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Pictured: AMD's new Radeon R9 285

By - Source: VideoCardz.com | B 31 comments

A report is online with pictures of graphics cards with the new AMD Tonga GPU; they look like ordinary graphics cards.

You might remember when there was the first word about the new AMD Tonga GPU, and that at the time, the rumors were everywhere. There was talk of it being a chip for an efficient mid-tier graphics card as well as it being a new flagship chip. Now, VideoCardz.com has released pictures of various Radeon R9 285 graphics cards, which it claims carry the Tonga Pro GPU.

Performance for these cards is expected to sit at around the same level as the R9 280. It remains unknown how many cores the Tonga Pro has, but VideoCardz.com expects it to have a clock speed of 918 MHz. From the box images, we can see that the memory aboard the cards adds up to 2 GB of GDDR5 memory, which we suspect will run over a 256-bit memory interface at an effective frequency of 5.5 GHz. Power delivery to the graphics card is taken care of by two 6-pin PCI-Express power connectors.

Also expected to arrive later down the line is the R9 285X, which will supposedly carry the Tonga XT GPU and its 2,048 cores.

The R9 285 with the Tonga Pro chip is expected to arrive this month, though pricing remains unknown. Stay tuned for more. In the meantime, enjoy the images provided by VideoCardz.com. Note: This is still a rumor, so the specifications may not be correct.

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

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Top Comments
  • 15 Hide
    childofthekorn , August 11, 2014 2:47 PM
    Quote:
    Not interested because it seems like there still not trying for 4k gaming at affordable prices for most.


    Affordable pricing including displays and cabling. 4k gaming still has awhile before its the standard/mainstream and will be much more resource intensive.
  • 13 Hide
    BleedingEdgeTek , August 11, 2014 2:26 PM
    Why would a card sitting between the 3GB 280x and 4GB 290 have 2GB of VRAM?
  • 12 Hide
    RedJaron , August 11, 2014 3:45 PM
    Quote:
    That makes sense, but my problem is why is not the 275 then? The 265 is faster than the 260x, so why would the 285 be slower than the 280x? Just makes no sense how they would name it lol

    We don't know if it will be faster or slower than the 280 yet. Remember most of the Rx 200 cards right now are just rebranded 7000 cards with some slight clock tweaks. Aside from Hawai'i on the 290 cards, we haven't seen new Radeon architecture for two years now. It's quite possible the Tonga can operate faster on a 256-bit bus than the 7970 does on its 384-bit bus. Or it might simply be a matter of getting nearly the same performance but on significantly less power ( this only shows two 6-pin cables, not the usual 6/8 pairing on 280 cards. )

    Now if the 285 performs notably worse than the 280, then I agree the name will be very confusing.
Other Comments
    Add your comment Display all 31 comments.
  • 13 Hide
    BleedingEdgeTek , August 11, 2014 2:26 PM
    Why would a card sitting between the 3GB 280x and 4GB 290 have 2GB of VRAM?
  • 6 Hide
    Treynolds416 , August 11, 2014 2:30 PM
    Glad they're not going to name it the same as the current 280. As for tonga, I wonder what its purpose is? Is it a more power efficient gpu to try to compete with maxwell, or is it closer to a more scalable hawaii architecture.
  • 8 Hide
    RedJaron , August 11, 2014 2:38 PM
    Quote:
    Why would a card sitting between the 3GB 280x and 4GB 290 have 2GB of VRAM?

    Depends on the memory interface and use. The 280 had 3GB VRAM because it had a 384-bit memory bus. That put 1GB on each 128-bit controller. By similar rights, the 512-bit 290 had 4GB. If this is a 256-bit card, then it makes sense to be a 2GB card.
  • 6 Hide
    childofthekorn , August 11, 2014 2:44 PM
    Quote:
    Glad they're not going to name it the same as the current 280. As for tonga, I wonder what its purpose is? Is it a more power efficient gpu to try to compete with maxwell, or is it closer to a more scalable hawaii architecture.


    From the rumor mill its apparently focused on being more energy efficient than performance.
  • 15 Hide
    childofthekorn , August 11, 2014 2:47 PM
    Quote:
    Not interested because it seems like there still not trying for 4k gaming at affordable prices for most.


    Affordable pricing including displays and cabling. 4k gaming still has awhile before its the standard/mainstream and will be much more resource intensive.
  • 5 Hide
    BleedingEdgeTek , August 11, 2014 3:24 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Why would a card sitting between the 3GB 280x and 4GB 290 have 2GB of VRAM?

    Depends on the memory interface and use. The 280 had 3GB VRAM because it had a 384-bit memory bus. That put 1GB on each 128-bit controller. By similar rights, the 512-bit 290 had 4GB. If this is a 256-bit card, then it makes sense to be a 2GB card.


    That makes sense, but my problem is why is not the 275 then? The 265 is faster than the 260x, so why would the 285 be slower than the 280x? Just makes no sense how they would name it lol
  • 12 Hide
    RedJaron , August 11, 2014 3:45 PM
    Quote:
    That makes sense, but my problem is why is not the 275 then? The 265 is faster than the 260x, so why would the 285 be slower than the 280x? Just makes no sense how they would name it lol

    We don't know if it will be faster or slower than the 280 yet. Remember most of the Rx 200 cards right now are just rebranded 7000 cards with some slight clock tweaks. Aside from Hawai'i on the 290 cards, we haven't seen new Radeon architecture for two years now. It's quite possible the Tonga can operate faster on a 256-bit bus than the 7970 does on its 384-bit bus. Or it might simply be a matter of getting nearly the same performance but on significantly less power ( this only shows two 6-pin cables, not the usual 6/8 pairing on 280 cards. )

    Now if the 285 performs notably worse than the 280, then I agree the name will be very confusing.
  • 4 Hide
    DarkSable , August 11, 2014 4:00 PM
    Quote:
    That makes sense, but my problem is why is not the 275 then? The 265 is faster than the 260x, so why would the 285 be slower than the 280x? Just makes no sense how they would name it lol


    Because you have no way of presuming that it's a slower card in any way, shape, or form.

    It could very well be quite a bit faster - the amount of VRAM has little to no effect unless it becomes a bottleneck. (And in fact, cards with larger quantities of VRAM are slower when compared to the exact same card with less VRAM, again as long as it's not so low as to be a bottleneck.)
  • 6 Hide
    InvalidError , August 11, 2014 4:27 PM
    Quote:
    Not interested because it seems like there still not trying for 4k gaming at affordable prices for most.

    Considering how 4k is giving even a crossfire/SLI pair of high-end current GPUs a hard time, I would not expect mainstream-priced single-GPU solutions for 4k until 16nm GPUs come around, which puts them at about two years out from now, maybe three.
  • 1 Hide
    alextheblue , August 11, 2014 4:41 PM
    These are RUMORED specs. We don't know where it will fall in terms of performance or final memory bandwidth, or even what flavor of GCN it's built around. So let's not freak about the name or what it's "purpose" is yet :D 
    Quote:
    Aside from Hawai'i on the 290 cards, we haven't seen new Radeon architecture for two years now.
    GCN 1.1 was first introduced 1.5 years ago with the 7790 (the R7 260 series inherits this design as well). Is that what you mean? That may be true, but that doesn't mean they can't release a new product based on GCN 1.1 with other adjustments such as tweaking the layout. As such there's room for power/efficiency and clock improvements even with the same exact architecture.

    As an example: Compare Kabini/Temash to Beema/Mullins. Same architecture CPU cores, same GCN 1.1, same process. Yet they've power optimized the chips (reduced leakage) which not only reduced power consumption but gave them the room to boost clocks at the same time. Both CPU and GPU clocks are higher at the same TDP, sometimes drastically over the "previous gen" equivalent.

    So until we see a review there's no telling what improvements 285 will bring, and whether or not it will be the harbinger of what's to come. :) 
  • 0 Hide
    vaughn2k , August 11, 2014 4:54 PM
    "...new AMD Tonga GPU; they look like ordinary graphics cards..." - Just wondering, should we expect more than that?
  • 1 Hide
    tomfreak , August 11, 2014 5:08 PM
    really.... how would they actually sell a 256bit +2GB vs their own 3Gb 384bit?

    if this card is 4GB by default, it would be easier. but "2GB in common casual/layman's" eyes seems 'weak'.
  • 0 Hide
    RedJaron , August 11, 2014 5:12 PM
    Quote:
    GCN 1.1 was first introduced 1.5 years ago with the 7790 (the R7 260 series inherits this design as well). Is that what you mean? That may be true, but that doesn't mean they can't release a new product based on GCN 1.1 with other adjustments such as tweaking the layout. As such there's room for power/efficiency and clock improvements even with the same exact architecture.

    That's what I was saying ( well, part of it. )

    My whole point was that we haven't seen anything new or substantially different ( apart from Hawai'i, ) in some time now. I wasn't saying that to mean Radeons are worthless, I was meaning that AMD could very well have something brand new and awesome cooked up in the lab. From the 280X down, we're looking at older tech. Slight clock changes, but no serious revisions. Who knows what performance improvements can be made with modified first-gen GCN or with a whole new GCN 2.0?

    It was directed to anyone who was basing their entire expectation of this card's performance solely on ( rumored ) VRAM amount and memory bus width.
  • 2 Hide
    InvalidError , August 11, 2014 5:20 PM
    Quote:
    Who knows what performance improvements can be made with modified first-gen GCN or with a whole new GCN 2.0?

    If AMD was going GCN 2.0, they would/should have branded it R9-380... if they change general architecture while sticking to old model number ranges, that would be a horrible waste of an opportunity to make model numbers mean something for a change instead of being the messy mix of old and new they are now.
  • 1 Hide
    DarkSable , August 11, 2014 6:12 PM
    Quote:
    "...new AMD Tonga GPU; they look like ordinary graphics cards..." - Just wondering, should we expect more than that?


    Yep. We should expect them to look like cake.
  • 0 Hide
    lp231 , August 11, 2014 7:51 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Why would a card sitting between the 3GB 280x and 4GB 290 have 2GB of VRAM?

    Depends on the memory interface and use. The 280 had 3GB VRAM because it had a 384-bit memory bus. That put 1GB on each 128-bit controller. By similar rights, the 512-bit 290 had 4GB. If this is a 256-bit card, then it makes sense to be a 2GB card.


    My old 2900XT was 512bit with 1GB. The retail ones was 512bit with 512MB ram at GDDR3, the 1GB was OEM and came with GDDR4.
  • 0 Hide
    chaosmassive , August 11, 2014 8:25 PM
    R9 285... version of AMD "GTX 750 Ti"?
  • 1 Hide
    alextheblue , August 11, 2014 9:07 PM
    Quote:
    My whole point was that we haven't seen anything new or substantially different ( apart from Hawai'i, ) in some time now. I wasn't saying that to mean Radeons are worthless, I was meaning that AMD could very well have something brand new and awesome cooked up in the lab. From the 280X down, we're looking at older tech. Slight clock changes, but no serious revisions. Who knows what performance improvements can be made with modified first-gen GCN or with a whole new GCN 2.0?

    It was directed to anyone who was basing their entire expectation of this card's performance solely on ( rumored ) VRAM amount and memory bus width.


    Ah. Personally I doubt it's going to be GCN 2.0. It will probably be GCN 1.x, but with an optimized layout to reduce leakage. Anyway, the 7790 and 260/260X are also GCN 1.1 so it's not just Hawaii that's newer. That's why the 260 cards also have TrueAudio. Technically the 7790 has it too, it was disabled IIRC.

    I'm looking forward to seeing what GCN 2.0 is capable of, though I don't expect to see it before the 3xx series.

    Quote:
    R9 285... version of AMD "GTX 750 Ti"?
    Might be kind of like that, but much higher up the ladder.
  • 0 Hide
    RedJaron , August 11, 2014 9:38 PM
    Quote:
    If AMD was going GCN 2.0, they would/should have branded it R9-380... if they change general architecture while sticking to old model number ranges, that would be a horrible waste of an opportunity to make model numbers mean something for a change instead of being the messy mix of old and new they are now.
    Good point there too. I hadn't thought of the going from 200 to 300, but I probably should have considering how long it's been since a card came out.


    Quote:
    My old 2900XT was 512bit with 1GB. The retail ones was 512bit with 512MB ram at GDDR3, the 1GB was OEM and came with GDDR4.
    Right, but the VRAM is still evenly divided out over 32-, 64-, or 128-bit controllers ( the GTX was an anomaly with its 192-bit controller + 2GB RAM. ) Those are aggregated together into the total ( 256, 384, 512, whatever. ) Older cards had less VRAM, so smaller chunks would have been divided out. No different in 2007 than in 2014. If these rumors are true and it's a 256/2GB stock card, there's no reason vendors can't offer a 4GB version.


    Quote:
    Ah. Personally I doubt it's going to be GCN 2.0. It will probably be GCN 1.x, but with an optimized layout to reduce leakage. Anyway, the 7790 and 260/260X are also GCN 1.1 so it's not just Hawaii that's newer. That's why the 260 cards also have TrueAudio. Technically the 7790 has it too, it was disabled IIRC.
    Right about the 7790/260 ( slipped my mind. ) That one just never felt "new" to me when it came out, at least it never wowed me in any sense ( either in sheer performance, low wattage, or mid-range performance/price punch. ) And yes, I recall the 7790's audio was present but disabled too ) though I believe later drivers have since enabled it. Not sure. )
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