Advanced Micro Devices on Tuesday introduced its new offering for the sub-$300 market segment of discrete graphics cards, the Radeon R9 280. The novelty is not really something new as it is based on two years old code-named Tahiti graphics processing unit and resembles the Radeon HD 7950. Nonetheless, it will likely have better prospects on the market with a new price.
AMD Radeon R9 280 features 1792 stream processors, 112 texture units, 32 raster operating units and 384-bit memory bus. Graphics cards featuring the R9 280 moniker will clock the chip at 827/933MHz and will carry 3GB of 5GHz memory. Thanks to higher frequencies, the Radeon R9 280 will offer higher performance compared to the original Radeon HD 7950, but will not be any different than the Radeon HD 7950 with boosted clock-rates introduced last summer.
The main new selling point of the Radeon R9 280 is its official price of $279, which is considerably lower than that of the Radeon HD 7950 in many stores that still carry it.
AMD Radeon R9 280 based on Tahiti will compete against the GeForce GTX 760 graphics board, which is powered by a cut-down version of GK104 graphics chip (1152 stream processors, 96 texture units 32 raster operating units). Previously the GeForce GTX 760 was known as the GTX 660 OEM. Based on the amount of stream processors, it is highly likely that the Radeon R9 280 will beat its arch-rival.
Since the Radeon R9 280 is GCN architecture-based, it offers everything that modern graphics chips from AMD can do, including DirectX 11.2, OpenGL 4.3, OpenCL 1.1, Mantle, 4K output (through HDMI 1.4 and DisplayPort 1.2), stereo-3D output and so on.
Expect AMD’s partners to offer factory-overclocked graphics cards carrying the R9 280 moniker as well as innovative cooling systems, non-reference designs and so on.
KitGuru Says: Just in case you did not get a Radeon HD 7950 a couple of years ago, AMD now offers it under a new name and for a new price point. Perhaps, that is not a bad thing for the end-user, but it clearly shows very slow innovation in the GPU world these days.