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Recent hands-on photos confirm that Radeon RX 500 Series cards are on the way

Why it matters to you

Here's visual proof that AMD is gearing up to release a family of Radeon RX 500 Series cards based on a refreshed Polaris GPU design.

After recently appearing in the Radeon Crimson 17.3.2 beta driver files, AMD’s unannounced Radeon RX 500 Series of graphics cards now show up as purported engineering samples in several images published online. The images supposedly show someone holding the Radeon RX 570 and RX 580 cards. Keep in mind, though, that these are refreshes of the RX 470 and RX 480 cards currently on the market, and will serve as affordable mainstream alternatives to AMD’s upcoming Radeon RX Vega family of GPUs targeting the enthusiast PC gaming market.

Based on the provided photographs, the RX 570 engineering sample is based on the same printed circuit board used with the RX 470 and RX 480 cards. The photos also show that the sample does not include a DVI port, but the RX 570 will reportedly be made available with custom printed circuit boards enabling third-party manufacturers to tack on additional features. And like the RX 470 before it, the RX 570 will rely on a single 6-pin power connector.

On the RX 580 front, the pictured engineering sample sports a new board design (C940) backed by a new 8-pin power connector. The included engineering label shows that AMD manufactured the card on March 3, 2017, and it does rely on AMD’s Polaris graphics chip design architecture. The 8-pin connector indicates that the upcoming card can be overclocked at the expense of a higher power requirement.

Again, here is what we know about all three RX 500 Series cards so far:

Radeon RX 580 Radeon RX 570 Radeon RX 560
Process node: 14nm FinFET LPP 14nm FinFET LPP 14nm FinFET LPP
Graphics chip: Polaris 20 XTX Polaris 20 XL Polaris 11
Stream processors: 2,304 2,048 896
Compute units: 36 32 14
Texture mapping units: 144 128 56
Render output units: 32 32 16
Boost speed: ~1,340MHz ~1,244MHz ~1,287MHz
Performance gain: 74MHz 38MHz 87MHz
Compute performance: 6.17 TFLOPS 5.10 TFLOPS 2.63 TFLOPS
Memory size: Up to 8GB GDDR5 Up to 8GB GDDR5 4GB GDDR5
Memory interface: 256-bit 256-bit 128-bit
Memory speed: 8GHz 7GHz 7GHz
Memory bandwidth: 256GB/s 224GB/s 112GB/s
Power connector: 1x 8-pin 1x 6-pin 1x 6-pin

All three Radeon RX 500 Series cards are expected to go retail sometime around April 18, which is when Nvidia will reportedly make OC versions of its GTX 1060 and GTX 1080 graphics cards available on the market. AMD’s family of Radeon RX Vega graphics cards, which are based on its newer Vega GPU design, will likely arrive shortly thereafter. Rumors point to the Computex convention starting May 30, but AMD may wait to launch the Radeon RX Vega line at a special event prior to E3 2017 starting June 13.

The big deal with AMD’s Radeon RX 500 Series cards in relation to the older RX 400 units is improved performance based on a tweaked Polaris architecture and better 14nm FinFET processing. Here are the performance differences based on the leaked specs of the Radeon RX 500 cards:

RX 580 RX 480 RX 570 RX 470 RX 560 RX 460
FP32 compute: 6.17
TFLOPS
5.83
TFLOPS
5.10
TFLOPS
4.94
TFLOPS
2.93
TFLOPS
2.15
TFLOPS