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AluminiumTech

Sapphire introduces new Radeon RX 550 with 25% more CUs using Polaris 21 instead of Polaris 12

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Sapphire has introduced a new Radeon RX 550 variant with 25% more CUs.

 

It features a mostly disabled Polaris 21 chip with 10 CUs out of 16 CUs enabled compared to the standard RX 550 with 8 out of 10 CUs enabled.

 

The additional 2 CUs translates to an extra 128 Stream Processors on Sapphire's new variant.

 

This GPU can effectively be though of as an RX 555 although it is not officially branded as such.

 

The standard RX 550 uses the Polaris 12 micro-architecture and this new variant is effectively a defective RX 560 (Polaris 21) with some CUs disabled.

 

We know that the 10 CU variant is Polaris 21 because the RX 550 10 CU from Sapphire is codenamed "Baffin LE" and Baffin is the codename for RX 460/560.

 

 

62fe5d32-a621-40ac-9fbb-649faceb31bb.jpg

 

Quote

Sapphire quietly introduced a slightly bolstered Radeon RX 550 graphics card that's based on the "Polaris 21" silicon, rather than the Polaris 20 "Lexa" silicon, called simply the Pulse Radeon RX 550 2GD5/4GD5 (model: 11268-16 for 2 GB and 11268-15 for 4 GB). Consumers should pay attention to the model number. "Polaris 21" is the same chip AMD bases the RX 560 on. This particular card has 10 out of 16 compute units physically present on the chip, which translates to 640 stream processors, higher than the 512 stream processors the RX 550 is originally endowed wit

 

So yeah, if you plan to buy an RX 550 make sure to check the CU count before you buy.

 

It's so stupid to call both the 8 CU and 10 CU GPUs "RX 550" imho. Differentiation such as RX 550 2GB for the 8 CU variant and RX 550 4GB for the 10 CU variant or even something as simple as RX 550 and RX 555 would have been fine. Instead we're left with a confusing naming scheme which is definitely going to confuse some people.

 

Sources:

https://www.techpowerup.com/241121/sapphire-intros-radeon-rx-550-graphics-cards-with-640-stream-processors

http://hexus.net/tech/news/graphics/114857-some-sapphire-radeon-rx-550-models-now-include-640-sps/

 

 

 


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It simply no longer makes sense, fails to meet demand across the market, creates even more products with near zero production instead of even trying fixing the supply of what already exists.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
13 minutes ago, Princess Cadence said:

It simply no longer makes sense,

Actually, RX 560s and RX 550s are doing surprisingly well in availability.

 

Availability is probably too good to be honest since they both are literally the only GPUs you can comfortably go to a retail store and buy.

Quote

fails to meet demand across the market,

Currently RX 550s and RX 560s have an incredible supply but the demand is not currently good enough to justify supply imho.

Quote

creates even more products with near zero production instead of even trying fixing the supply of what already exists.

Supply doesn't need to be fixed for the 550 and 560. Demand does xD.


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What is up with tech manufacturers having completely shit taste in naming new hardware?

 

Yeah, sure, just call it literally the same thing as another product; brilliant plan right there, won't create any confusion at all.

 

Seems like they could have used the time/resources for this to instead try to lessen the strain on current model GPU supply, but I don't know anything about building GPUs so that may or may not have been an option.

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1 minute ago, AluminiumTech said:

.

That is the point though, the entry level is doing alright as is, I get it that they want to re-purpose defective parts but I think this is the wrong way to do so, creating even more variants of something that's already sufficient.

 

Specially while the mid and high end remains forgotten and nowhere to be found now we have made even further products stacking up on the entry level... it is getting clogged xD

 

Maybe AMD just wants to go back being known as only the budget cheap alternative and gave up already altogether on the other ends :P


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Got to whine because its the AIBs that make the GPU chips right? Wrong.

They get their GPUs from AMD. And when you're selling every chip you get, why not make use of Polaris 21's that dont make the cut for RX460/560?

Unless Sapphire is marketing this new variant of RX550, all it means is people can get lucky with their RX550 purchase and end up with 2 free CUs.

But you haters gota hate.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, Princess Cadence said:

That is the point though, the entry level is doing alright as is, I get it that they want to re-purpose defective parts but I think this is the wrong way to do so, creating even more variants of something that's already sufficient.

Well, AMD could make an RX 555 or they could just push more RX 550s into notebooks as those aren't doing too well atm.

1 minute ago, Princess Cadence said:

Specially while the mid and high end remains forgotten and nowhere to be found now we have made even further products stacking up on the entry level... it is getting clogged xD

There were rumors of the RX 570 and RX 580 being replaced with 12nm Polaris or cut down VEGA architecture with GDDR5/GDDR6 but those rumors have not been circulating recently meaning the likelyhood of them happening are fairly low at this time.

 

I sincerely hope it's the latter and not the former as the Polaris Architecture is getting quite stale at this point. AMD's roadmap for 2018 seems to make no reference to Polaris and only talks about VEGA so hopefully we could see a single VEGA Architecture lineup from low end using GDDR5 to mid range using GDDR6 and high end using HBM2.


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42 minutes ago, AluminiumTech said:

 

There were rumors of the RX 570 and RX 580 being replaced with 12nm Polaris or cut down VEGA architecture with GDDR5/GDDR6 but those rumors have not been circulating recently meaning the likelyhood of them happening are fairly low at this time.

 

I sincerely hope it's the latter and not the former as the Polaris Architecture is getting quite stale at this point. AMD's roadmap for 2018 seems to make no reference to Polaris and only talks about VEGA so hopefully we could see a single VEGA Architecture lineup from low end using GDDR5 to mid range using GDDR6 and high end using HBM2.

I've heard this, also Vega on 7nm which only for enterprise probably. All this to refresh lineup until Navi comes. As for Navi there are rumors saying that they also plan to use it accross the entire lineup which would be neat. 

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3 hours ago, AluminiumTech said:

Well, AMD could make an RX 555 or they could just push more RX 550s into notebooks as those aren't doing too well atm.

There were rumors of the RX 570 and RX 580 being replaced with 12nm Polaris or cut down VEGA architecture with GDDR5/GDDR6 but those rumors have not been circulating recently meaning the likelyhood of them happening are fairly low at this time.

 

I sincerely hope it's the latter and not the former as the Polaris Architecture is getting quite stale at this point. AMD's roadmap for 2018 seems to make no reference to Polaris and only talks about VEGA so hopefully we could see a single VEGA Architecture lineup from low end using GDDR5 to mid range using GDDR6 and high end using HBM2.

Vega with GDDR5/GDDR6 is extremely unlikely to happen, as Vega is already memory starved, or at the very least it is pushing the boundaries of HBM2. Unless the memory shortage gets even worse I doubt we'll see a Vega GDDR5/GDDR6 variant. IMHO, it's probably more likely they'll go for HBM1, however even that situation is still unlikely.

 


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This is good news for someone looking for a stop-gap GPU. Mining has ruined the stock/pricing of better graphics cards for now. Someone can get this card now and wait until they feel comfortable buying something more expensive down the line.

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So it fills the same space the GTX 650ti used to then.


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About as exciting as a dog squatting taking a dump. 


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19 hours ago, AluminiumTech said:

I sincerely hope it's the latter and not the former as the Polaris Architecture is getting quite stale at this point. 

Stale in what sense?

 

AMD's Polaris architecture has no problem  keeping up performance wise with Nvidia mid-range GPUs. Plus driver support has been excellent. 

 

Vega is a much bigger problem for AMD on the high end. They have pushed the vega64 to the absolute limit just to tie with the GTX 1080 on performance, except with bad efficiency. And they coudln't even try to shoot for the gtx 1080ti market.

 

I would say that big Vega on the high end is more stale, even if smaller mid-range Polaris is older.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 minutes ago, Humbug said:

Stale in what sense?

 

AMD's Polaris architecture has no problem  keeping up performance wise with Nvidia mid-range GPUs. Plus driver support has been excellent. 

It's been on the market for 2 years and it would be nice to see an RX 600 lineup consisting of entirely VEGA GPUs (with GDDR5, GDDR6 or HBM2 as appropriate)

2 minutes ago, Humbug said:

Vega is a much bigger problem for AMD on the high end. They have pushed the vega64 to the absolute limit just to tie with the GTX 1080 on performance, except with bad efficiency. And they coudln't even try to shoot for the gtx 1080ti market.

Hopefully 7nm does something for VEGA.


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17 hours ago, CommandMan7 said:

Vega with GDDR5/GDDR6 is extremely unlikely to happen, as Vega is already memory starved, or at the very least it is pushing the boundaries of HBM2. Unless the memory shortage gets even worse I doubt we'll see a Vega GDDR5/GDDR6 variant. IMHO, it's probably more likely they'll go for HBM1, however even that situation is still unlikely.

 

vega 10 is much less bandwidth starved than polaris,

a vega gpu with around the same specs as a polaris 10 and gddr6 would be really powerful and efficient mostly because gddr6 easily gives you enough bandwidth (~300Gb/s) for what would effectively be a polaris 10 at 1600mhz.

now all this doesn't mean that a vega gpu of this size will happen, maybe they could bring the vega M gpu to the desktop but that has a single hbm2 stack, its a bit underwhelming, and it doesn't have enough cus to replace polaris, hbm2 would also mean it has lower potential volume.

plus amd said nothing about a new desktop vega gpu

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