If you happen to be a hardcore gamer and is blaming the cryptocurrency miners for taking your beloved graphics card from you and causing prices to soar, then they aren’t the only one to blame; Microsoft is too, to an extent. Surprising, isn’t it?
A GPU could have been very well released for gamers, but instead, Microsoft acted early and got their rights to the AMD RX 490 and RX 590 GPUs for their Xbox One X consoles. They could have very easily become the GPU everyone would have been talking about amongst the PC gaming community.
There was indeed another generation of GPUs last year by Radeon, apart from just the launch of AMD Vega in 2017. Though it must be noted that the 500 series GPUs didn’t really please everyone since they are more of a rebadged version of the RX 480 and the RX 470 series.
Though they do have Polaris Enhanced architecture which means, they still could have meant a lot to the gaming community. The situation got so much better for the series’s GPU especially RX 580 that its price got an edge to edge with Nvidia GTX 1060 and it soared even further.
As per the branding way of GPUs by AMD one can say that there was another GPU which was released. There were only two of the three indicated tiers of Radeon graphics card, proposed by AMD on the launch of the series. Sadly, the RX 490 and RX 590 never saw the light for PC gamers, even when it could have improved gaming performance drastically with its more number of cores. Not only this, but these GPUs also had a wider memory bus and also supported 4K resolutions.
Now you must be thinking that maybe AMD hasn’t still been able to manufacture a GPU with Polaris support, which makes games capable of being played at a 4K resolution. Though, this is strictly not the case here. Now we all that the very chip at the heart of the Microsoft’s Xbox One X console is a Polaris Graphics Card chip and we know that the new Xbox supports gameplay at 4K resolution.
According to pcgamesn.com, “The Scorpio GPU inside the Xbox One X isn’t completely identical to a desktop Polaris GPU, however. It is still essentially using the same AMD Graphics Core Next (GCN) 4.0 technology despite being built on TSMC’s 16nm production process, as opposed to the 14nm one used inside the 400- and 500-series Radeon cards.” They further state that “What it does have is more compute units than the top-end AMD RX 580 Polaris card. The RX 580 has 36 CUs, delivering 2,304 GCN cores, while the Scorpio has a full 40 CUs and therefore 2,560 GCN cores.”
What can be gathered from the data is that Microsoft shook a deal with AMD, that they wouldn’t release an equivalent version of the GPU for PC gamers, so that Xbox users would be the ones getting the best GPUs. Though, even if this GPU could have seen the light, we are sure the crypto-miners would have gotten their hands on all of them before a hardcore PC gamer could get one.