AMD has officially announced its latest line of video card at its E3 2015 press conference.
At the entry level is the R9 360, an extremely small card. Pricing was skipped. The next step up, the R7 370, was quoted at a $150 MSRP and “up to” 4GB of GDDR5 memory.
Taking a step up we have the R9 380 with 4GB of GDDR5 memory at $200, the R9 390 at $330 and the R9 390X at $430. AMD did not quote the architectures in these cards, but given that it also did not talk about new chips inside them, they are likely re-brands of existing hardware. All of the cards will support DirectX 12.
The real news, though, is Fiji, the company’s new architecture, which uses High Bandwidth Memory. To do that, CEO Dr. Lisa Su came on stage. She started by introducing the liquid-cooled Radeon R9 Fury X, which she says offers a 50 percent improvement in performance per watt over previous high-end Radeons. It will be joined by a less powerful, but equally efficient, air-cooled model called the R9 Fury. The Fury X will arrive on June 24th at $650, and the Fury will appear on July 14 at $550.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was the Radeon R9 Nano, which is also built on the Fiji architecture. The 6-inch long, air cooled card will be among the smallest on the market when it hits the market, yet offers performance in excess of the R9 290X with up to twice the performance-per-watt. No price was announced for the Nano, but it will appear sometime this summer.
There will also be a dual-GPU Fury card, though the company didn’t show that card or give it a name. AMD says it will not arrive until the fall.
To show off its new hardware, AMD announced a concept computer called “Project Quantum.” Though roughly a quarter the size of a standard desktop PC, the company boasted its dual Fiji GPUs with High Bandwidth Memory can handle 4K gaming without issue. The desktop offers liquid cooling to keep the high-powered hardware cool, and its unique design separates the hot processing hardware from the power supply and other components.
AMD had several developers on stage to talk about its new hardware, and what support for DX12 will provide. Kam Vedbrat, Group Program Manager of Graphics for Microsoft, came on stage to talk more about the new technology. He boasted of performance, saying “In some of the workloads we’ve measured, we see things like, up to a 50-percent reduction in CPU usage per frame.” This frees up the processor to do other things, like work on game AI.
The Radeon 300 series will be available for purchase on Thursday, June 18.
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