AMD Announces Next Generation Radeon R7 and R9 Video Cardsby Ryan Smith on September 25, 2013 4:40 PM EST
At AMD’s 2014 GPU Product Showcase, AMD has just announced their upcoming next generation product lineup. In an unusual move they’re announcing a complete top-to-bottom of products at all once, rather than announcing products piecemeal as they’re ready for launch.
The upcoming generation of products will be branded R7 and R9. R7 will be AMD’s lower-end mainstream parts, while R9 will be for their higher-end enthusiast parts.
Notably, AMD is taking care to note that certain features are only available on certain cards. The R9 series is Direct3D 11.2 compliant, for example, but the R7 was not mentioned as being so. Meanwhile R7 260X, R9 290, and R9 290X will have new audio features (more on that later), but not R9 270X or R9 280X. So it’s likely that some of the chips in this stack are rebadged/rebranded Southern Islands (7000 series) parts, though it’s not clear which are what.
The flagship of the new family will be the R9 290X. AMD isn’t releasing the full specs for it at this time, though they’re quoting 5 TFLOPs of GPU performance. It will come with 4GB of memory, with a total memory bandwidth of over 300GB/sec, which assuming a 512bit memory bus would put memory clockspeeds at equal to or greater than 4.7GHz. Unlike their other parts AMD is not announcing a price quite yet.
The GPU behind 290X has yet to be named. But AMD has already told us that it has more than 6 billion transistors; this would put it between Tahiti and NVIDIA’s GK110 in transistor count.
|AMD 2014 GPU Specification Comparison|
|R9 290X||R9 280X||R9 270X||R7 260X||R7 250|
Below the 290X will be the R9 280X. This will be a card with 3GB of RAM, and it has a price tag of $299. It’s not clear whether this is the same GPU as in 290X or not, and in lieu of specs AMD has given us a single benchmark: 3DMark Firemark, where it scores better than 6800.
Further down yet is the R9 270X. This is a 2GB card with a $199 price tag. AMD is listing a Firestrike score of greater than 5500.
Finally, at the bottom of the stack are the R7 parts, R7 260X and R7 250. 260X is a 2GB card for $139, with a Firestrike score of over 3700. Meanwhile 250 is AMD’s sub-$100 card, hitting retail at $89 with 1GB of RAM and a Firestrike score of over 2000.
Update: Now with official product pictures
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gochichi - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - linkThat's a great point! It makes me upset to think of the ten-billion low end graphics cards with outrageous (1GB, 2GB, +!) amounts of useless video ram on worthless graphics processors. But that's exactly why that happens. I forgot about this whole methodology of selling graphics.
Sailor23M - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - linkMany people also want to upgrade their Video Cards within $100, rather than drop a ton of money on a new m/c.
gochichi - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - linkYeah, I completely agree with you. It's the equivalent of replacing a broken XBOX 360. You aren't necessarily looking for an upgrade, maybe the fan went out on the video card, or maybe you love the games you already play and have no time or interest or budget for the latest games.
Nagorak - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - linkWell, if enough people buy it to make it worth their while then why not release it? Could also be an add-in card for older processors or Intel processors. The low end Intel processors still have pretty poor graphics performance.
Not to mention, these lower cards might also help rope people in. You have the whole thing where someone sees it on the shelf for $89 and then they see for only $50 more they can get a much better card. They might end up buying that $139 card whereas otherwise the sticker shock would have warded them away.
vegemeister - Thursday, September 26, 2013 - linkThe mid range and upper mid range AMD processors have *no* graphics performance. Cheap GPUs are still needed.
vegemeister - Thursday, September 26, 2013 - linkExcept AMD's current CPU product line doesn't have integrated video on the parts with a reasonable number of cores. Even though the 8350 is a better choice for multithreaded tasks than the Intel CPU at the same price point, it ends up being quite a bit more expensive because you have to spend another $80 on a graphics card to even get video output.
SAimNE - Friday, October 4, 2013 - linkyou're forgetting that one of the main draws to amd is the low-mid performance market.... the <100 and <200 market may be a bit iffy when choosing it or an apu.... but you're forgetting that amd can make it so your performance will be it AND the apu.
ltcommanderdata - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - linkWith Tiled Resources being an optional feature in DX11.2 and everything else being software changes, meaning DX11.1 compliant GPUs are also DX11.2 compliant, if the R7 series isn't DX11.2 compliant doesn't that mean they wouldn't be DX11.1 compliant as well? That would be disappointing.
ninjaquick - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - linkR7 looks like Sea Islands hardware (7790), only the R9 series is actually using the new design of GCN. Audio processing is more closely related to pixel shading in terms of the math that needs to be applied, and it doesn't need special hardware.
I would have to guess AMD put it on the R7 just to help move units, and to get a fast-large userbase for developers to more eagerly adopt the tech.
So far, it seems: 290x/290 are the true VI parts, 280 and 270 are (probably) VI as well, since there is no AMD card that can perform on par with the 280's alleged scores.
Pantsu - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - link260X is also probably a new chip, considering it also has the TrueAudio dsp.