For the past few days, rumors have circulated that AMD is pulling its reference design 5700-series GPUs from its website and that they will no longer be manufactured. However, AMD and Radeon Technologies Group's Scott Herkelman has denied the reports publically and clarified what exactly would be happening with reference GPUs going forward.
We asked AMD for more information about the situation, and they told Tom's Hardware the following:
“We expect there will continue to be strong supply of Radeon RX 5700 series graphics cards in the market, with multiple designs starting to arrive from our AIB partners. As is standard practice, once the inventory of the AMD reference cards has been sold, AMD will continue to support new partner designs with Radeon RX 5700 series reference design kit.”
Additionally, Herkelman stated on Twitter: "We will continue to offer the Radeon 5700 series reference design on AMD.com and select OEM, retail and etailers. However, we are fully transitioning our AIB partners over to their own custom designs." Essentially, there is a stock of reference coolers that exists right now, and once that is gone, AMD is the only company that is guaranteed to sell them, although other vendors can sell them if they want to. So, reference designs haven't been canceled, but they are being made less important by the existence of custom-designed 5700 series GPUs.
Although the reference design is obviously not going to compete with the massive triple fan solutions that some vendors have been showing off recently, they must remain in stock for people who want to put waterblocks on their GPUs, for example, because waterblocks usually only support reference design GPUs. Thankfully, consumers' options are open since the reference design is still sticking around, even if it's only in shorter supply than before.