Pitcairn rides again in the R7 265

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 13, 2014 - 02:31 PM |
Tagged: radeon, r7 265, pitcairn, Mantle, gpu, amd

Some time in late February or March you will be able to purchase the R7 265 for around $150, a decent price for an entry level GPU that will benefit those who are currently dependent on the GPU portion of an APU.  This leads to the question of its performance and if this Pitcairn refresh will really benefit a gamer on a tight budget.  Hardware Canucks tested it against the two NVIDIA cards closest in price, the GTX 650 Ti Boost which is almost impossible to find and the GTX 660 2GB which is $40 more than the MSRP of the R7 265.  The GTX 660 is faster overall but when you look at the price to performance ratio the R7 265 is a more attractive offering.  Of course with NVIDIA's Maxwell release just around the corner this could change drastically.

If you already caught Ryan's review, you might have missed the short video he just added on the last page.

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Crowded house

"AMD's R7 265 is meant to reside in the space between the R7 260X and R9 270, though performance is closer to its R9 sibling. Could this make it a perfect budget friendly graphics card?"

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Author:
Manufacturer: AMD

Straddling the R7 and R9 designation

It is often said that the sub-$200 graphics card market is crowded.  It will get even more so over the next 7 days.  Today AMD is announcing a new entry into this field, the Radeon R7 265, which seems to straddle the line between their R7 and R9 brands.  The product is much closer in its specifications to the R9 270 than it is the R7 260X. As you'll see below, it is built on a very familiar GPU architecture.

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AMD claims that the new R7 265 brings a 25% increase in performance to the R7 line of graphics cards.  In my testing, this does turn out to be true and also puts it dangerously close to the R9 270 card released late last year. Much like we saw with the R9 290 compared to the R9 290X, the less expensive but similarly performing card might make the higher end model a less attractive option.

Let's take a quick look at the specifications of the new R7 265.

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Based on the Pitcairn GPU, a part that made its debut with the Radeon HD 7870 and HD 7850 in early 2012, this card has 1024 stream processors running at 925 MHz equating to 1.89 TFLOPS of total peak compute power.  Unlike the other R7 cards, the R7 265 has a 256-bit memory bus and will come with 2GB of GDDR5 memory running at 5.6 GHz.  The card requires a single 6-pin power connection but has a peak TDP of 150 watts - pretty much the maximum of the PCI Express bus and one power connector.  And yes, the R7 265 supports DX 11.2, OpenGL 4.3, and Mantle, just like the rest of the AMD R7/R9 lineup.  It does NOT support TrueAudio and the new CrossFire DMA units.

  Radeon R9 270X Radeon R9 270 Radeon R7 265 Radeon R7 260X Radeon R7 260
GPU Code name Pitcairn Pitcairn Pitcairn Bonaire Bonaire
GPU Cores 1280 1280 1024 896 768
Rated Clock 1050 MHz 925 MHz 925 MHz 1100 MHz 1000 MHz
Texture Units 80 80 64 56 48
ROP Units 32 32 32 16 16
Memory 2GB 2GB 2GB 2GB 2GB
Memory Clock 5600 MHz 5600 MHz 5600 MHz 6500 MHz 6000 MHz
Memory Interface 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 128-bit 128-bit
Memory Bandwidth 179 GB/s 179 GB/s 179 GB/s 104 GB/s 96 GB/s
TDP 180 watts 150 watts 150 watts 115 watts 95 watts
Peak Compute 2.69 TFLOPS 2.37 TFLOPS 1.89 TFLOPS 1.97 TFLOPS 1.53 TFLOPS
MSRP $199 $179 $149 $119 $109

The table above compares the current AMD product lineup, ranging from the R9 270X to the R7 260, with the R7 265 directly in the middle.  There are some interesting specifications to point out that make the 265 a much closer relation to the R7 270/270X cards than anything below it.  Though the R7 265 has four fewer compute units (which is 256 stream processors) than the R9 270. The biggest performance gap here is going to be found with the 256-bit memory bus that persists; the available memory bandwidth of 179 GB/s is 72% higher than the 104 GB/s from the R7 260X!  That will definitely improve performance drastically compared to the rest of the R7 products.  Pay no mind to that peak performance of the 260X being higher than the R7 265; in real world testing that never happened.

Continue reading our review of the new AMD Radeon R7 265 2GB Graphics Card!!

AMD Releases the FIREPRO R5000: PCoIP and Teradici

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 27, 2013 - 09:42 PM |
Tagged: workstations, virtualization, Teradici, remote management, R5000, pitcairn, PCoIP, firepro, amd

 

A few days back AMD released one of their latest FIREPRO workstation graphics cards.  For most users out there this will be received with a bit of a shrug.  This release is a bit different though, and it reflects a change in direction in the PC market.  The original PC freed users from mainframes and made computing affordable for most people.  Today we are seemingly heading back to the mainframe/thin client setup of yore, but with hardware and connectivity that obviously was not present in the late 70s.  The FIREPRO R5000 is hoping to redefine remote graphics.

r5000.jpg

Today’s corporate environment is chaotic when it comes to IT systems.  The amount of malware, poor user decisions, and variability in software and hardware configurations is a constant headache to IT workers.  A big push it to make computing more centralized in the company with easy oversight from IT workers.  Servers with multiple remote users can be more easily updated and upgraded than going to individual PCs around the offices to do the same work.  This is good for a lot of basic users, but it does not address the performance needs of power users who typically run traditional workstations.

remote.jpg

AMD hopes to change that thinking with the R5000.  This is a Pitcairn based product (7800 series on the desktop) that is built to workstation standards.  It also features a secret weapon; the Teradici TERA2240 host processor.  Teradici is a leader in PCoIP technology.  PCoIP is simply “PC over IP”.  Instead of a traditional remote host which limits performance and desktop space, Teradici developed PCoIP to more adequately send large amounts of pixel data over a network.  The user essentially is able to leverage the power of a modern GPU rather than rely on the more software based rendering of remote sessions.  The user has a thin client provided by a variety of OEMs to choose from and they connect directly over IP.

tera_pcoip.jpg

The advantages here is that the GPU is again used to its full potential, which is key for those doing heavy video editing work, 3D visualization, and CADD type workloads.  The latest R5000 can support resolutions up to 2560x1600 up to two displays.  The same card can support 1920x1200 on four displays.  It supports upwards of 60 fps in applications.  The TERA2240 essentially encodes the output and streams it over IP.  The thin client re-encodes the stream and displays the results.  This promises very low latency over smaller networks, and very manageable latency over large or wide area networks.

res_vs_bw.jpg

The downside here is that one client at a time can connect to the card.  The card cannot be virtualized as such so that multiple users can access the resources of the GPU.  The card CAN run in a virtualized environment, but it is again limited to one client per card.  Multiple cards can be placed in each server and the hardware is then placed in its own VM.  While this makes management of hardware a bit easier, it still is an expensive solution when it comes to a per user basis.  Where efficiency may be regained is when it is placed in an environment where shift work takes place.   Or another setting is a University where these cards are housed in high powered servers away from classrooms so cooling and sound are not issues impeding learning.

tera_specs.jpg

Source: AMD

AMD Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition Revisited

Subject: Graphics Cards | September 25, 2012 - 02:59 PM |
Tagged: radeon, amd, video, pitcairn, hd 7870 ghz edition, hd 7870

There have been quite a few new graphics card releases this year and with the now crowded GPU market, we have gotten many requests to revisit some of the earlier launches to see how they stack up in the latest GPU landscape.  One such card is AMD’s Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition, which has seen some dramatic improvements since its initial release in March. 

AMD’s entire lineup of graphics cards based on the Southern Islands architecture were released between the months of January and March of this year, with only a few updates during the summer to combat new releases from NVIDIA.  Though they don’t get as much review time anymore, the Tahiti, Pitcairn and Cape Verde GPUs still have a lot to offer gamers and the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition is a perfect example of that.

Thanks to recent price cuts, the Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition and all other Pitcairn GPUs can be found for much less than when they were launched.  With a starting price of $350 in March, some base HD 7870s can be found online for $250 and sometimes less with rebates today making it a great deal for gamers on a budget. 

You can check out all of our graphics card reviews right here to see how the market currently stands but there are really very few bad choices anymore.

AMD's Radeon HD 7000 Series Graphics Cards Reportedly Receiving Price Cuts Soon (Update: AMD denies further price cuts)

Subject: Graphics Cards | September 13, 2012 - 05:25 PM |
Tagged: Radeon HD 7000, price cuts, pitcairn, HD7000, gpu, amd

Update: AMD has stated that there will not be any price cuts.

NVIDIA launched two budget Kepler-based graphics cards today, and the sub-$250 GPUs are competitively priced. The GTX 650 is a card with an MSRP of $109 and is matched against the Radeon 7750 (which retails for around $110 depending on manufacturer). Further, the $229 GTX 660 is pitted against the Radeon 7850 – an approximately $220 card (some manufacturers beat that price, others are priced higher).

The AMD Radeon HD 7850 Graphics Card from our review.

And while you can find these AMD graphics cards for slightly less than the NVIDIA competition, the green team GPU is a faster card in most games (especially at 1080p). In an attempt to sway gamers towards the AMD choice, the company is preparing to cut prices on the entire 7000-series line – including the 7750 and 7850. These are cuts on the, erm, arleady-cut prices announced last month.

The Price cuts are as follows:

AMD Radeon HD GPU New Slashed Prices
7970 GHz Edition $430
7970 $410
7950 Boost Edition $300
7950 $290
7870 $240
7850 $200
7770 $110
7750 $95

 

These prices are almost certainly for reference designs, and you can naturally expect to pay for any factory overclocked model. What these price cuts mean, though is that the base versions are now cheaper to get ahold of, which is a good thing (for gamers, not so much for AMD heh).

When specifically talking about the price cuts as a response to budget Kepler cards, both the 7750 and 7850 can be had for anywhere between $5 and $20 cheaper in general. That’s is ~$20 extra dollars that you could devote to more RAM or put you over the edge into getting a better quality PSU. It definitely makes the decision to go AMD or NVIDIA a bit more difficult (but in an exciting/good way).

This is not the first time that AMD has slashed prices on its 7000 series graphics cards and now that it has competition on all fronts, it will be interesting to see how all the prices finally shake out to be. Interestingly, Softpedia seems to have posted the price cut information on Tuesday (two days before Kepler) but states that the cuts will not go into effect until next week – though Newegg seems to have taken some initiative of its own by pricing certain cards at the new prices already. This may have technically been more of a pre-emptive move than a reactionary one, but either way the budget gaming section of the market just got exciting again!

Do the impending price cuts have you reconsidering your budget GPU choice, or are you set on the new Kepler hardware?

Source: Softpedia

Radeon HD 7870 2GB vs HD 7850 2GB vs HD 5870 1GB Quick Look

Subject: Graphics Cards | March 6, 2012 - 05:42 PM |
Tagged: radeon, pitcairn, hd 7870, hd 7850, amd, 7870, 7850

After the launch of our Radeon HD 7870 and HD 7850 review this week, I got a couple of emails asking for another data point around the Radeon HD 5800 cards that many users might be looking to upgrade from.  Well, since everyone asked so nicely and I felt bad for not including it in the first place, I decided to quickly throw a HD 5870 1GB card on the test bed and run some 3DMark11 action.

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Using the same hardware test bed as the other graphics cards, we ran the HD 5870 1GB using the 12.2 pre-certified driver, the same we used on the rest of our non-7000 series Radeon cards.  Here are the results.

3dm11-p.png

3dm11-x.png

How does this compare to the new Pitcairn GPUs?

  • 3DMark11 Performance Preset
  • HD 5870 1GB: 4832
  • HD 7870 2GB: 6601 (+36%)
  • HD 7850 2GB: 5497 (+13%)
     
  • 3DMark11 Extreme Preset
  • HD 5870 1GB: 1649
  • HD 7870 2GB: 2058 (+25%)
  • HD 7850 2GB: 1645 (+0%)

It looks like with just this simple glance, the HD 7870 2GB card would be the only upgrade worth really stretching towards based on performance alone.  There are definitely going to be cases where the 2GB frame buffer will help over the 1GB included in most HD 5870/5850 cards including Eyefinity and titles like Battlefield 3, so even if you go with the HD 7850 card you should see some gains. 

Pitcairn is finally here, low on power and high on performance per dollar

Subject: Graphics Cards | March 5, 2012 - 12:40 PM |
Tagged: southern islands, radeon, pitcairn, hd 7870, hd 7850, amd, 7870, 7850

To give the end of the story away at the beginning, sometime around March 19th you should be able to find an HD 7870 for about $350 and an HD 7850 for around $250.   The HD 7870 not only costs less than the 6970 it consumes less power and can outperform it, making the HD 7870 the more attractive of the two cards.  [H]ard|OCP was less impressed with the HD7850 as it costs about $40 more than a GTX 560 Ti but only performs a small amount better.  It does consume a lot less power than the NVIDIA card though, which can be a big deal for some users and hints at possible overclocking potential. 

Ryan had a slightly better experience with the HD 7850, which might attract those who cannot justify spending over $300 on a graphics card but still want multi-monitor functionality.

H_7870.jpg

"AMD is introducing the performance mainstream Radeon HD 7870 and Radeon HD 7850 today. We'll look at performance compared to the competition and talk about pricing and explore value. If you are in the market for a video card between $249 and $349 these video cards will likely need to be on your short list."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP
Author:
Manufacturer: AMD

Completing the Family

When we went to Austin, Texas to sit with AMD and learn about the Radeon HD 7900 series of cards for the first time, an interesting thing happened.  While the official meeting was about the performance of the Radeon HD 7970 and HD 7950, when things started to settle several AMD employees couldn't help but discuss Cape Verde (7700-series) and Pitcairn (7800-series) GPUs.  In particular, the HD 7800 cards were generating a lot of excitement internally as a spiritual follow up to the wildly successful HD 5800 and HD 5700 series of cards in terms of price and performance characteristics. 

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So while the Radeon HD 7970 and HD 7950 are being labeled as the world's fastest GPUs, and the Radeon HD 7700 is the fastest GPU for everyone, the HD 7800s are where many of our readers will look when upgrading their machines while staying within a budget.  

Be sure to check out our video review posted here and then continue on to our full, written review for all the benchmarks and analysis!!!

Continue reading our review of the Radeon HD 7870 and HD 7850 Graphics Cards!!

AMD 7700 and 7800 Release Dates Leak To Web

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 1, 2012 - 02:32 PM |
Tagged: radeon, pitcairn, hd 7870, hd 7850, hd 7770, hd 7750, cape verde, amd

It is now February, and despite the weather outside (which feels like late spring/early summer) not following the middle of winter approach, the year has only just begun. AMD has really been on the ball with new releases; however, and has managed to launch two of the three planned enthusiast level graphics cards with the AMD Radeon HD 7970 and the Radeon HD 7950 on January 9th and 31st respectively. What this means is that the company has the rest of the year to dole out the cheaper and lower performance cards. Even so, if this leaked slide is to be believed, it looks like AMD will not be wasting any time and is planning to roll out a slew of 7700 and 7800 series card launches before the second quarter of this year is over!

AMD_Roadmap_7750_7770.jpg

As one step down from the 7900 series, Pitcairn represents AMD's new "mid-range" parts.  As of now, the Pitcairn series includes Pitcairn XT and Pitcairn Pro which will be labeled the Radeon 7870 and 7850 respectively.  This recent leak does not stray too far from previous rumors, and both Pitcairn 7800 series AMD cards should see a March 2012 launch.  The article further specifies a March 6th, 2012 release as the first day of the German CeBit 2012 trade show.  In name, Pitcairn is the successor to the current Barts XT and Barts Pro based Radeon HD 6870 and HD 6850 cards, but is rumored to offer a similar level of performance to the 6950 and 6970 graphics cards. Allegedly, the cards will utilize 2GB GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit memory interface. Further, the Pitcairn XT that will be the HD 7870 will have 1536 ALUs (arithmetic logic unit) at 950 MHz, 96 texture units, 32 ROPs (Raster Operations Pipeline), 24 SIMDs (single instruction, multiple data), and a 120 watt TDP (thermal design power). The HD 7850 on the other hand will be slightly scaled back with only 1408 ALUs at 850 MHz, 88 texture units, and 22 SIMDs. Also, the memory clock will be scaled back. The reductions in hardware will give the card a supposed lower 90 watt TDP. 

Moving down the performance ladder, AMD will launch the Cape Verde XT and Cape Verde Pro based Radeon Hd 7770 and HD 7750 cards later this month on February 15th, 2012. BSN claims that the Cape Verde cards will use either 1 GB of GDDR 3 or GDDR5 memory and will be in the $100 and $160 price range (with the 7770 on the high end of the scale and 7750 on low end). According to this article over at Tom's Hardware, the 7700 series cards will be much smaller than their bigger brothers at a bit over 8 inches in length. They will feature a 128-bit memory interface, 6 pin PCI-E connector, approximate 100 watt power consumption, and a Graphics Core Next GPU architecture.

AMD-Radeon-HD-7770-GPU,L-M-320890-13.jpg

The 7770 graphics card.  (Image leaked from ChipHell)

The remaining card that is likely to be of interest to our readers is the dual GPU monster that is the 7990.  This card will be based off of two 7970 GPUs.  Unfortunately; however, further details and pricing are not known.  There is speculation that the 7990 card will have 6 GB of GDDR5 graphics memory, 256 texture units, 64 ROPs, 62 compute units (CUs), and a massive number of stream processors at 4,096 based on the card being comprised of two 7970 cards.  Also, the launch date is still listed as "To Be Determined."

Lots of information is still speculation, but if it holds true, AMD is looking to get as much of a lead on Nvidia as possible by getting as many of their 7000 series out of the gate as possible.  Which 7000 series cards are you most interested in?

Bad for reviewers, great for gamers ... AMD will allow non-reference Tahiti graphics cards

Subject: General Tech | December 14, 2011 - 12:00 PM |
Tagged: tahiti, radeon, pitcairn, overclock, HD7000, amd

One quickly forgets about the initially released reference GPUs once the cards with custom coolers, capacitors and PCBs arrive on the market all cool and factory overclocked.  Usually the original GPU and card designer, in this case AMD, licenses theit top tier partners, like MSI , Gigabyte or Sapphire, to sell cards following a design that AMD provides along with the license to design and sell the cards.  As SemiAccurate points out, this has lead to a market where the only unique feature they can add is usually armed and wearing a bikini.  After the card has been on the market for a while, then AMD allows non-reference designs to appear for some cards from some manufacturers.

Not so with one of the four lineups of GPUs soon to arrive on the market, AMD will be freeing us from the tyranny of Ruby in different outfits and allow their partners to modify the Tahiti Pro cards from the get go.  Expect to see a large difference in the appearance and specifications of AMD's new high end series of cards.  That is the only one of the four to get this treatment, Tahiti, Pitcairn and Pitcairn XT cards will still come out only as copies of the reference card design.  This may change over time but for now the idea of custom cooler, power distribution and PCB design is something to look forward to in the coming years.

sapphire_radeon_bikini.jpg

"Back to the new news, and it concerns the Tahiti Pro card. Word has reached SemiAccurate that Tahiti Pro will be unconstrained to the normal reference designs. If you recall, most GPU manufacturers will force AIBs to make cards based on the reference design for the first 3 months or so, and there are a variety of very good business reasons to do this.

Unfortunately, it leads to a problem where the reviews all are the same, mainly because all the cards are the same. The main difference between manufacturers comes down to what color the AIB decides to put on the chrome bikini of the girl with the big sword riding the mythical beast just below their logo. We are partial to Hafnium bikini’s on women riding giant Were-moles around here. Luckily, Tahiti Pro changes this."

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Source: SemiAccurate