Update, Apr 12, 2018: Looks like we got a bit too excited for the upcoming AMD graphics lineup. As it turns out, the RX 500X series graphics cards have nothing new to offer: they are simply rebranded 500 series Polaris GPUs from last year, but in a new OEM flavour for pre-built PCs and mobility platforms.
Original story: A new line of AMD Radeon RX 500X series graphics cards has popped up on the company’s official website. The lineup has been spotted in the form of placeholder pages, including one for the RX 580X. Although we don’t have any further details yet, it seems like this will be a 12nm Polaris refresh that could launch this year ahead of the 7nm Vega family.
AMD could launch 12nm Polaris refresh in the form of RX 500X Series Graphics Cards
Back in September of last year, AMD announced that its next CPU and GPU product lines will be built on Globalfoundries’ 12nm LP process. However, the company appeared to have changed its plans when it unveiled its 2018 graphics roadmap at this year’s CES in January.
While the upcoming Ryzen 2 CPUs will be based on the 12nm node, the new line of Vega GPUs will bypass it to move straight to 7nm. According to the AMD roadmap, the first 7nm Vega products will be the Radeon Instinct cards built specifically for machine learning applications. They are scheduled to launch later this year.
This means we might not see any new mainstream desktop parts from AMD in 2018. Of course, there is no official confirmation regarding that yet. Also, a lot of people still believe the new Radeon cards will arrive this year, especially with Nvidia preparing to introduce the GeForce 20-series around July.
Well we may have got an idea what team red could have in store for the 2018 launch. In the last few days, AMD have put five placeholder pages on its main website, which include: the RX 580X, RX 570X, two RX 560X’s (likely based on memory), and RX 550X. These pages no longer exist, but even when live, they offered no information beyond the name.
That being said, the name alone is enough for us to infer some details. The ‘X’ suffix indicates the cards would offer a noticeable performance boost over the standard variants, as is the case with the Radeon R9 390X. What we can expect is an increase in the count of Compute Units (CUs) that could help boost the Polaris performance similarly with the RX 500X series over the current 500 series cards.
Following the launch of the first Polaris based 400 series cards, led by the 36CU Radeon RX 480, rumors surfaced that a high-end ‘RX 490’ graphics card was in the works that would pack 40 CUs. The RX 490 couldn’t see the light of day, but a 40CU Polaris chip did eventually make it into Microsoft’s Xbox One X, proving a higher CU chip is indeed viable.
This leads us to believe that the new AMD RX 580X could be the 40CU Polaris chip we’ve been waiting for. If AMD follows its previous launch schedule, then we can expect to see a release around June along with the rest of 500X series graphics cards. As mentioned above, the new lineup will simply be a 12nm Polaris refresh with no massive upgrades over the last generation.
Again, AMD has stayed mum on the matter and is yet to confirm any details. We’ll update you with more 500 series info when it becomes available.