Surprise! AMD revealed a fresh lineup of graphics cards on Tuesday, and the Radeon RX 500-series is a perfect complement to the company’s new Ryzen 5 processors. What they aren’t, however, are AMD’s hotly anticipated Vega GPUs.
Instead, the Radeon RX 500 series are based on the same Polaris graphics processors as the Radeon RX 400 series launched last year, with the exception of a new low-end GPU focused solely on e-sports and home theater PCs. “Polaris refined and evolved,” as AMD calls it.
Yep, they’re tweaked refreshes, with one notable exception.
While the term “refresh” typically sends shudders of apathy down enthusiasts’ spines, the improvements AMD made moving from the RX 400 series to the RX 500 series are still notable—mostly because they combat issues present in the original cards. The original Radeon RX 480, as great as it was, didn’t offer much overclocking headroom above its 1,266MHz maximum boost speed. (Even factory-overclocked custom cards tapped out at a mere 40MHz to 50MHz boost.) A power-draw controversy struck the card at launch as well, though to its credit, AMD pushed out a rapid fix for the issue.
The Radeon RX 500 series is built using AMD’s third-generation 14nm process, which lets the graphics cards achieve higher clock speeds than their predecessors. The Radeon RX 580, for example, packs a 1,257MHz base clock—which is roughly the same as the RX 480’s maximum clock—and a 1,340MHz boost clock.
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SOURCE: PC World, Brad Chacos