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.

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