AMD Announces New GPUs Including Flagship Radeon R9 Fury With High …

17 Jun 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

AMD Radeon R9 Fury graphics card offers High-Bandwidth Memory on-chip.

In a bid to steal the show at E3 gaming conference in LA this week, the graphics chip firm unveiled three Radeon card families that it said will bring higher resolutions, smoother gameplay, and support for advanced APIs like DirectX 12, Open GL 4.5 and Vulkan.

AMD has unveiled their next-gen graphics cards based on the R9 and R7 300 series graphics hardware containing new technologies like High Bandwidth Memory (HBM). The first of the bunch is the Radeon R9 Fury series graphics card, which is touted at being “the most advanced and innovative GPU ever created” and aimed at the gaming-enthusiast market. To be clear, this is a PCB and not a complete board, but it is certainly what turns into a complete GPU card after adding components to it and a water cooling system.

A year and a half after the launch of the R200-series, months after Nvidia refreshed its entire GeForce lineup, AMD has lifted the veil off its new Radeon graphics card lineup: the Fury series, powered by revolutionary high-bandwidth memory (HBM), and the company’s brand new Fiji GPU. With 4GB of RAM, this technology is touted to deliver 60 percent more memory bandwidth over GDDR5 on a 4096-bit memory interface while supporting 4K gaming.

This new type of memory places special importance on power utilization, where is slated to deliver over 3 times the performance per watt compared to GDDR5 while requiring 94 percent less surface area on the graphics card itself, making it now possible to fit higher-power graphics into smaller form factor systems. The space savings resulting from the inherently smaller design of this platform is aimed at serving lower-profile computing form factors, especially for the DIY and enthusiast space. This more compact board size will enable new, smaller PC form factors, the firm said, with more design flexibility for modders, DIYers and system integrators.

Disclosure: My firm, Moor Insights & Strategy, like all research and analyst firms, provides or has provided research, analysis, advising, and/or consulting to many high-tech companies in the industry, including Advanced Micro Devices cited in this article. AMD never overtly said how much capacity the Fury’s HBM actually has—presumably because Nvidia’s been loading its Titan X and GeForce GTX 980 Ti with RAM—but a press release from Hynix, which actually creates said memory, puts the total at 4GB.

HBM’s memory clock speed tops out at a mere 1Gbps—traditional GDDR5 RAM can hit 7Gbps—but utilizes a ridonkulously wide 4096-bit interface to deliver 512GBps of pure memory bandwidth. The fresh Radeon update replaces last year’s Radeon R9 295X2 GPU release, which at the time the firm claimed was “the world’s fastest and most powerful graphics card”. Finally, AMD marketing manager Chris Hook also took the stage to introduce “Project Quantum,” a tiny, new box-like PC that’s powered by not one, but two of AMD’s new Fiji GPUs.

The computer slaps all the processing technologies in the bottom of the box, and all the cooling up top, narrowing to a filter-like pole in the center. AMD also refreshed the rest of its graphics card line, bumping its more mainstream GPUs up to the R7 300 and R9 300 series, all of which are compatible with the forthcoming DirectX 12 and Vulkan APIs—though few other technical details were revealed.

Kicking things off were the lower-end R7 offerings, which AMD says are tailor-made for playing e-sports games like Dota 2 and League of Legends at 1080p resolution. These graphics cards support the Virtual Super Resolution technology—which lets GPUs render games at a higher resolution, then downsample it to your display’s output for better clarity—that first appeared in AMD’s Catalyst Omega driver last January.

To ease the load on these modestly powered GPUs, they include a technology AMD calls “Frame rate target control,” which caps the GPU’s frame rate output in games where you get extremely high frame rates, in order to reduce power and noise needs. The Radeon R7 360 will start at $109 and include up to 2GB of traditional GDDR5 RAM, while the more potent Radeon R7 370 will start at $149 and pack up to 4GB of memory.

The three cards announced in this segment include Radeon R9 380 at $199 (approx Rs 12,800), Radeon R9 390 at $329 (approx Rs 21,200) and Radeon R9 380X at $429 (approx Rs 27,500). For the past few months, the rumor mill’s been adamant that the new 300-series Radeon GPUs are actually built around barely-tweaked GCN silicon that first made an appearance in the Rx 200-series and even the older Radeon 7000-series graphics cards. Even though the new cards are launching a mere two days from now, PCWorld hasn’t received review samples for any of the R300-series cards (or the Fury X, for that matter).

Considering that, the rumors, and the lack of technical details provided for these new 300-series graphics cards, you’ll definitely want to wait for reviews to hit before you pick up one of these, even if you could buy one Thursday.

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