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AMD rumoured to be using GDDR5x on new 14nm GPUs

Recently, we have been hearing quite a bit about GDDR5x, with rumours suggesting that Nvidia intends to use it in addition to HBM2 on its Pascal graphics cards next year. Now it would seem that AMD is also planning a similar move, with GDDR5x rumoured to appear on its new 14nm graphics cards next year while we wait for HBM to become more widely available.

Right now, it is believed that AMD has priority access to HBM2, which may already be in fairly limited supply, which means there is still some room left in the market for GDDR5.


According to a presentation by a DRAM maker, which leaked on to the web (Via: Techpowerup), GDDR5x will offer double the data-rate per memory access. GDDR5x is also believed to bring new speeds of up to 12Gbps initially, which is a significant improvement over the 7Gbps we are used to seeing on current GDDR5 chips. The big thing is that GDDR5x will use the same pins as GDDR5, which should make it easy for GPU makers to implement without needing to develop new designs.

From the way things are going, it sounds like GDDR5x will replace GDDR5 for both AMD and Nvidia on lower end graphics cards, while top-end GPUs will feature the more energy efficient HBM2. This is all rumour for now though, we should learn more about AMD and Nvidia's future architecture plans as we move in to 2016.

KitGuru Says: This is a pretty interesting turn. I wasn't really aware of GDDR5x until a few weeks ago and I imagine many were under the assumption that HBM would become more widely adopted next year, though that may only be partially true. At the very least, this move to GDDR5x will put less demand on HBM2 supplies, which means manufacturers will hopefully be able to keep up. 

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  1. so i’m glad i bought a new gpu this year, because it sounds like the next round are going to be experimental and limited before they actually put out a decent number of cards with the new memory.

  2. The new memory isn’t the big change in the coming generation of GPUs.

    Going from 28nm to 14-16nm combined with new architectures are going to be the largest increase in performance in a long time.

  3. As of now there are only rumors floating around. The said cards are probably at least half a year away from release. There are usually too many misinformed sources or wishful thinking involved. I would rather believe news like this if the release was off by a few single weeks. Let’s wait and see.

  4. It’s like 2 node jumps we have been waiting for forever, It shall be huge.
    Just the transistor count alone should be over double not taking into account any other new memory or architectural improvements they may have done.
    Can’t wait, 2016 will be the year of gaming for sure. Proper new gpu’s, VR, affordable 4k, 4k above 60hz, steam boxes etc etc will be epic!

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  6. GDDR5X sounds like a good deal. Right now, only top-end GPU’s are coming close to being constrained by ram speeds, and even for high end GPU’s next year, I bet GDDR5X would acquit itself very well. Even the 980Ti and Titan X work great with regular GDDR5, and the Nano, Fury and Fury X don’t really outperform them in anything other than perhaps size.

  7. Plus Directx 12 bringing 15X more details in games and the ports are giving double fps numbers, let alone native Directx 12 games. Huge jump in nm, memory and software all at the same time. Going to fun.

  8. The packaging costs for HBM based MCMs must be higher than expected. Too bad no one has a serial solution that is actually optimized for this application. And please don’t say HMC, that beast has too much overhead.

  9. Finally someone speaking with sense instead of hype. For the industry is in transition (DDR4, HBM2 and now GDDRx). And it’s best just to let things sizzle a bit till maturity hits. Good to hear a PC Gamer or PC person in general speak some sense.

  10. you might not be so glad when you see the performance of the new cards.

    Going from 28nm to 14nm is going to be a HUGE change, allowing for the doubling of the number of transistors, which will make this years GPU’s seem extremely slow by comparison. far more so then when a typical new generation comes out. Buying the last generation 28nm GPUs is not a good long term investment.

    buying the first generation of GPU’s on a new process node is generally the best time to buy in terms of longevity if you don’t upgrade every year.

  11. It really comes down to the screen resolution and the games being played. If you are swinging a 1080P monitor, a GTX 970 is perfectly fine for pretty much every games out there. The same with the GTX 980 or 980 Ti and 1440P. Frankly, I will not buy a 4K monitor until graphics cards can run at a decent frame rate on them and games start using all those extra pixels (that could be years from now).
    Waiting for the “best” card is an exercise in frustration. Just ask all the folks that waited for the Fury X to come out.

  12. There is big gotcha coming in the next couple of years that could upend both the CPU and graphics cards industries. Intel/Micron’s 3D X-Point memory. It will be slower than GDDR 4 but not by much and will be available in absurdly huge amounts for low cost. How about 250GB of graphics memory that runs as fast a GDDR3-4, costs less than 4GB of the RAM, and is non-volatile? Timeline? Intel says that it is in production NOW but in 2016, the $5 billion plant in China will come online as well. Obvious, the use for commercial server farms will come first but it will be coming for retail as soon after. 2017 is going to be VERY interesting.

  13. Cripes, a game developer could put ALL of the games graphics into X-Point memory without bothering to having to pull it from the SSD/ hard drive.

  14. I think you misread something. XPoint is 1000 times faster than NAND, not DRAM. No way it can be used for graphics memory.

  15. i hope the r9 490 will have hbm2

  16. Thank you for saying that AMD has priority to HBM 2.0. Most Nvidia fanboys don’t understand this point nor do they recognise that Nvidia has to pay AMD royalties for using such technology.

  17. It’s going to be huge, like going from HD 5XXX to 7XXX series was. or in NVidia’s case GTX 4XX to GTX 6XX, except they will also change the memory so might be even better!
    You should of waited, you will see the value of your GPU be crushed, as soon as the new GPU’s release. Just a little advice sell before they release the new nm tech.