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AMD officially launches Polaris Evolved RX 500 series

by on18 April 2017

Review roundup: Partners go all out with custom version

As expected and rumored earlier, AMD has now officially launched its newest line of graphics cards, the Polaris Evolved Radeon RX 500 series.

Although it is basically a rebranded Radeon RX 400 series, there are some novelties and, thanks to the 14nm manufacturing process maturity, the Radeon RX 500 series graphics cards have higher clocks, at least when compared to its Radeon RX 400 series counterparts. As you can see from the slides below, the AMD Radeon RX 500 series will have all the latest AMD Radeon technologies including optimized DirectX 12 and Vulkan support, FreeSync, ReLive, Chill and HEVC H.265 4K Encode/Decode capabilities.

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Radeon RX 580 and RX 570

The list starts with Polaris 10-based Radeon RX 580 and Radeon RX 570 graphics cards, which are practically rebrands of the Radeon RX 480 and RX 470 graphics cards. AMD markets the RX 580 as one for smooth HD gaming and beyond, targeting 1440p resolution with 60+fps and high settings. The Radeon RX 570, according to AMD, could get you maximum settings at 1080p resolution.

The Radeon RX 580, with its "fully-enabled" Polaris 10 GPU, packs 36 Compute Units (CUs), for a total of 2304 Stream Processors. It still comes with 8GB of GDDR5 memory, clocked at 8Gbps, on a 256-bit interface. Unlike the Radeon RX 480, which launched with 1120MHz base and 1266MHz GPU Boost clocks, the Radeon RX 580 will work at 1257MHz base and 1340MHz GPU Boost clocks, although the AMD AIB partners will push that even further. Although not officially listed by AMD, the Radeon RX 580 will also be available with 4GB of GDDR5 memory.

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The Radeon RX 570, just like the Radeon RX 470, packs 32 CUs, for a total of 2048 Stream Processors. It will work at 1168MHz GPU base and 1244MHz GPU Boost clocks and come with 8/4GB of 7Gbps clocked GDDR5 memory on the same 256-bit memory interface. This is also somewhat higher than the 926MHz GPU base and 1206MHz GPU Boost clocks on the Radeon RX 470.

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The suggested retail price of the Radeon RX 580 8/4GB is set at US $229/$199, while the Radeon RX 570 4GB has a suggested retail price of US $169.

Radeon RX 560 and RX 550

AMD had a lot of room with Radeon RX 560 and Radeon RX 550 graphics cards and these two are not simple rebrands, featuring either a new version of the GPU or a completely new GPU. The Radeon RX 560, according to AMD, should be enough for "efficient" 1080p gaming, while the RX 550 caters to those looking for something better than an integrated graphics chip or those building a 4K-enabled HTPC system.

The Radeon RX 560, when compared to the RX 460, is a bit different. Since AMD never launched a fully-enabled Polaris 11-based graphics card, at least not worldwide, it gave it a bit more room to make the Radeon RX 560. The fully-enabled Polaris 11 GPU with 16 CUs gave the Radeon RX 560 1024 Stream Processors, 64 TMUs and 16 ROPs. This should give it a decent boost compared to the Radeon RX 460.

The Radeon RX 560 will work at 1175MHz GPU base and 1275MHz GPU Boost clocks and come with 4GB of GDDR5 memory on a 128-bit memory interface. The TDP of the RX 560 should be somewhere around 60-80W, which is quite interesting as it goes over what you can get from the PCIe slot, forcing partners to include a single 6-pin PCIe power connector. Most RX 460 came without the need for external power, except for some high factory-overclocked graphics cards like the Asus ROG RX 460 Strix.

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The Radeon RX 550 is based on a completely new GPU, the Polaris 12. This GPU was not available in the Radeon RX 400 series and AMD has not had a similar GPU since the Oland-base Radeon R7 250. The Polaris 12 packs 8 CUs, for a total of 512 Stream Processors and the RX 550 will be coming with 2GB of GDDR5 memory on a 128-bit memory interface. AMD only revealed that the GPU will be clocked at 1183MHz GPU Boost clock.

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The Radeon RX 560 will arrive in early May, with a suggested retail price starting at US $99. The Radeon RX 550 will arrive later this week, just like the RX 580 and RX 570, and should have a suggested retail price of US $79.

AMD AIB partners and their versions

Plenty of AMD AIB partners have also unveiled their own versions including Powercolor with its Radeon RX 580 and RX 570 Red Devil and RX 580 and RX 570 Red Dragon versions. Powercolor is one of the partners that went all out with its RX 580 Red Devil versions, which are aimed to perform above the GTX 1060 and come with new PCB with DrMOS VRMs and better cooling system, with Golden Sample version which has a 2.5-slot heatsink. The "older" RX 480 Red Devil PCB and cooler are now used on RX 570 Red Devil graphics cards.

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Sapphire has revealed a full lineup of RX 500 series graphics cards. It has a total of eight Radeon RX 580 and RX 570 models, including the new Pulse Edition and the well-known Nitro+ versions. The Nitro+ versions will have a higher factory overclock and some will come with hot swapped fans. The flagship is the Radeon RX 580 Nitro+ Limited Edition, which has a 1450MHz GPU Boost clock and cherry picked GPUs to ensure maximum performance.

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ASUS has refreshed its Radeon RX 580 and RX 580 Strix lineups, which retained the dual-fan cooler but come with slightly higher clocks as well as its well known Radeon RX 580 Strix OC Edition, which comes with a triple-fan cooler.

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Other partners will probably follow soon and we have already seen MSI's Radeon RX 580 Gaming series and Armor series graphics cards listed around so those should be officially announced soon.

There are also plenty of Radeon RX 580 and RX 570 reviews around from the usual suspects and most agree that AMD has finally managed to put some pressure on Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics cards, although it will be short-lived, since the GTX 1060 with 9Gbps GDDR5 memory will be available soon. Despite the manufacturing process maturity, the higher clocks came ay a price, since both RX 580 and RX 570 also have a higher power consumption.

- - Sapphire RX 580 Pulse and RX 570 Pulse
- - PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 580 8GB and Sapphire Nitro+ RX 570
- - Sapphire Radeon RX 580 Nitro+
- - Powercolor RX 580 Red Devil 
- - MSI Radeon RX 580 8GB Gaming X
- - PowerColor RX 580 Red Devil Golden Sample
- - MSI Radeon RX 570 and MSI Radeon RX 580 Gaming X
- - MSI RX 570 Gaming X 4G, Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 580 and PowerColor RX 580 Red Devil Golden Sample
- - Asus ROG Strix Radeon RX 580 T8G Gaming, Sapphire Radeon RX 580 Nitro+ 8GB and MSI Radeon RX 570 Gaming X 4G
- - Asus Radeon RX 580 Strix, MSI Radeon RX 580 Gaming X, PowerColor Radeon RX 580 Red Devil/GS, and Sapphire Radeon RX 580 Nitro+ OC


Last modified on 19 April 2017
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