AMD's Radeon RX 500X graphics cards are just RX 500-series GPUs with a new name

Time is a flat circle

Credit: Thomas Ryan/IDG

The $799 entry-level model of HP’s new Pavilion gaming laptops includes Radeon RX 560X graphics, a GPU unheard of before this morning. But that’s no typo. On Wednesday, AMD announced the Radeon RX 500X series of graphics cards, which basically slap a new name on the existing Radeon RX 500-series GPUs (which themselves were pretty much a slightly faster, rebranded version of the RX 400-series).

Radeon RX 500X graphics cards will only be available to makers of laptops and prebuilt desktops, but don’t let that bother you.

“There are no hardware differences to non-X [RX 500 GPUs],” an AMD spokesperson told me. “The Radeon RX 500X series graphics cards is a brand refresh for 2018 OEM platforms that ensures Radeon RX 500 series cards are using the latest ‘Polaris’ architecture-based hardware and driver revisions (Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition) for 2018.”

Both AMD and Nvidia sometimes rebrand existing graphics cards when there’s a long dry spell between new GPU generations so that laptop and desktop makers have the “latest” hardware to sell inside their PCs. Fresh Intel 8th-gen laptop and desktop processors just became available, and another generation of Ryzen desktop processors is scheduled to launch this month. These rebranded GPUs exist so that PC makers can market “new” graphics cards in systems with those genuinely new CPUs.

amd radeon rx 560 resized AMD

Again, don’t expect to see discrete Radeon RX 500X graphics cards on store shelves. As AMD’s spokesperson said, this is a pure branding play for PC vendors, and an opportunity for those manufacturers to market all the truly killer new features in Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition. If you already have a PC with Radeon graphics inside, be sure to swing by AMD’s download page to pick it up.

Rival Nvidia is expected to release new graphics cards based on its Volta GPU architecture sometime this year, but the arrival of yet another Polaris refresh seemingly dumps cold water on any hopes of a Radeon response to the threat. The graphics architecture roadmap that AMD unveiled at CES 2018 didn’t show any new GPUs in the pipeline for this year except for a version of Vega built on the 7nm process node for machine learning customers.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags AMD

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Brad Chacos

Brad Chacos

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?