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AMD Radeon RX 580 and RX 570
It has been a busy start to 2017 for chip giant AMD. Having shaken-up the CPU landscape with the launch of its Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 processors, the company is now turning its attention to graphics by refreshing its range of Radeon GPUs.
A wave of next-generation graphics cards, codenamed Vega, are understood to be on the horizon, but AMD is reluctant to wait and is giving its most fervent fans an interim solution in the form of the AMD Radeon RX 580 and AMD Radeon RX 570.
Heading to retail with the full support of partners such as Sapphire, Asus, MSI and Gigabyte, the Radeon RX 580 and RX 570 are designed with mainstream audiences in mind and offer renewed competition for Nvidia's rival GeForce GTX 1060.
The decision to introduce 500-series branding intimates significant changes with regards to architecture and performance, but in reality that isn't the case. With Vega waiting in the wings, RX 500 begins life as a revised variant of the Polaris architecture launched back in June of 2016.
What this means is that RX 580 and RX 570 share plenty of commonality with the existing RX 480 and RX 470. It is, for all intents and purposes, the same 14nm architecture, but improvements in the manufacturing process that typically occur over time have enabled AMD to introduce efficiency enhancements and greater operating frequencies.
Here's how the new cards stack-up alongside the old:
AMD Radeon RX 400/500 line-up
|Model||Radeon RX 580||Radeon RX 570||Radeon RX 480||Radeon RX 470|
|Launch Date||April 2017||April 2017||June 2016||August 2016|
|Codename||Polaris 20 XTX||Polaris 20 XT||Polaris 10 XT||Polaris 10 Pro|
|Architecture||GCN 4th||GCN 4th||GCN 4th||GCN 4th|
|Approx Die Size (mm²)||232||232||232||232|
|Full Implementation of Die||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Peak GPU Clock (MHz)||1,340||1,244||1,266||1,206|
|Peak GFLOPS (SP)||6,175||5,095||5,834||4,940|
|Memory Size (MB)||4,096 / 8,192||4,096||4,096 / 8,192||4,096|
|Memory Bus (Bits)||256||256||256||256|
|Memory Clock (MHz)||8,000||7,000||7,000 / 8,000||6,600|
|Memory Bandwidth (GB/s)||256||224||224 / 256||211|
|GFLOPS per Watt||33.37||33.97||38.89||41.17|
The use of a tried-and-trusted GPU is clear to see. The number of processors, texture units and ROPs confirms that RX 580 and RX 570 are effectively RX 480 and RX 470 going by another name. Yet, the devil is in the details. Core frequency on the more powerful model has risen from 1,266MHz to 1,340MHz, while RX 570's 1,244MHz clock speed nudges ahead of the 1,206MHz available to the outgoing RX 470.
Heightened speeds will result in better performance, but AMD's brute-force approach takes a hit on power consumption - TDPs are up across the board, leading to an inevitable increase in day-to-day running costs.
Benchmarks from leading review sites have shown that Radeon RX 580 can offer a performance uplift of up to five per cent over the incumbent Radeon RX 480.
The level of performance on offer makes Radeon RX 580 a prime choice for high-quality gaming at a full-HD or QHD resolution, and AMD's latest GPU is a strong candidate for being paired to a FreeSync display.
AMD has renewed the focus on the mid-range graphics market with the launch of the Radeon RX 580 and RX 570. Building on the foundations laid by last year's Polaris architecture, the firm's latest GPUs borrow heavily from previous cards and employ a sprinkling of extra core speed to out-muscle the GeForce GTX 1060. Next-generation Vega will no doubt offer far more intrigue, yet for anyone seeking a capable companion for a high-speed FreeSync monitor, the Radeon RX 580 and RX 570 can be considered a safe bet.
The AMD Radeon RX 580 and RX 570 graphics card will be available to purchase here at Scan Computers.