AMD may have a secret weapon in HBM

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TopSecret

As far as I’m concerned, AMD is in a lot of trouble. Nvidia’s new cards, the GTX 970 and GTX 980 deliver ridiculous performance, without – as is usual for Nvidia products – costing several limbs. For the local price of less than R6K, you can get performance close to the company’s older flagship Titan card, at less than half the price. Naturally though, AMD won’t take this lying down. They may have a secret weapon of their own.

According to hardware rumour mill WCCFTech, AMD’s next batch of cards may be running on the new standard of high bandwidth memory. 3D stacked HBM was originally developed in tandem by both SK Hynix and AMD as a replacement for GDDR5. It could offer future AMD cards up to 9 times the bandwidth of GPU’s coupled with GDDR5.

AMD’s next flagship cards will apparently be packing 3D stacked HBM.

HBM will allegedly make its way to AMD’s next generation of Pirate Islands GPUs starting early next year. With the introduction of the R9 380X powered by the Fiji GPU core and competing against the GTX 980. Also the R9 390X flagship powered by the Bermuda GPU which will be competing against the Titan 2 / GTX 980 Ti.

AMD’s first cards in 2015 are set to embrace the faster memory standard.

The HBM standard itself is more open and not locked to AMD, and it looks like Nvidia has plans to implement it too – but only in its Pascal cards coming in 2016. Right now, the undisputed king of price to performance in video cards is Nvidia’s beastly 970, but that may change early next year. New tech tends to be expensive though – and I hope AMD isn’t going to rush this out to the detriment of its pricing.

Last Updated: October 2, 2014

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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