AMD Quietly Downgrades Some RX 560s
There’s some interesting news regarding the stream processors in AMD’s RX 560 graphics cards. It’s been reported that the company has been quietly edited the specifications of the SKU to feature either 896 or 1,024 stream processors rather than 1,024 which the card originally launched with.
The Radeon RX 560, like the earlier 460, make use of 14 nm “Polaris 11” silicone. These devices featured 16 GCN compute units and each one of those compute units offered 64 stream processors. The main difference between the 460 and the 560 is that the 560 initially maxed out these compute units giving users access to 1,024 stream processors. The RX 460 had two of those compute unites locked off.
In short, AMD’s decision effectively turns some of the RX 560s into rebranded 460s. Obviously, this doesn’t sit well with many consumers and the problem is compounded by the fact that, as for right now, it’s going to be difficult to determine which version of the card you’re getting.
AMD’s current product page for the RX 560 lists the device as having “14/16” compute units, but it is up to consumers to sift through the technical details of the cards their looking at to determine which one they are buying.
AMD’s decision here is a bit strange and more than a little unwelcome. It’s already a bit difficult to find a decent GPU on a budget and forcing consumers to sift through the technical specifications for every purchase is going to frustrate some people.
All that being said, there are still plenty of RX 560s that offer the full specs, but you’ll have to do a bit more research before you buy. AMD could have saved themselves a lot of bad press by simply avoiding this course of action altogether.
This news is especially frustrating given how much of a good year AMD has had in terms of hardware production, sales, and general goodwill. The company has made major strides this year in terms of providing consumers with valid alternatives to Intel and Nvdida. It’s a shame to see them squander some of that goodwill on something like this.
For now, though, if you’re going to buy an RX 560, make sure you know which version you’re getting as there’s little difference between the 460 and the non-full powered 560. Honestly, though, we wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of consumers moved to Nvidia, at least in terms of budget cards, simply because they know what they’re getting.
Eric is an avid tech junkie, gamer, and comic fan. When he's not working on his PC, you'll find him at your local comic book shop.