In case you missed it, AMD and its hardware partners have been shipping two different versions of the Radeon RX 560—one with 16 compute units and 1,024 stream processors as advertised at launch, and a downgraded version with 14 compute units and 896 stream processors that was added a few months later. This can be confusing for shoppers, both because the cut down version was quietly added to the mix, and because it's not always clearly labeled. AMD is addressing the latter.
In a comment provided to PC Gamer, AMD acknowledged that it launched a second version of the Radeon RX 560 with 14 compute units and 896 stream processors, which was intended to give its board partners and customers more options in the Radeon RX 500 series. AMD also said it's working with retailers and add-in board (AIB) partners to ensure that the specs are clearly listed so that buyers can easily tell which model they are getting.
"It’s correct that 14 compute unit (896 stream processors) and 16 compute unit (1024 stream processor) versions of the Radeon RX 560 are available. We introduced the 14CU version this summer to provide AIBs and the market with more RX 500 series options. It’s come to our attention that on certain AIB and retail websites there’s no clear delineation between the two variants. We’re taking immediate steps to remedy this: we’re working with all AIB and channel partners to make sure the product descriptions and names clarify the CU count, so that gamers and consumers know exactly what they’re buying. We apologize for the confusion this may have caused," AMD said.
AMD's statement probably won't change the perception that this was a shifty business move, especially since the cut down version used to be labeled as a 560D when it launched in Asia. The company could have kept the "D" designation. However, at least it will be easier going forward to know exactly what is being offered.
That is not necessarily the case right now. As we pointed out yesterday, some listings don't mention the stream processor count. One example is this VisionTek Radeon RX 560 on Newegg (opens in new tab). The amount of memory, core/boost clocks, and display connectors are all clearly labeled, but there is no mention of how many stream processors it has. Going to the card's product page on VisionTek doesn't yield an answer, either.
AMD is working to change that. In the meantime, if you're in the market for a Radeon RX 560 and specifically the original variant with 1,024 stream processors, you should avoid buying a card that is not clearly labeled. It's easy enough to find a card with the original specs. Here are some of them:
- Gigabyte Radeon RX 560 (4GB): (opens in new tab)$130
- MSI Radeon RX 560 (4GB): (opens in new tab) $146
- MSI Radeon RX 560 Aero ITX (2GB): (opens in new tab)$126
- PowerColor Red Dragon Radeon RX 560 (4GB): (opens in new tab) $200
- Asus Radeon RX 560 (2GB): (opens in new tab)$152
Some of those cards are available for less on Amazon, like the Asus Radeon RX 560 (2GB) (opens in new tab) for $131 instead of $152, but aren't clearly labeled. So, for the time being, you'll have to do some digging to uncover the specs before price searching for a specific model and SKU. Hopefully that will change soon, with AMD putting pressure on its retail and AIB partners.