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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.

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Niels Broekhuijsen

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.