News MSI: Not Every AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT Can Handle 14 Gbps Memory

Ugh - yeah. Messy. Very messy.

Still a good card at its original specs as well, don't get me wrong - but there's going to need to be serious caution if someone wants one with the faster memory. And, given that AnandTech's analysis said that most of the performance gain was from the increased memory speed, that's the one that I want.

Hell, for my son's use, I might see if I can, say, get the Pulse with the new BIOS, but then drop the GPU speed down to the lower settings. Some nagging corner of my brain wants to get the best fps/watt out of this rather than maximizing performance. And, at 2560x1080, this card won't need to be pushed to its limits yet.
 

AlistairAB

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Ugh - yeah. Messy. Very messy.

Still a good card at its original specs as well, don't get me wrong - but there's going to need to be serious caution if someone wants one with the faster memory. And, given that AnandTech's analysis said that most of the performance gain was from the increased memory speed, that's the one that I want.

Hell, for my son's use, I might see if I can, say, get the Pulse with the new BIOS, but then drop the GPU speed down to the lower settings. Some nagging corner of my brain wants to get the best fps/watt out of this rather than maximizing performance. And, at 2560x1080, this card won't need to be pushed to its limits yet.
You can just buy any model and overclock to memory. Sure it might not hit 14gbps, but it might hit 13.5gbps obviating the need to wait. Or get one from a different brand, MSI has been very overpriced in all markets outside the U.S. for a while now ($50 markup for the Z model at least most likely)
 
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setx

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That actually sounds more like OEMs don't want to cannibalize their lineup than technical problems: just think about 5 models of the same card with almost no difference. Of course they don't want to speed bump lower models to match "top" model.
 
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alextheblue

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Some nagging corner of my brain wants to get the best fps/watt out of this rather than maximizing performance.
Even the higher-end models with aggressive clocks and 14Gbps RAM are pretty power efficient already. There's really no need to underclock it.
That actually sounds more like OEMs don't want to cannibalize their lineup than technical problems: just think about 5 models of the same card with almost no difference. Of course they don't want to speed bump lower models to match "top" model.
Bingo. That's too many variants of the same GPU, from one vendor, at launch no less. Outside of the memory (which AMD does NOT provide no matter what the article mistakenly says), I'd be surprised if even the lower-tier models aren't capable of hitting roughly the same clocks. There are plenty of other board vendors, however. The Sapphire Pulse that TH tested, for example, is only $10 more than a reference card.
 

gggplaya

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In the past, specs were usually known and pretty much final weeks if not months prior to launch. Today, nothing is definitive until after launch and manufacturers are done doing damage control from post-last-minute spec changes. Getting uncomfortably close to bait-and-switch territory.
Only bait and switch if you get an inferior product. But if you get underpromised and overdelivered, not much grounds for a lawsuit.
 
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InvalidError

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Only bait and switch if you get an inferior product. But if you get underpromised and overdelivered, not much grounds for a lawsuit.
AMD forbade reviewers from reviewing anything other than the reference card it provided on day-1, told reviewers to use the updated video BIOS for review and then manufacturers got stuck announcing that not all models are able to run at as-reviewed specs. So you end up with day-1 coverage saying that retail cards will get a BIOS update only to learn the next day that NOT all cards will get such an update.

Many people will get screwed over with cards not performing as reviewed/advertised.
 
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alextheblue

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AMD forbade reviewers from reviewing anything other than the reference card it provided on day-1, told reviewers to use the updated video BIOS for review and then manufacturers got stuck announcing that not all models are able to run at as-reviewed specs. So you end up with day-1 coverage saying that retail cards will get a BIOS update only to learn the next day that NOT all cards will get such an update.

Many people will get screwed over with cards not performing as reviewed/advertised.
What? TH reviewed an OC non-reference board. You are misunderstanding the situation. MSI says that not all boards run (stock, at least) at those RAM speeds with the final BIOS provided by MSI (not AMD). Reviewed boards will perform as tested in the hands of consumers with the same board and the same OEM-supplied BIOS.

All MSI is really saying is "Well, even with the new vBIOS, only models WE spec for 14Gbps will run at 14Gbps". Translation: The OEMs still determine all of the specs of their boards - as evidenced by 5 MSI models with different clocks.
 
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Translation: "MSI: we used cheap memory that wasn't similar to the reference spec, and when AMD got pantsed on performance by Nvidia, they changed the vbios from underclocked to normally clocked."

Eh, whoops.
 

InvalidError

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All MSI is really saying is "Well, even with the new vBIOS, only models WE spec for 14Gbps will run at 14Gbps". Translation: The OEMs still determine all of the specs of their boards - as evidenced by 5 MSI models with different clocks.
The OEMs determined the specs of their boards PRIOR to launch.
Then reviewers got instructed that specs were going to get bumped up for their launch reviews.
And only after launch we learn that not all models will get said bump.

Changing product specs at launch is a recipe for bait-and-switch class-action lawsuits from people expecting one level of performance based on reviews/advertising which are using the post-launch factory OC that is supposed to be coming to other cards but getting something less than expected or possibly a model that does not support any bump beyond original spec whatsoever.
 
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alextheblue

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The OEMs determined the specs of their boards PRIOR to launch.
Then reviewers got instructed that specs were going to get bumped up for their launch reviews.
And only after launch we learn that not all models will get said bump.

Changing product specs at launch is a recipe for bait-and-switch class-action lawsuits from people expecting one level of performance based on reviews/advertising which are using the post-launch factory OC that is supposed to be coming to other cards but getting something less than expected or possibly a model that does not support any bump beyond original spec whatsoever.
  1. They didn't restrict reviewers in the way you previously claimed.
  2. The performance consumers get is as tested by reviewers.
  3. Specs never went down for ANY card, and in most cases (if not all) they went up. You know this.
Bait and switch? You're being ridiculous and making it sound like they reduced specs, just because not all cards got the same final specs. Not all of them run at 14Gbps. Not all of them run at the same clocks. Anyone claiming they all would clearly was wrong. If you think your reference card or other cheaper model is going to run as fast as an OC model then I don't know what to tell you.
 

spongiemaster

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Translation: "MSI: we used cheap memory that wasn't similar to the reference spec, and when AMD got pantsed on performance by Nvidia, they changed the vbios from underclocked to normally clocked."

Eh, whoops.
The memory and the GPU are shipped together from AMD. Board makers have no control over what they get from AMD. Which is why AMD didn't allow anyone to post reviews of any card except the one they provided to the reviewer on day one. That way AMD knew the card could hit the new clock rates while there is no guarantee for any of the other cards that shipped in the first batch and haven't been flashed yet.
 

alextheblue

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One extra point he brings up is that AMD's last-minute change turned some factory-overclocked GPUs into what now looks like factory-UNDERclocked GPUs when compared to GPUs as reviewed.
Do you have an example of a card that saw decreased performance vs what a consumer is going to get? Or even of an "OC" card that is getting less-than-reference clocks?

I agree that AMD's handling of the TBP change was awful, as there was a lot of unintentional turmoil and bad information being passed around. But I don't see where consumers get less than what reviewers tested, nor do they get partially-gimped memory (for example if some of the total VRAM is really slow and they don't tell anyone). In cases like that I'd say it makes sense to be pissed.
The memory and the GPU are shipped together from AMD. Board makers have no control over what they get from AMD.
AMD is supplying the memory? That's odd, I would assume the OEMs procured their own RAM. Do you have a link?
 
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spongiemaster

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Do you have an example of a card that saw decreased performance vs what a consumer is going to get? Or even of an "OC" card that is getting less-than-reference clocks?

I agree that AMD's handling of the TBP change was awful, as there was a lot of unintentional turmoil and bad information being passed around. But I don't see where consumers get less than what reviewers tested, nor do they get partially-gimped memory (for example if some of the total VRAM is really slow and they don't tell anyone). In cases like that I'd say it makes sense to be pissed.
AMD is supplying the memory? That's odd, I would assume the OEMs procured their own RAM. Do you have a link?
Link goes straight to the quote from a manufacturer.

View: https://youtu.be/sDyP9nDw_q0?t=1285
 

InvalidError

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Do you have an example of a card that saw decreased performance vs what a consumer is going to get? Or even of an "OC" card that is getting less-than-reference clocks?
AMD sends "reference" cards to reviewers, reviewers review AMD's "reference" cards with updated BIOS that gives ~12% higher performance. People buy "OC" cards thinking they will get better than "reference" performance and it turns out a significant subset of "OC" cards now can't even match the "reference" card. Congratulations, you just got screwed over by paying more for an under-performing card relative to what actually got reviewed as "reference."

A normal spread between same-model reference GPUs is usually 2-3%. With the RX5600, that spread is 12-13%.

If you love getting screwed over by 10+%, enjoy.
 

spongiemaster

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AMD sends "reference" cards to reviewers, reviewers review AMD's "reference" cards with updated BIOS that gives ~12% higher performance. People buy "OC" cards thinking they will get better than "reference" performance and it turns out a significant subset of "OC" cards now can't even match the "reference" card. Congratulations, you just got screwed over by paying more for an under-performing card relative to what actually got reviewed as "reference."

A normal spread between same-model reference GPUs is usually 2-3%. With the RX5600, that spread is 12-13%.

If you love getting screwed over by 10+%, enjoy.
Here's how you know AMD is screwing around with the clock speeds writing checks they're not sure they can cash.

Here is the spec page for the 5600 series.

https://www.amd.com/en/products/specifications/graphics/15971+15966?type[]=reference

Notice something missing? There's no base clock listed. Look at the specs for any of their other series or any spec sheet on Nvidia's website. They all list a base clock as well as a boost clock. No way to complain about being sold a substandard product when there is no minimum level of performance stated. Clever AMD.

Also, the memory is still listed as 12Gbps, yet EVERY day one review was with a card running at 14Gbps. Two different manufactures in that Gamers Nexus clip admit that there's no guarantee the memory will overlcock to 14Gbps. How is that not misleading?
 
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InvalidError

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No way to complain about being sold a substandard product when there is no minimum level of performance stated. Clever AMD.
Regardless of what AMD says or doesn't, trade law does have performance guarantees. If you sell something widely advertised to perform one way but deliver merchandise that falls short of claims expressed or implied in a materially significant way, you can still be found liable for misleading people.
 

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