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Say Hello to AMD's New Generation of Graphics

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 34 comments

Are you ready for Hawaii?

The rumors were true, folks. We heard whisperings of an October 8 release/NDA expiration and it looks like those rumors were true. The reviews are here and announcements from graphics cards makers are coming thick and fast. Already we've seen press releases from Asus, MSI, Club 3D, VTX3D, Sapphire, and PowerColor, and that list is only set to grow.

Announced two weeks ago, AMD's Hawaii silicon not brings new cards but a new naming scheme. The company is ditching its old Radeon HD XXXX series naming structure and instead adopting a new one that will focus on 'families' of cards (in this case the R7 and R9) sub-divided into three digit models representing performance levels.

If this sounds a bit familiar, it's because Nvidia did the exact same thing back in 2008. The company revealed plans to simplify its product range so that people who weren't as familiar with its range could better understand what they were buying.

New naming scheme aside, AMD's Hawaii silicon brings the R7 250, R7 260X, R9 270X, R9 280X, R9 290, and R9 290X to market. Today's review covers all but the R9 290 and R9 290X, which, as our own Chris Angelini points out in his review, all employ GPUs already found in the Radeon HD 7000-series line-up.

"Take that R9 270X, for example. With 1280 shaders spread across 20 compute units, it employs the same Pitcairn GPU introduced on the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition in March of last year," Chris writes. "Or how about the R9 280X? Its 2048 shaders, 1 GHz engine frequency, and 384-bit memory bus should remind you of the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition, sporting the Tahiti GPU."

To read Chris' full review, hit up AMD Radeon R9 280X, R9 270X, And R7 260X: Old GPUs, New Names.

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  • 26 Hide
    slomo4sho , October 8, 2013 10:33 AM
    What is the point of this article?
  • 13 Hide
    Honis , October 8, 2013 11:09 AM
    "AMD's Hawaii silicon brings the R7 250, R7 260X, R9 270X, R9 280X, R9 290, and R9 290X to market"

    It was my understanding that 290s were a new chip and not a refresh like the other 200 series.

    From the first paragraph of Chris' review of the lower cards:
    "...upcoming Radeon R9 290 and 290X, based on fresh silicon..."
  • 12 Hide
    macpeteo , October 8, 2013 11:12 AM
    This articale must have been written by a Yahoo reporter!
Other Comments
  • 26 Hide
    slomo4sho , October 8, 2013 10:33 AM
    What is the point of this article?
  • 6 Hide
    larkspur , October 8, 2013 10:37 AM
    : ) Looking forward to the R9 290x review! Oh yeah, and the price drops!
  • 7 Hide
    esrever , October 8, 2013 11:05 AM
    This article is not only pointless but also gets things wrong.
  • 13 Hide
    Honis , October 8, 2013 11:09 AM
    "AMD's Hawaii silicon brings the R7 250, R7 260X, R9 270X, R9 280X, R9 290, and R9 290X to market"

    It was my understanding that 290s were a new chip and not a refresh like the other 200 series.

    From the first paragraph of Chris' review of the lower cards:
    "...upcoming Radeon R9 290 and 290X, based on fresh silicon..."
  • 12 Hide
    macpeteo , October 8, 2013 11:12 AM
    This articale must have been written by a Yahoo reporter!
  • -4 Hide
    dxwarlock , October 8, 2013 11:14 AM
    Why go with more obscure codes, that doesn't fix the problem, it just shuffles the order of the confusing variables around for less techy people.

    Go with something that makes sense..why r7 and r9? whats the r for? what does 7 relate to, or 9 for that fact? (People that are tech savvy can figure out what card is what pretty easy, but ask my wife which is better a R7 250, R9 290, and R9 290X and get a blank stare).
    Why not codes like B,G and E (budget, gaming, and enthusiast or such)
    THEN ask my wife 'which is more powerful, a B250 or a G290" after 5 seconds of telling her what B,G, and E stand for, even she could tell you which is better.
  • 2 Hide
    smeezekitty , October 8, 2013 11:19 AM
    I am think people will be most interested in the two new cards R9-290 and R9-290X
  • 1 Hide
    iamadev , October 8, 2013 11:22 AM
    Its been almost 2 years since AMD released a new chip. When are we getting a new architecture from this company?

    With the slow improvements to their drivers as far as micro stuttering go I think anyone would be mad to buy into AMD GPUs right now.

    I have had many ATI GPUs in the past but really this is an incredibly dull launch and we have waited nearly 2 years for this.
  • 6 Hide
    digiex , October 8, 2013 11:23 AM
    "Say Hello to AMD's New Generation of Graphics" says the title...

    then the body says... "AMD's Hawaii silicon not brings new cards but a new naming scheme."

    My head ache.
  • 0 Hide
    beerdette , October 8, 2013 11:28 AM
    @Honis, it's right what he wrote. He is saying besides the name the announcement of the Hawaii Silicon it brings those new cards(or re-brands to be more accurate).
  • 1 Hide
    the1kingbob , October 8, 2013 11:31 AM
    I don't think the naming scheme is any better. There are still 4 numbers to deal with and a letter. R7 vs R9, 250 vs. 260, and 260 vs 260X. Overall I preferred the old number system. I am not sure why anyone is making a big deal about releasing old silicon with a new name, both companies have been doing this for years. I mean look at Apple and the 5C.... I am excited to see the review for the new cards
  • -4 Hide
    hannibal , October 8, 2013 11:38 AM
    Mains reason for this naming is that this is in same way as AMD CPU A10, A8 and so on are named... Does it make much sense... maybe in the longer run...

    I by my self am a "little" bit dissappointed that the naming was not:
    R9 290X
    R9 290
    R9 180X
    R9 180
    R9 170
    R7 160X
    and so on, so that the first number after gategory number would mean the generation of the GPU... Because 290X and 290 are new generation, thats why 2XX name.
    280 and so on are previous generation, so the name should have starter with 1xx, but that would have made too much sense... would it?

  • 1 Hide
    burkhartmj , October 8, 2013 11:43 AM
    Quote:
    Why go with more obscure codes, that doesn't fix the problem, it just shuffles the order of the confusing variables around for less techy people.

    Go with something that makes sense..why r7 and r9? whats the r for? what does 7 relate to, or 9 for that fact? (People that are tech savvy can figure out what card is what pretty easy, but ask my wife which is better a R7 250, R9 290, and R9 290X and get a blank stare).
    Why not codes like B,G and E (budget, gaming, and enthusiast or such)
    THEN ask my wife 'which is more powerful, a B250 or a G290" after 5 seconds of telling her what B,G, and E stand for, even she could tell you which is better.


    Either way you're explaining. Besides explaining 9 is higher than 7 is more straightforward than letters that seem arbitrary until they are explained. Ignoring the 'R' because it's a brand designation nothing more, and saying "7 and 9 are two families, and the higher the number, the better the card" isn't that difficult. Not sure the importance of the X yet though, so I can't speak to how that complicates things.
  • -1 Hide
    spookyman , October 8, 2013 11:44 AM
    I love rebranding stuff. Hey lets put a new sticker on it and call it a new video card.
  • -1 Hide
    de5_Roy , October 8, 2013 11:48 AM
    after reading the headline, i thought this was some sort of a 'breaking news' for r9 290x, 290 review articles.... since those are the actual 'new' gfx cards.
  • 1 Hide
    captaincharisma , October 8, 2013 12:05 PM
    why can't companies just use something like letters for the grade of card? like a letter for entry level mid range and pro
  • -2 Hide
    dxwarlock , October 8, 2013 12:13 PM
    Quote:

    Either way you're explaining. Besides explaining 9 is higher than 7 is more straightforward than letters that seem arbitrary until they are explained. Ignoring the 'R' because it's a brand designation nothing more, and saying "7 and 9 are two families, and the higher the number, the better the card" isn't that difficult. Not sure the importance of the X yet though, so I can't speak to how that complicates things.


    True, and they still leave the mystery of whats an old chip, or new chip in there either way.
    Seems if a company is smart enough to make video cards, they could come up with a simple naming that doesn't require a spreadsheet and slide ruler to figure out which is actually newer faster generation chip by its numerical name vs a last model rebranded as budget in the new lineup with the same number scheme but now labeled a r7[something](which was an r9[something] last year to start with)
  • 1 Hide
    JamesSneed , October 8, 2013 12:49 PM
    Quote:
    "AMD's Hawaii silicon brings the R7 250, R7 260X, R9 270X, R9 280X, R9 290, and R9 290X to market"

    It was my understanding that 290s were a new chip and not a refresh like the other 200 series.

    From the first paragraph of Chris' review of the lower cards:
    "...upcoming Radeon R9 290 and 290X, based on fresh silicon..."


    Your right the 290 and 290x are the only cards using the new Hawaii silicon the others are the same last gen "Tahiti" silicon.
  • 1 Hide
    somebodyspecial , October 8, 2013 1:44 PM
    "We heard whisperings of an October 8 release/NDA expiration and it looks like those rumors were true. The reviews are here"

    Umm, no...We are just reading 7970ghz with new names. Hawaii is NOT HERE, and there are NO REVIEWS here of Hawaii...ROFL. Get back to me when a HAWAII REVIEW is up.
  • 0 Hide
    hotsacoman , October 8, 2013 1:54 PM
    How do I win the R290x????
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