Despite any rumors you may have read to the contrary, AMD is not discontinuing reference variants of its Radeon RX 5700 series graphics cards a mere month after introducing them to retail. In an effort to put the matter to rest, Scott Herkelman, AMD's corporate vice president and general manager of the Radeon division, hopped on Twitter and set the record straight.
"We will continue to offer the Radeon 5700 series reference design on AMD.com and select OEM, retail, and etailers. However, we are fully transitioning our AIB [add-in-board] partners over to their own custom designs," Herkelman wrote.
Herkelman's comment is reference to a report from a few days ago over at Cowcotland, in which the French-language website claimed reference models of the Radeon RX 5700 XT 50 Anniversary Edition, Radeon RX 5700 XT, and Radeon RX 5700 were all being tagged with end-of-life status by AMD, now that its hardware partners are gearing up to launch custom models.
AMD launched its Radeon RX 5700 series on July 7. All available models up to this point have sported AMD's reference cooling solution, consisting of a blower-style shroud. The XT model adds an indent in the shape of a "7" on the top and side of the card, and AMD's hardware partners have stuck to the same design, initially.
However, AMD previously indicated that custom Navi cards would be arrive to retail around the middle of August. We have seen a handful of custom Navi leaks, as well as show actual product listings. Hence why the rumor may have come as plausible to some people.
That is not the case, though. Discontinuing reference models just a few short weeks after launch would send a negative message about the product line, and now we know for certain that AMD has no intention of doing that.
At the same time, it's not clear how long AMD's own reference models will remain available. In a statement to PCWorld, AMD made it sound as though it is not producing new additional units.
"We expect there will continue to be strong supply of Radeon RX 5700 series graphics cards in the market, with multiple designs starting to arrive from our AIB partners," AMD said. "As is standard practice, once the inventory of the AMD reference cards has been sold, AMD will continue to support new partner designs with Radeon RX 5700 series reference design kit."
Unless we are misreading that statement, AMD will continue to sell however many cards it already has stockpiled, and then it will be up to its hardware partners to offer reference models alongside custom variants, if they choose. So no, reference Radeon 5700 series have not reached end-of-life status, it's just not clear how much longer they will be available direct from AMD.