AMD have been very busy recently, not only have they just unveiled their new Mantle API, but they have been of course instrumental in helping both Sony and Microsoft with their next generation consoles. But they haven’t been sitting idly by and letting Nvidia dominant the discrete PC GPU market.
AMD have began announcing the next generation of Radeon GPU’s – and as expected, they are monsters.
The Radeon R9 290X
The flagship product from AMD comes with over 5TFLOPS of GPU performance (almost 3 times the PS4’s 1.84TFLOPS). It comes with 4GB of GDDR5 memory, which is reported to be offering around 300GB/s of memory bandwidth, on a 512-bit bus. The clock speed of the 4GB of RAM would seem to be around the 4.7GHZ range.
Powering the GPU side of things, comes 2,816 Stream Processors, packed into 44 modules (GCN or Graphic Core Next), with 64 Stream Processors per GCN module. We’re likely looking at a clock speed of north of 900MHZ. These figures together make complete sense to give you the GPU performance that the Radeon R9 290X provides – 5TFLOPS.
The next generation GCN architecture of the R9 290X also come with four raster engines, which work independently of one another. This is twice that of Tahiti (the previous generation). Of course, you’ll be also seeing DX11.2 support come as native too. This is what the you’ll be seeing from the 6 billion transistors that make up the 430mm core. There’s been no word yet as to the power requirements from the R9 290X (or indeed any of the new AMD GPU’s). But it does look to require an 8 and 6 pin PCIE power connector. Also, eagle eyed viewers will notice that the Crossfire slot is gone at the top of the card, and instead we’ll be looking at Crossfire being supported over PCIE 3 instead. Previously, with PCIE2 the lack of bandwidth forced the additional connector – now AMD must feel confident in PCIE3 providing enough bandwidth (15.8GB/s) to make up for the lack of the connector.
The other Radeon 2xx series cards:
We’re not too sure quite yet what the performance of the other cards will, as AMD haven’t made any announcements to their computing power. It’s a good bet that any of the R9 GPU’s will be more than a match for most games however, and probably enough for gamers who’re only using a single 1080P display.
|AMD 2014 GPU Specification Comparison|
|R9 290X||R9 280X||R9 270X||R7 260X||R7 250|
As we can see from the above list, AMD have only given the FireStrike Score for each of the other announced GPU’s. AMD’s $299 offering, the R9 280X is going to be a great contender for the money it seems, offering 3GB of RAM. Meanwhile, the R9 270X’s 2GB should be more than enough for 1080P – although we’ll have to see how the card performs in benchmarks.
From the early rumors and reports, the R9 290X should be roughly on par with Nvidia’s Titan GPU – which currently retails at around the $1000 US dollar mark. AMD are thought to want to introduce the 290X at around the 600 dollar mark. Although of course, take this with a pinch of salt until AMD confirms or denies the rumors.