Last week AMD invited the press to an event in Hawaii regarding their new graphics card lineup. If you’re unfamiliar with AMDs naming process, they like to codename their GPUs after volcanic islands, so Hawaii was the perfect location to release their Hawaii GPUs! Makes sense right?
To kick things off AMD went ahead and renamed the branding of their cards, so instead of the Radeon 7000 and 8000 series, we now have the Radeon R7 and R9 series. The R7 series are more general use cards, like the previous generation HD 7700 cards, and the R9 series is more geared for gamers with more video memory and power.
In total 5 new cards were announced, starting at the bottom with the R7 250. This little entry level card has 1GB of GDDR5 memory, and is looking to compete with the Nvidia GTX 650, and AMDs own HD 7770. For only $89 it’s a good starting point.
Moving up a notch there’s the R7 260X, a 2GB card with a price tag of only $139. This is an ideal entry level card seeing as more games are being optimised to take advantage of more video memory, and at such a low price point, it’ll be interesting how well it competes with the similarly priced GTX 650 Ti. Furthermore this is the cheapest card to come with TrueAudio, which AMD says will greatly improve the realism of audio in games.
The lowest R9 series card is the 270X, which also comes with 2GB of memory much like the R7 260X. It aims to bring 1080p gaming for under $200 and it’ll be competing with the HD 7870 and GTX 660.
The card that caught my eye the most was the R9 280X, a 3GB card that replaces the HD 7950 and 7970. Because of that 3GB of video memory it does meet the recommended system requirements for Battlefield 4, and at only $299 it is very competitively priced against the GTX 760 (which I own!).
And last but not least, the card everyone was anticipating, the R9 290X, a top of the line card which is aimed at crushing the GTX 780 and possibly even the GTX Titan. Unfortunately not many specs were announced so look forward to a future article covering that.
Personally I’d like to get my hands on the R7 260X and the R9 280X, let me know what you think!