AMD responds regarding Radeon RX 560 shader count change

We reached out to AMD today about the company's decision to add a second, pared-down version of its Radeon RX 560 graphics card without a differentiated moniker. The company responded to our inquiry with the following statement:

It's correct that 14 Compute Unit (896 stream processors) and 16 Compute Unit (1024 stream processor) versions of the Radeon RX 560 are available. We introduced the 14CU version this summer to provide AIBs and the market with more RX 500 series options. It's come to our attention that on certain AIB and etail websites there's no clear delineation between the two variants. We're taking immediate steps to remedy this: we're working with all AIB and channel partners to make sure the product descriptions and names clarify the CU count, so that gamers and consumers know exactly what they’re buying. We apologize for the confusion this may have caused.

Whatever the reason for this oversight, we're pleased to see that AMD plans to address the issue and work with its manufacturing partners to ensure that cards with the reduced-shader-count Polaris 21 GPU on board are clearly marked. We can't help but feel that AMD could have avoided the situation in the first place by using a different model number for the cut-down versions of the chip. The company has used the "D" suffix in the recent past to denote such feature-reduced silicon.

Online retailer Newegg already had search tools in place that could separate greater and lesser Radeon RX 560 graphics cards yesterday. No such tool exists at Amazon yet, where 896- and 1024-shader RX 560s are jumbled together in the search results. As an example, the Amazon product page for the 896-shader Asus RX560-O4G-EVO we remarked on in yesterday's report includes no indication of the card's shader count. More alarmingly, the manufacturer product pages for Powercolor's various RX 560 models don't include the shader counts at all.

For those just catching up, AMD launched the Radeon RX 560 chip in a single flavor with 1024 stream processors inside 16 compute units in April of this year. The company recently updated the Radeon RX 560 product page to add information about a second version with 14 compute units and 896 stream processors. Those in the market for a Radeon RX 560 or a pre-built system containing such a card should carefully examine the specifications on the manufacturer's product page or packaging before handing over any hard-earned dollars.

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    Looks like Powercolor has already updated their [url=https://www.powercolor.com/products?id=1492658578&type=1496310204<]RX 560 product page[/url<]. Well that was quick.

    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    Double post. I wash my hands.

      • Redocbew
      • 2 years ago

      You’re supposed to deny that there was a double post, and then blame the forum software for doing it wrong.

      • crabjokeman
      • 2 years ago

      Would that make you Ronchius Pilate?

        • ronch
        • 2 years ago

        Hah. Maybe.

    • tacitust
    • 2 years ago

    Amazon’s search tools have always been crap, so there’s no reason to expect them to ever allow you to search for one type of RX 560 over another.

    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    I just realized I’m still using an HD7770 with just 640 shaders. Heck even this 560SE is about 65% faster than what I have. Guys, will upgrading to this GPU improve my gaming in Space Quest 3?

      • DarkMikaru
      • 2 years ago

      That’s funny… I remember a few years ago while building my FX8350 system researching which version to get. The 7770 or 7790. Turns out the 90 was anywhere from 10 to 30% faster for only a little bit more money so that’s the way I went. Still runs fairly decently today.

      So to answer your question.. yes. Yes it will. lol

        • ronch
        • 2 years ago

        When I got my triple-7 the 7790 still wasn’t out, I think. Feels good that this graphics card has been solid for the past 5 years.

      • crabjokeman
      • 2 years ago

      Speaking of SQ3, I’m pretty sure its representation of ScumSoft offices bears a striking resemblance to AMD’s marketing department.

        • ronch
        • 2 years ago

        Matt Crowe and Scott Murphy would be… Matt Papermaster and Scott Wasson. Heh.

    • psuedonymous
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<]It's come to our attention that on certain AIB and etail websites there's no clear delineation between the two variants.[/quote<]So which is it AMD? Is [url=https://techreport.com/news/32924/amd-quietly-introduces-a-lower-spec-radeon-rx-560-with-896-sps<]your own webpage[/url<] an AIB or an etail website?

    • ludi
    • 2 years ago

    “We sincerely regret getting caught with our legal pants encircling our ankles, and promise that in the future our fine print will be totally legit.”

    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    No clear delineation?? WTH AMD. Don’t tell us this was unintentional. You could’ve easily given it a different moniker.

    Typical nonchalant hand washing.

      • willmore
      • 2 years ago

      You say that like this has never happened before in the industry. I have two GF9600GTO cards. They are completely different. Different memory busses, different chips, different cooling solutions, etc. This is at least the same die/memory/cooler/etc. just with a different shader count.

      And that was intentional.

        • ronch
        • 2 years ago

        Oh sorry. My mistake for calling this out because I shouldn’t have because… this has happened before.

        • IGTrading
        • 2 years ago

        Amazing how many Intel / nVIDIA fanboys on these comments 🙂

        Just dare to point the truth about nVIDIA and you immediately get 10 downvotes.

        I wonder if the AIBs are so “innocent” how come they didn’t discover in testing that thousands of cards had less CUs ?!

        I think this is an AIB issue, not and AMD issue.

        The AIB buys the chip from AMD and builds and sells the card after testing and certifying the technical specs. The AIB can either go back to AMD and say “this GPU is defective as it has only 14CUs” or it can label the card RX560 and sell it like it has 16CUs.

          • K-L-Waster
          • 2 years ago

          Amazing how many AMD fanbois think that because Intel or NVidia have done bad things means AMD should be given a free pass.

          Here’s a thought: maybe *nobody* should be given a free pass when they do something scummy.

            • IGTrading
            • 2 years ago

            I repeat : it is no free pass because it is not AMD’s responsibility.

            If AMD sells a GPU with 14CUs and the AIB prints a box with 16CUs on the specs section or the specs section not present, pretending it is the same as the model with 16CUs, it is not AMD’s fault.

            Moreover, AMD saw what was happening and thus updated its RX560 specs page according to what AIBs were putting on the market.

            It was AMD that first came out to make the clear distinction, not any AIB.

            So it were the AIBs confusing the customers while AMD was trying to clarify that the 14CU version does exist and can be present on the market, to make the buyers aware.

            • Redocbew
            • 2 years ago

            Dude, just let it go. The cat’s out of the bag, and trying to put it back in only helps to reinforce the already very apparent impression that you’ve got an agenda here beyond just being interested in the technology. You’re not doing yourself or your organization any favors by doing this.

            • ronch
            • 2 years ago

            If you give two chips with different shader counts the same moniker there’s bound to be confusion and inevitably AIBs might not catch on. They don’t even know how to deal it with. Did AMD provide guidance before this news broke out or did they secretly intend to just keep quiet and hope no one makes a big fuss out of it? Did they not ‘quietly’ put this 14CU part out as the title of the other earlier article here on TR about this suggests?

            • ronch
            • 2 years ago

            My point, exactly. See my comment below.

          • Beomagi
          • 2 years ago

          Damn, it’s like politics on here!

          Rather than address an issue to get money’s worth, people chime in about the other side 😛

          What’s more useful – getting an issue actually addressed or sweeping it aside talking about what someone else did?

            • willmore
            • 2 years ago

            That’s not what ronch was doing. They were ascribing motive and throwing a hissy bit over it.

            I pointed out that it’s not that big of a deal and that they should put their pants back on.

            And then the confused fanboys arrived.

          • ronch
          • 2 years ago

          Well, I’m not an Nvidia fanboi and in fact many here know I’m an AMD guy, but I criticize AMD whenever they do something stupid or shady, nonetheless.

      • MOSFET
      • 2 years ago

      Just for fun here…on the other hand, we have Intel’s excessive delineation. Example of the day: [url=https://ark.intel.com/products/98089/Intel-Z270-Chipset<]Z270 chipset specs[/url<] and [url=https://ark.intel.com/products/125903/Intel-Z370-Chipset<]Z370 chipset specs[/url<]. Literally [i<]exact[/i<] same thing, with the only difference being [i<]which[/i<] LGA1151 CPUs they work with. I'm not excusing AMD. Differentiate darnit.

        • ronch
        • 2 years ago

        Intel: same chip, two names.
        AMD: different chip binning, one name.

      • Amiga500+
      • 2 years ago

      Crazy.

      All could have been solved by calling it RX558.

        • K-L-Waster
        • 2 years ago

        Bingo.

    • kmm
    • 2 years ago

    100% AMD needs to be clear about the specs and should have used a different name, but FWIW RX 560 performance relative to RX 550 (which has half the CUs at 8) kind of implies that it’s not the shaders that are typically bottlenecking the RX 560, so this cut-down version is probably close in performance.

    • Ummagumma
    • 2 years ago

    Maybe AMD had an excess of “shader units” on the production line and Intel asked for them while someone (now laid off?) at AMD forgot to update the documentation?
    [/sarcasm]

      • jihadjoe
      • 2 years ago

      Typical Intel mob tactics. Skimming the shaders off of AMD GPUs and selling them off as their own…

    • Welch
    • 2 years ago

    Could have just made it the RX 555…. Then again that may have confused people with the 555 Pro. I’d for sure call for a different model number.

      • willmore
      • 2 years ago

      People might confuse it with the classic NE555.

      Edited to add:

      OMG, there aren’t any shaders in this at all!
      [url<]http://www.righto.com/2016/02/555-timer-teardown-inside-worlds-most.html[/url<]

      • ronch
      • 2 years ago

      I suggest RX 560SE – Shady Edition… featuring 896 Shadies!

        • caconym
        • 2 years ago

        Announcing the all-new Diet RX-560

    • smilingcrow
    • 2 years ago

    AMD’s marketing division should be seriously embarrassed by this.
    Don’t blame the OEMs as it’s not their job to save you from your failings.

      • Klimax
      • 2 years ago

      They lost that ability years ago. It was always bad…

    • TREE
    • 2 years ago

    Hmm, seems kind of [i<]shady[/i<] to me I'll see myself out

      • Voldenuit
      • 2 years ago

      Technically, it’s [i<]less[/i<] shady. Slim Shady.

        • Mr Bill
        • 2 years ago

        Sandman Slim Shady

        • ermo
        • 2 years ago

        Radeon RX 560 SSE – aka Slim Shady Edition?

          • ronch
          • 2 years ago

          A GPU with SSE support. That’s … interesting.

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