Rumor: AMD Updating R9 280 with Efficient Tonga GPU

Chinese website VR-Zone has posted a report stating that AMD will be updating its Radeon R9 280 and R9 280X graphics cards to units with a new GPU. We recently reported on this same GPU, though we weren’t sure which card it would be for. The GPU is known as Tonga.

The exact technical specifications for the new R9 280 and R9 280X remain unknown. While the report does indicate that they will still come with the same 2 GB of GDDR5 memory, the old R9 280 and R9 280X, which were based on the original Radeon HD 7950 and HD 7970 both come with 3 GB of GDDR5 memory. Something isn’t right here.

Whether the new GPU will be fabricated on a 20 nm lithographic process also remains uncertain, though it is certain that the GPU will be a lot more efficient than the older Tahiti Pro GPU due to architectural changes. Performance will probably be identical to that of the old R9 280, as it wouldn’t exactly make sense to build a card with the same name that performs differently.

It also remains to be seen what effect this will have on pricing, though the change is expected to be seen sometime mid-august. The difference in frame buffer has certainly left us wondering whether this will really be a replacement to the existing R9 280 card.

Follow Niels Broekhuijsen @NBroekhuijsen. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

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  • zhunt99
    Quote:
    "AMD" and "efficient" usually don't go together.


    Yeah, especially when you consider the HD 5000 and 6000 series only trumped their Nvidia counterparts in power efficiency for that generation.
    24
  • clonazepam
    Under ATI, they used to change the last number, like 280 to 285, to note a manufacturing change. Miss those days. Now they change the chip completely, change the architecture, etc, and note it where?
    10
  • Other Comments
  • coolitic
    "AMD" and "efficient" usually don't go together.
    -26
  • Treynolds416
    I don't understand why they wouldn't call it something new? It's not like the 280/280X's respective positions in the graphics card market are in danger, AMD is dominating pretty hard now. Things like this always end up confusing your average consumer, for no real reason. The only thing that I can think of is that the 20nm process is delayed and they just want to fill the space with a new product, but that still doesn't really explain the brand new gpu (not to mention, what happened to hawaii?). I don't really understand what the point of this is, but I'm certainly not going to complain if it works the way it should
    3
  • zhunt99
    Quote:
    "AMD" and "efficient" usually don't go together.


    Yeah, especially when you consider the HD 5000 and 6000 series only trumped their Nvidia counterparts in power efficiency for that generation.
    24