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
Post Your CommentPlease log in or sign up to comment.
View All Comments
The Von Matrices - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - linkI beg to differ. It probably is just Bonnaire/7790 which was also promoted as a "new design of GCN" when it was released. It probably has always been preset in hardware but wasn't enabled until they had an entire product line that could feature it.
The Von Matrices - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - linkMultiple posters in this thread beg to differ that the 280's alleged scores can't be achieved by the 7900 series.
The most likely scenario is that the the only new chip is Hawaii, the 290 series. The entire product stack is thus:
R9 290X = Hawaii (new chip)
R9 280X = Tahiti (7970)
R9 270X = Pitcairn (7870)
R7 260X = Bonnaire (7790)
R7 250 = Cape Verde (7770)
All the rebrands, of course, would probably have higher clock speeds than their 7000 series predecessors accounting for a minor performance improvement. Otherwise, they are old hat. The only good news is that some of the features advertised may be available on two year old hardware with only a driver update (except the audio DSP), since most of the hardware seems to be identical.
fade2blac - Thursday, September 26, 2013 - linkBased on the given Firestrike scores, your summary seems to line up except for the R9 270X and R7 250. A 5.5k+ bench seems a bit of a stretch for Pitcairn XT and a 7770 is overkill for a 2k+ bench (it also likely pushes the TDP above the 75W PCI-E bus limit which is probably important for the target market on that part).
Perhaps the lineup might be more like this:
R9 290X = Hawaii XT (Full Chip - 2816 SP, 4GB w/512-bit, ~$600)
R9 290 = Hawaii Pro (Binned Chip - 2304 SP, 3GB w/384-bit, ~$400)
R9 280X = Tahiti XT2 (7970 Ghz - 2048 SP, 3GB w/384-bit, ~$300)
R9 270X = Tahiti LE (7870 XT - 1536 SP, 2GB w/256-bit, ~$200)
R7 260X = Bonaire XT (7790 - 896 SP, 2GB w/128-bit, ~$139)
R7 250 = Cape Verde Pro (7750 - 512 SP, 1GB w/128-bit, <$89)
As for the audio DSP, I think it may be a proof-of-concept exercise to introduce the next step in the HSA roadmap. If support for this tech requires a new HSA-oriented GCN architecture, that would explain why the rehashed parts won't get it. Of course, as much as I try to make this an educated guess it is all just speculation (especially my guess on the R9 290).
P.S. R.I.P. Aureal, you deserved better than being financially bled to death by defending against frivolous law suits from your competition.
The Von Matrices - Thursday, September 26, 2013 - linkGreat analysis. This seems more plausible than my scenario. The only thing I think might change is that the R7 250 might be a Cape Verde XT die (640SP) but at a lower clock speed than the 7770 to enable it to fit in to the 75W PCIe power spec. That would also make it more powerful than the 7750 it would replace.
erple2 - Thursday, September 26, 2013 - linkRegarding Aureal. I couldn't agree more. I think that they had realistic 3D sound from headphones long before this. Its a shame that Creative Labs bled them to death on ultimately thrown out lawsuits. Curiously, Creative Labs then bought out the remaining IP of Aureal and did nothing with it. I was thrilled when Vista and 7 removed hardware support for sound. Pity that Creative didn't go out of business as a result of it...
wumpus - Monday, September 30, 2013 - linkTrueAudio may well need access to the GPU at greater than 1/30sec (or slower) intervals*. There may well be hardware limitations on interrupts being available.
* from what little I know about OpenCL programming, this may well crash the system and I could be totally wrong. I still expect TrueAudio to require lower latency than video, and need hardware interrupts.
vladx - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - linkMy bet is the R9 290X will cost $499. That would be sweet!!!
risa2000 - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - linkSo it took only 14 years to arrive on the similar audio technology that Aureal had been using in 1998 (before they were bought and wasted by Creative). I played Half-Life, Quake 3 and DeusEx with that tech (Aureal 2) and have not heard better 3D positional sound since then. Aureal used full 3D model for occlusions and reverbs, they could mix up to 64 different sounds in hw and used API similar to OpenGL. They were able to simulate intra aural delay as well as doppler distortion and HRTF on headphones. It was miles ahead of anything Creative had at the time (EAX, 1, 2).
Unfortunately, the technology has also its drawbacks. It needed headphones (as normal cheap speakers most gamers used were did not work that well) and it taxed CPU. But if AMD can offer the same immersion now, it could be good reason to consider an upgrade.
Nagorak - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - linkThe Vortex2 was great! It really was a shame that Creative bought them up and basically killed A3D off.
Tams80 - Thursday, September 26, 2013 - linkAt least we're getting something like it back.