AMD’s RX 500X graphics cards specs show they’re actually just OEM rebrands

AMD RX 500X

Earlier this week, AMD suddenly put up a load of blank product pages for what seemed to be a new series of graphics cards on its website. The so-called RX 500X series looked as though they might be slightly fancier, faster versions of AMD’s current RX 500 line-up, such as the Radeon RX 580 and Radeon RX 570. Sadly, it turns out they’re nothing of the sort, as AMD’s newly revealed specs for the RX 500X series show they’re pretty much identical to their non-X predecessors. Booo.

As you can see from my screengrabs below, everything about the RX 500X series is more or less exactly the same as its non-X variant, from the base and boost clock speeds to the number of stream processors. In one fell swoop, AMD has dashed any hopes of the RX 580X potentially replacing the regular RX580 as one of today’s best graphics cards for 1440p gaming.

Instead, the only real change is that there are now two types of RX 550X cards – one with slightly fewer compute units and stream processors and one with a couple more.

AMD RX 500X specs

AMD RX 500 specs

So why is AMD releasing a new set of RX 500X cards that are basically the same as the current RX 500 ones? According to VideoCardz, it appears as though the X variants are destined for pre-built PCs and laptops rather than shop shelves. As a result, it looks like you won’t actually be able to buy an RX 500X card directly – you’ll only find one in a ready-made system from an OEM.

That’s fair enough, you might say, but it also introduces a fair amount of confusion into the mix, particularly for those looking to buy an RX 550X or RX 560X-based system. Now that there are two types of card available for these models, buyers will need to be extra vigilant about exactly which one they’re actually getting, as the lesser card isn’t likely to be as powerful or deliver the same kind of gaming performance as its higher-specced sibling.

10 Comments

  1. guidom says:

    and the 500 series is already just a refresh of the 400 series, not a greatly inspiring prospect.

  2. ColonelFlanders says:

    Tedious. I’m glad I got my 1070ti seemingly the night before prices skyrocketed, because there is very little going on to help drive down prices right now. I wonder if it’s all a big conspiracy to get us all to buy XBoxes? If so joke’s on you Microsoft I bought a Switch.

  3. khamul says:

    It’s all about pricing.

    The cryptocurrency-driven boost to pricing for off-the-shelf graphics cards is going to be crippling the market for pre-built PCs by making them unaffordable. So AMD can get an edge in that market if it can cut a deal with the OEM vendors that helps them out – still at great markup for AMD.

    But it doesn’t want to undercut the price of off-the-shelf cards, which is stuffing cash into their pockets faster than they can empty them. Solution? Have two brands. One with secret OEM-only pricing that’s much cheaper than the shop front for-crypto-miner versions.
    -> of course, the OEMs are still going to charge extra ‘cos of the crypto price boost, but it levels things a bit.

    Generally, I’m pretty negative about this kind of thing, but here, I do think it’s an ‘everyone wins’ situation. I mean, sure, they could just cut prices of *all* their cards… but the pool of people buying cards for mining can only be so big, so that would be throwing a lot of money away. This way makes it more possible for people to buy a reasonable-spec new machine, until the current crypto-nonsense situation abates, which I think is overall a good thing.

    • Rich says:

      It doesn’t seem to be inflating system vendor prices though. Currently that’s the cheapest way to get a new graphics card. Although I suppose that could just be while the vendor’s stocks last.

      • khamul says:

        I’m only guessing. I don’t work in the business, and have no direct knowledge.

        But protecting margin on premium product while still allowing you to operate in price-sensitive markets is the typical reason for having multiple brands of the same thing.

        I think your guess is solid, and this is being driven by vendors running short of stock, but who knows?

    • Horg says:

      Frankly, I can’t wait for crypto-currency to be regulated out of existence. The only way anyone should be mining anything with a graphics card is by laboriously chipping away at a rock face with the metal port plate.

  4. gekgames says:

    We went ahead and have filed five of the best GPU you can buy today, with the price and efficiency in mind. Which is a good thing because you don’t want to spend too much time shopping and that the popularity of Bitcoin has led to huge price increases for all the best graphic cards.

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