Advanced Micro Devices has published specifications of its Radeon R9 300-series graphics cards intended for OEMs on its web-site. As it appears, despite of new model numbers, the graphics adapters will be powered by GPUs that are already available commercially. The company has also added two new Radeon R7 300-series solutions into its lineup, which are also based on outdated GPUs.
The whole AMD Radeon R9 and R7 300-series products lineup for OEMs is based on well-known “Tonga”, “Curacao”, “Bonaire” and “Oland” graphics processing units, reports TechReport web-site. The “new” graphics cards for system makers have a lot in common with already available AMD Radeon R9 200-series graphic boards sold in retail (see the table below, current-gen solutions are marked as “RTL”).
The Radeon R9 380 graphics card – which will be one of AMD’s most powerful offerings for OEMs in the coming months – is based on the Tongra Pro graphics processing unit with 1792 stream processors and GCN 1.2 architecture. The chip has been on the market for more than half of a year and can hardly be considered as a new one. Still, the GPU has up-to-date feature set and rather decent performance in modern video games.
Other graphics products in the Radeon R9/R7 300-series family for OEMs are at least two years old and are based on morally outdated GCN 1.0 and GCN 1.1 architectures. By today’s standards, performance of such graphics adapters is mediocre.
Developers of graphics processing units tend to rename old graphics adapters allegedly at the requests from OEMs. The practice has been criticized by numerous market observers, retailers and PC enthusiasts for years because it creates a lot of confusion among unexperienced users.
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KitGuru Says: It is expected that AMD’s Radeon R9 300-series for consumers will be considerably more advanced than the lineup for OEMs since it will actually include new GPUs in addition to the code-named “Fiji” flagship chip. Unfortunately, renamed Radeon R9/R7 300-series product family will clearly affect reputation of AMD’s upcoming graphics adapters and will naturally cause a certain amount of confusion.