Published: Wed, April 19, 2017
Science | By Boyd Webster

AMD RX 500 Series Launched; Pricing Details Now Available

AMD RX 500 Series Launched; Pricing Details Now Available

I thought to myself this is it! The RX 560, aimed at e-sports players, is around 57 percent faster than the R7 360. Meanwhile, the RX 550 will be based on Polaris 12.

Alongside the launch of the RX 580 and RX 570 video cards, AMD released a new version its Radeon Crimson ReLive software suite. The new naming scheme is apparently warranted by the improvements to the overall foundry process used in manufacturing the Polaris GPUs.

While the Radeon brand is getting a bump in series numbering from "400" to "500", this is in name only. Most users will skip a generation or two before investing in a new component. AMD is bringing the same price-to-performance value of the RX-400 series back to the new series. Today marks the beginning of what will be the latest Radeon lineup that will also include the highly-anticipated Vega GPUs, due to be released sometime in May, according to rumors. The only difference here, being 32 of the 36 CUs being enabled this time around, but with an increase in clock speeds. In comparison to AMD's previous-generation architecture, Polaris has more powerful geometry processing capabilities, increased buffer sizes, more efficient delta color compression, tweaked memory controllers, asynchronous compute capabilities with prioritization, specialized temporal scheduling, and support for AMD technologies like Radeon Chill, FreeSync (and FreeSync 2), and HEVC and H.265 4K decoding. A recent spate of driver improvements has made the RX 480 (and thus, hopefully, the RX 580) extremely competitive with Nvidia's GTX 1060, particularly when price is taken into account. It comes with eight compute units compared to sixteen in the RX 560 and has a boost clock speed of 1183 MHz. For example the Core speeds on the AMD RX 580 have been increased from 1120 MHz (AMD RX 480) to 1257 MHz (AMD RX 580). Still, AMD is killing it in the mid-range sector by bolstering its affordable collection of GPUs.

There are also plenty of Radeon RX 580 and RX 570 reviews around from 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 GTX 1060 wiht 9Gbps GDDR5 memory will be available soon.

Sapphire Nitro+ RX 580. The review sample came in a retail box sporting the characteristic Sapphire style.

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. This dual slot design card looks impressive with the massive dual fan cooling solution, textured shroud, and intricate backplate. The RX 570 costs $170 for 4GB, with the first cards running between $170 and $200.

Asus says the cards should be available now, and indeed we see the ROG Strix cards at Newegg now. As expected, there's RGB LED lighting on tap. The hot air is not trapped by the backplate, instead it's redirected towards the back of the card and through the backplate vents to be ultimately exhausted out of the chassis.

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