Rumor: Entire Upcoming AMD Radeon 300-Series to Be Rebrands of Existing 200-Series?

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 26, 2015 - 05:29 PM |
Tagged: rumors, leaks, Hawaii XT, Fiji, amd radeon

This sounds like disappointing news, but it might be a little misleading as well. First of all the report, another from the folks at VideoCardz, details information about these upcoming GPUs from a leaked driver.

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Here’s the list VideoCardz came up with (200-series name on the right):

  • AMD6658.1 AMD Radeon(TM) R7 360 Graphics Bonaire XTX [Radeon R7 260X]
  • AMD67B0.1 AMD Radeon R9 300 Series Hawaii XT [Radeon R9 290X]
  • AMD67B1.1 AMD Radeon R9 300 Series Hawaii PRO [Radeon R9 290]
  • AMD6810.1 AMD Radeon(TM) R7 370 Graphics Curacao XT [Radeon R9 270X]
  • AMD6810.2 AMD Radeon (TM) R7 300 Series Curacao XT [Radeon R9 270X]
  • AMD6811.1 AMD Radeon (TM) R7 300 Series Curacao PRO [Radeon R9 270/370]
  • AMD6939.1 AMD Radeon R9 300 Series Tonga PRO [Radeon R9 285]

VideoCardz further comments on this list:

“FIJI was not included in this driver release. Radeon R9 Hawaii is neither shown as R9 380 nor as R9 390. Right now it’s just R9 300, just like R9 285-rebrand. Both Hawaii cards will get a small bump in clock speeds and most importantly 8GB memory.”

And this is where the news might be misleading, as the “300-series” naming may very well not include a new GPU due to AMD shifting to a new scheme for their upcoming flagship, just as NVIDIA has used the “TITAN” and “TITAN X” names for flagship cards. If the rumored AMD Fiji card (which was recently pictured) is the all-new GPU featuring HBM memory that we’ve all been waiting for, expect iterations of this new card to follow as the technology trickles down to the more affordable segment.


May 26, 2015 | 05:42 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The R7 series is x6x and below. The R7 370 Curacao XT doesn't make sense being in the R7 nor having a higher number

May 26, 2015 | 06:00 PM - Posted by BoMbY (not verified)

I can't really believe it. Unless they did at least a die shrink to 22nm, or something ...

It wouldn't be worth it (nobody with a R9 290X would buy a R9 390X), and they could simply release the Fiji cards as standalone product, with out any extra effort.

May 26, 2015 | 06:01 PM - Posted by arbiter

sadly no die shrink for either camp both still on the older 28nm

May 26, 2015 | 10:10 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

There is more than one 28 nm process, so even if they are 28 nm, it may not be the same 28 nm process used for their current GPUs. The Rx 3xx series rebrands may be the exact same chip as currently shipping though. I hope they have a new series with updated parts rather than just a bunch of rebrands and some new brand for super high-end parts like Nvidia does with 960/970/980 and then a jump to Titan for the high-end part.

I have wondered if they could re-layout the current designs with their new high-density design libraries or something, and get much better power consumption and maybe clock rate. They may have ported the designs to a newer process tech (still 28 nm), which could give them higher clock and lower power, but it would leave the feature set unchanged. TrueAudio probably isn't a big deal if it is missing, but not having some other features across the line could be a big issue.

May 26, 2015 | 06:01 PM - Posted by funandjam

Sebastien, your source link actually contradicts itself, lol. You put this in quotes:

“FIJI was not included in this driver release. Radeon R9 Hawaii is neither shown as R9 380 nor as R9 390. Right now it’s just R9 300, just like R9 285-rebrand. Both Hawaii cards will get a small bump in clock speeds and most importantly 8GB memory.”

And then later down the page they put in a link that says exactly what those "confirmed" card model numbers are.

http://wccftech.com/amd-radeon-r9-390x-hawaii-8-gb-gddr5-spotted-radeon-...

May 26, 2015 | 06:19 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

WCCF is the National Inquirer of the tech world.

Take them seriously at your own peril.

May 26, 2015 | 06:23 PM - Posted by arbiter

wccftech is about reliable as theonion is a valid news site.

May 26, 2015 | 06:27 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Both Videocardz and WCCTech work on the old principle of throw enough sh*t and hope you get something right at the end.

May 26, 2015 | 07:08 PM - Posted by funandjam

And VideoCardZ.com is just as bad, if not worse than WCCFTech. Very often they quote each other as sources of information, and if you had bothered to read the entire article that Sebastian used, and my comment in its entirety, you'd have realized that is what happened here again, instead of only skipping directly to the link I included adn jumping on the whole anti-wccftech bandwagon.

May 26, 2015 | 07:57 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

but ... but, what's the fun in just ignoring all the juicy rumours?

May 26, 2015 | 09:32 PM - Posted by pdjblum

Rumors have to start somewhere or we would be in short supply of them.

May 27, 2015 | 09:05 AM - Posted by funandjam

lol, never said to ignore them, more often than not those sites have it spot on. I was simply pointing out something funny about their article :)

May 26, 2015 | 06:02 PM - Posted by gerard (not verified)

Seen on a few forums people saying the 3 series will be oem only rebrands and the 4 series will be the new fiji gpu's. Just have to wait and see.

May 26, 2015 | 09:56 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

They did a similar thing with the Radeon HD 7000 series. There was Radeon HD 8000 series cards which were all rebrands of the 7000 series, but these were OEM only. Presumably they were still producing the 7000 series, but they could not fill all markets with the new parts, so OEM got the old parts. The new parts had a completely different branding: the Radeon Rx 2xx series parts. Some of these were still rebrands though, with minor tweaks.

I suspect they are going to continue producing the current cards as the Rx 3xx series for OEM, while the retail market will get either a completely different branding or iterative branding (Rx 4xx parts). I don't think the Rx 3xx rebrands are in doubt; I believe Ryan mentioned on an earlier podcast that these were listed on AMD's website. The branding for the non-OEM parts does not seems to be known yet.

Wikipedia list the new parts as Rx 4xx branding. The new Fiji parts are listed as 490s, some possible Hawaii derivatives are listed as 480s, and the 470s still appear to be based on the same part as 280s (GCN 1.0). They all list TrueAudio support though, so if this is even remotely correct, they may have kept the core the same, but done a re-layout to include some of the new features. If they did a re-layout with high density libraries and ported it to a more recent 28 nm process, then it still may perform well and include a reasonable feature set. If they keep the old cores (current 280 core and current 290 core), but did some updates, the only issue might be if they didn't update the tesselation unit. They obviously have a faster tesselation unit in the 285, but I don't know if that would be a "drop-in" replacement without reworking the whole design.

May 27, 2015 | 10:07 AM - Posted by lantian (not verified)

only thing there where only 2 new parts, rest of the 2xx series are rebrands

May 27, 2015 | 05:42 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Yeah, I am thinking we are going to get mostly rebrands with the HBM part having totally different branding so there may be no Rx 4xx series. It is possible that they are doing some tweaks though. Hopefully we will at least get a 290 derivative with slightly better power consumption and maybe higher clock.

May 26, 2015 | 06:07 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I think this fits with what has been on the Wikipedia page for a while. I don't know how trustworthy information on Wikipedia has been in the past though. The Rx 3xx series is OEM only, so you shouldn't see these for sale in retail.

The Wikipedia article shows Hawaii being rebranded as R9 4xx parts, possibly with a bit of a clock speed jump. Hopefully they reworked the design to add some of the features present in their latest generation cards like TrueAudio, adaptive sync, etc. Even if they aree not making them on 20 nm, they may be building them on a more advanced, but still 28 nm process. This may be why they could get higher clocks and, hopefully, better power consumption.

May 26, 2015 | 07:55 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This all FAKE like all the leaks in the past ;)

May 26, 2015 | 08:11 PM - Posted by Alamo

wow and you make an article about this ?
it stands to reason that AMD rebrand older architecture that never was rebranded, low-mid end, the bonaire 260 wasn't rebranded if am not mistaken, tonga and hawaii for sure never were, and about curacao i think it's only for mobile not for desktop, keep in mind that mobile for nvida or AMD is always 1 generation behind, mainly for the TDP.
so desktop you get Fiji high end new arch, and low-mid rebrand so that GCN features move forward, it would be stupid though if the 270 or the 280 get rebranded for desktop but i really doubt it.

May 26, 2015 | 09:04 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Bonaire was the 7790 before it was rebranded into the 260 series.

May 26, 2015 | 09:35 PM - Posted by pdjblum

Rebrand my ass. I will take a fiji with HBM for $350. That would get their sales up and take a piece out of nvidia. Long live AMD and Nvidia as it is in our best interests.

May 28, 2015 | 12:06 AM - Posted by Mandrake

I'd be awfully surprised. I don't expect Titan X pricing, but something matching the 980 Ti's rumored $700 to $750 USD pricing is what I'd expect.

May 26, 2015 | 11:37 PM - Posted by Searching4Sasquatch (not verified)

AMD is only doing rebrands because of NVIDIA and GameWorks and bad developers and......and.......

May 27, 2015 | 01:01 AM - Posted by Alamo

rebrand because they dont have the funds to put a new architecture every generation for every segment, and this is not new and this is not exclusive to AMD, both with Nvidia they have been rebranding GPUs at least once on desktop, and more than that on laptops.

May 27, 2015 | 01:02 AM - Posted by Alamo

double post sorry

May 27, 2015 | 12:07 PM - Posted by Speely

AMD is doing rebrands because they can. If even a 3-year-old architecture (GCN 1.0, aka Cape Verde, and up) can still compete with Nvidia's newest tech, why do they need a new arch?

May 27, 2015 | 03:39 PM - Posted by TekHead

What if they are rebrands, but use HBM. That would still give them an edge and anything that Nvidia offers now.

May 27, 2015 | 06:01 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I think HBM on an interposer will be too expensive for anything but the high end until it ramps up. The actual memory die in HBM stacks seems like it will be used for many different products so they will be making a lot of them. I have wondered if the Fiji HBM part will actually be an R9 490 part, with the rest of the 400 series parts being filled in later, all with HBM. You can't just take a GDDR5 gpu and connect HBM to it though. It requires a completely different memory system on the GPU and possibly some different optimizations of the rest of the design. It depends on whether HBM will be moving down the product stack. If the lower end parts will remain GDDR5 for a while, then they may do branding similar to Nvidia with their 960/970/980 and then Titan for the high-end part. They did a rebranding before with a big change. The Radeon HD 7000 parts where rebranded as Radeon HD 8000 parts for OEM, but some of them were also rebranded as Radeon Rx 2xx parts along with the actual new part. AMD may want to change this though due to nvidia's Titan branding.

May 27, 2015 | 08:03 PM - Posted by btdog

I like AMD as much as the next person and I want them to succeed, but if the 370 is a rebranded 270X...which is a rebranded 7870...that's disconcerting. The GHz 7870 released in March 2012!

It's a great card, no doubt, but anyone familiar with the Computer landscape is not going to buy a 370, especially if they've supported AMD in the past by purchasing the 7870, or the 270X.

I'm surprised they can't hobble the 290 cards somehow and introduce them as new, lower level cards. At least the architecture would be newer, performance could still be better, but there should be some margin when selling them.

May 27, 2015 | 08:05 PM - Posted by BlackDove (not verified)

The Japanese have been using 3D HMC RAM for a while in actual products while AMD and Nvidia talk about it. I think its hilarious how far behind most people are.

http://www.fujitsu.com/global/products/computing/servers/supercomputer/p...

May 28, 2015 | 05:19 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

HMC is totally different from HBM. They both use similar stacked chips, but the interface is completely the opposite. HBM uses a 1024-bit interface per stack which pretty much requires that it be on an interposer. Because of the interposer, the memory interface can be very simple which takes up a lot less die space andmconsumes a lot less power.

HMC uses stacks also, but the bottom logic die converts this to high speed serial links similar to pci-e signaling. The links are only 8 or 16-bits wide, but it is very fast. Each logic die has multiple links, so several stacks can be connected in a chain. HMC doesn't require an interposer; it can be connected through a standard pcb. It is not that low power consumption and it is not cheap though. HBM is much better suited to graphics and the interposed technology allows for a lot of other interesting things. I would say that HBM is the more revolutionary product, and AMD is ahead of the others being the first to market with such a product. Also, it is a consumer graphics card, not some expensive supercomputer.

May 28, 2015 | 02:41 AM - Posted by collie

Wasn't this my theory?
May 22, 2015 | 12:08 PM - Posted by collie
I wonder if they are gonna do something silly, rebrand all the old cards to the rx-3xx and name the flagship "Hercules" or "Perseus", like "A TITAN KILLER!!!!"

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