Tom’s Hardware spotted that the Radeon RX 580 2048SP, which was launched five years ago, and is exclusive to the Chinese market – though it can be imported to the US via popular retailers – just got a big RAM upgrade.
Or at least one model did, the RX 580 from Chinese card maker Kinology, which now has 16GB of VRAM as mentioned, rather than the original configuration of 8GB (or 4GB for some models).
To see an aged RX 580 swanning around the market with so much video memory will doubtless be something of a kick in the teeth for Nvidia fans who’ve been complaining about the relatively meager allocations of VRAM on some current-gen Lovelace graphics cards.
But it begs the question: what’s the point of giving an RX 580 so much VRAM?
Analysis: A curious new Radeon
Okay, let’s rewind for a moment here. Is the RX 580 even a thing anymore? While it doesn’t trouble the best-selling GPU charts in the US any longer, it can still be a super-cheap second-hand buy for some folks on strict budgets, and the graphics card still has sales momentum in China. Clearly, otherwise Kinology wouldn’t be manufacturing a new model.
Kinology isn’t a name you’ll have heard of, doubtless, because as Tom’s explains, it’s a local firm that relabels and resells OEM graphics cards in China (those supplied to PC makers).
As to the point of an RX 580 with 16GB of video RAM, well, it perhaps has certain niche usages due to having that large pool of memory. (Although note the RAM is GDDR5, too, so it’s not fast – in fact, it uses slower 6Gbps modules in this case, compared to the normal RX 580 2048SP which has 7Gbps VRAM, so it’s even slower).
In the end, it’s more of a curiosity than anything else, and Kinology certainly won’t be troubling any of the best graphics cards out there, not by a long shot. But it’s still interesting to see how old GPUs do still have some life in them – and even get late-stage upgrades. The Kinology RX 580 2048SP is also decently cheap, coming in at $83 (US) on JD.com (about £65, AU$125)
You can still buy an imported Maxsun Radeon RX 580 2048SP (original 8GB flavor) from China via Newegg, for example, though it’ll run you a chunk more at $117 in the US (about £90, AU$180) at the time of writing. It’s certainly a better-known brand than Kinology, of course.
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).