AMD Rebrands RX 500 Series GPUs As RX 500X Series

AMD posted specs for a full line of RX 500X series of GPUs that appear to be straight-up rebrands of the existing RX 500 series.

Earlier this week, rumors of what could have been AMD’s first consumer GPU announcement in 2018 began circulating when members of Reddit found a placeholder page on AMD’s website for an RX 500X series. Shortly after, one GPU of that lineup, the mobile RX 560X, was spotted on the 3DMark database. A new version of AIDA64 and AMD’s official website now confirm the existence of a full line of RX 500X series GPUs. Unfortunately, official specs highly suggest that these cards are nothing but straight-up rebrands of the current RX 500 series that launched in April 2017, which were themselves merely a slightly updated version of the RX 400 series of 2016.

The rebadging, as we know it, consists of the RX 580X, RX 570X, RX 560X , RX 550X, and RX 540X. Going through the specs reveals they are spec-for-spec identical to their non-X counterparts. If there is any notable differences, then it’s in the supported technologies list. For example, the RX 580X lacks mention of Crossfire, frame-rate target control, and Eyefinity, among others. AMD may have chosen to rebrand some of its technologies and lump them into a more general term, but we don’t suspect that the RX 500X series will actually have any feature differences with the RX 500 series. One notable exception is the RX 550X, which is now listed with 8 and 10 CU versions. The RX 550 launched with an 8 CU variant only, but a 10 CU variant was launched by Sapphire earlier this year.

AMD has yet to make an official announcement for the RX 500X series, and we don’t know if it will. As AnandTech points out, the RX 500X series could be exclusively for system OEMs. Of course, rebranding/rebadging of GPUs is nothing new in the industry. AMD was well known for relying on that tactic when the company was going through arguably darker times, at least on the CPU front, a few years ago. The HD 7970 was refreshed multiple times--once as the GHZ Edition, again as the OEM-only HD 8970, then again as the R9 280X. The flagship of the R9 series, the R9 290X, itself was refreshed as the R9 390X.

Expect to see RX 500X series graphics cards appearing in systems from OEMs in the near future. The rebranding doesn’t preclude an announcement for an actually new consumer GPU from AMD this year, but there is no evidence it will occur. AMD’s CES 2018 announcement mentioned a 7nm Vega variant for AI applications, but previous plans we heard of transitioning Vega to 12nm in consumer GPUs haven’t panned out. The Red team’s big boss of consumer GPUs, Raja Koduri left and joined Intel in late 2017. The move was probably unrelated to the 14nm Vega chip that graces Intel’s Kaby Lake-G, which is the only thing that we’ve seen from AMD in 2018 so far. Kaby Lake-G as a product might only a hedge by AMD and Intel against the quickly rising Nvidia. The latter didn’t launch a new GPU architecture yet, as some had expected, but we’re certain that it’s fully ready to do so.

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