Why it matters to you
AMD recently announced another line of desktop graphics cards based on its Polaris GPU architecture, specifically the Radeon 500 series that ranges from the Radeon RX 550 up to the RX 580. Not all of the details have been released yet, but speculation was that AMD would also release a 500 series GPU for the mobile market.
AMD has now published a product page for its newest mobile graphics option, and it’s looking like a decidedly entry-level offering. The Radeon RX 540 appears likely to be the mobile version of the RX 550, and will offer better-than-integrated graphics performance and not much more, according to The Tech Report.
The chip that AMD is using in both the RX 550 desktop card and the RX 540 mobile version is a small one at 101 mm², and as The Tech Report describes, it’s “exactly half of a full Polaris 11 in some ways.” That means the RX 540 will likely serve as AMD’s budget notebook option going forward and will mostly compete with Intel’s integrated graphics and Nvidia’s low-end mobile options.
In terms of specifications, the Radeon RX 540 will support up to 4GB of GDDR5 memory running on a 128-bit interface and provide up to 96GB/s bandwidth. The chip will offer eight compute units and 512 stream processors, up to 1219MHz frequency, and 16 ROPs. It will also likely be a very low-power chip, drawing something less than the 50 watts required by the RX 550. Overall performance is rated at 1.2 TFLOPS, 39 Gtexels/s, and 19.5 Gpixels/s.
Of course, the Radeon RX 540 will support all of AMD’s most important technologies, including Radeon Chill and ReLive, FreeSync, and Eyefinity. It will also provide HDMI 4K support, 4K H264 Decode and Encode, and H265/HEVC Decode and Encode. Operating system support will include Windows 7 and 10 32-bit and 64-bit, Linux x86_64, and Ubuntu X86 64-bit.
According to AMD’s product page, the Radeon RX 540 has already launched. The company hasn’t indicated which notebook original equipment manufacturers will be utilizing the chip, but given its overall performance, its most likely competitor will be the Nvidia GTX 940MX that’s made its way into a number of machines as an alternative to integrated graphics.