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We have just seen reports of AMD once again trying to better NVIDIA, reportedly trying to take would-be GTX 960 owners under their wing.
The method they've decided to take is cone again that of a price cut, seeing their R9 285 video card see a drop to 180 Euro ($201 US) when compared to the pricing of a GTX 960 at 192 Euro ($215 USD).
AMD's option does have the issue of slightly higher power consumption and noise ratings, so is the saving of $14 US enough to entice you away from the big green?
Image and information courtesy of techPowerUp!
Exclusive: According to our industry sources, AMD has a few surprises in store for us when it comes to the Radeon R9 390X, and the other GPUs that will arrive with the Radeon 300 series.
Our source wouldn't elaborate, but they did say that the new Radeon R9 390X will arrive with specifications and possibly features that are different to what the rumors currently suggest. We've reported that the Radeon R9 390X would come with two versions; the 4GB and 8GB products with GDDR5 or High-Bandwidth Memory (HBM1) from SK Hynix. But, we've heard from other industry sources not long ago that there would be tight stock when the 390X launches, which could be caused by yield issues on HBM1. We've also reported that the R9 390X would arrive as a watercooled version, but now we're getting new information.
Something interesting that our source said, was that if HBM1 provides what it on paper should provide very easily, "NVIDIA are in trouble". Now, for what we know, there are only a few launches from NVIDIA for this year. First, the rumored GeForce GTX 980 Ti, which will be a cutdown GM200 GPU, the same found on the Titan X. Second, there's also news of NVIDIA allowing add-in board (AIB) partners to use aftermarket coolers on the Titan X, which will see a big injection of speed from Titan X cards from the likes of MSI, ASUS, and more.
Rumors of the Radeon R9 390X are beginning to fly again as the new week begins, with reports suggesting that AMD will be slapping not just 4GB of HBM RAM onto its Fiji XT-powered VGA card, but 8GB of the deliciously-fast RAM. We've heard that there will be two versions of the Radeon R9 390X, with a watercooled variant to be unveiled, too.
The new reports suggest that AMD's new GPU will be using a dual link interposer, which will make 8GB of HBM possible on the Radeon R9 390X by stacking two 4-HI HBM components together, for a total of 8GB. AMD will be using SK Hynix's "Dual Link Interposer" to push 8GB of RAM onto the R9 390X, most likely in a move that has forced their hand thanks to the 12GB of framebuffer on the GM200-powered GeForce GTX Titan X from NVIDIA.
But, AMD will be using the next-gen HBM RAM to have a serious jump on its competitor, something that was previously unattainable with HBM1, and required HBM2. This is where the "Dual Link Interposer" comes into play, as it allows AMD to use 4GB of HBM, but just double-stack it for 8GB total.
With the launch of the AMD Radeon R9 390X imminent, the Radeon R9 490X is over the horizon, with it reportedly set for launch in 2016. The new card will be based on the Arctic Islands architecture, manufactured on the 14nm process, and using the second generation HBM2.
The Arctic Islands flagship GPU will be based on the Greenland architecture, which will replace the Fiji architecture that will find its way into the Radeon R9 390X. The Greenland-based Radeon R9 490X will be built on the 14nm process thanks to Globalfoundries, a change from previous rumors that TSMC would be leading the GPU charge for AMD going into 2016.
TSMC has had trouble with the 16nm node, which I'm sure has been causing both AMD and NVIDIA headaches behind the scenes. More so with AMD, as they haven't had a flagship GPU released since the Radeon R9 290X in late 2013 (if we don't count the dual-GPU Radeon R9 295X2 in early 2014). Whereas NVIDIA has enjoyed its Maxwell architecture on the 28nm process beautifully, keeping power consumption and heat down without having to shrink its process, like it normally would.
But, with NVIDIA most likely shrinking down to 16nm next year with Pascal, reiterating its 'very important' foundry partner in TSMC, could AMD have the upper hand with 14nm and its new architecture? Or are we getting ahead of ourselves on what to expect with AMD, while they haven't even bought the R9 390X to the market yet. Whatever happens, HBM2 should ship with the Radeon R9 490X, which will see memory bandwidth climb to incredible new heights of around 1.2TB/sec - up from the 640GB/sec that is rumored to be what the Radeon R9 390X will feature with HBM1.
Or is the idea of NVIDIA's next-gen Pascal-powered GeForce with 32GB of HBM2 already too much of a tease? All of this GPU news is making my head spin with excitement.
We've had an industry insider whisper sweet nothings into our ear regarding the forthcoming release of AMD's Radeon 300 series, which will include the flagship "Fiji XT" Radeon R9 390X, which will reportedly arrive in two flavors, with very short supplies at launch thanks to HBM's low yields.
Our tipster has said that most of AMD's Radeon 300 series lineup will be filled with rebrands, with the Radeon 380X being a rebranded Radeon R9 290X. This isn't new information as we've previously reported that AMD's Radeon 300 series would be filled with rebrands, but this information is much newer and closer to the actual release than the previous rumors.
There will be a few VGA cards released with the new Fiji architecture, which should arrive as the Radeon R9 390X and R9 395X2. We could see the R9 390 being the Fiji, while the Fiji XT core will power the R9 390X.
We're getting closer and closer to the release of the Radeon R9 390X, but we've been hearing some rumblings from within the industry. Our sources have said that AMD will have two Radeon R9 390X cards to launch: one of them will be the Radeon R9 395X2 (a dual-GPU version) with 8GB of VRAM. The second card will be a 4GB version that won't beat the GeForce GTX Titan X.
The dual-GPU will beat the GeForce GTX Titan X, but the normal 4GB won't be capable of beating NVIDIA's GM200-based beast. Our industry sources also tell us that there are some hurdles with yields on HBM, which will see a very limited supply of Radeon R9 390X and Radeon R9 395X2 cards right through to the end of the year.
We're expecting AMD to launch their Radeon R9 390X and R9 395X2 at Computex 2015, which kicks off in the first week of June. With NVIDIA having some 74% of the discrete GPU market, AMD needs to sell as many cards as they can, and these yield issues are something we don't need to hear about right now.
One of the downsides of the GeForce GTX Titan X is that NVIDIA didn't allow add-in board (AIB) partners to modify the card with a non-reference cooler. This should all change with the GM200-powered GeForce GTX 980 Ti, with NVIDIA reportedly greenlighting custom variants of the GTX 980 Ti.
But it gets better: the current rumors have NVIDIA announcing the card sometime in late May or early June, which is right around the time of Computex. It's also the time frame in which AMD will reportedly announce its new Radeon 300 series, led by the flagship Radeon R9 390X. This could be NVIDIA's way of taking some of that thunder away, and if the GeForce GTX 980 Ti is as powerful as it should end up being (thanks to it being powered by the same GPU as the GTX Titan X), we should expect some fierce competition in terms of pricing from both camps.
The alleged specifications of the GTX 980 Ti has it powered by the GM200 core, with the same specifications as the GTX Titan X, but with a reduced framebuffer. The GTX 980 Ti should feature 6GB of VRAM, but with higher clocks than the Titan X. With custom variants, we should expect the GeForce GTX 980 Ti to be one of the fastest video cards on the market when it's released. That is, until we know what makes the Radeon R9 390X tick.
We have previously reported that AMD would be unveiling its next generation GPUs in Q2 2015, which ends on May 31st, but we've just heard some news during AMD's Q1 2015 conference call directly from AMD CEO Lisa Su herself.
During the call, Su said that AMD will talk about their upcoming graphics products launches "later this quarter", with Su reiterating that the company "would like to see some regain of share in both the desktop and the notebook business". As for AMD's plans for 2H 2015, Su had the following to say: "In the second half of the year, I think we would like to see our products take a strong position as well as hopefully the market gets stronger as well".
GALAX is back, and in a big way lately, but it's not stopping with its handful of GeForce GTX 980s. The company has just added two more to its list of five, which is now a list of seven, with the new GALAX GTX 980 HOF TecLab Edition, and GTX 980 HOF DUCK Edition.
Starting with the GALAX GTX 980 HOF DUCK Edition, which is currently second place in the official 3DMark Fire Strike competition (with 10,580 points). We don't know the clock speeds of the card, but we do know it has been cranked all the way up to 2123MHz (but obviously not with its aftermarket cooler). We have a custom-made white PCB and triple-fan cooler that is sure to impress.
Next, we have the GALAX GTX 980 HOF TecLab Edition, which is a 2.5-slot card with a new color scheme. We have a backplate on this card too, as well as an OC button on the rear of the card next to its display outputs. The GALAX GTX 980 HOF TecLab Edition should be the fastest GTX 980 in the GALAX lineup.
We know it's coming, but it's just a matter of when. NVIDIA is preparing the GeForce GTX 980 Ti that should better counter the upcoming Radeon R9 390X from AMD, with a full GM200 core.
The GM200-powered GeForce GTX 980 Ti should be released in September, a couple of months after AMD's launch of the Radeon R9 390X which is expected to happen during Computex in June. There are some suggestions that NVIDIA would spoil AMD's fun during the R9 390X launch, so we could see a big announcement before, during or after Computex from NVIDIA.
NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 980 Ti should be close to identical to the behemoth that is the GeForce GTX Titan X, but knock down its VRAM from 12GB to 6GB. We should also see AIB partners free to slap on aftermarket coolers, which didn't happen with the Titan X, which is going to open up a can of whoop ass on the market.