Several months ago, Nvida’s Maxwell architecture was the subject of much speculation. The architecture had (and does continue to have) great potential, but the GTX 980 isn’t quite the performance monster we’d been hoping for. But many are sticking to what they’ve got, waiting to see what either AMD’s R9 390x offers or Nvidia’s own GTX 980 Ti.
We’ve had a few rumors and official comments on the Radeon 3xx series, including AMD announcing the R9 380x will be released in February, 2015. With the release date so close, leaks containing the cards performance were inevitable – and indeed, we now have results of AMD’s next flagship, the R9 390X. The benchmarks aren’t just impressive, they’re very impressive.
AMD’s biggest problem with the last generation of GPU’s was the TDP – in other words, power and heat. The heat and fan issues with the reference R9 290x caused a bit of embarrassment for team Radeon, and while new drivers, fan profiles and third party profiles did help the situation, it still left a slightly bad taste in everyone’s mouths. It also raised the question “What can AMD do for their next generation?”
Well, as it turns out – they can rabbit punch Nvidia. Despite taking just 12W of power more than Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 980, the ‘unknown graphics card’ (being referred to as Captain Jack – review sample) is over 15 percent faster.
Now – I want to put this into context – the drivers which are being used aren’t even finished yet. While everyone gets bogged down in shaders, core clock and RAM in reality – the drivers are what really solidify performance. There’s a reason both AMD and Nvidia proudly point out the performance improvements from one driver revision to another. 20 percent improvements in new games (where the driver is yet to be optimized) aren’t uncommon. It’s possible that these pre-release drivers could have a nice tweak in performance – and if that’s the case (and they’re using final hardware), the R9 390X could be a monster.
What does this mean for a consumer? If you’re thinking of buying a new card – WAIT. If these benchmarks are accurate, we’ll end up with a GPU which requires less power than a R9 280X, and has the performance which will rival Nvidia’s highest end.
I’ve got to say – I’m really genuinely excited by these benchmarks. Currently, the two cards which are probably the best ‘value’ are the GTX 970 and AMD’s R9 290X – if you can get it at the right price. But, with luck, the new Radeon will lower the price of Nvidia’s higher end Maxwell’s – and dare I dream, push them to release the 20nm.
Assuming AMD can be competitive with pricing (and that’s debatable, since they’re going to be pushing for 20nm and High Bandwidth Memory), Nvidia are really going to have a hell of a battle on its hands.
Let’s see how the battlefield ends up – as usual, keep in touch with RedGamingTech and we’ll keep you honestly apprised!
Source – Chip-Hell Forum