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AMD unveils R7 and R9 300 series of cards

By Koh Wanzi - on 17 Jun 2015, 4:00am

AMD unveils R7 and R9 300 series of cards

Image Source: AMD

AMD has unveiled the Radeon R7 and R9 300 series of cards at the E3 gaming expo. Richard Huddy, AMD's Chief Gaming Scientist, underscored the announcement with the loaded statement that these cards comprised the base of AMD's next-generation GPU line-up, no doubt as part of the build-up toward the real stars of the day.

But that's not to say that the new Radeon R7 and R9 300 cards are pushovers. Here's a quick summary of the specifications that we have available now, along with their launch prices:-

AMD Radeon R7 and R9 300 series GPUs Compared

Model AMD Radeon R9 390X AMD Radeon R9 390 AMD Radeon R9 380 AMD Radeon R7 370 AMD Radeon R7 360
Manufacturing Process 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm
Core Clock Up to 1050MHz Up to 1000MHz Up to 970MHz Up to 975MHz  Up to 1050MHz
Stream Processors 2816 2560 1792 1024  768
Onboard Memory 8GB GDDR5  8GB GDDR5 4GB GDDR5  2GB / 4GB GDDR5  2GB GDDR5
DDR Memory Bus 512-bit 512-bit  256-bit 256-bit  128-bit
Memory Bandwidth 384GB/s  384GB/s 182.4GB/s 179.2GB/s 112GB/s 
PCI Express Interface PCIe ver 3.0 x16  PCIe ver 3.0 x16 PCIe ver 3.0 x16 PCIe ver 3.0 x16 PCIe ver 3.0 x16 
Molex Power Connectors 1 x 6-pin, 1 x 8-pin 1 x 6-pin, 1 x 8-pin  2 x 6-pin 1 x 6-pin  1 x 6-pin
AMD TrueAudio Technology Yes Yes  Yes No Yes
Launch Price US$429  US$329 US$199 US$149 US$109

It's definitely about high time that AMD refreshed its graphics cards, especially given the free reign that NVIDIA has had over the first half of 2015. The new Radeon R7 and R9 300 series cards are spread out across quite a wide price range, which means that the entire product line-up is poised to cater to an equally wide range of gamers with varying needs.

The Radeon R7 360 and R7 370 will target gamers on a budget who mainly play multiplayer online games at 1080p resolutions. They will also support something AMD calls Frame Rate Target Control (FRTC) which allows gamers to limit their frame rates in situations where having the highest frame rates aren't the top priority. By saving on all these excess frames rendered, AMD is able to achieve considerable power savings and build cards that will run cooler and quieter.

Furthermore, they will support Virtual Super Resolution (VSR), which is essentially AMD's answer to NVIDIA's Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR). So even if your display is capped at 1080p, you'll be able to re-render your games at higher resolutions and dynamically rescale them for your display, but with improved quality and detail.

The higher-end Radeon R9 380, 390 and 390X will also support FRTC and VSR, but are targeted at more demanding gamers who want to play games at 1440p resolutions or higher. This is evinced by the 8GB of GDDR5 memory on the Radeon R9 390X and R9 390 and their wider memory bus.

But while last generation's R9 290 cards comprised the flagship of the line-up, the R9 390 cards aren't quite aimed at the highest end of the market. The Radeon R9 390X is over US$100 cheaper than the R9 290X was at launch (it cost US$549) and it's clear that the flagship position has since been ceded to the AMD Radeon Fury X.

Fortunately, AMD has decided that gamers won't have to wait much longer to get their hands on these cards. All Radeon R7 and R9 300 series cards will be available starting this Thursday, 18 June. They will of course also support the upcoming DirectX 12 API and AMD Free Sync, with just one exception. As we reported earlier in our coverage on the OEM versions of some of these cards, the Radeon R7 370 will not support AMD Free Sync because it is based on the older Pitcairn architecture.

Source: AMD

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