Monday, October 15th 2018

AMD Launches a 2048SP Version of the RX 580 in China: An RX 570 in Disguise?

In a silent event that occurred earlier today, AMD's Chinese product page for the Radeon RX 580 graphics card now shows a new addition- the RX 580 2048SP. Contrary to every other RX 580 on the website, including OEM and system integrator solutions, this new SKU has 256 fewer stream processors (2304 vs 2048, respectively). As it turns out, this appears to be a China-only graphics solution that launched on October 15, 2018 and TechPowerUp can confirm this is a Polaris 20-based Radeon product as well.

Looking purely at the specifications, this appears to be an RX 570 with a higher boost frequency (up to 1284 MHz vs 1244 MHz), so this is a confusing strategy by AMD to call it an RX 580 instead. The tinfoil hat nearby suggests that this may well be taking advantage of consumers who go simply by the name scheme and do not look up what a stream processor is, and indeed this is similar to what AMD did last year with the downgraded Radeon RX 560 that started out to be a Chinese-region product and then found its way elsewhere as well. Retailers have started listing this as a product available for consumer purchase already, and a search for RX 580 brings up both these and the other versions together. Not cool, AMD, not cool.
Source: AMD China
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22 Comments on AMD Launches a 2048SP Version of the RX 580 in China: An RX 570 in Disguise?

#1
ghazi
A lot of the cards listed on AMD's site are OEM-only. I would hope it's just for Chinese OEMs who want a lower wattage part. Will be disappointing if AIBs take this up, even if China only.
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#2
VSG
Editor, Reviews & News
ghazi
A lot of the cards listed on AMD's site are OEM-only. I would hope it's just for Chinese OEMs who want a lower wattage part. Will be disappointing if AIBs take this up, even if China only.
This seems to be up for purchase from retailers to consumers already.
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#3
xkm1948
Well someone has to pay for the unused GPU now mining is busted.

This is like the 560/560D shit all over again. And you thought RTG learned their lesson. Haven’t they fired Raja already?


Pitch forks and pop corns ready. Let the drama begins.
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#4
windwhirl
It's not only nVidia who plays this rebranding / specs-changing game...
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#5
ShurikN
windwhirl
It's not only nVidia who plays this rebranding / specs-changing game...
Amd already did it with RX 560.
At least this card has additional naming, so there's some sort of differentiating. And it's only for china, so there's that.

But honestly this naming bull.... needs to stop.
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#6
SIGSEGV
Not cool, AMD, not cool.
indeed, it's not cool, confusing and fake despite the retailer gives 2048 in the title but mind you to compare the price with RX 570 (given same specs with higher clocks compared with RX 570)?
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#7
fynxer
What the flock?

RX 580 with only 2,048 stream processors

Why?

Better calling it RX 575, downgrading and still calling it RX 580 is really cheeky.
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#9
Valantar
a) The Chinese hardware market seems like a nightmare
b) This is pretty low. This is a factory OC'd 570, nothing else. It's not as bad as the GTX 1030 debacle, but still ... AMD: please stop.
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#10
Vycyous
I don't really see much of an issue with both AMD and Nvidia doing and having done this for some of their GPUs. I certainly don't like it, and it creates more confusion and segmentation within their respective product lines, but they're not the only companies doing this. In fact, their own AIB partners arguably do something quite similar by selling graphics cards with different clock speeds, cooling capabilities, memory capacities, memory bandwidth, etc. (depending on the model and contractual agreements, of course) which will usually result in performance differences, some of which may be quite significant. Similar practices are found in a variety of industries around the world.

Think about how many different products have the same name, but often very different specifications, many of which directly affect performance. For me, the first thing that comes to mind are automobiles. For example, Ford sells the F-150 with many different combinations of engines, transmissions, differentials, two- and four-wheel drive, various equipment packages (which may or may not affect performance), trims (again, which may or may not affect performance), etc. Buyers must do a significant amount of research or potentially risk purchasing a vehicle that does not perform the way they might have assumed it would. The same can be said for virtually every automobile model manufactured and sold around the world; same name (possibly with some additional letters or numbers added to the end), but the differences in performance might be starkly contrasted.

So, while it might seem like a deceptive practice on the part of AMD and Nvidia to sell two or more products by the same name/model number, but with differences that affect performance, the blame doesn't entirely fall on them. As long as the specifications are made available, consumers should take a moment to study them and do some research rather than assuming it will perform the same as every other product with the same or very similar name.
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#11
ShurikN
Valantar
It's not as bad as the GTX 1030 debacle, but still
Nothing will be as bad as MX150 shenanigans. At least with other cards you can find out what you're buying if you investigate a bit.
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#12
Fatalfury
the new GPU-Z update better detect this as "fake GPU"....
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#13
B-Real
Enterprise24

You should find a mame for the GTX 1060 or the GTX 970 too! :)
Posted on Reply
#14
Valantar
ShurikN
Nothing will be as bad as MX150 shenanigans. At least with other cards you can find out what you're buying if you investigate a bit.
Yeah, I forgot about that. That's pretty much as low as you can go. Why isn't the low-power part called the 1040? We're lucky we have sites like Notebookcheck who do in-depth testing of this kind of stuff as a part of their standard test procedure.
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#15
Lightofhonor
I guess the real question is, Do they even sell the 570 in China? Could be the naming makes more sense there.

Edit: They do, but as the 570 and the 570X. Seems like they have a X and non-X line. There are 5 different 580 variants there, 580X, 580, 580 2048P, 580G, and the 580 OEM.
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#16
Valantar
Lightofhonor
I guess the real question is, Do they even sell the 570 in China? Could be the naming makes more sense there.

Edit: They do, but as the 570 and the 570X. Seems like they have a X and non-X line. There are 5 different 580 variants there, 580X, 580, 580 2048P, 580G, and the 580 OEM.
They also had the China-only 470D, which was cut down to 1792 SPs. Again: the Chinese hardware market seems like a nightmare.
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#17
xkm1948
You can hear crickets in this one.
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#18
timta2
Pretty dirty. I was considering buy an RX 560, when they pulled that dishonest crap. It's not only confusing, but AMD and the retailers do their best to hide it. I was looking at them, at Fry's, and there was no information on any of the boxes, about what was actually what. After doing some web searching, I realized that they were all the lesser models, at the premium price.
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#19
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
Ok a RX 580, this is a chinese only model, doesn't affect the bulk of us on the site.

This is a line that has a few shader/CUs that are broken, just like NV cards with 5G ram or 3/1.5. They ain't full fleged 580s but are still far better than 570s.

This is like the 290/290X, the Less CUs of the 290 didnt make a huge lack over the 290X, thus feels the same. I do feel that they should market the card as a 580L.

Hey @Final_Fighter Do you see these as project cards like the 560D?
Posted on Reply
#20
Final_Fighter
eidairaman1
Ok a RX 580, this is a chinese only model, doesn't affect the bulk of us on the site.

This is a line that has a few shader/CUs that are broken, just like NV cards with 5G ram or 3/1.5. They ain't full fleged 580s but are still far better than 570s.

This is like the 290/290X, the Less CUs of the 290 didnt make a huge lack over the 290X, thus feels the same. I do feel that they should market the card as a 580L.

Hey @Final_Fighter Do you see these as project cards like the 560D?
it may be possible to unlock the other 256 stream processors if its simply software (you obviously already knew that). i think the chances are actually pretty high in this case and it would not surprise me if amd is positioning this product in a way that it catches peoples imagination so that they buy the product to give it a try and find out that it does fully unlock. its kind of like an easter egg so to speak and consumers love those types of things. not to mention the added publicity amd gets from everybody who performs the mod with success. this brings to mind those core unlocker phenom days and some people getting ryzen 5 1600 chips with 8 functional cores.

At first glance it would seem that this strategy would not work because it would seem like such a small market but it really is not in china. you also have to think about all those shops that will take these cards and flash them to fully functional chips and resell them. amds current market strategy seems to be to get as much market share as possible. and thats not really a bad idea if they can make a profit while pushing older hardware out the door before its competitor brings something to the table that completely erases any reason to buy your product.

these are just my thoughts but sense i dont have access to one of these cards ill have to just wait and see how it plays out.
Posted on Reply
#21
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
Final_Fighter
it may be possible to unlock the other 256 stream processors if its simply software (you obviously already knew that). i think the chances are actually pretty high in this case and it would not surprise me if amd is positioning this product in a way that it catches peoples imagination so that they buy the product to give it a try and find out that it does fully unlock. its kind of like an easter egg so to speak and consumers love those types of things. not to mention the added publicity amd gets from everybody who performs the mod with success. this brings to mind those core unlocker phenom days and some people getting ryzen 5 1600 chips with 8 functional cores.

At first glance it would seem that this strategy would not work because it would seem like such a small market but it really is not in china. you also have to think about all those shops that will take these cards and flash them to fully functional chips and resell them. amds current market strategy seems to be to get as much market share as possible. and thats not really a bad idea if they can make a profit while pushing older hardware out the door before its competitor brings something to the table that completely erases any reason to buy your product.

these are just my thoughts but sense i dont have access to one of these cards ill have to just wait and see how it plays out.
You and I are on the same page, that is why I brought you in lol
Posted on Reply
#22
Valantar
eidairaman1
Ok a RX 580, this is a chinese only model, doesn't affect the bulk of us on the site.

This is a line that has a few shader/CUs that are broken, just like NV cards with 5G ram or 3/1.5. They ain't full fleged 580s but are still far better than 570s.
Sorry, but how is it better than a 570? A 570 is exactly that, a 580 with a few CUs disabled. Sure, there might be minor differences in core and RAM clocks, but those are negligible (and user configurable) anyhow. On paper, there is zero difference between this "580" and a 570.

eidairaman1
This is like the 290/290X, the Less CUs of the 290 didnt make a huge lack over the 290X, thus feels the same. I do feel that they should market the card as a 580L.
...but the 570 is already to the 580 what the 290 was to the 290X. A few less CUs, minor clock differences, slightly different name. The only difference is that they're now mid-range SKUs rather than high-end. For this to not be a 570, it needs to actually ... well, not be a 570.

Final_Fighter
it may be possible to unlock the other 256 stream processors if its simply software (you obviously already knew that). i think the chances are actually pretty high in this case and it would not surprise me if amd is positioning this product in a way that it catches peoples imagination so that they buy the product to give it a try and find out that it does fully unlock. its kind of like an easter egg so to speak and consumers love those types of things. not to mention the added publicity amd gets from everybody who performs the mod with success. this brings to mind those core unlocker phenom days and some people getting ryzen 5 1600 chips with 8 functional cores.

At first glance it would seem that this strategy would not work because it would seem like such a small market but it really is not in china. you also have to think about all those shops that will take these cards and flash them to fully functional chips and resell them. amds current market strategy seems to be to get as much market share as possible. and thats not really a bad idea if they can make a profit while pushing older hardware out the door before its competitor brings something to the table that completely erases any reason to buy your product.

these are just my thoughts but sense i dont have access to one of these cards ill have to just wait and see how it plays out.
That sounds like an incredibly convoluted scheme. Sure, it might be possible to unlock them, but to see this as a positive PR move? Really? Sure, the possibility of unlocking more performance in your GPU is cool, but cool enough to counteract the manufacturer surreptitiously gimping it in the first place? Unlocking wouldn't be necessary if they just sold these as straight-up 580s in the first place. And naming them the same as a higher-performing part is disingenuous to begin with. Also, the "this is for capturing people's imaginations" angle only works if the product is identifiable before purchase. Which this isn't. How do you tell this apart from a full-featured 580 before you install it? You can't. So there can be no capturing of the imagination, as most people will assume these are fully enabled in the first place.

I'm not saying that this won't be possible, but as a marketing strategy it is incredibly convoluted and weird, and as likely to cause harm to their brand as do good. And naming them "580" still doesn't make sense. At least borrow the "D" designation from the previous (also China-only) 470D. That would make it easy to tell apart, and might actually make people buy them to see if they could be unlocked. If they're just called 580, that will never happen.
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