Today is the day you can finally read reviews of Radeon 300 graphics cards, and then go to your local shop and buy one.
This post is only about ‘retail’ Radeon 300 models, not the OEM parts, also Fury X is not launching today, although some slides are finally made public.
AMD Radeon 300: Not just a Rebrand?
Take a seat, we need to have a serious talk about Radeon 300 series. Ever since the news broke about Radeon 300 series being a rebranded hardware we became worried. It probably wouldn’t be a problem if AMD wasn’t recycling so many GPUs at the same time. We have Pitcairn, Bonaire, Tonga and Hawaii. The first two are begging to be replaced, Tonga and Hawaii are relatively new and support all the latest technology AMD introduced in the last 2 years. However the problem is not about the software and technology it supports, the problem is power efficiency, which is much worse on Radeon hardware. This chart should give you the idea:
|AMD Radeon 300 vs NVIDIA GeForce 900|
|Radeon 300||TDP||GeForce 900|
|AMR Radeon R9 Fury X||275W||250W||GeForce GTX 980 Ti|
|AMD Radeon R9 390X||275W||165W||GeForce GTX 980|
|AMD Radeon R9 390||275W||148W||GeForce GTX 970|
|AMD Radoen R9 380||190W||120W||GeForce GTX 960|
|AMD Radeon R7 370||110W||60W||GeForce GTX 750 Ti|
|AMD Radeon R7 360||100W||55W||GeForce GTX 750|
AMD is not hiding the fact that these cards are based on old hardware, but they are defending themselves claiming that architectural improvements were made. Here is a quote from “Moor Insights & Strategy” analysis, I will leave the interpretation to you:
The AMD Caribbean Islands Family: Not Just a Rebrand (..)
AMD has been hard at work over the past year-and-a-half optimizing and re-architecting the microcontrollers within the ASICs themselves. Combined with the improvements to their manufacturing process, AMD has been able to squeeze more performance out of each of their cards and increase performance while maintaining the same price tier as its predecessor.
- The R9 390 and R9 390X replace the R9 290 and R9 290X and are both 300 GFLOPS faster than their predecessors (5,100 GFLOPS and 5,900 GFLOPS respectively) without increasing power in typical workloads.
- The R9 380 also benefits from the maturing of the 28nm process technology and AMD’s optimizations. It gains roughly 200 GFLOPS in performance: from 3,290 GFLOPS to 3,480 GFLOPS in compute performance.
- The R7 370’s compute capability of 2,000 GFLOPS is also faster by 200 GFLOPS than its predecessor’s (R7 265) 1,800 GFLOPS.
- The R7 360 has a compute performance of 1,610 GFLOPS, slightly more than the 1,536 GFLOPS of the R7 260.
In all cases, AMD increased performance and also added many features that previous generations did not have. Some of those features are enabled through the driver and others are done in hardware. But all of the GPUs listed above will support DirectX 12, Vulkan, and Mantle graphics APIs.
AMD Radeon 300 specifications
|AMD Radeon 300 Series (June 18th)|
|R9 390X||R9 390||R9 380||R7 370||R7 360|
|GPU Codename||GRENADA XT||GRENADA PRO||ANTIGUA PRO||TRINIDAD PRO||TOBAGO PRO|
|Previous GPU Codename||HAWAII XT||HAWAII PRO||TONGA PRO||PITCAIRN PRO||BONARIE PRO|
|Computing Power||5.9 TFLOPS||5.1 TFLOPS||3.5 TFLOPS||2.0 TFLOPS||1.6 TFLOPS|
|Core clock||1050 MHz||1000 MHz||970 MHz||975 MHz||1050 MHz|
|Memory Clock||1500 MHz||1500 MHz||1425 MHz||1400 MHz||1625 MHz|
|Mem. Clk. Effective||6000 MHz||6000 MHz||5700 MHz||5700 MHz||6500 MHz|
|Memory||8GB GDDR5||8GB GDDR5||2/4GB GDDR5||2/4GB GDDR5||2GB GDDR5|
|Bandwidth||384 GB/s||384 GB/s||182 GB/s||179 GB/s||104 GB/s|
|MSRP||429 USD||329 USD||199 USD||149 USD||109 USD|
AMD Radeon R9 390X and R9 390
AMD Radeon R9 390 series are based on Grenada silicon with up to 2816 Stream processing units. The R9 390X has 2816, whereas R9 390 comes with 2560 stream cores. Both cards are equipped with 8GB GDDR5 memory across 512-bit interface.
These cards are direct competitors to GeForce GM204 Maxwell series, which are GTX 980 and GTX 970 respectively. The R9 390 series will perform better at higher resolution, due to much bigger frame buffer, but they won’t be as power efficient as Maxwell architecture.
AMD announced R9 390X will be available for 430 USD, while R9 390 is 100 USD cheaper.
AMD Radeon R9 380
Antigua-based Radeon R9 380 also known as R9 285 in disguise has 1792 Stream Cores and up to 4GB of GDDR5 memory. Tonga GPU was released in September and according to previous leaks, it’s the same IP level of Graphics Core Next architecture as Fiji. You can buy R9 380 for 200 USD.
AMD Radeon R7 300: R7 370 and R7 360
The Radeon R7 300 series are based on the oldest hardware from AMD warehouse. The R7 370 based on Trinidad (Pitcairn) is the oldest GPU with no support for FreeSync or TrueAudio. R7 370 has 1024 Stream Cores and up to 4GB of GDDR5 memory. The Radeon R7 360 is priced at 150 USD.
The R7 360 based on Tobago GPU (Bonaire) comes with 768 Stream cores and 2GB GDDR5 memory. Radeon R7 360 is available at 110 USD. Unlike R7 370, it supports TrueAudio and FreeSync.
AMD Radeon 300 Technology Support
|AMD Radeon 300 Technology Support|
|||R9 390(X)||R9 380||R7 370||R7 360|
|VIRTUAL SUPER RESOLUTION (VSR)||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|4K RESOLUTION SUPPORT||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|FRAME RATE TARGET CONTROL (FRTC)||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|HDMI (WITH 4K, STEREO 3D, DEEP COLOR & X.V.COLOR)||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|EYEFINITY TECHNOLOGY (MAX DISPLAYS)||Up to 6 displays with DisplayPort MST hub||Up to 6 displays with DisplayPort MST hub||Up to 6 displays with DisplayPort MST hub||Up to 6 displays with DisplayPort MST hub|
|VIDEO CODEC ENGINE (VCE) (WITH H.264, MPEG-4 ASP, MPEG-2, VC-1 & BLU-RAY 3D)||YES||YES||YES||YES|
AMD Radeon 300 reviews
- AMD R9 390X review @ DigitalStorm
- ASUS STRIX R9 380 @ Vmodtech (our copy)
- Sapphire Nitro R9 380 4GB Graphics Card Review @ eTeknix
- Sapphire Nitro R9 390 8GB Graphics Card Review @ eTeknix
- Sapphire Tri-X R9 390X 8GB Graphics Card Review @ eTeknix
- ASUS STRIX R9 380 2GB Graphics Card Review @ eTeknix
Slide source: Eteknix