AMD to debut R9 300 series at Computex?

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For whatever reason, AMD’s been pretty mum about its upcoming R9 300 series of cards. They’ve revealed that their newest, high-end, ultra-enthusiast card had been powering all sorts of VR demos at GDC, but have been disquietingly tight-lipped about the series as a whole. From earlier reports, we’ve been led to believe that the majority of the new cards in the 300 series are just rebranded ones from the 200 series. New reports say that’s changed.

According to Kitguru, citing sources of an anonymous, inside nature, AMD had planned to rebrand a number of their older cards and repurpose them for their 300 series. This is a regular occurrence in the industry, and is great for clearing an overstock of chips from channels, repurposing them, with a few extra features for a new line of cards. Essentially, AMD would be making the R9 290X the new R9 380X and the R9 285 the new R9 370, and so on and so forth.

Here’s what the rumours suggested:

GPU Possible Specs Launch Date
AMD Radeon R9 395X2 Bermuda (Fiji x2) GCN 1.3; 8192 (?) Cores; 8192-bit 8GB HBM Q4 2015
AMD Radeon R9 390X Fiji XT GCN 1.3; 4096 (?) Cores; 4096-bit 4GB HBM Q2 2015
AMD Radeon R9 390 Fiji PRO GCN 1.3; 3840 (?) Cores; 4096-bit 4GB HBM Q2 2015
AMD Radeon R9 385X Fiji CE (?) GCN 1.3; 3328 (?) Cores; 2048-bit 2GB HBM (?)
AMD Radeon R9 380X Grenada XTX (Hawaii) GCN 1.1; 2816 Cores; 512-bit 4GB GDDR5 Q2 2015
AMD Radeon R9 380 Grenada PRO (Hawaii) GCN 1.1; 2560 Cores; 512-bit 4GB GDDR5 Q2 2015
AMD Radeon R9 370X Tonga XT GCN 1.2; 2048 Cores; 384-bit 3GB GDDR5 Q2 2015
AMD Radeon R9 370 Tonga PRO GCN 1.2; 1792 Cores; 256-bit 2GB GDDR5 Q2 2015
AMD Radeon R9 360X Trinidad GCN 1.3; (?) Cores; 256-bit 2GB GDDR5 Q1 2015
AMD Radeon R9 360 Trinidad GCN 1.3; (?) Cores; 256-bit 2GB GDDR5 Q1 2015

AMD’s changed its mind, apparently – and every single cards in the new 300 series will be a new one. Higher ups at AMD have apparently demanded that the company launch with a full new solution, rather than a brand new high end card and a re-appropriated middle end.

It could mean we’ll see the new cards even later than anticipated – though the same report says we’ll see the new GPU’s announced at Computex in June. I feel that AMD’s dropped the ball a little. They could have really capitalised on Nvidia’s GTX 970 memory flub beyond their few pot-shots, by announcing some sort of competition to NVidia’s Maxwell-powered beasts, but they’ve instead remained quiet.

As a result, AMD’s marketshare is dropping even lower – and it’s something AMD’s aware of, with hopes that its new products for 2015 will bring more gamers back to Team Red.

“We are confident that as we get into the second half of 2015 with the launch of that [new graphics] product, we will gain back the market share which is low from my standpoint and historically,” said Devinder Kumar, chief financial officer of AMD at the Morgan Stanley Technology, media and telecom conference. “We need to be significantly higher than where we are right now.”

Yes. Yes you do.

Are you still waiting for AMD to play its hand, or have you run out of patience and gone for NVidia’s Maxwell cards?

Last Updated: March 9, 2015

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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