12-5-2017, 11:35AM CT: AMD replied to our inquiries concerning the AMD Radeon RX 560 spec change. We've updated the article with the company's response.
AMD stealthily updated its German website with new specifications for its Radeon RX 560 graphics cards.
AMD’s product specification page now shows that RX 560 graphics cards can come with 896 stream processors, which is 128 cores short of the original specification of 1,024 stream processors. This indicates that there are two different versions of the card in the wild – those featuring 14 CUs and others sporting the full 16 CUs. The problem is that performance between two graphics cards with the same product name may significantly vary.
When the RX 560 debuted, AMD touted the upgraded shader engines compared to its predecessor, the RX 460, which featured seven active CUs per SE (of which there are two) for a total of 14 CUs and 896 stream processors. The memory back-end remained the same, and the specifications are identical to the “new” RX 560 graphics card detailed on AMD’s site. It wouldn’t be a stretch for the company to rebrand the old RX 460 into a new 500-series product. This in itself is not uncommon for AMD (it rebranded its GPU lineup to RX a few years back, without changing the hardware), but the company’s failure to openly disclose the change (and the fact there is no differentiating factor to determine which models are which) may not sit well with some long-time AMD customers looking to buy into the company’s “latest and greatest” tech.
It would be one thing if AMD clarified the change; perhaps the company only uses the 896-core version in GPUs with lower VRAM. However, until the company provides more context as to why and how it offers two different RX 560 products, consumers may want to pay extra attention to the spec page before purchasing a new Radeon RX 560 graphics card.
We reached out to AMD for comment, and the company confirmed the spec change.
"There are two variants of AMD Radeon™ RX 560," stated a company representative. "End users will definitely need to double check specs on variants. Typically the RX560 14cu version will sell lower than 16cu version, [and the] 14cu version will have lower power consumption.This allows our GPU partners to offer differentiation between different SKUs for different power and pricing segments."
AMD also indicated that AIB partners would be responsible for disclosing the specifications of their specific RX 560 product, and the situation brings a new meaning to the phrase "buyer beware."
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 product.
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.
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.
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.
6GB version: 1280/80/10 shaders/TMUs/SMs
3GB version: 1152/72/9 shaders/TMUs/SMs
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.
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.
Then there's the need to have the correct version disclosed on the box, which may or may not be all that apparent..