GPU that AMD said was meant to make its way into notebooks, as well. Now, a product page for the mobile version of that mini-GPU has appeared on AMD's website. It seems we can expect this power-sipping Polaris chip to appear in notebooks as the Radeon RX 540.

  Base
clock
(MHz)
Boost
clock
(MHz)
ROP
pixels/
clock
Texels
filtered/
clock
(int8/
fp16)
SP
TFLOPs
Stream
pro-
cessors
Memory
path
(bits)
Memory
transfer
rate
(Gbps)
Memory
bandwidth
(GB/s)
Peak
power
draw
RX 540 --- 1219 16 32/16 1.2 512 128 6 96 < 50W
R7 260X --- 1100 16 56/28 2.0 896 128 6.5 96 115W
R9 265 --- 925 32 64/32 1.9 1024 256 5.6 179 150W
RX 460 1090 1200 16 56/28 2.2 896 128 7 112 < 75W
GTX 750 Ti 1020 1085 16 40/40 1.4 640 128 5.4 86 60W
GTX 950 1024 1188 24 48/48 1.8 768 128 6.6 106 90W

Although we don't have an RX 550 on hand to test yet, AMD has provided us with quite a few official specs for the mystery GPU that powers both that card and the RX 540. In some ways, the 101 mm² RX 540 chip is exactly half of a full Polaris 11. It has half the stream processors and half of the texture units of its more powerful sibling, but it keeps the 128-bit memory interface and 16 ROPs of the beefier chip. The RX 550 is officially rated for a board power of 50W in its desktop form, so we can likely expect an even lower TDP for the mobile part.

As mobile GPUs go, the RX 540 is unlikely to be a performance monster, but it should at least add a shot of affordable graphics power to systems that would otherwise get by with nothing more than an integrated graphics processor. Nvidia's common GeForce 940MX comes to mind as a point of comparison for this segment. That chip offers significantly lower theoretical performance than the RX 540 does on paper: 861.7 GFLOPS, 27 Gtexels/s of peak texture fill rate, and about 9 Gpixels/s of peak pixel fill rate. AMD claims 1.2 TFLOPs, 39 Gtexels/s, and 19.5 Gpixels/s for the RX 540.

AMD doesn't list any design wins for the RX 540 yet, but we'd expect to find this chip in affordable notebooks soon.

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