Leaked slide details Radeon R9 290X specs, R9 290 variant

Reviews of AMD’s first Radeon R7 and R9 graphics cards hit the web overnight, but we’re still waiting for the big daddy. The R9 290X revealed during AMD’s recent GPU press event was the only new Radeon shown based on the next-gen Hawaii graphics chip. Early listings suggest BF4 editions of the 290X will be priced in the $700-800 range, and a fresh leak indicates that a less expensive variant may be in the, ahem, cards. A presentation slide posted on Hermitage Akihabara details specifications for not only the Radeon R9 290X, but also a cut-down R9 290 model with fewer shader ALUs and a lower peak clock speed.

According to the leaked specs, the R9 290X will have 2816 shader ALUs clocked at "up to 1GHz." The R9 290X will supposedly trim the ALU count to 2560 and cut the peak clock speed to 947MHz. There will be no change in the memory configuration, though. Both cards are listed as having 4GB of 5Gbps GDDR5 on a 512-bit interface.

With the Radeon R9 290X poised to challenge the GeForce GTX Titan at the top of the food chain, we wouldn’t be surprised if AMD were harvesting sub-par GPU dies for use in a cheaper version with fewer functional units. Such a product would likely target the GeForce GTX 780, which is a mildly de-tuned version of the Titan.

GeForce GTX 780 cards are available for as little as $625 right now, and the Titan starts at a grand. AMD could challenge both Nvidia products and still keep plenty of distance between the R9 290 and the Tahiti-based 280X. We’ll know more before too long—I hope.

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    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    So much money!

    • spigzone
    • 8 years ago

    IS NVIDIA SCREWED BLUED AND TATTOOED IN THE RETAIL SPACE?

    AMD said it has several Mantle partners besides EA and other Mantle games were in the pipeline, Battlefield 4 is just more advanced than the others and so the first out of the gate. The day AMD’s Mantle partners are announced is going to be a very bad day for Nvidia, and an even worse day for it’s stock price.

    Charlie D seems pretty certain Maxwell isn’t coming out until Q4 2014. By Q4 2014 how many AAA games will be Mantle optimized?

    IT’S A SIMPLE QUESTION.

    Who will buy an Nvidia AIB when 20% of the AAA next gen games are optimized for Mantle? 30%? 40%?

    This is seismic in the retail GPU space and the market can change very very fast. In just one year Nvida can be all but dead in the water with no relief in sight and Mantle optimized games climbing steadily toward the 50% mark. At that point Nvidia is dead. It will be hopelessly uncompetitive on cost/performance.

    Then there’s Kaveri. Console games are already being optimized for HSA/hUMA/GCN APUs, add Mantle to that and Kaveri is going to be ferociously cost/performance competitive.

    I like AMD, but I’m not going to like what this will do to prices. I wish Nvidia had something to keep them in the game and competition alive, I’m just not seeing it.

      • chuckula
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]Charlie D seems pretty certain Maxwell isn't coming out until Q4 2014. By Q4 2014 how many AAA games will be Mantle optimized? IT'S A SIMPLE QUESTION. [/quote<] WITH A SIMPLE ANSWER: A couple from EA and that's probably it.

        • spigzone
        • 8 years ago

        Intelligent.

      • Lordhawkwind
      • 8 years ago

      A bit over the top I think. What you’re forgetting is AMD has only about 38% of the discrete graphics market and of that probably only circa 20% have 7xxx cards that will run mantle. At the top end probably less than 5% of AMD discrete cards will be 79xx which will probably benefit the most from mantle. Given those number do you think that game developers and studios are going to ignore the other 62% of the discrete GPU market?

      Also AMD has paid (allegedly) $8m to EA to provide mantle support for BF4. Given AMD’s current financial state how many AAA games can they afford to keep supporting as they openly admit there is more programming required to enable mantle. By paying EA they’ve potentially opened the floodgates to all other studios coming to them with a begging bowl to support mantle.

      I think mantle is a great idea but it needs to reach critical mass quite quickly for AMD to benefit in the long run otherwise it risks being another great idea that didn’t quite make it.

        • LastQuestion
        • 8 years ago

        Mantle is about driving sales for new hardware.

        I think AMD will be paying more devs to optimize their engine for Mantle.

        BF4 running on mantle means, potentially, that a 28w0X will outperform Nvidias high-end cards. If AMD continues to pay devs working on those popular AAA titles to optimize engines for Mantle then there’s a price war Nvidia cannot compete in.

        Just imagine how terrible it would be for Nvidia if AMD got all of the devs working on the popular resource intensive titles to optimize for Mantle. The reviews would be one-sided to the point of absurdity. You’d have mid-range AMD cards from a generation previous matching or outperforming Nvidias latest and greatest.

          • Lordhawkwind
          • 8 years ago

          This all depends on the performance gains that mantle brings across the board. ATM no one knows. Also as I said earlier this presupposes that AMD have the money to spend heavily on devs to develop those games for mantle.

          If the total market = 100 would you, as a dev, spend more time, money and effort to optimise a game for only 38% of the market and potentially piss off the other 62%? Commercial suicide if you ask me. Look at the furore that TressFX optimisations caused for Lara Croft that will have potentially hurt not only sales of that game but also all future games from that developer.

          As mantle seemed to come completely out of the blue who’s to say Nvidia won’t come out with a competing API in the next month or two? If that happens then we all lose as it will then depend on which games are optimised for which API. Also only a small % of GPU owners upgrade each year so however good mantle is it would take AMD many years to turn around their market share to beat Nvidia.

          If my GTX 770 runs BF4 at 60+ FPS and a R280 runs it 20% faster do you think I’m going to upgrade?? Conversely if it means that mantle enabled cards will run it +50% faster then I’ll just not bother buying the game until a few months after launch when it’s in the bargain bin for <£10. LOL. In that scenario who wins. Certainly not AMD or EA/DICE.

            • LastQuestion
            • 8 years ago

            As a dev I would not spend that time, money, and effort. However, when someone is paying for that time and effort..

            Again, Mantle will drive new sales for individuals who need to upgrade. There are gamers out there who would like to upgrade their PC for BF4, but have spent hundreds on next-gen consoles. The R270, at $200, running Mantle, might run BF4 at 60fps. I doubt Nvidia will drop the price of a 770 to $200 b/c of one game.

            The small percentage that upgrades is about to spike due to next-gen games having higher system requirements.

            • Lordhawkwind
            • 8 years ago

            I think there will be a small spike in GPU upgrades but I also think that the real performance gains from mantle will come in the 79xx and R290 cards and will have a much less trickle down effect on the rest of the 7xxx cards.

            As I’ve mentioned earlier AMD doesn’t have the cash to keep spending on Dev’s to develop their games for mantle. By paying EA they’ve opened the floodgates and unfortunately they won’t be able to keep paying.

        • spigzone
        • 8 years ago

        It was a $ intensive collaboration to DEVELOP Mantle. EA gets a super Mantle optimized engine for it’s next gen games that will give it an early start unique gaming experience edge over the competition, the competition will adopt Mantle to stay competitive. Over the next couple of years Mantle will be incorporated into all the major game engines.

        For EA Mantle provides a realizable path to their wet dream – write once, fast inexpensive ports to ALL game platforms. From their point of view the faster Nvidia fades from the scene, the faster that $$$ wet dream $$$ is realized. Hence their near contempt for Nvidia hardware during the Hawaiian reveal. It’s a matter of time before the rest of the big developers figure out what EA already figured out – there’s a whole lot of future profits to be had by going all in on Mantle.

        By this time next year I fully expect AMD will own 90% of AIB sales. Nvidia will literally have to sell at a loss to remain cost/performance competitive on next gen Mantle games.

        Nvidia is flat out screwed.

          • Klimax
          • 8 years ago

          So only one studio, so maybe few games. It reminds me of tessellation in DirectX 9. Multiple implementations and only few users. Died fast.

          Unless they continue paying studios, which however will cost severely more then they can afford…

          • Lordhawkwind
          • 8 years ago

          So, in your considered opinion, you think that in just 12 months AMD will see their market share of the discrete GPU market grow from 38% to 90%? Those drugs you’re on must be pretty powerful.

      • JohnC
      • 8 years ago

      How much is AMD paying nowadays per such post?

        • spigzone
        • 8 years ago

        $.25 … cheap BASTARDS!!!

      • kilkennycat
      • 8 years ago

      You may not be aware, but nVidia makes its real GPU profits in the professional and scientific space. Remember that the Titan and GTX780 are cut-down variants of the GK110/K20. AMD is sure not going to make a profit killing in the cut-throat console space. nVidia had a very nasty taste of that with the original Xbox in 2002.

      Oh, and the currently recommended hardware for the Steam Box seems to be entirely Intel/nVidia-centric. Maybe a function of the maturity situation with the AMD Linux graphics drivers? Or just maybe an issue with AMDs current capability to focally support Linux drivers while trying to address all the driver needs of the upcoming consoles and continuing to develop/support Mantle. Since Mantle is the GPU Api for the XboxOne (and presumably the PS4), once those devices are released, I suspect that AMD will have its hands full addressing developer requirements/bugs for this NEW (and incompatible with Intel and nVidia) API. Remember 3dfx and Glide and how successful that low-level hardware-centric api became once more capable non-3dfx hardware arrived?

      Mantle will certainly give AMD some performance advantage on the mediocre hardware in the new consoles (from a current PC perspective), but that performance gain is likely to be lost in the noise on gaming-dedicated PCs.

      Also, another problem for AMD… will Mantle be extended to be backward-compatible with current non-GCN AMD PC graphics hardware ? Not everybody wants to rush out and buy the latest. Should be fun seeing AMD attempting to build Mantle into PC unified drivers. Adding more problems to currently-unresolved driver problems in the PC space.

      [url<]https://techreport.com/blog/25399/here-why-the-crossfire-eyefinity-4k-story-matters[/url<] I'm sure that the recent mass layoffs of AMD technical staff have not helped.

        • spigzone
        • 8 years ago

        Nvidia makes much better MARGINS on it’s professional cards, not the bulk of it’s profits, which is AIBs and the embedded/oem market. All together they make it possible for Nvidia to profitably develop new graphic architectures. The problem for Nvidia is not only that AMD is about to eat it’s AIB lunch, but AMD 2014 embedded roadmap shows several GCN based APUs and an embed ready GCN based stand alone graphics module. The same console/Mantle leverage that apply to the OEM market will also apply to the embedded laptop/notebook/tablet markets. AMD is going to eat Nvidia’s ACROSS the x86 markets. Then they will do the same in the high performance/gaming ARM market.

        Then Nvidia will have to finance it’s architectural development solely on the back of it’s professional division. That division will cease to be a cash cow and developing new architectures will cease to be profitable.

        Bringing up a comparison to Glide is nonsensical. The situation is vastly different and tilted havily in AMD’s favor. EA, the largest game publisher in the world, all but threw Nvidia under the bus at the Hawaii event. That does not bode well for Nvidia.

          • beck2448
          • 8 years ago

          OMG AMD has new products and fanbois go nuts. I’ve seen this how many times.
          Nvidia almost ALWAYS makes profits and has no debt. AMD almost ALWAYS loses money and has a lot of debt. This is not going to change anytime soon.

          • Lordhawkwind
          • 8 years ago

          I think you need to find a dark room and lie down and hope some blood starts getting back to your brain.

          AMD are haemorrhaging cash in the desktop/server and notebook markets. AMD APU’s only power the low end notebooks where margins are almost non existent. All higher end notebooks are dominated by Haswell. They have NIL presence in the smartphone/tablet market and even sold their mobile graphics operation to Qualcomm for a song. For Qualcomm’s ADRENO graphics read RADEON.

          EA is the most disliked company in the world and for $8m would get in bed with anyone. If Nvidia offered them $1m more than AMD to NOT develop mantle they’d bite their hand off. Remember when EA used to take Creative’s money to make their games work better with the Soundblaster cards? Where are Creative now?

      • AMPinoy
      • 8 years ago

      yes. nvidia should keep up and never settle wahahahaha

    • MrJP
    • 8 years ago

    [quote=”Geoff”<]GeForce GTX 780 cards are available for as little as $625 right now...[/quote<] Most inappropriate use of "as little as" that I've seen for a while!

      • bcronce
      • 8 years ago

      Or best use of sarcasm in a long while.

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    So $400…

    There always seem to be a downstep variant from the top. Sorta surprised they didn’t announce it right off the bat.

      • Goty
      • 8 years ago

      I thought they did.

        • Bensam123
        • 8 years ago

        AFAIK just the 260x, 270x, 280x, and 290x.

    • JohnC
    • 8 years ago

    Link is already dead.
    Edit: In case if it really is – here is the main slide:
    [url<]http://i.imgur.com/YQytzkt.jpg[/url<]

    • Wesmo
    • 8 years ago

    Any idea when the nda lifts on the 290?

      • derFunkenstein
      • 8 years ago

      Yes they likely have every idea but even that would be covered by the NDA.

        • internetsandman
        • 8 years ago

        I’ve heard a few reviewers discuss the details that they can get away with without breaking NDA and explain when the NDA is lifted to allow for the main review. TinyTomLogan of OC3D comes to mind, and I don’t see any reason why they would hide the end-date of the NDA in the NDA

      • Jigar
      • 8 years ago

      I think it is 15th October.

        • Wesmo
        • 8 years ago

        Looks like it’s been pushed back… [url<]http://videocardz.com/46741/radeon-r9-290x-pictured-close[/url<]

    • Jigar
    • 8 years ago

    [i<]We'll know more before too long—I hope.[/i<] OR you can call Damage and know right away - "sometimes, i am very jealous of Damage". 🙁

      • superjawes
      • 8 years ago

      Review embargoes. The only way people like Damage get cards ahead of street dates is that they keep quiet on the benchmarking until the agreement says they can publish a review. Breaking that could prevent Damage from ever getting a pre-launch card again, from either team.

      At least that’s what I am assuming goes on. I know this happens for video games because publishers don’t want spoilers posted, and it levels the playing field for pumping out reviews so those can also launch together.

    • Arclight
    • 8 years ago

    From the way they lined up the rebranded cards, the 2 Hawaii variants will probably be positioned to fight the GTX 780 and GTX Titan, which imo it’s not that exciting.

    This could lead to nvidia delaying their next gen cards even furthur, cards which will probably surpass in terms of performance the upcoming AMD GPUs.

    So basically we will probably have another year of stagnation although no one will shrug at the fact that they will be able to buy higher end cards at a lower cost.

    Will see how Steam OS and the Mantle API play out.

      • ET3D
      • 8 years ago

      This would depend on how much money NVIDIA makes off these cards and how much it cares about being top dog. NVIDIA didn’t really need the Titan and 780 to compete with AMD either, and yet it released these cards.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 8 years ago

      I expect that if AMD hasn’t given the newest nVidia tech competition by mid-next year, you’ll see nVidia at least replicate what they did this year.

      They’ll release a high end variant with a unique naming scheme at obscene pricing for “professionals and ultra enthusiasts” with a more general release to follow a few months later around the time of an Intel CPU/motherboard update. nVidia wants to capitalize on that most traditional of upgrade times: when you’re already doing a CPU/MB update.

      Of course, if AMD started to actually compete more readily with a card release once a year again, nVidia would show up asap while pricing equivalently. Somehow, I doubt that will happen though.

    • Fighterpilot
    • 8 years ago

    “maybe..ahem..in the cards”/ ** “on the cards”

    • GENiEBEN
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]The R9 290X will supposedly trim the ALU count to 2560[/quote<] You mean the R9 290 non-X?

      • Pwnstar
      • 8 years ago

      Yes, that is what he means.

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