At the GPU 14 Tech Day Event in Hawaii, AMD officially unveiled the their next generation Radeon GPU series, the Radeon R9 2xx and R7 2xx series, codenamed “Volcanic Islands.”
The new Radeon R9/R7 GPU family uses an enhanced GCN architecture (initially introduced in the Radeon HD 7000 series), is DirectX 11.2 compliant, and was produced on the 28 nm process. Some earlier speculations had suggested that the Volcanic Islands family would be on the 20 nm process, but it appears that AMD was able to yield more performance out of the 28 nm process, as the AMD wasn’t ready to transition to 20 nm just yet.
One of the most exciting news about the new Radeon R9/R7 GPU family is the top of the line GPU, the Radeon R9 290X. The Radeon R9 290X is a 512-bit single GPU card, with a transistor count of 6 billion, equipped with 4 GB GDDR5, capable of 5 teraflops, with a total bandwidth of 300 GB/s. These are beastly specs for a GPU, especially in the compute power, transistor count, and the memory bandwidth. Earlier benchmark leaks indicate that the R9 290X beats out the $1,000 GeForce GTX Titan. Even more interesting to hear is that AMD is hoping to price the R9 290X at $600.00 USD, which would seriously undercut nVIDIA’s high-end GTX GPUs.
Another interesting new feature about the Radeon R9/R7 GPU family is “TrueAudio”, a fully programmable audio engine. With TrueAudio, AMD hopes to revolutionize 3D audio engines found in games, as current 3D sound technologies seem to be quite lacking.
With the introduction of the Radeon R9/R7 GPU family, AMD is looking at an October 2013 ETA, with the aims of retaking the GPU market back from nVIDIA.
DailyTech – AMD Soft Launches “Volcanic Islands” GPUs With Programmable Audio in Hawaii
Radeon R9-290X: Hardware specs and benchmarks of AMD’s Titan killer
TechReport – AMD reveals Radeon R9 290X with TrueAudio, Battlefield 4 bundle