At this point, we have to wonder - just how many Radeon RX 560s are on the market? When the product launched, there were 2GB and 4GB versions of the card. Some had additional PCI Express power, some didn't. Some had factory overclocks, while others didn't. That's confusing enough, but then a new version of the card with only 14 of the 16 available compute units enabled appeared - effectively a rebrand of the old RX 460. And then, multiple versions of that lower end configuration were unleashed upon the market too.

So let's help explain the situation by offering some initial recommendations if you are considering an RX 560. First of all, completely disregard the 2GB versions if you're looking for any kind of longevity for the card in 1080p gaming scenarios. Secondly, while the boost clocks for the RX 560 are in the region of 1220MHz to 1275MHz depending on the model, only cards with PCI Express power inputs will lock consistently to the max boost frequency. We tested a Gigabyte board without PCIe power and found that clocks could drop to 1190MHz and then fluctuate - though increasing the power slider using overclocking tool MSI Afterburner did fix this.

With so many variations on the market, what should we benchmark and keep all the permutations manageable? We ended up settling on testing both the 14 and 16 compute unit versions of the card, with 4GB of RAM, with equalised clocks. In effect, we've cherry-picked the best of the RX 560 variations out there and what we have here with our two different versions is very easy to explain - the best original and cut-down versions, with only the compute unit count varying between them.

And in the green corner, facing off against this line-up, we have Nvidia's more streamlined Pascal 10-series entries - the GTX 1050 2GB and the GTX 1050 Ti, both tested using cards that require no PCIe power. The more expensive Ti model is the fastest budget GPU on the market, while the cut-down 1050 holds its own remarkably well as the cheapest GPU in our line-up, but occasionally tanks hard with games that require a fair amount of VRAM (Battlefield 1, we're looking at you).

RX_560
Numerous models of RX 560 are available - we chose to test the best possible models that feature both 14 and 16 compute units, with equalised, locked clocks.

So here's our data for the nine titles in our current test line-up. Our benchmark system is pretty advanced, but at the most basic level, the barcharts represent performance data expressed as an average and with bottom-end and top-end frame-rates too. Click on the bar chart to swap between frame-rate and percentage differentials with full mouse-over support. It's pretty cool, but if you want to go even deeper, play the relevant video embed and watch frame-rate and frame-time telemetry play out for each card.

Assassin's Creed Unity

We begin with Assassin's Creed Unity, the 2014 release of the near-annual series set in Revolution-era France. The game can be a stiff challenge for graphics cards with low amounts of VRAM, but the 4GB on both of our RX 560 cards should be enough to see off the challenge. However, the cards still fall down in comparison to their Nvidia rivals by not surpassing 30 frames per second. The VRAM-starved GTX 1050 2GB sits just a couple of frames per second than the better RX 560, while the GTX 1050 Ti turns in the best result overall.

AC Unity: 1080p, Ultra High, FXAA

  • RX 560 (14 CUs)
  • RX 560 (16 CUs)
  • GTX 1050 2GB
  • GTX 1050 Ti

Ashes of the Singularity

Next up we have our first DirectX 12 test, strategy game Ashes of the Singularity. AMD cards tend to handle DirectX 12 better than their Nvidia equivalents, and indeed we see that the RX 560 cards outclass the GTX 1050 2GB here. The GTX 1050 Ti remains the overall winner at 32fps, 15 per cent ahead of the best AMD card.

Ashes of the Singularity DX12: 1080p, Extreme, No AA

  • RX 560 (14 CUs)
  • RX 560 (16 CUs)
  • GTX 1050 2GB
  • GTX 1050 Ti

Battlefield 1

Our third test is Battlefield 1, the 2016 release that confusingly came between Battlefield 4 and this year's Battlefield 5. The World War 1 team multiplayer shooter also includes a fun (if short) single-player campaign, which we're using for our benchmark. The AMD cards do just fine, with the two flavours sitting around 50 frames per second with a three per cent difference between them. The GTX 1050 Ti scores about 60 frames per second, while the GTX 1050 2GB shows its VRAM limitations with a dreadful result - whether you're gaming at high or ultra under DX12, it's a slideshow.

Battlefield 1: 1080p, Ultra, TAA

  • RX 560 (14 CUs)
  • RX 560 (16 CUs)
  • GTX 1050 2GB
  • GTX 1050 Ti

Crysis 3

Crysis 3 is still a tough game to run, even five years after its release, especially on the very high preset that we're using in our tests today. The RX 560 models fall behind their Nvidia competition here with the stronger card of the pair achieving just 37fps on average. In contrast, the GTX 1050 2GB hits 43fps and the 1050 Ti manages 47fps; these cards should hit 60fps by dropping from very high to high settings - assuming that your CPU is up to it, of course...

Crysis 3: 1080p, Very High, SMAA T2X

  • RX 560 (14 CUs)
  • RX 560 (16 CUs)
  • GTX 1050 2GB
  • GTX 1050 Ti

The Division

The Division is our next DirectX 12 benchmark. This 2016 game is set in post-pandemic NYC, with impressive graphics and streamlined MMO-cum-shooter gameplay. Our AMD cards again do better here than in DirectX 11 titles, with a confident 20 per cent lead over the GTX 1050 2GB, which simply doesn't have the VRAM to get the job done. However, the GTX 1050 Ti continues its uninterrupted reign with a solid 33.3fps.

The Division DX12: 1080p, Ultra, TAA

  • RX 560 (14 CUs)
  • RX 560 (16 CUs)
  • GTX 1050 2GB
  • GTX 1050 Ti

Far Cry Primal

Far Cry Primal is our next test for our four graphics cards. The RX 560s return to their usual position at the bottom of the pile, with both cards recording results around 30fps. Meanwhile, the two Nvidia cards show their dominance with results closer to 40 frames per second. Interestingly, we do have the HD texture pack enabled here, but it doesn't seem to bother the GTX 1050 2GB - in the benchmark, at least.

Far Cry Primal: 1080p, Ultra, SMAA

  • RX 560 (14 CUs)
  • RX 560 (16 CUs)
  • GTX 1050 2GB
  • GTX 1050 Ti

Ghost Recon Wildlands

Ghost Recon Wildlands is the most recent - and most demanding - title in our current benchmark suite. Here the GTX 1050 is able to outperform the RX 560 cards despite its limited VRAM, with the 16 Compute Unit version of the card sitting 7 per cent behind the GTX 1050 2GB. The GTX 1050 Ti is once again even further ahead, recording a score of 40 frames per second which works out to a deficit of 20 per cent for the AMD card.

Ghost Recon Wildlands: 1080p, Very High, TAA

  • RX 560 (14 CUs)
  • RX 560 (16 CUs)
  • GTX 1050 2GB
  • GTX 1050 Ti

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider from 2016 is the eleventh game in the Lara-led series that started in 1996. The most recent title supports a ton of graphical features, ensuring a good workout for our GPUs using the very high preset (with high textures) and SMAA. The better RX 560 draws level with the GTX 1050 2GB here (though the experience is less stable there owing to a lack of RAM), while the GTX 1050 Ti ahead by more than 15 per cent.

Rise of the Tomb Raider: 1080p, Very High, SMAA

  • RX 560 (14 CUs)
  • RX 560 (16 CUs)
  • GTX 1050 2GB
  • GTX 1050 Ti

The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3 remains an incredibly popular title that also provides a unique graphical challenge, making it a strong choice for our benchmark suite. Unfortunately, the AMD Radeon RX 560 cards don't perform well here, with a five per cent gap to the GTX 1050 and 15 per cent to the GTX 1050 Ti. In addition to poor average frame-rates, the RX 560 cards also have terrible stutter, which simply doesn't materialise at all on either of the Nvidia offerings.

The Witcher 3: 1080p, Ultra, POST-AA, No Hairworks

  • RX 560 (14 CUs)
  • RX 560 (16 CUs)
  • GTX 1050 2GB
  • GTX 1050 Ti

Generational comparison

We'll conclude with a look at how the RX 560 compares to its AMD family members, including the higher-end RX and Vega graphics cards and the older R9 Fury X. It's worth bearing in mind that these are all higher-end components than the RX 560, so don't expect miracles.

Assassin's Creed Unity: Ultra High, FXAA

  • RX 560 (14 CUs)
  • RX 560 (16 CUs)
  • RX 570
  • RX 580
  • R9 Fury X
  • Vega 56
  • Vega 64

Thanks for checking out our benchmarks for the RX 560! I hope these words and charts have made this confusing graphics card a little easier to understand. For more information, you could have a look at our review of the RX 460, the RX 560's immediate predecessor.


Still considering which graphics card to choose? Take a look at our current pick for the overall best graphics card, or find out which is the best value graphics card as of summer 2018.


Thanks for taking a look at the benchmarks; we hope it was helpful. If you have any questions or ideas on making this page better, let us know in the comments below!

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About the author

Will Judd

Will Judd

Senior Staff Writer, Digital Foundry

A bizarre British-American hybrid, Will turns caffeine into technology articles through a little-known process called 'writing'. His favourite games are Counter-Strike, StarCraft and Fallout 2.

More articles by Will Judd

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