As always, most of the focus on Polaris has been on the top end chip. This has meant that much of the talk ahs been focused on the Polaris 10, the R9 390X/Fury replacement. Today though, we’ve been treated to a leak of the mainstream Polaris chip, Polaris 11. Based off of a CompuBench leak, we’re now getting a clearer picture of what Polaris 11 will look like as the Pitcairn replacement.
The specific Polaris 11 chip spotted features a total of 16CUs, for 1024 GCN 4.0 Stream Processors. This puts it right where the 7850/R7 370 is right now. Given the efficiency gains seen by the move to GCN 4.0 though, performance should fall near the 7870XT or R9 280. The move to 14nm FinFET also means the chip will be much smaller than Pitcairn currently is. Of course, this information is only for the 67FF SKU so there may be a smaller or more likely, a larger Polaris 11 in the works.
Other specifications have also been leaked, with a 1000Mhz core clock speed. Memory speed came in at 7000Mhz, with 4GB of VRAM over a 128bit bus. This gives 112GB/s of bandwidth which is a tad higher than the R7 370 before you consider that addition of delta colour compression technology. GCN 4.0 will also bring a number of other improvements tot he rest of the GPU, most importantly FreeSync support, something Pitcairn lacks.
While we can’t guarantee the same SKU was used, Polaris 11 was the GPU AMD pitted against the GTX 950 back at CES. During the benchmark of Star Wars Battlefront, the AMD system only drew 84W compared to the Nvidia system pulling 140W. For the many gamers who buy budget and mainstream cards, Polaris 11 is shaping out very well.
It’s not uncommon for current generation graphics cards to be tweaked, improved and rebranded to become part of the next-generation launch. This time around, it seems that the current line-up of Hawaii GPUs, such as the Radeon R9 290 cards, will be treated to an overclock and the addition of more VRAM However, it’s important to point out that any rebranded cards will not feature the upcoming HBM memory that the new flagship cards will feature.
It’s hard to nail down what new cards are what, as they’ve not yet been given a confirmed codename. We suspect that cards such as the R9 380 will be a rebrand of the current R9 285, but that information will no doubt become clearer closer to the launch. The Hawaii HX has a mild overclock, but a significant boost in memory speed, as well as a move from 4GB to 8GB of VRAM; the same goes for the Hawaii Pro.
Check out this list of expected 300 series cards below. It’s incomplete, but given that many of the cards aren’t confirmed yet, only rumoured and leaked, there’s still plenty more information to discover.
Personally, I’m happy to see the better picks from the current range get a boost, as they offer some great price vs performance ratios, while the bump in VRAM will help push 4K gaming into the mainstream. However, I’m personally sitting and waiting for the higher-end all-new cards with HBM, such as the R9 380X and 390X.
Thank you VideoCardz for providing us with this information.
Powercolour have rolled out their latest R9 270 graphics card, which features a completely passive cooler design. Now of course this may not be the most powerful graphics card on the market, but the temptation of having a card that runs at 0dBA is great for those wanting a silent build or HTPC.
The heatsink is of course huge, featuring six heatpipes to keep the thing from overheating and given the overall specifications its not exactly easy to keep it cool. The card features a clock speed of 920MHz for the GPU, 2GB of GDDR5 memory at 5600MHz and a 256-bit memory interface. This being part of the R9 270 range, the card is based around AMD’s Pitcairn architecture, which features 1280 stream processors, 80 TMUs and 32 ROPS.
Of course you’ll want a nicely ventilated chassis if you’re going to install this kind of card, but a little forward planning can get you a long way to a virtually silent, or at least a lot quieter rig. With prices of around £149.99 from places like overclockers.co.uk the card is affordable too.
Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information.
Apparnetly the new card has a 12-layer PCB, up from the 10-layer PCB on the HD 7970. The memory interface is 512-bit, it has two CrossFireX connectors and a dual fan cooler (pictured above). This means AMD are ditching the single fan blower style cooler. The TDP of the card is said to be 250W which is the same as the HD 7970 GHz edition and 20W higher than the normal HD 7970 which had a TDP of 230W.
The card is powered by single 6 pin and single 8 pin PCIe connectors. There’s no detailed information on launch time-frames but October is still being highly touted. With early release samples out and about, expect to see a few leaked previews/reviews of the HD 9970s performance in the coming weeks.
According to a report by Guru3D we can expect to see AMD’s HD 9000 series this October. AMD has already released the HD 8000 series for OEMs and mobile parts and a desktop equivalent isn’t expected for the retail channel. Instead AMD will skip straight to HD 9000 in October basing the first of these new cards on the current incarnation of the 28nm process – not a downward shrink to 20nm like previously rumoured or a revised 28nm process. These existing 28nm parts will be codenamed Curacao and Hainan.
Curacoa is expected to be an upgrade of the Tahiti Silicon with 2304 stream processors based on the Graphics Core Next (GCN) 2.0 architecture with 144 Texture Mapping Units, 48 Raster Operations Pipelines and a 384 bit GDDR5 memory interface. There is also an “improved front-end” which adds four asynchronous computing engines – ACEs – and three independent geometry engines. Curacao will be divided up for the highest end two – four graphics cards while Hainan will come in to replace Pitcairn in the more performance-segment. Hainan features up to 1792 GCN 2.0 cores, 112 TMUs, 32 ROPs and a 256 bit memort interface. It uses fewer ACEs and geometry engines than Curacoa.