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AMD announces Radeon R9 280 GPU

by Harrison Smith on 4 March 2014, 13:00

Tags: AMD (NYSE:AMD)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacbif

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In a much-expected move, AMD is filling out the high-end Radeon GPU stack with the Radeon R9 280 graphics card. This new GPU is a cut-down version of the R9 280X. Let's see how by examining the core specifications.

GPU Radeon R9 280X 3GB Radeon R9 280 3GB Radeon HD 7950 Boost 3GB
Launch date October 2013 March 2014 August 2012
DX API 11.2 11.2 11.2
Process (nm) 28 28 28
Transistors (mn) 4,300 4,300 4,300
Approx Die Size (mm²) 352 352 352
Processors 2,048 1,792 1,792
Texture Units 128 112 112
ROP Units 32 32 32
GPU Clock (MHz) 1,000 Unknown 850
Boost clock (MHz) 1,050 933 925
GFLOPS (Boost) 4,300 3,344 3,315
Memory Clock (MHz) 6,000 5,000 5,000
Memory Bus (bits) 384 384 384
Max bandwidth (GB/s) 288 240 240
Power Connectors 8+6 8+6 8+6
TDP (watts) 250 250 250
GFLOPS per watt 17.2 13.4 13.3
TrueAudio DSP No No No
Release MSRP $299 $279 $330

What's clear here is that AMD is effectively rebranding the Radeon HD 7950 Boost card to the R9 280. Both GPUs are based on the Tahiti Pro die and are almost identical from a specification standpoint. The R9 280 can opportunistically boost a hair higher, to 933MHz vs. 925MHz, but everything else remains the same, including a 3GB framebuffer accessed via a 384-bit memory bus.

It is surprising to learn that R9 280 is debuting at $279, or just $20 below the better-equipped R9 280X, given that the near-identical Radeon HD 7950 Boost first came to market 18 months ago priced at $330 and laden with AMD-supplied games. The R9 280 is to be sold without an AMD gaming bundle.

The R9 280's higher-than-expected pricing may well be down to restricted supply and popularity of AMD GPUs for coin mining - a cursory examination shows the entire R9 range is now more expensive than at launch. As an example, retail R9 280X cards routinely fetch $450 at Newegg.

Performance-wise, the $279 Radeon is a good fit against the GeForce GTX 760 from Nvidia. Extrapolation from previous benchmarks suggest that AMD's card is likely to be a little faster than its price-comparable Nvidia counterpart.

AMD says there will be limited availability of retail R9 280 cards this week, followed by wider availability week commencing 10th March. Recent history suggests that AMD's stock projections may be a little too optimistic.



HEXUS Forums :: 4 Comments

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What's clear here is that AMD is effectively rebranding the Radeon HD 7950 Boost card to the R9 280
Indeed. Hardly worth an ‘unleash’ descriptor in the title ;)
OK, just for you, I'm going to change it to ‘announces’ :P
If it's the same price here in the UK, I will skip this and grab the x version for ~£15 more, once the coin miners stop hogging all the cards and let the prices go back down to acceptable levels.
Heisenberg
If it's the same price here in the UK, I will skip this and grab the x version for ~£15 more, once the coin miners stop hogging all the cards and let the prices go back down to acceptable levels.

This is the big problem with the 280x, there is just no stock of them around in the UK for a recommended retail price.