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AMD reveals HBM-powered Radeon Fury graphics cards, new R300-series GPUs

Brad Chacos | June 17, 2015
The wait is finally over. A year and a half after the launch of the R200-series, months after Nvidia refreshed its entire GeForce lineup, AMD has lifted the veil off its new Radeon graphics card lineup: the Fury series, powered by revolutionary high-bandwidth memory (HBM), and the company's brand new Fiji GPU.

Radeon R7 300-series

AMD also refreshed the rest of its graphics card line, bumping its more mainstream GPUs up to the R7 300 and R9 300 series, all of which are compatible with the forthcoming DirectX 12 and Vulkan APIs--though few other technical details were revealed.

Kicking things off were the lower-end R7 offerings, which AMD says are tailor-made for playing e-sports games like Dota 2 and League of Legends at 1080p resolution.

These graphics cards support the Virtual Super Resolution technology--which lets GPUs render games at a higher resolution, then downsample it to your display's output for better clarity--that first appeared in AMD's Catalyst Omega driver last January. To ease the load on these modestly powered GPUs, they include a technology AMD calls "Frame rate target control," which limits the GPU's frame rate output to reduce power and noise needs. It sounds an awful lot like the "Dynamic frame rate control feature" AMD teased late last year.

There are two cards in the R7 300-series lineup. The Radeon R7 360 will start at $109 and include up to 2GB of traditional GDDR5 RAM, while the more potent Radeon R7 370 will start at $149 and pack up to 4GB of memory.

Radeon R9 300-series

AMD also introduced a trio of more powerful Radeon R9 300-series graphics cards.

The $199 Radeon R9 380 was designed for 1440p gaming, AMD says, and packs up to 4GB of memory. Meanwhile, the $329 Radeon R9 390 and $429 Radeon R9 390X each pack 8GB of RAM, presumably for a better gaming experience at 4K resolution.

All of these new R7 and R9 300-series graphics cards will available to buy Thursday. That imminent launch is actually a bit worrisome. For the past few months, the rumor mill's been adamant that the new 300-series Radeon GPUs are actually built around barely-tweaked GCN silicon that first made an appearance in the Rx 200-series and even the older Radeon 7000-series graphics cards. In other words, these may not actually be "new" graphics cards.

Even though the new cards are launching a mere two days from now, PCWorld has not received review samples for any of the R300-series cards (or the Fury X, for that matter). Considering that, the rumors, and the lack of technical details provided for these new 300-series graphics cards, you will definitely want to wait for reviews to hit before you pick up one of these, even if you could buy one Thursday.


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