AMD Launches The Rx 300 GPU Series, A Rebranding Exercise Strictly For OEMs
During last week's Investor Call AMD rather quietly launched the Radeon Rx 300-series, a refreshed lineup strictly for OEMs rather than consumer systems. This new series is comprised of three new SKUs - the Radeon R9 380, R9 370 and R7 360 - which reuse GPUs and core AMD technology from the 200-series whilst also simplifying AMDs OEM lineup.
At the top end is the AMD Radeon R9 380, which makes use of the Tonga GPU seen in the Radeon R9 285 that was launched last year. As such it has all the features you'd expect from the Radeon R9 285 including 1792 Stream Processors (28 Compute Units), 918MHz clock speed, up to 4GB GDDR5 RAM and support for Eyefinity. Additionally Tonga is a GCN 1.2 part (the only such part in the 300-series) and so supports AMD FreeSync technology, TrueAudio and AMD's advanced power management tech.
Next up is the Radeon R9 370, the third successive use of the Pitcairn Pro GPU. A new venerable design for a GPU, it debuted in 2012 as the Radeon HD7850 and has been propping up AMD's midrange as the Curaçao PRO housed within each R9 265. Built on AMD's GCN 1.0 architecture and powered by 1024 shaders clocked at 975 MHz, it can ship with 2GB or 4GB GDDR5 RAM. The R9 370 supports neither AMD FreeSync nor TrueAudio and advanced power management.
Finally we come to the Radeon R7 360, the final member of the 300-series released thus far. The specs of this card are eerily similar to that of the R6 260, featuring 768 shaders clocked at up to 1.05GHz (a slight bump over the R9 260) and 2GB GDDR5 RAM; however as a GCN 1.1-based GPU it will also support AMD FreeSync and TrueAudio technology. It's noteworthy that the R7 360 is powered entirely though the PCIe bus, making it ideal for budget-conscious OEMs.
Current Radeon Rx 300-series graphics cards are intended strictly for OEMs seeking to add some marketing clout to their 'Back To School' period systems. In simplifying the range AMD have made them slightly more internally consistent, with the R9 370 being the only major outlier due to lack of FreeSync support; most importantly each card supports DirectX12. Mantle and Vulcan next-gen rendering technologies.
It's not clear if this rebranding exercise will have any bearing on the naming convention of AMD's next generation GPUs (due to be unveiled at industry events in the coming weeks), and whether non-flagship models will make continued use of these GPUs going forward.
Full details on the 300-series can be found here.