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AMD Radeon RX 560
AMD introduced the RX 500-series family of add-in graphics cards in April and May 2017. These cards are priced between £75 and £200 and therefore cover a large part of the mainstream graphics market. In this TekSpek we will take a closer look at the RX 560 GPU that retails from just £95.
As the name suggests, the Radeon RX 560 is the logical successor to the RX 460, and it is designed to enable PC gamers to enjoy the latest titles at a 1080p resolution allied to solid image quality. Let's first take a look at the specifications of the RX 560, and then determine how well it is able to provide that smooth experience at the ubiquitous resolution.
AMD Radeon RX 500/400 line-up
|Model||Radeon RX 580||Radeon RX 570||Radeon RX 560||Radeon RX 460|
|Launch Date||April 2017||April 2017||May 2017||August 2016|
|Architecture||GCN 4th||GCN 4th||GCN 4th||GCN 4th|
|Approx Die Size (mm²)||232||232||123||123|
|Peak GPU Clock (MHz)||1,340||1,244||1,275||1,200|
|Peak GFLOPS (SP)||6,175||5,095||2,611||2,150|
|Memory Size (MB)||4,096 / 8,192||4,096||2,048 / 4,096||2,048 / 4,096|
|Memory Bus (Bits)||256||256||128||128|
|Memory Clock (MHz)||8,000||7,000||7,000||7,000|
|Memory Bandwidth (GB/s)||256||224||112||112|
Stacking the Radeon RX 560 up against other new RX cards shows that it has about half the specification muscle of the RX 580 and RX 570. This is to be expected as it costs about half as much, and AMD has been able to produce this card by neatly snipping each facet of performance - transistors, processors, memory bandwidth, etc. - to fit a certain price point.
It is more instructive to look at how the RX 560 differs from its popular predecessor, the RX 460 that was prevalent last year. AMD is using the same basic building blocks of a fourth-generation Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture and, if you have paid attention, the same bit of silicon for both cards. The key performance difference is that the RX 560 is outfitted with the full 1,024-processor complement. RX 460, meanwhile, makes do with 896.
Going hand in hand with the increase in processors is a higher peak speed that has been made possible by improving yields in the last year, so not only is RX 560 wider, it is also faster. The sum of this equation means that, at 2,611 GLOPS, Radeon RX 560 cards offer over 20 per cent more compute than the model they replace.
The memory section has been left untouched between iterations, though the price has come down. In effect, AMD is offering about 10-15 per cent more real-world performance for a lower financial outlay than last year.
A perusal of Scan Computers shows that Radeon RX 560 cards are indeed available for under £100, representing a meaningful improvement over integrated graphics, without breaking the bank.
For those that want more future proofing, the cards are available with 4GB of onboard memory, or double the basic amount, for instances where games engines load huge textures that would otherwise slow the card down. The point is there is a huge amount of choice in terms of brand, frequency, and the size of frame buffer - something for everyone, if you will.
The question of how well the RX 560 GPU performs can be answered by looking at benchmarks from reputable sites, showing that a decent card can average around 60 frames per second in games such as Doom, Dirt Rally, Total War: Warhammer and Rise of the Tomb Raider, with in-game settings to high/very high and 1080p
This means that you can have performance akin to the latest and greatest consoles without spending a heap of cash.
With a number of AMD 500 series cards from the likes of Sapphire, PowerColor, XFX, MSI and Asus, all offering something different, there is plenty of options to choose from at Scan Computers.