AMD Quietly Changes RX 560 Specifications; Two Versions Are Now Available

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shrapnel_indie

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First, we had this kind of mess with NVidia and the GTX-1060 variants (the gimped 3GB model and the full 6-GB models.) I guess not enough of us cried out loud enough for AMD to pay attention? (NVidia seems to have paid attention as the upcoming GTX-20xx line makes better names choices.) We had to, and still need to, pay attention when the only thing they tell you about a GPU is that it is a GTX-1060.

AMD could have differentiated by changing the name of the new, weaker, specs by calling it the RX-560LE or anything else other than the exact same name(s) already in use by a [stronger] product.
 

rwinches

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Really?!!!
There is nothing to see here.
AMD added a second version of their 560 1024 2/4 GB card, a 896 4 GB with the same clock speed. Just because the web site chart does not show different model numbers has nothing to do with a retail offering. This is a most likely a lower binned card that will be sold to a system builder like HP. If these cards are sold retail the box will be marked accordingly, the buyer will have to read the box or ad. Still the retail version may indeed be marked 896 SP.
 

d0x360

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It's entirely possible that manufacturing changes have allowed them to use binned dies and they have gained headroom in their ability to overclock so if an AIB uses the lower core count they can still achieve the same performance while saving themselves money during a time year when tech companies lose tons of money in stock valuation.

Of course that would leave less headroom for users to push the cards harder which isn't great but as long as they perform the same as the base original 560 then it all makes sense for a business perspective. Especially since it allows them to use otherwise trash boards.

We really need to see some benchmarks before we make judgements plus AMD gave a straight answer which is... appreciated. They didn't dance around the issue like some companies do.

 

bit_user

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In what ways were the 3GB versions worse (aside from less RAM, obviously, and maybe lower clocks)?
 

bit_user

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It'd be good if they could offer the RX 560 in a low profile card. The RX 460 was available in that form, had more raw compute horsepower than Nvidia's fastest low profile - the GTX 1050 Ti.

Even a cut-down RX 560 would be a good step up from the RX 550 and improve their competitiveness in that form factor. Perhaps that's what it's about.
 

TJ Hooker

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The GPU itself was cut down for the 1060 3GB

6GB version: 1280/80/10 shaders/TMUs/SMs
3GB version: 1152/72/9 shaders/TMUs/SMs
 

DragonAsta

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as to the in what way was the 3gb card worse besides lower amount of ram and lower clocks....that is the way they were worse IMO..at least Nv kind of did a right thing, the 3gb 1060 cards were KNOWN to be less ram, lower clocks etc.....AMD smarten up, it really would not have killed you to I dont know call it a completely different number to AVOID confusion and not have the customer get what they were expecting to get, such as RX 555 type thing, least the numbers would clearly differentiate what the card is OR call it RX 560 OEM....We already have enough confusion with bother your main competition playing games with features, specs, clock rates, amount of things like shaders/tmu/rop, please dont play their stupid game.

Guess they dont have a hard enough go of things already, it is like they are TRYING to get hated on.....last I heard about this, the "new" RX 560 and the "old" are both priced MSRP $99USD, so they make a critical change as far as given performance, likely not going to result in a much lower wattage/TDP to run it, less shader/rop/tmu and they are wanting the same $ for it...how lame...love AMD and Radeon, cannot stand Nv, but doing things like this is just stupid as it gets IMO.
 

bit_user

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Thanks.

I think I agree with DragonAsta - anyone buying the 3 GB version is going to tend to use lower resolutions, lower settings, and generally less-demanding games than someone who thinks they need > 3 GB. So, it kind of makes sense if the smaller-memory version is a bit cut down. And if you know that, then there's no guessing game because you need only look at the amount of VRAM.
 

Olle P

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First the buyer needs to know that there are two versions, and decide which one is right for her.
Then there's the need to have the correct version disclosed on the box, which may or may not be all that apparent..
 

raycrayz

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From a consumer point of view, AMD should be making custom computers more easy to build as opposed to more complicated. Why rely on 3rd party builders when the stuff is easy for a regular Joe to assemble it themselves? The fact is that most people don't assemble their own computer because they think it's a time consuming, difficult, and a complex job.

Dumb move for AMD during a time when they're trying to change their brand identification from discount to cutting edge products during a time when trust in corporations is at an all time low.

People don't respond well to subtle changes in hardware in subjects that most find complicated, I think computers qualifies. Even offering the same card with two sizes of on-board ram is a bad idea as it creates two clear differences in experience with the same card. This makes it difficult for game programmers with respect to minimum requirements, and it makes it slightly more complex for someone to build a system to meet specific software requirements.

There are plenty of numbers. If you're going to gimp the RX560, then call it the RX559 instead, or the RX560-1. People understand that. People can pick between items that have a different name, and most aren't expecting a selection between items of the same name, unless the difference is qualitative like COLOUR!

These are all quantitative changes and they all deserve their own identifying name.

AMD makes great tech, but often a great name is made through how a company communicates it's products, differentiates between products, and makes the whole buying experience simple & clear. It's the precise reason why Apple does so well.. no thinking involved on the part of the buyer. People love that because lives have gotten and stressful (compared to just 20 yrs ago).
 

shrapnel_indie

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For one thing, with some games, that 3GB limit made itself known the more you turned up the graphics... to the point where even a 4GB GTX-1050Ti outperformed it. (Yes, that is the "asides from" you mentioned.) The 6GB had no issue there. Also because the 1060 3GB has been hacked down from the 6GB, the 3GB cannot ever support more than 3GB of RAM.

When you take away processor blocks, it will perform less than one that has more, even if it is just slightly. Of course how much of a difference depends on how much was chopped off the original.
 

shrapnel_indie

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While I agree about the cut-down 560 would be better than a 550, keeping the exact same name is what gets confusing, and will make some people upset when they find out they didn't get the exact card they thought they were.
 

shrapnel_indie

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Thing is, with the 1060, the only clue in naming is the 3GB or 6GB markings.... if omitted (and the specs are omitted too, for those who actually look)... your guess is as good as anyone else's guess as to which one.

Some people don't know enough, or better, than to just look at the brand, given model name, and price. Those who are guilty of this, are prone to pick the wrong one and not be happy campers when they feel duped.
 

shrapnel_indie

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We know that, yes. We who pay attention to these things as we comb through our choices and mull over specifications.

There are those who don't know any better though. Mostly new people. They see GTX-1060 and stop there, looking at the price, and believing the only difference is the amount of RAM present, if that is even present in the header or quick description.
 

spdragoo

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They weren't significantly slower, but there was a drop of about 10% on average in performance (https://www.techspot.com/review/1237-msi-geforce-gtx-1060-3gb/).

 

cd000

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AMD provided this statement to PC World:

“It’s correct that 14 Compute Unit (896 stream processors) and 16 Compute Unit (1024 stream processor) versions of the Radeon RX 560 are available. We introduced the 14CU version this summer to provide AIBs and the market with more RX 500 series options. It’s come to our attention that on certain AIB and etail websites there’s no clear delineation between the two variants. We’re taking immediate steps to remedy this: we’re working with all AIB and channel partners to make sure the product descriptions and names clarify the CU count, so that gamers and consumers know exactly what they’re buying. We apologize for the confusion this may have caused.”
 

bloodroses

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I know people are comparing this to the 1060 6gb/3gb fiasco Nvidia has, but honestly, it's more like the 64-bit/128-bit memory bus issue Nvidia had with their FX 5200 cards years ago. Nothing on the retailer cards packaging mentioned the memory bus type, and performance was indeed hampered by being only 64-bit. I was one of those suckers that owned a 64-bit variant.
 
In reading the article what I'm getting is these cards have been out and selling and there was nothing on the box to indicate it was a 14cu card over the 16cu version that is the issue. Someone not only dropped the ball they tripped over it.

 
This has nothing to do with Nvidia when they came out with the 1060 3GB version it was well known with resellers and geeks there was some confusion but you could see on the boxes on the shelf side by side and see the difference in the RAM spec and the price of course. In this case there was no indication on the boxes there are different versions. You buy a RX560 with a certain expectation of performance and if you got the 14CU card you are not getting what you wanted and you paid for. That is a huge problem as far as I'm concerned. There should be away for those unhappy to return their cards for a full refund.

 

shrapnel_indie

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As you state, "geeks" and resellers (to a point) knew and know. That's because "geeks" do their research. Resellers? Well, depends on the resellers and how much they care(d). The uninitiated masses, however, rarely look past the GTX-1060 part, and if they do they see (if retail resellers point it out, some don't) 3GB or 6GB, so they think there is only the RAM difference.

The AMD thing, is worse, yes, in the sense that they didn't do anything to differentiate them, not a single thing, making it even harder for "geeks" to be able to tell them apart.
 

TJ Hooker

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@littleleo I never said this was equivalent to the GTX 1060 6GB vs 3GB situation, was just answering a question. I do think what AMD (or their partners) did here was worse.

That being said, I'm not sure there was anything 'on the box' of GTX 1060 3GBs that let you know it had a weaker core compared to the 6GB in addition to less memory, which would lead many people to assume that VRAM was the only difference (as it typically was in the past with graphics cards available with two different VRAM sizes). Not everyone frequents tech sites, and even those who do aren't necessarily aware of the difference (e.g. bit_user).
 

bit_user

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Yes. They definitely messed up by giving it the same name. I didn't mean to excuse that misstep.
 
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