Subject: Graphics Cards | October 8, 2013 - 05:30 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, GCN, graphics core next, hd 7790, hd 7870 ghz edition, hd 7970 ghz edition, r7 260x, r9 270x, r9 280x, radeon, ASUS R9 280X DirectCU II TOP
AMD's rebranded cards have arrived, though with a few improvements to the GCN architecture that we already know so well. This particular release seems to be focused on price for performance which is certainly not a bad thing in these uncertain times. The 7970 GHz Edition launched at $500, while the new R9 280X will arrive at $300 which is a rather significant price drop and one which we hope doesn't damage AMD's bottom line too badly in the coming quarters. [H]ard|OCP chose the ASUS R9 280X DirectCU II TOP to test, with a custom PCB from ASUS and a mild overclock which helped it pull ahead of the 7970 GHz. AMD has tended towards leading off new graphics card families with the low and midrange models, we have yet to see the top of the line R9 290X in action yet.
Ryan's review, including frame pacing, can be found right here.
"We evaluate the new ASUS R9 280X DirectCU II TOP video card and compare it to GeForce GTX 770 and Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition. We will find out which video card provides the best value and performance in the $300 price segment. Does it provide better performance a than its "competition" in the ~$400 price range?"
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- AMD's Radeon R7 260X @ The Tech Report
- AMD's Radeon R9 280X and 270X @ The Tech Report
- AMD Radeon R9 270X & R7 260X Review @ Neoseeker
- AMD Radeon R7 260X 2GB @ eTeknix
- AMD Radeon R9 270X 2GB @ eTeknix
- AMD Radeon R7 260X, R9 270X and R9 280X @ Hardware.info
- Sapphire AMD Radeon R9 280X Vapor-X OC 3GB @ eTeknix
- Radeon R9 270X and R7 260X @ TechSpot
- AMD Radeon R9 270X & R7 260X @ Legion Hardware
- AMD Radeon R9 270X & R7 260X Review @ Hardware Canucks
- AMD Radeon R9 280X 3GB Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Sapphire R9 280X Vapor X @ Kitguru
- AMD R7 260X @ Kitguru
- AMD R9 270X @ Kitguru
The AMD Radeon R9 280X
Today marks the first step in an introduction of an entire AMD Radeon discrete graphics product stack revamp. Between now and the end of 2013, AMD will completely cycle out Radeon HD 7000 cards and replace them with a new branding scheme. The "HD" branding is on its way out and it makes sense. Consumers have moved on to UHD and WQXGA display standards; HD is no longer extraordinary.
But I want to be very clear and upfront with you: today is not the day that you’ll learn about the new Hawaii GPU that AMD promised would dominate the performance per dollar metrics for enthusiasts. The Radeon R9 290X will be a little bit down the road. Instead, today’s review will look at three other Radeon products: the R9 280X, the R9 270X and the R7 260X. None of these products are really “new”, though, and instead must be considered rebrands or repositionings.
There are some changes to discuss with each of these products, including clock speeds and more importantly, pricing. Some are specific to a certain model, others are more universal (such as updated Eyefinity display support).
Let’s start with the R9 280X.
AMD Radeon R9 280X – Tahiti aging gracefully
The AMD Radeon R9 280X is built from the exact same ASIC (chip) that powers the previous Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition with a few modest changes. The core clock speed of the R9 280X is actually a little bit lower at reference rates than the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition by about 50 MHz. The R9 280X GPU will hit a 1.0 GHz rate while the previous model was reaching 1.05 GHz; not much a change but an interesting decision to be made for sure.
Because of that speed difference the R9 280X has a lower peak compute capability of 4.1 TFLOPS compared to the 4.3 TFLOPS of the 7970 GHz. The memory clock speed is the same (6.0 Gbps) and the board power is the same, with a typical peak of 250 watts.
Everything else remains the same as you know it on the HD 7970 cards. There are 2048 stream processors in the Tahiti version of AMD’s GCN (Graphics Core Next), 128 texture units and 32 ROPs all being pushed by a 384-bit GDDR5 memory bus running at 6.0 GHz. Yep, still with a 3GB frame buffer.
The GPU Midrange Gets a Kick
I like budget video cards. They hold a soft spot in my heart. I think the primary reason for this is that I too was once a poor college student and could not afford the really expensive cards. Ok, so this was maybe a few more years ago than I like to admit. Back when the Matrox Millennium was very expensive, I ended up getting the STB Lightspeed 128 instead. Instead of the 12 MB Voodoo 2 I went for the 8 MB version. I was never terribly fond of paying top dollar for a little extra performance. I am still not fond of it either.
The sub-$200 range is a bit of a sweet spot that is very tightly packed with products. These products typically perform in the range of a high end card from 3 years ago, yet still encompass the latest features of the top end products from their respective companies. These products can be overclocked by end users to attain performance approaching cards in the $200 to $250 range. Mind, there are some specific limitations to the amount of performance one can actually achieve with these cards. Still, what a user actually gets is very fair when considering the price.
Today I cover several flavors of cards from three different manufacturers that are based on the AMD HD 7790 and the NVIDIA GTX 650 Ti BOOST chips. These range in price from $129 to $179. The features on these cards are amazingly varied, and there are no “sticker edition” parts to be seen here. Each card is unique in its design and the cooling strategies are also quite distinct. Users should not expect to drive monitors above 1920x1200, much less triple monitors in Surround and Eyefinity.
Now let us quickly go over the respective chips that these cards are based on.
Subject: Graphics Cards | March 26, 2013 - 07:41 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, hd 7790, gtx 650 ti boost, gtx 650 Ti, gpu boost, gk106
Why Boost you may ask? If you guessed that NVIDIA added their new Boost Clock feature to the card you should win a prize as that is exactly what makes the GTX 650Ti special. With a core GPU speed of 980MHz, boosting to 1033MHz and beyond this card is actually aimed to compete with AMD's HD7850, not the newly released HD7790, at least the 2GB model is. Along with the boost in clock comes a wider memory pipeline and a corresponding increase in ROPs. The 2GB model should be about $170, right on the cusp between value and mid-range but is the price worth admission? Get a look at the performance at [H]ard|OCP.
"NVIDIA is launching the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost today. This video card is priced in the $149-$169 price range, and should give the $150 price segment another shakedown. Does it compare to the Radeon HD 7790, or is it on the level of the more expensive Radeon HD 7850? We will find out in today's latest games, you may be surprised."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Nvidia's GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost @ The Tech Report
- Nvidia GTX 650 Ti Boost 2GB @ LanOC Reviews
- NVIDIA and EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650Ti Boost Review @ OCC
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost @ Hardware.info
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost @ Bjorn3D
- NVIDIA Geforce GTX 650Ti Boost 2GB Edition Review @Hi Tech Legion
- EVGA GTX 650Ti BOOST 2GB Superclocked Review @Hi Tech Legion
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 2GB @ Tweaktown
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST @ Benchmark Reviews
- NVIDIA GTX 650 Ti Boost 2GB Review @ Hardware Canucks
- NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table @ Hardware Secrets
- AMD ATI Chips Comparison Table @ Hardware Secrets
- Workstation Graphics Card Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- PowerColor Radeon HD 7790 Turbo Duo Review @ OCC
- PowerColor HD 7790 Turbo Duo 1 GB @ techPowerUp
- Sapphire HD7950 MAC Edition @ Kitguru
The GTX 650 Ti Gets Boost and More Memory
In mid-October NVIDIA released the GeForce GTX 650 Ti based on GK106, the same GPU that powers the GTX 660 though with fewer enabled CUDA cores and GPC units. At the time we were pretty impressed with the 650 Ti:
The GTX 650 Ti has more in common with the GTX 660 than it does the GTX 650, both being based on the GK106 GPU, but is missing some of the unique features that NVIDIA has touted of the 600-series cards like GPU Boost and SLI.
Today's release of the GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST actually addresses both of those missing features by moving even closer to the specification sheet found on the GTX 660 cards.
Our video review of the GTX 650 Ti BOOST and Radeon HD 7790.
Option 1: Two GPCs with Four SMXs
Just like we saw with the original GTX 650 Ti, there are two different configurations of the GTX 650 Ti BOOST; both have the same primary specifications but will differ in which SMX is disabled from the full GK106 ASIC. The newer version will still have 768 CUDA cores but clock speeds will increase from 925 MHz to 980 MHz base and 1033 MHz typical boost clock. Texture unit count remains the same at 64.
Subject: Graphics Cards | March 22, 2013 - 01:56 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: hd 7790, graphics core next, GCN, ea Islands, bonaire, amd
AMD is trying to fill a gap in their product line between the less than $200 HD 7850 and the ~$120 HD 7770 with a $150 card, the HD 7790. The naming scheme implies two GPUs but this is not the case, it is a single Bonaire GCN chip with 896 stream processors, 56 texture units and an impressive fill rate of up to 1.79 TFLOPS thanks to some optimization of the GCN architecture. It has 1GB of GDDR5 at 6GHz effective and a CPU speed dependent on the model, in [H]ard|OCP's case the ASUS Radeon HD 7790 DirectCU II OC runs at 1.075GHz. [H] passed it a Silver Award for being a vast improvement over the 7770 and good competition for the GTX 650 Ti but feel the card does need to be faster.
This card also makes an appearance on our front page, with a lot of Frame Rating charts so you can see not only the raw FPS data you are used to, but also an indept look at how the game is going to 'feel' while you play.
"AMD is launching the Radeon HD 7790 today. This new video card should give the sub-$200 video card segment a kick in the pants. Will it provide enough performance for today's latest games at $149? We will find out, testing the new ASUS Radeon HD 7790 DirectCU II OC with no less than six of today's hottest games."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- AMD's Radeon HD 7790 @ The Tech Report
- AMD Radeon HD 7790 review (incl. frametimes) @ Hardware.info
- AMD Radeon HD 7790 @ TechSpot
- AMD Radeon HD 7790 Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7790 Dual-X 1GB OC @ eTeknix
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7790 1GB Dual-X OC @ Tweaktown
- Sapphire HD 7790 1GB Graphics Card @ Bjorn3D
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7790 Dual-X OC Review @ OCC
- Sapphire HD 7790 Dual-X OC Video Card Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- AMD Radeon HD 7790 CrossFire @ techPowerUp
- ASUS HD 7790 DirectCU II OC @ Overclockers.com
- Sapphire HD 7790 Dual-X 1 GB @ techPowerUp
- AMD Radeon HD 7790 Video Card Review w/ Gigabyte & Sapphire @ Legit Reviews
- ASUS HD 7790 Direct CU II OC 1 GB @ techPowerUp
- Sapphire HD7790 OC @ Kitguru
- PowerColor PCS+ HD 7850 Radeon Graphic Card Review @ Pro-Clockers
- HIS Radeon HD 7850 iPower IceQ Turbo 4GB Video Card in CrossFire @ Tweaktown
- HIS Radeon HD 7770 iCooler 1GB Overclocked @ Tweaktown
- Mid-Range AMD Graphics Card Round-Up (HIS 7770 GHz / HIS 7850 / Sapphire 7850) @ Kitguru
- PowerColor PCS HD7870 MYST Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
A New GPU with the Same DNA
When we talked with AMD recently about its leaked roadmap that insinuated that we would not see any new GPUs in 2013, they were adamant that other options would be made available to gamers but were coy about about saying when and to what degree. As it turns out, today marks the release of the Radeon HD 7790, a completely new piece of silicon under the Sea Islands designation, that uses the same GCN (Graphics Core Next) architecture as the HD 7000-series / Southern Islands GPUs with a handful of tweaks and advantages from improved clock boosting with PowerTune to faster default memory clocks.
To be clear, the Radeon HD 7790 is a completely new ASIC, not a rebranding of a currently available part, though the differences between the options are mostly in power routing and a reorganization of the GCN design found in Cape Verde and Pitcairn designs. The code name for this particular GPU is Bonaire and it is one of several upcoming updates to the HD 7000 cards.
Bonaire is built on the same 28nm TSMC process technology that all Southern Islands parts are built on and consists of 2.08 billion transistors in a 160 mm2 die. Compared to the HD 7800 (Pitcairn) GPU at 212 mm2 and HD 7700 (Cape Verde) at 120 mm2, the chip for the HD 7790 falls right in between. And while the die images above are likely not completely accurate, it definitely appears that AMD's engineers have reorganized the internals.
Bonaire is built with 14 CUs (compute units) for a total stream processor count of 896, which places it closer to the performance level of the HD 7850 (1024 SPs) than it does the HD 7770 (640 SPs). The new Sea Islands GPU includes the same dual tessellation engines of the higher end HD 7000s as well and a solid 128-bit memory bus that runs at 6.0 Gbps out the gate on the 1GB frame buffer. The new memory controller is completely reworked in Bonaire and allows for a total memory bandwidth of 96 GB/s in comparison to the 72 GB/s of the HD 7770 and peaking theoretical compute performance at 1.79 TFLOPS.
The GPU clock rate is set at 1.0 GHz, but there is more on that later.