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AMD Readies Radeon RX 640, an RX 550X Re-brand

One of our readers discovered an interesting entry in the INF file of AMD's Adrenalin 19.4.3 graphics drivers. It includes two instances of "Radeon RX 640," and has the same device ID as the Radeon RX 550X from the current generation. The branding flies in the face of reports suggesting that with its next-generation "Navi" GPUs, AMD could refresh its client-segment nomenclature to follow the "Radeon RX 3000" series, but it's possible that the RX 600 series was carved out to re-brand the existing "Polaris" based low-end chips one step-down (i.e. RX 550X re-branding as RX 640, RX 560 possibly as RX 650, etc.).

The move to create the RX 600 series could also be driven by AMD's need to contain all "Navi" based SKUs in the RX 3000 series, and re-branded "Polaris" based ones in the RX 600, so that, at least initially, consumers aren't led to believe they're buying a re-branded "Polaris" SKU opting for an RX 3000-series graphics card. It's also possible that AMD may not create low-end chips based on "Navi" initially, and focus on the performance-segment with the highest sale volumes among serious gamers, the $200-400 price-range. Based on the 14 nm "Lexa" silicon, the RX 550X is equipped with 640 stream processors, 32 TMUs, 16 ROPs, and 2 GB of GDDR5 memory across a 128-bit wide memory bus. Given the performance gains expected from Intel's Gen11 "Ice Lake" iGPU and AMD's own refreshed "Picasso" APU, the RX 640 could at best be a cheap iGPU replacement for systems that lack it.
Image Credit: Just Some Noise (TechPowerUp Forums)

PowerColor Shows Off New Thunderbolt 3 eGPU Enclosures at CES 2019

While at CES 2019 we had the opportunity to visit with PowerColor who were showing off their latest external GPU enclosures including the TBX-180/240FU, and the TBX-750FA. Starting with the TBX-750FA this external GPU enclosure uses a Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) connection and has a 750-watt internal power supply. Due to the size of not only the enclosure but the power supply as well, graphics cards measuring up to 335 x 170 x 58 mm (13.18 x 6.69 x 2.28 inches). When you factor in maximum GPU power is rated at 500-watts pretty much any GPU on the market should work with this enclosure like a cat with a box if it fits it sits. Connectivity options consist of the 1x Thunderbolt 3 port for connection to the host system, 1x Gigabit Ethernet, 5x USB 3.0 (3 up front, 2 in back), 1x SD 4.0, and finally 1x SATA. Overall the enclosure measures in at 359 x 179 x 198 mm and supports Windows 10 and MacOS 10.13.4 or later.

ASUS Announces Ryzen-powered TUF Gaming FX505DY and FX705DY Gaming Notebooks

ASUS today announced TUF Gaming FX505DY and TUF Gaming FX705DY, a pair of gaming laptops powered by the latest AMD Ryzen 5 3550H processor, with up to 32GB of RAM, and a range of storage options. This new platform is paired with discrete Radeon graphics tightly coupled to vivid FreeSync displays. Slim bezels frame the NanoEdge displays to further enhance immersion and shrink the overall footprint, while the reinforced chassis help the machines survive everyday life. Intelligently designed and carefully built, FX505DY and FX705DY balance performance, battery life, and affordability to provide a better gaming experience.

AMD's Ryzen processors have taken desktops by storm, and TUF Gaming laptops lead the deployment of the newest version. Otherwise known as Picasso, this 2nd Gen Ryzen Mobile APU is built with industry-leading 12 nm technology. The Ryzen 5 3550H chip powering FX505DY and FX705DY boasts four cores and eight threads that deliver capable performance for popular games and everyday work. Multithreaded performance is particularly strong, yet the processor fits into a 35W power envelope that doesn't compromise battery life.

AMD Rolls Out Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.7.1

AMD today rolled out the latest version of Radeon Software Adrenalin. Version 18.7.1 drivers come with optimization for "Earthfall," with up to 28 percent more performance measured on Radeon RX Vega 56 and up to 28 percent more performance to be had on the RX 580 8 GB, at 1440; and up to 27 percent higher performance measured at 1080p, on the RX 560 4 GB.

The drivers also address a number of bugs, including random crash noticed in "Fortnite Season 5," when rendering throwing stars. Flickering noticed on "Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice" has been fixed. The drivers also fix a bug of not all compatible display modes appearing in Windows; slower than expected performance in Corel Draw, and black screen noticed during boot on displays connected via DisplayPort. A bug with memory clocks remaining high (i.e. not spooling down at lower power states), when changing resolutions or refresh-rates, has also been fixed.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.7.1

The change-log follows.

Sapphire Intros Pulse Radeon RX 560 LITE Series Graphics Cards

Sapphire today rolled out its Pulse Radeon RX 560 LITE series graphics cards, which implement the 896 stream-processor variant of the "Polaris 21" silicon, as opposed to the better endowed 1,024 SP version the RX 560 SKU originally launched with. The card is available in 2 GB and 4 GB variants, and comes slightly factory-overclocked, with its GPU engine clock bumped to 1300 MHz, while the memory is clocked at 7.00 GHz (GDDR5-effective). The card itself features a slightly more beefed-up product design as opposed to the original Pulse RX 560.

While the original Pulse RX 560-series cards feature a simple copper core aluminium fan-heatsink cooler, in which a single chunk of aluminium with radially (well, spirally) projecting fins, ventilated by a single fan keeps the GPU cool; the new Pulse RX 560 LITE series features a slightly larger, rectangular aluminium heatsink, ventilated by two fans; with a separate heatsink over the VRM. The card draws power from a single 6-pin PCIe power connector. Expect the card to be priced around the $100-mark (MSRP, not marked up to kingdom come by retailers).

MSI Radeon RX 570 Armor MK2 Graphics Card Pictured

MSI is apparently working on a revised version of its dual-fan Armor design for AMD's cards, dropping the white and black color scheme and opting for a more AMD-basic black and red one. The new versions, tentatively dubbed the Armor MK2 graphics cards, are expected to trickle through MSI's AMD graphics card lineup slowly, starting with the RX 570 and RX 560 graphics cards in their OC versions. The new color scheme, even if used to exhaustion already, does a little more than the previous Armor iteration in conveying the image of an AMD graphics card (black and red, anyone?), and the Armor MK2 models should feature an additional color and design upgrade to the existing backplate.

AMD Officially but Silently Downgrades Radeon RX 560 with an 896 SP Variant

The phenomenon of Radeon RX 560 graphics cards with 896 stream processors is more widespread than earlier thought. It looks like RX 560 cards with 896 stream processors will be more widely available than the previously thought Greater China region; with AMD silently editing the specifications of the SKU to have either 896 or 1,024 stream processors, as opposed to the 1,024 it originally launched with. There are no clear labeling guidelines or SKU names to distinguish cards with 896 stream processors from those with 1,024.

The Radeon RX 560 and the previous-generation RX 460 are based on the 14 nm "Polaris 11" silicon, which physically features 16 GCN compute units (CUs), each packed with 64 stream processors. The RX 560 originally maxed this silicon out, with all 16 CUs being enabled, while the RX 460 has two CUs locked. The decision to change specs of the RX 560 effectively makes it a re-brand of the RX 460, which is slower, and provides fertile grounds for bait-and-switch lawsuits.

ASUS Announces ROG Strix Radeon RX 560 EVO Graphics Card

ASUS today rolled out the Republic of Gamers (ROG) Strix Radeon RX 560 DirectCU II EVO graphics card (model: ROG-STRIX-RX560-O4G-EVO-GAMING), a variant of its custom-design RX 560 4 GB DirectCU II graphics card, which relies on the PCI-Express slot entirely for its power, and lacks any additional PCIe power inputs. ASUS seems to have made some pretty big hardware-level trade-offs to achieve slot-only power ability for this card.

The card comes with clock speeds that are below AMD-reference clocks, with 1149 MHz core, with a restrained 1187 MHz boost, and a software-enabled OC mode, which runs the GPU at 1197 MHz, against AMD-reference clocks of 1175 MHz core, 1275 MHz boost. The memory ticks at 6.00 GHz (GDDR5-effective), which is below the 7.00 GHz reference clock. What's even more curious about this card is it features just 896 stream processors, and not the 1,024 that are standard to the RX 560. The card features 4 GB of GDDR5 memory across the chip's 128-bit wide memory interface. The company didn't reveal pricing.

AMD Reportedly Rebranding RX 460 to RX 560D

In a bid to better make use of what could be a respectable stock of RX 460 graphics cards, AMD is reportedly rebranding these to the RX 500 series under the RX 560D name. Apparently, this is a straight rebrand, with no increased clocks or other revisions to the GPU die whatsoever. As such, this RX 560D would bring a lesser performance level than the current RX 560 already offers. Remember that the RX 560 is currently a rebrand of the RX 460 already, only with that card's full stream processor count (1,024) unlocked, whereas the original RX 460 only enabled 896 of the total 1,024 stream processors available on-die.

AMD already toyed with this additional "D" in the nomenclature in the past, with its RX 470 / RX 470D graphics cards, of which we've heard some rumblings lately. Considering that the RX 470D was a relatively limited release, only really being seen in the wild towards the Asian market, it is likely a safe bet that this RX 560D will follow the same path. Another option for the unwary miners to pick up?

Sapphire Makes Mining-Oriented Graphics Cards Available for Pre-Order

Ah mining. The revival of an old craze. Who doesn't want to make their room's temperature increase to insane levels over the summer in order to cash in on the mining wagon? Who doesn't want to pull their hardware by the ankles and wrists, stretching it in utilization so as to maintain the PoW (proof of Work) cryptographic security in cryptocurrencies? Apparently, a not insignificant number of users and would-be miners does want that. That has, in turn, placed a whole lot of pressure on the graphics card market from both AMD and NVIDIA, with prices climbing and skyrocketing for graphics cards in the $200-$400 price ranges, as you know. It remains to be seen whether the flow of new miners decreases somewhat now, considering the recent market correction (read: dip) in the cryptocurrency market value (down around 42% from the all-time high of 357€ [~$400] of June 12th.)

After ASUS, it would seem like it's Sapphire's time to try and sway miners from their consumer-oriented, gaming graphics cards, through the launch of five different graphics cards models especially geared for mining. These are currently available for pre-order on Overclockers UK, and there are five different products in total, one based of RX 560 silicon, and four different takes on the RX 470 silicon (no, that's not a typo; it really is the 400 series.)

MSI Intros Radeon RX 560 Aero ITX Series Graphics Cards

MSI today introduced the Radeon RX 560 Aero ITX series graphics cards. These factory-overclocked cards are available in two identical looking variants that differ by memory size - 2 GB and 4 GB. The cards are characterized by a short-length PCB measuring 15.5 cm, making it ideal for cubical ITX cases; mated to a 2-slot thick cooler. This cooler features a simple aluminium monoblock heatsink ventilated by a 90 mm fan. The card draws all its power from the PCI-Express bus. The MSI RX 560 Aero ITX features factory-overclocked speeds of 1196 MHz core, 1320 MHz boost, and 7.00 GHz (GDDR5-effective) memory. Display outputs include one each of DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0, and dual-link DVI. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Sapphire Announces the Radeon RX 560 Pulse Series Graphics Cards

Sapphire announced the Radeon RX 560 Pulse series graphics cards. Available in 2 GB and 4 GB variants; and in sub-variants of reference-clocked and factory-overclocked; the RX 560 Pulse combines a PCB that closely resembles AMD reference PCB for the RX 560; with a fan-heatsink cooler. The cooler features a simple aluminium monoblock heatsink with a copper core, and spirally-projecting, forked aluminium fins; ventilated by a 70 mm spinner. Both the reference and OC variants come with a baseline core clock of 1175 MHz, but while the reference-clocked variant boosts to 1275 MHz, the OC variant touches 1300 MHz. The memory ticks at 7.00 GHz (GDDR5-effective) on all four cards, producing a memory bandwidth of 96 GB/s. Pricing starts at $99 for the 2 GB variant, and $119 for the 4 GB variant.

AMD Intros the Radeon RX 560 Graphics Card

AMD today announced availability of the Radeon RX 560 upper-mainstream graphics card, "completing" the RX 500-series family. The company had launched the RX 500 family with the RX 550, the RX 570, and the RX 580. The RX 560 is based on the 14 nm "Polaris 11" silicon, and features 1,024 stream processors across 16 GCN compute units, 64 TMUs, 16 ROPs, and a 128-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface, holding 2 GB or 4 GB of memory. The card is clocked at 1175 MHz core, with 1275 MHz boost, and 7.00 GHz (GDDR5-effective) memory, working out to 96 GB/s of memory bandwidth. It starts at $99.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.4.3 Drivers

AMD today released the latest version of Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition. The new Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.4.3 WHQL drivers add official support for the newly launched Radeon RX 500 series GPUs, such as the RX 580, RX 570, RX 560, and RX 550; besides support for Windows 10 Creators Update (v17.4.2 already added WDDM 2.2 support). Grab the drivers from the links below.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.4.3 WHQL

AMD Announces the Radeon RX 500 Series

AMD today announced the Radeon RX 500 series graphics cards. The lineup is based on a "refined" variants of the "Polaris" family of GPUs that power the RX 400 series. These include manufacturing-level refinements on the 14 nm FinFET process, which enable higher clock speeds; lower idle and multi-monitor power draw, and a host of software features. The lineup consists of four SKUs, beginning with the Radeon RX 550 at a sub-$79 price point, followed by the Radeon RX 560, which succeeds the RX 460 at $99; the RX 570, which starts at $169, and the RX 580, which is priced at $199 for the 4 GB variant, and $229 for the 8 GB variant.

The RX 580 and RX 570 are based on the 14 nm "Lexa" Polaris20 silicon. This chip is nearly identical to the "Ellesmere" Polaris10, except for the manufacturing-level improvements that enable higher clock speeds. The RX 580 features 2,304 stream processors across 36 compute units, 144 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and 8 GB or 4 GB of GDDR5 memory across a 256-bit wide memory interface. The core is clocked at 1257 MHz, with 1340 MHz boost, and 8.00 GHz (GDDR5-effective) memory. The RX 570, on the other hand, features 2,048 stream processors across 32 compute units, 128 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and clock speeds of 1168 MHz core, 1244 MHz boost, and slightly faster 7.00 GHz (GDDR5-effective) memory. Although available in 4 GB and 8 GB variants, 8 GB appears to be the most common memory amount for the RX 580, and 4 GB for the RX 570.

AMD's RX 500 Series Specifications, Performance Leaked

A leak of what appears to be AMD's presentation on the Radeon RX 500 series has brought confirmation on specifications and details of the new line-up - which includes the RX 580, RX 570, the (until now) missing RX 560, and the RX 550. It would seem AMD has now opted for a new, dual-fan reference design, instead of their usual single-fan, blower-style coolers.

The RX 580 has a base clock of 1257 MHz, and a boost clock of 1340 MHz (74 MHz greater than the RX 480's 1266 MHz). It's a Polaris chip alright, packing the same 36 Compute Units (2304 Stream Processors, and up to 8 GB of GDDR5 memory across a 256-bit interface. AMD apparently decided to compare the RX 580 to the R9 380, which allows the company to show some relevant performance improvements (which wouldn't be possible with the RX 480, now would it.)
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