AMD R9 285 To Be Released September 2nd

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅23.08.2014 18:34:48


Today AMD formally announced their latest desktop GPU. Codenamed Tonga, it enters AMD's product stack as the Radeon R9 285 and is a new mid-to-high-end performance card based on GCN architecture and 28nm processes. As the same time the presentation team also auctioned the first R9 285 for charity, all the while winding a nostalgic journey through ATI and AMD's 30 year gaming history.

AMD R9 285 (Tonga) technical specs

Tonga is in some respects an small update to the Radeon R9 280: it features the same number of shaders, a narrower memory bus but with faster clocked RAM, and higher VRAM SKUs. It's also based on the same GCN architecture as the other members of the R9-series.

The major difference in the R9 285 is a far lower typical board power (190W compared to 250W anticipated TDP) leading to it only requiring two six-pin PCIE power connectors, and the inclusion of AMD TrueAudio Technology. The latter gives the R9 285 better 3D audio simulation through stereo speakers on supporting products, but until now was only a feature on R9 290- and R7 260-series GPUs.

The new GPU is due for a full launch on September 2nd at an MSRP of $249 (2GB edition), with AIB custom designs launching on the same day.

AMD Senior Product Manager Devon Nekechuk outlined what he believes to be the top ten key features of the R9 285

- Support for DX12 and Mantle, DX12 at present anticipated to be arriving late in 2015. As well as accelerating performance in Battlefield 4, Mantle will also unlock additional performance in the upcoming Dragon Age: Inquisition and Civilization: Beyond Earth.

- AMD Powertune Technology for easy balancing of cooling, noise and clock speeds.

- Based on GCN Architecture, which is part of both next generation consoles as well as AMD's recent desktop GPUs.

- Many AIB designs at launch. The ASUS STRIX R9 285 with custom cooler was pictures, but the likes of GIGABYTE, Club3D, MSI et al will also have their own takes.

- AMD TrueAudio Technology, now for the first time in a mid-tier card. A demo for the technology should be available shortly.

- Eyefinity, which can now adapt to mismatched displays.

- Supports FreeSync (via supporting DP 1.3 display), a refresh rate syncing technology available on future monitors 'at no additional cost'.

- Up to 12% faster than NVIDIA's GTX 760 @ 1440p.

- $249 MSRP, $50 less than the R9 280X

- Never Settle: Space Edition, a new Never Settle offer for all of the R9 series.

AMD's R9 285 appears to be targeting NVIDIA's GTX 760 as its chief competitor, replacing the R9 280 (but not the R9 280X) in their product stack.

Never Settle: Space Edition is the latest iteration of AMD's ongoing free game promotion, shaking up the games available to include Alien: Isolation, Space Run, Habitat and Star Citizen. Specific details of the offer will be available closer to the September 2nd launch date, but it will at the very least also include exclusive spacecraft for use in Star Citizen's competitive modes.

Those who buy GPUs which qualify for the current Never Settle Gold and Silver bundles, as well as anyway with leftover redemptions on existing Gold/Silver promotions, will be able to upgrade to the Never Settle: Space Edition offer if purchased before the launch of the new GPU.

We hope to have more information on both the bundle and the performance specifics of the R9 285 for you closer to release. In the mean time deals on current R9 280 GPUs may be there for the taking.