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."