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Is there a cheatsheet somewhere for Radeon cards?

I'm planning out a build of a new system, depending on parts availability, but I'm finding that its not super easy to tell what's what just from product numbers on the Radeon side.


My current card is a GeForce GTX 745. I've never actually had a Radeon, but I want a Linux PC this time around, and the drivers are just better on the AMD side of things.


Where I'm getting confused is that some Radeons are 4-digit and some are only 3-digit, and some are split into two numbers but the memory on the product suggests to me that they're both roughly the same generation.


E.g.RX 560 4 GB seems to be a common AliExpress model for a modest price. But I'm seeing requirements for a game that say R9 290 4 GB, and recommend RX 5500 8 GB. Putting aside the question of where I'd get any of these (I'm guessing AliExpress is suboptimal) I'm struggling to understand where these all fall with respect to one another and other options. I don't know that any of these are "right" for me, as if I build a new system it'd be nice to be a bit beyond the recommended spec of an upcoming Total War game, otherwise I'll be up to Warhammer III and then if IV comes out I'll be in the same boat as I am now.

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Well, you can always check tech power up GPU database to see when each card was launched(this works for nVidia too!) so that will tell you which card is newer


i wasn’t around for the Fuji Cards(R9 290) so I don’t know much about them, after Fuji came Polaris cards(RX 400/500 series) then came Vega (Vega 56/64) and then Navi (RX 5000 series) and then Navi 2(RX 6000 series) and that’s most of the past decade worth of cards covered


As for which one of the listed cards is best-I’d go with Navi, it’s an entry level model like the others(290 was high end as I recall but it’s very old now) but it should be the best, if you can afford it anyways


you could hope and pray that you can score one of the new RX 6600 cards that release very soon if you wanna roll the dice, that would be the best card of all the ones listed

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6600 is definitely the A choice. I'm wondering though, both in the high likelihood I don't get lucky and the reality that most of my gaming interests are fairly modest, if the 590 is still worth considering. Seems like a step up from 1050 Ti...

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Radeon cards with 4-digit model numbers that end in 50 or 70 (such as HD 3870 or HD 6850) are very old and should generally be avoided.


After these came cards with model names and numbers prefixed with R5, R7, or R9. (Some of these were rebrands of the very latest 7000-series cards but that's neither here nor there.) R5 and R7 cards are all quite weak by current standards. Some of the R9 cards still offer reasonable performance but they were noted to be very power hungry. Some of the R9 3xx cards were basically rebranded R9 2xx cards with a clock boost. All of these cards are now out of driver support. 


After this comes the Polaris architecture, with model designators following the pattern RX 4xx and RX 5xx. These are the oldest AMD cards that still get driver support. In general, the 500-series ones are rebrands of the 400-series ones with factory overclocks and power limit bumps. The lower numbered ones are basically entry level cards not suitable for anything besides the light esports. The 470/570 and up can still give a good account of themselves for 1080p/60fps AAA gaming and compete very closely with the GTX 1060 if you're familiar with that, but they are starting to get long in the tooth (they are originally from 2016).


After this comes the Vega architecture, with just two cards, the RX Vega 56 and RX Vega 64. The former is very close in performance to the 1070 or 1070 ti and the latter is very close to the 1080. These were originally released in 2017. 


After this comes the RX 5000 series, Navi architecture, the first completely new architecture for AMD since the HD 7000 series (HD 7000 series through Vega are all within the Graphics Core Next or GCN architecture family.) The low-end ones are competitive against the Nvidia 16-series cards, the top of the range 5700XT trades blows with an RTX 2070. Note unlike the old Radeon cards with 4-digit model numbers, these newer GPU's (5xxx and 6xxx) never have model numbers ending in 50 or 70 (at least right now), they all end in double zeroes. 


In between the RX 5000 and RX 6000 series AMD released the Radeon VII, which was a very weird model that was essentially a way for them to repurpose Radeon Instinct deep learning/compute cards. In spite of being released after the first Navi cards it uses a development of the Vega architecture. It was roughly competitive with a 2070 Super in gaming performance but was hot and loud and power-hungry and even more than the other Vegas rather obviously not originally intended to be a gaming card.


Last year AMD released the RX 6000 series and are still in the process of filling out the lineup. These use a revision of the Navi architecture and you may still hear the top-end ones called "Big Navi" because this was slang for the hypothetical AMD card that would finally compete against the Nvidia flagships during the RX 5000 days. They trade blows against Nvidia's newest Ampere cards in performance; 6900XT is competitive against the 3080 ti and 3090, 6800XT competes against the 3080, etc. These cards are also the first AMD cards to be capable of real-time ray tracing, however they are not as good at it yet as Nvidia Ampere. The graphics hardware inside the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/Series X is also a version of these newest Navi chips, which is part of why the stock of AMD GPU's is so small. 

Friends don't let friends use Userbenchmark. Ban the term "bottleneck." Corps aren't your friends. If the PC does what you need it to do well enough, it's good enough. Don't build the "best" system, build the system that makes you happy. 


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