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AMD's new graphics cards crank up the speed while keeping the price affordable

AMD's new graphics cards crank up the speed while keeping the price affordable


Prices stay low on the faster RX500 cards

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AMD’s RX400 series graphics cards were introduced last year as a powerful but affordable option for gaming PCs, and today AMD is introducing the line’s successor, the Radeon RX500 series.

The RX500 cards aren’t dramatically different from their predecessors, but they up performance by boosting clock speeds across the line, without any impact to price.

AMD is also adding an even lower-cost option to the lineup

At the top of the line, the RX580 will have a 1257Mhz base speed and a 1340Mhz boost speed, up from a 1120 MHz base and 1266 MHz boost on the RX480. Improvements are similar on the RX570, which features an 1168MHz base and a 1266MHz boost, up from 926MHz and 1206MHz on the RX470. And the RX560 gets a 1175MHz base and a 1275MHz boost speed, up from 1090MHz and 1200MHz on the RX460.

For all of those, pricing remains the same as with their predecessors: $229 for the RX580 with 8GB of RAM, $199 for the RX580 for 4GB, $169 for RX570 with 4GB, and $99 for the RX560 with 2GB. AMD points out that these are starting prices and configurations will vary. The RX560 launches next month, but the rest will be available this week.

Chances are, these won’t be huge improvements over last year’s models. In its release notes, AMD only compares them to its older cards in its lineup that aren’t on the Polaris architecture. It’s people who own those that AMD is really targeting here, hoping these’ll offer enough reason to upgrade.

If you want an in-depth look, The Tech Report has a review up of the RX580 and RX570, which hits a fairly positive conclusion: “The RX500 series successfully closes the small gaps that existed between RX400-series cards and the Nvidia competition.” HardOCP also has a deep look at the RX580, which is still positive but a little less glowing. “The clock speed is technically higher, but the real-world performance advantage according to our gameplay testing isn’t [as] impactful as you would expect,” writes Brent Justice.

In addition to those three cards, AMD is also introducing a new low-cost option, the RX550. The RX550 has an 1183MHz boost speed and 2GB of RAM. But its starting price is only $79, and AMD hopes it’ll entice people to pick it up instead of using an integrated graphics solution.