In the lead up to the launch of AMD’s R9 380x graphics card, featuring a Tonga XT core, reports cited the card as having a 384-bit memory bus, however, when launch rolled around a couple of weeks ago, we were greeted with a 256-bit bus instead. However, new information has come to light, confirming that Tonga is 384-bit capable, but AMD chose not to enable it for any products as of yet.
The initial report comes from PCPer, which spoke with AMD’s Raja Koduri, who confirmed that all Tonga GPUs are capable of supporting 384-bit memory bus bandwidth, but since the team couldn’t find the right price to performance ratio, the current Tonga cards were locked down to 256-bit instead.
Tonga GPUs have been out in the wild for over a year now so it is unlikely that we will see AMD launch yet another card using the GPU with an updated memory bus- at least not this generation. This does open the door for more performance to be unlocked on a refreshed line of GPUs, potentially next year, when the Arctic Island cards come around.
KitGuru Says: This news does open the door for us to see Tonga return next year alongside the new Arctic Island cards with an unlocked memory interface. Though that is just speculation on my part, so keep that in mind. What do you guys think of this move from AMD? Locking down performance on existing products is always an interesting topic for debate.