AMD has made the official announcement for its next-generation of graphics cards, but along with details of how many transistors they're sporting, what their price tags will be and the size of their memory, it's also debuted a new naming convention that kicks us out of the loop of scaling up the numbers and bailing back to the beginning at the top end of the single digits.
With the new lineup of cards, there will be two distinct hardware groups, the R9 series and the R7 series. The former will be made up of high end, performance driven cards, while the latter will focus more on mid-range gaming ability and features. While initially this does seem like a kind move by AMD to make it much easier for those not quite so in the know to get a graphics that's right for them, this could also be a way of AMD repackaging current 7 series GPUs as lower end, whilst releasing a new line of ‘8 series' cards, just under a new moniker.
Livestream grab by PCGamer
That aside however, the new cards with their new names are as follows: R9 290X, R9 290, R9 280X, R9 270X, R7 260X and R7 250. The most expensive one we know about so far is the R9 280X, which is listed at $299. While the R9 290 and 290X will most likely be more expensive, AMD has yet to release pricing information for those cards.
The GPU/APU maker did reveal however, that the 290X would sport 4GB of RAM, which should make for a massive memory bandwidth compared to current generation cards. It will also support AMD's new TrueAudio, which should: “empower game developers with a programmable audio pipeline on the GPU,” meaning we could have some more impressive gaming soundscapes in the future. However not all cards in the new generation will support this new feature.
Pre-orders for these GPUs are set to begin in early October, with their staggered release dates expected to be somewhere in the early part of the new year.
Kitguru Says: Better save up your Christmas money kiddies. The new year isn't just going to pack Valve's hardware, but AMD's too.