AMD board partners begin tricking out RX 560s and RX 550s

AMD's Radeon RX 570 and RX 580 graphics cards have dominated PC hardware headlines this week. Now, hardware reviewers and rumor mongers are shifting their attention to more petite pixel pushers from AMD. A number of closely-related topics have emerged about these cards of late, and we will cover the news and rumors in order of "officialness."

First off, the product page for Asus' ROG Strix Radeon RX 560 OC Edition 4GB is the first official information we have seen about a specific board-partner RX 560. For those that don't sleep in bedsheets emblazoned with spreadsheets of graphics chip specifications, the AMD's RX 560 packs the full 1024 stream processor complement of the Polaris 21 silicon. A few late-release RX 460s sported the full arsenal of SPs, but most left the factory with only 896 enabled.

Asus' card has 4 GB of GDDR5 memory running at 7 GT/s, but the page contains no information about core clock speeds. We would expect something higher than 1175 MHz base clock and 1275 MHz clock of the Radeon RX 560's reference specifications given the ROG Strix branding.

The page does detail some of the ROG Strix Radeon RX 560's little extras, like programmable RGB LED illumination, fans that don't spin when the card is below 55° C, and a PWM header for external fans that spin up and down in time with the IP5x dust-resistant fans mounted on the video card's cooler. The Strix RX 560 offers a single DVI-D connector, one HDMI jack, and one DisplayPort.

While poking around Asus' various country-specific sites looking for information about the aforementioned fancy RX 560, we stumbled across a pair of product pages on the manufacturer's Taiwanese site for variations of the teeny-tiny, 512-SP-sporting Radeon RX 550.

Asus will offer versions of the e-sports-friendly card bearing 2 GB and 4 GB of GDDR5 memory. The two cards share the same 1183 MHz core clock, 7 GT/s memory clock, and stable of 512 stream processors, which matches AMD's official "Graphics frequency" specification for the RX 550, which we assume references a boost clock.

Asus' Radeon RX 550s also share a simple machined aluminum cooler and tidy 7.2" x 4.4" x 1.7" (18 cm x 11 cm x 4.5 cm) dimensions. The port cluster is the same as the ROG Strix Radeon RX 560.


I'm sure plenty of sensible use cases exist for full-height, dual-slot Radeon RX 550 cards, but a low-profile format will be friendlier for tiny systems like SFF desktops and HTPCs. The rumor mongers over at Videocardz have photographs and specifications for a pair of XFX half-height Radeon RX 550 cards and a pair of single-slot full-height models. Videocardz says all four cards will have the same 1100 MHz base clock and 1203 MHz boost clock, just a little higher than AMD's published 1183 MHz spec. Both form factors will reportedly be available with either 2 GB or 4 GB of 7 GT/s GDDR5 memory.

AMD has yet to send us any Radeon RX 550 or RX 550 cards for review, but Gizmodo and PC World have both gotten their mitts on RX 550 examples from Gigabyte and PowerColor. Expect more budget-friendly Radeon cards from those vendors in the near future.

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