AMD GPU Lineup Announced: R9 and R7 Series

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Shows and Expos | September 25, 2013 - 05:23 PM |
Tagged: radeon, R9 290X, R9, R7, GPU14, amd

The next generation of AMD graphics processors are being announced this afternoon. They carefully mentioned this event is not a launch. We do not yet know, although I hope we will learn today, when you can give them your money.

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When you can, you will have five products to choose from:

  • R7 250
  • R7 260X
  • R9 270X
  • R9 280X
  • R9 290X

AMD only provides 3D Mark Fire Strike scores for performance. I assume they are using the final score, and not the "graphics score" although they were unclear.

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The R7 250 is the low end card of the group with 1GB of GDDR5. Performance, according to 3DMark scores (>2000 on Fire Strike), is expected to be about two-thirds of what an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti can deliver. Then again, that card retails for about ~$130 USD. The R7 250 has an expected retail value of less than < $89 USD. This is a pretty decent offering which can probably play Battlefield 3 at 1080p if you play with the graphics quality settings somewhere around "medium". This is just my estimate, of course.

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The R7 260X is the next level up. The RAM has been double over the R7 250 to 2GB of GDDR5 and its 3DMark score almost doubled, too (> 3700 on Fire Strike). This puts it almost smack dab atop the Radeon HD 6970. The R7 260X is about $20-30 USD cheaper than the HD 6970. The R7 is expected to retail for $139. Good price cut while keeping up to date on architecture.

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The R9 270X is the low end of the high end parts. With 2GB of GDDR5 and a 3DMark Fire Strike score of >5500, this is aimed at the GeForce 670. The R7 270X will retail for around ~$199 which is about $120 USD cheaper than NVIDIA's offering.

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The R9 280X should be pretty close to the 7970 GHz Edition. It will be about ~$90 cheaper with an expected retail value of $299. It also has a bump in frame buffer over the lower-tier R9 270X, containing 3GB of GDDR5.

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Not a lot is known about the top end, R9 290X, except that it will be the first gaming GPU to cross 5 TeraFLOPs of compute performance. To put that into comparison, the GeForce Titan has a theoretical maximum of 4.5 TeraFLOPs.

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If you are interested in the R9 290X and Battlefield 4, you will be able to pre-order a limited edition package containing both products. Pre-orders open "from select partners" October 3rd. For how much? Who knows.

We will keep you informed as we are informed. Also, the announcement is still going on, so tune in!

Source: AMD
September 25, 2013 | 06:10 PM - Posted by Brett from Australia (not verified)

Thanks for the write-up Scott. These GPU's look very impressive, will be interest to see what price point the R9 290X comes in at.

September 25, 2013 | 06:35 PM - Posted by Alexw585

My OC 1.1GHz HD7950 has a score of over 7000 in Firestrike... I hope these settings are on Extreme or the R9-290X isn't as expensive as the rumors have been saying (~$649).

September 30, 2013 | 02:32 AM - Posted by 7950 beats R9 290X (not verified)

nope, not according to AMD's own presentation here;

http://techreport.com/news/25426/amd-reveals-radeon-r9-290x-with-trueaud...

see bottom left of the slide *performance setting!!

My 7950 also scores 8000 with a 1100MHz clock (easily achievable, it o/c to 1200MHz). It only cost $200.

How can they say that the R9 290X will beat Titan when it only scores 8000 in Firestrike. Last time I looked, Titan was significantly faster than my 7950.

Also the theoretical compute power (of over 5TFLOPS) can be largely ignored. It's simply a multiple of the stream processors and clock frequency (times two). The HD 7970 has 2048 steam processors, but the Nvidia GTX680 only has 1536, yet it is more than a match for the 7970. Why? Because the 680 has more efficient computing.

The Titan has 2688 stream processors. Using the same ratio of stream processors as the 680 vs 7970 (assuming similar performance), the R9 290X would need 3584 stream processors to even come close to Titan, yet it only has 2816.

There may be a couple of games where the game or driver favors AMD (we now how much difference the drivers can make), hence they are saying that this along with higher THEORETICAL compute performance, means it will beat the Titan.

Actually, when independent reviews are done, comparing a wider range of games and benchmarks, it's most likely it'll be somewhere between their current 7970 GHz card and the GTX 780.

September 25, 2013 | 06:59 PM - Posted by Wilbur (not verified)

Not too much info about the actual cards. I was expecting numbers, temps, the lot. Mantle looks promising, though. If it performs as stated. Bye, bye DirectX?? "Handbrakes"

September 25, 2013 | 07:28 PM - Posted by Pendragoon99

I was wondering about that too the whole time they were explaining Mantle.....i was like "Ok so is this aiming to replace DirectX??" If so this IS HUGE!

September 25, 2013 | 07:18 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Why does it say available Sept. ? It`s almost over.

September 25, 2013 | 08:27 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Good question... I think it stands for something like "??? Estimated Price", though.

September 25, 2013 | 09:56 PM - Posted by JustWondering (not verified)

My biggest question with AMD promoting the new "open" Mantle API for the game consoles and these cards, are they effectively backing away from Open CL and Direct X optimization in the future?

September 26, 2013 | 03:04 AM - Posted by Scott Michaud

OpenCL or OpenGL?

As far as I know, OpenCL has nothing to do with Mantle.

September 26, 2013 | 05:43 AM - Posted by IndoAssassin (not verified)

They did say that next gen games will perform better on their gpu's due to next gen consoles using their hardware. Maybe Mantle is the reason?

September 26, 2013 | 02:01 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

This is probably (at least part) of the reason.

September 25, 2013 | 10:05 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

"The R7 260X is the next level up. The RAM has been doubled to 2GB of GDDR5 and its 3DMark score almost doubled, too (> 3700 on Fire Strike). This puts it almost smack dab atop the Radeon HD 6970. The R7 260X is about $20-30 USD cheaper than the HD 6970. "

Well, as an unlocked 6950 owner, this is both depressing and encouraging to know that AMD has a card with similar-to-better performance at a budget $140 bucks! :-) 

 

The $299 R9-280X looks interesting to me though as far as an upgrade path goes! I am eagerly waiting for the full speeds-and-feeds as well as some frame rating benchmarks!

September 26, 2013 | 01:08 AM - Posted by HyperMinimal (not verified)

These will sell extremely well. Reminds me of the 5800 days.

September 26, 2013 | 05:55 AM - Posted by SwissBeatz (not verified)

@ Tim Verry,
"...Well, as an unlocked 6950 owner, this is both depressing and
encouraging to know that AMD has a card with similar-to-better
performance at a budget $140 bucks! :-) "

-- Dude, I totally feel you... tho fortunately for us, our unlocked 6950
2G can still play Far Cry 3 and Crysis 3 on its very highest setting on
a full Hd monitor minus the annoying and dizzying camera effects blur in
the settings. I dont have any idea much your unlocked 6950 OC clocks but
mine is @ stable 24/7 930mhz @ 1.19v on 1430mhz on the mem.

September 26, 2013 | 09:13 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

Hmm I've overclocked the GPU pretty far, but I've never really pushed the memory. I usually just run it at 6970 clockspeeds though, so nothing fancy usually :-). It is watercooled, but it was more of a to learn/because it's cool than because it really needed water to cool it heh. You are right though, they are still good cards for 1080p gaming!

September 26, 2013 | 10:02 AM - Posted by Justin 150 (not verified)

Really like the short cards would be perfect for mini-itx build.

Will be upgrading my watercooled kit shortly so these look nice

September 26, 2013 | 01:32 PM - Posted by PapaDragon

Hey Scott, thanks for the info. Im just confused as to why severla sites , for example , Techpowerup, are reporting a Non X "R9 290" , is there any truth to this?

September 26, 2013 | 08:40 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

R9 290 = EX. 9950 290X = 9970

September 27, 2013 | 03:52 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Yeah apparently there's more than just the 5 cards they mentioned in the keynote. All I know about the rest is what is being reported. I've been told by coworkers that the "R9 290" is legitimate, though.

September 26, 2013 | 01:35 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Time to upgrade my 5850 ?

September 27, 2013 | 06:40 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Are they all double slot cards? I guess the 7750 is the best low-profile single slot card from here on out.

September 28, 2013 | 09:20 AM - Posted by Macabre215

"It also has a bump in frame buffer, with 3GB of GDDR5."
-R9 280X

The HD 7970 has a 3GB frame buffer. That isn't a bump...

September 29, 2013 | 12:35 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Er... I meant over the R9 270X.

I'll clarify in the post. That was pretty poorly written on my part. Thanks!

September 28, 2013 | 12:33 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The Fixer .

September 30, 2013 | 03:25 AM - Posted by 7950 beats R9 290X (not verified)

a $200 HD7950 scores over 8000 in Firestrike;

http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/1299529

The new R9 290X only scores 8000 according to this;

http://techreport.com/news/25426/amd-reveals-radeon-r9-290x-with-trueaud...

Note: the bottom of the chart states *performance setting

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