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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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  • coolitic
    "AMD" and "efficient" usually don't go together.
    Reply
  • 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
    Reply
  • zhunt99
    "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.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    Ironic, isn't it? Manufacturers have so little new technology to launch that they re-brand old architectures once or twice between genuinely new launches and then, because not enough time passed since the last dummy-launch, they end up reusing old (or old-looking) model numbers to slip new products in the market because it is too soon to launch an entirely new line.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    13618235 said:
    I don't understand why they wouldn't call it something new?
    My guess is because they do not want people to quit buying the old version.

    If they branded it the R9-281(X), tons of people would now consider the R9-280(X) completely obsolete even though it should perform practically the same.

    Yes, it seems silly and unnecessarily confusing. If they are so concerned with people shunning all the stock of 280-based products out there, they could have released the new chips as 281 and tacked a significant premium on it for the time being so card manufacturers and retailers can flush their old inventory.
    Reply
  • RCguitarist
    AMD is dominating pretty hard now.

    AMD only has a tiny bit over 4% more market share than Nvidia. Don't know that I would call that dominating. Note that AMD's market share includes the integrated GPU on it's A-series CPUs, so when it comes down to actual discrete GPUs, Nvidia probably has more market share than AMD. If anything, Intel is dominating by having 63% of the market share due to all of the pcs out there with it's integrated graphics.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonevangelho/2014/02/19/pc-gpu-market-bounces-back-with-nvidia-up-and-amd-down/
    Reply
  • 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?
    Reply
  • Memnarchon
    13618449 said:
    Note that AMD's market share includes the integrated GPU on it's A-series CPUs, so when it comes down to actual discrete GPUs, Nvidia probably has more market share than AMD.

    Last time the Discrete Market share was 62% for Nvidia and 38% for AMD.
    Reply
  • dragonsqrrl
    13618449 said:
    Note that AMD's market share includes the integrated GPU on it's A-series CPUs, so when it comes down to actual discrete GPUs, Nvidia probably has more market share than AMD.

    Last time the Discrete Market share was 62% for Nvidia and 38% for AMD.
    Last time I checked, which was sometime in Q1, Nvidia had a 65% share of the discrete grahics market, AMD was 35%. When you look at the professional GPU market Nvidia was at ~79% while AMD was ~20%.

    As of Q1 AMD still technically maintains a slight advantage in the overall GPU market compared to Nvidia when you include iGPUs, but in that case Intel is far and away dominating everything with ~66% market share. Nvidia was at 16.6%, AMD was at 16.7%.
    Reply
  • Memnarchon
    13618780 said:
    Last time I checked, which was sometime in Q1, Nvidia had a 65% share of the discrete grahics market, AMD was 35%.

    Well probably, I just couldn't find Q12014 results...
    Reply