TrueAudio, Designing Hawaii, And Heat Density
Q. The 95°C temperature target fits nicely with the theory that you're trying to get the same heat flow through a smaller footprint in relation to nVidias Titan at its 80°C (considering the die size ratio and an ambient temperature of max 30°C). Was the reduced (and more affordable) die size the rationale to reach out closer to absolute maximum of what chips can handle before melting?
A. Product cost is a function of die size (and other parameters). We were confident that we could achieve industry-leading performance on a twenty-something percent smaller die using GCN, and we knew that would, in turn, give us a more attractive price for gamers. We went for it. And thus $399-$549 hella fast GPUs were born.
Q. Why do development and provision of AMD graphics card drivers last for shorter periods of time then Nvidia? They seem to be hosting really, really old drivers, updated for use on modern computers, and I haven't seen that so much with you guys.
A. Our driver support is identical to NVIDIA. They support GPUs from 2010 (or later) in Windows 8.1, as do we.
Q. Regarding the 290/290x, when can we expect to see vendor based cooling solutions?
A. I'm not certain when you'll see third-party solutions, I'm afraid.
Q. How did you guys react to Nvidia's G-Sync and Shadowplay? Any plans for a rebuttal?
A. We're presently assessing G-Sync, but have no comment at this time.
Q. Do you believe that TrueAudio would provide an effective replacement for discrete soundcards/dacs/amps for audio enthusiasts?
A. TrueAudio is NOT designed to replace user soundcards! Please see this interview with MaximumPC which explains a lot.
Q. Did AMD originally intend to price the 290x at a higher price point but lowered it to further take market share from Nvidia?
A. The 290X debuted at the price we intended from the day it was conceived. :)
Q. I totally love R9 290X. But I found one thing strange about it. I liked that ROPs were doubled from HD7970 and memory bus were bumped to 512-bit. But shader counts were bumped only to 2816 and CUs to 44. Wouldn't be it nicer from a chip engineering perspective to throw 3072 shaders (48 CUs) into Hawaii, thus making it more nice 50% increase from HD7970?
A. 3072 shaders would not fit into the die size we were targeting for the 290X, and from an architectural perspective, 2816 is a balanced shader count for the render backends and bus width.
Q. Do you plan on having true Audio on the more mid-range cards like future 270x or 280x cards?
A. TrueAudio was designed for the R9 290(X) and the R7 260X as the top-end cards in the R9 and R7 Series, respectively. The 270X and 280X do not have the necessary hardware to enable TrueAudio.