ASRock joins graphics card market with Phantom Gaming Radeon series

ASRock is about to start selling graphics cards. Normally I'd make a joke here about the need for another video card vendor in the market, but there is clearly a necessity since every single model from every single maker is already flying off store shelves. The cards all fall under ASRock's new Phantom Gaming brand, and so far they're all based on GPUs from AMD's Radeon RX 500 series.

ASRock Phantom Gaming X RX 580 8G OC

The ASRock Phantom Gaming series currently comprises four cards. Starting from the smallest, we have the Phantom Gaming Radeon RX 550 2G, the Phantom Gaming Radeon RX 560 2G, the Phantom Gaming X Radeon RX 570 8G OC, and the Phantom Gaming X Radeon RX 580 8G OC. All four cards have silent modes that keep things quiet by slightly reducing GPU and memory clock speeds. All four also have OC modes available that ramp up the clock rates a bit, even though the two lesser cards lack the "OC" appellation.

The Phantom Gaming Radeon RX 550 and RX 560 cards have 2 GB of GDDR5 memory that by default runs at 6 GT/sec. That's slower than the reference designs for those cards, which run their memory at 7 GT/sec. The RX 560-based cards use the cut-down 14-CU chip with 896 shader processors, and by default run its core at 1149 MHz—once again a bit slower than the reference design. Both cards use what appears to be the same small single-fan cooler. ASRock notes that it intends to bring out versions of the RX 550 and RX 560 cards with 4 GB of memory onboard.

The bigger brothers of the Phantom Gaming series are longer than their little brothers and use a dual-fan cooler. That's because these cards are hot-clocked straight out of the box. The Radeon RX570 8G OC card will boost its core to 1280 MHz at default settings, a 36MHz overclock compared to the reference design. In OC mode that number jumps up to 1331 MHz. The Radeon RX 580 8G OC is faster still, boosting to 1380 MHz by default. That puts it 40 MHz faster than the reference design, and in OC mode it'll go all the way to 1435 MHz.

ASRock Phantom Gaming RX 560 2G

ASRock outfits the Phantom Gaming Radeon RX 550 and RX 560 cards with one each of HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, and dual-link DVI-D ports. The Phantom Gaming X cards have the same options available, but throw in another pair of DisplayPort connections for a total of three. As usual, the two smaller cards don't require any power connectors, while the two larger cards take a single 8-pin PCIe power plug.

These cards represent an interesting choice for a company that until now was known almost exclusively for its motherboards. It's possible that this partnership was spurred by AMD. Recent controversy surrounding Nvidia's GeForce Partner Program—which allegedly forbids Nvidia's partners from using high-end gaming branding on graphics products powered by other companies' chips—may have encouraged AMD to look for additional graphics board partners. It's also possible that ASRock simply wants to get in on the cryptocurrency craze.

ASRock didn't say when the new cards would be available, or for how much. Let's hope against hope that these new Radeons release without the crypto-currency markup.

Comments closed
    • Meadows
    • 2 years ago

    “Phantom Gaming”? When you appear to be gaming, but you aren’t really?

    Sounds like World of Warcraft.

    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    I’d much rather have dedicated crypto mining ASICs flood the market to really ease the GPU situation. Then maybe that’ll shake up this stupid crypto craze as well.

    BTW guys, I can fold paper 30 times and I’d like to call that money.

      • jihadjoe
      • 2 years ago

      Fingers crossed that Bitmain eth miner purportedly coming out this April is real.

    • Demetri
    • 2 years ago

    ASRock launching a new line of Polaris cards in April 2018 tells me AMD probably has no plans for Vega replacements of these cards any time soon. Also, I wouldn’t expect to see another Polaris respin into RX 600 series for at least 6 months, if at all.

    My speculation is crypto has given them a lot of breathing room, so they’re putting all resources into having 7nm Navi ready as early as possible in 2019, because there isn’t a lot to gain from Vega. Worst case scenario… Nvidia releases a new lineup in 3 months and AMD has to sell chips @ MSRP for the rest of the year.

      • BurntMyBacon
      • 2 years ago

      That theory seems plausible. My understanding was that there was never any intent to respin Polaris to begin with. Though, it was assumed at the time that Vega would be replacing Polaris. AMD certainly could be waiting for Navi.

      Of course, there is an alternate line of thinking. The last time a crypto craze occurred, AMD sold a lot of cards and made some nice profits just to loose all those sales and profits to the second hand market when the GPU mining bubble burst. It could be that AMD has new GPUs designed and ready to replace Polaris, but with Polaris selling well above their release MSRP, there is no need to rush new GPUs to market. AMD may be planning to wait for the bubble to burst before they release new cards. That would give at least some of the potential second hand Polaris owners a reason to purchase a new card instead.

      If they wait too long, they could end up forced to skip straight to Navi anyways. That said, I’m not sure that would really hurt them as derivative designs are a lot cheaper than the original new architecture. Given that AMD already has very large (56 to 64 CU) designs and small to mid sized (8 to 24 CU) designs, I can’t imagine it would cost that much to come up with some derivative mid to large designs. Given that AMD seems to be selling every piece of silicon GF can give them anyways, it may be less costly eat the derivative design cost than to lower their margins by selling chips that will no doubt have lower yields than Polaris and are lower end / lower margin than the existing Vega chips. This lends even more weight to the straight to Navi theory.

      Of course, if demand slows down enough that prices return to normal, then I’d first expect AMD to address the gap between the RX580 and the Vega56. A 48 CU Vega would certainly fit in and perhaps a 40 CU Vega might possibly find a slot just above the RX580. Only after this gap is filled could I see them to dropping some Polaris replacements. Straight to Navi in the mid range is sounding pretty plausible.

        • NoOne ButMe
        • 2 years ago

        They have the Vega Mobile, 1 stack HBM part.
        Probably a bit larger than P10/20.

        And thanks to clock enhancements, likely fast enough to be it’s own thing.

        Although would be awkward pricing. especially as likely limited to 4GB of VRAM.

    • phileasfogg
    • 2 years ago

    Hmmm… interesting choice of word in this sentence:
    “… powered by other companies’ chips”

    Is this a pre-emptive strike against a putative dGPU from Intel?
    Else, I would expect that word to be replaced with “company’s”
    (i.e. singular possessive, not plural possessive 😉

    • tay
    • 2 years ago

    Phantom Gaming – like the cards will be nowhere to be found?

      • kvndoom
      • 2 years ago

      I don’t even know why they’re called “gaming cards” anymore.

    • dodozoid
    • 2 years ago

    Isn’t ASRock sub-brand of same corporation as ASUS? That would definitely mean no more Radeons from ASUS a fingers would of course be pointed at GPP.
    I realy don’t get it, why is that shit necessary? nVidia has solid lead in absolute performance, perf per watt and probably in acces to memory sources. Why do they need to act like assholes on top of that?

      • chuckula
      • 2 years ago

      They used to be an Asus subsidiary but they have been independent since 2002 and are actually owned by Pegatron now.

        • ronch
        • 2 years ago

        Pegatron is the parent of Asrock and Peggy’s parent is AsO_os. So, you know, AsO_os is like the grandpa of Asrock, but AsO_os spawned Asrock.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 2 years ago

          …so it’s inbred? Does it have a Hasburg Jaw?

            • ronch
            • 2 years ago

            Technically yes, but it goes a weird step beyond that.

      • MOSFET
      • 2 years ago

      The Steam Hardware Survey – February 2018 Edition sure shows that there are millions more Nvidia cards gaming than AMD cards. In terms off worldwide deployment across all scenarios, I wonder if the red/green split is closer to 50/50.

      Also, worldwide acceptance of Ryzen seems to have caused Intel’s CPU marketshare to shoot through the roof, in this one imperfect survey of gaming hardware.

      P.S. I had no idea that 2/3 of the entire world, according to Steam, games in Chinese.

        • NoOne ButMe
        • 2 years ago

        While the Steam Hardware survey is very tilted towards Nvidia with China now in the mix (PC Cafe’s, tens, maybe even over 100 recordered by Steam from one PC) it is certainly not 50/50.

        Probably is a 20-30% for AMD, excluding APUs. May be close to 50/50 including those.

        • auxy
        • 2 years ago

        [url<]https://techreport.com/news/33327/the-february-2018-steam-hardware-survey-says-ni-hao-pc-wan-jia[/url<] (`・ω・)

    • Neutronbeam
    • 2 years ago

    Maybe ASRock will cut out the wholesale and retail intermediaries and only sell directly to miners–and no one else? That almost seems like a practical strategy.

      • NoOne ButMe
      • 2 years ago

      It’s not a practical strategy for an AIB when AMD themselves is doing it already…

    • Waco
    • 2 years ago

    It’s sad that GPP is poisoning goodwill across the board.

    Not that Nvidia and participating retailers don’t deserve the kickback, but damn, it’s worse thanks to the bungled handling of the retailers in their responses.

    <3 ASRock.

      • Chrispy_
      • 2 years ago

      GPP is pretty damn terrible for everyone except Nvidia, as usual.

    • Kretschmer
    • 2 years ago

    It’s hard to get excited about 2016 tech at 2012 perf/$,

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