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  • varad - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Last 2 sections are missing Reply
  • A5 - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    As is the [Product Specs] Table on Page 1. Reply
  • varad - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Looks like there are many more diagrams and charts missing Reply
  • yacoub35 - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Yep. Article was probably set to auto-post but the associated images (and apparently the last two pages) are missing.

    Anyway, the gist of this seems to be that the 280X is the price and performance the 7970 should have been two years ago. But since they went with crazy-high pricing on the 7900 series, they can now release this product at the price point that would have been appropriate two years ago and still make out like bandits with reworked 7900 hardware which must be exceptionally cheap for them to produce at this age of maturity on the fabs. Good for their revenue, but probably not going to entice NVidia to drop their prices much.

    If this is what we're getting as top-of-the-line in the normal-people price bracket from AMD, it makes me happy I picked up a 7970 on a great sale recently.

    Now we can watch the 290X, which should be $399, $100 more or less than the 280X in keeping with the normal pricing separation between models, come in around $549 instead. What a joke.
  • Spoelie - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    How is that different from EVERY OTHER COMPANY out there? What about NVIDIA to introduce Titan at a 1000 when their next highest card was at 500?

    Prices are dictated by competitive landscape and demand/price curves, maximizing profit - not by what you want it to cost, or some mathematical ideal of "perfect 100$ separation". Don't like it, don't buy it.
  • Galidou - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    +1 for Spoelie Reply
  • blanarahul - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Am I the only when who is happy that we finally get a long awaited price cut? The stores in my country don't drop prices like the Americans' do. So for me, it's a great time to upgrade. GPU power has never been so cheap! Reply
  • blanarahul - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Correction: "Am I the only 'one' who is happy....."

    Sigh. Brain fart.
  • HisDivineOrder - Wednesday, October 09, 2013 - link

    I don't think I saw him comment on how much he was glad nVidia wasn't like AMD. I'm pretty sure he was just commenting on how AMD was doing something he didn't like.

    No need to kneejerk defend AMD, friend. Just allow him to be annoyed with AMD for doing something that is annoying. When nVidia does it, he can be annoyed with them, too. Nothing in his post screams, "nVidia's okay when they do it!"
  • Galidou - Saturday, October 12, 2013 - link

    yacoub35's comment was plain stupid and lacked of analysis he says: ''280X is the price and performance the 7970 should have been two years ago. But since they went with crazy-high pricing on the 7900 series''. Nope, 7970 price was higher at launch like every other card for a reason, it was the new stuff. Like many generation, a new card replaces the old king at or a little Under it's price to let the old king on the shelves sell for a reasonable amount. Difference from before is that the price cut happens during the life of the video card because they live longer on the shelves. So when the new stuff comes out, the old stuff is priced already correctly so no one feels SOO bad for buying a video card a month before new ones come out and lower the prices by a LARGE amount. Reply
  • Galidou - Saturday, October 12, 2013 - link

    If he really has to whine about high end video card prices, he's new to this because many generations before, the top of the line was often sold for 800$. Anyway, if you simply run 1080p(which most of us does) you can be totally satisfied with a 150-300$ video card and two or three graphical options not maxed(you won't notice it unless you stop playing to just look at the graphics) which is quite different from older generations where you had to pay big bucks to run at higher resolution/graphical settings.

    I bought a 660ti for 300$ when it came out a year ago and I still run everything at very high/max settings in 1080p PERFECTLY. No reason to whine at all nowadays unless you're a kiddo that is new to the gaming industry and pc gaming gear.
  • Etern205 - Monday, October 14, 2013 - link

    Many generations before top of the end graphic cards like ATi Radeon 9700 Pro, the best card of its time cost $300, and the 2nd best, ATi Radeon 9500 Pro cost just $200.
    High-end card is the past don't cost a arm and a leg, you can get one and still have enough to feed yourself for a week. Now they cost a arm and a leg, where you have to starve yourself for a month just to have enough to buy one.
  • bwat47 - Monday, December 09, 2013 - link

    Yeah, a 280x was a steal for 299, excellent card. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    We're working on it :) AMD gave Ryan very little time to go through four new cards, it's being added in real time here. Reply
  • Sunrise089 - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    No disrespect Anand, but 'special relationship' with AMD notwithstanding, if they're asking you to have your article up at midnight for a launch but you can't even have product specs available by then I worry the advertising side of things is encroaching a bit into the editorial side. Reply
  • zanon - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Have to agree. I've always appreciated in the past that Anandtech would take the time to do reviews right, even if it very, very often meant that they'd come in days or more after the early rush. We've already got plenty of early rush stuff on the net that is of poor quality, please do not go that route. Just do a pipeline piece with early conclusions as you have before. You've got this going up across all twitter/rss/whatever feeds, everyone sees it and comes in, and it's a really poor showing.

    If AMD tells you to hit a certain launch window please kindly tell them to get stuffed or get your hardware earlier next time. If you're letting them rush you to their own schedule that feels like a really bad sign.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    See the above response, but I'd add: you don't have to worry about us going down the path of lowest common denominator. I hardly think that what was posted here at midnight was even close to fitting that description. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    er below response :) Reply
  • chizow - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Easy guys, it's happened with other non-AMD reviews too in the past, I know other staff writers will often chip in and help with some aspects of the reviews, like tables and graphs, and sometimes the entire piece comes together online in real-time. It's like a big group project or presentation, sometimes it just doesn't go off perfectly on such short deadlines. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Exactly. I helped get the GPU14 data in bench (we'll toss it live at anandtech.com/bench once the smoke cleans) and inserted graphs while Ryan was finishing up the conclusion. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    er smoke clears. Reply
  • just4U - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    You guys have to use your noggin a little bit here and "THINK" This isn't about being told by AMD to get anything out.. Or special relationships. All the review sites (which are likely under restriction) are trying to get their articles out as soon as their allowed. There's a push of initial interest that they capitalize on and being late to the game disappoints the readers who are noticing a new product launch at their shops and etailers and wanting info about it. Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Wednesday, October 09, 2013 - link

    Plus, the free trip to Hawaii has made all the review sites a lot more forgiving lately. That's the best part of the free trip to Hawaii for AMD.

    They managed to make all the gaming review sites who went look fishy in their bias. In particular, AMD has targeted Anandtech to make them look especially fishy with their "AMD Center." Then when eventually these sites turn against them, they'll have by then had months of Intel and/or nVidia doing what AMD has always wanted: making the review sites look biased.

    Then they cut funding in a few months and scream at the top of their lungs how biased review sites are. Shrugging, they'll say, "Just look how AMD, Intel, and nVidia all agree." And it'll all have started with a special advertising arrangement around an "AMD Center" and a free trip to Hawaii.

    AMD may not have many resources, but they're savvy in how they're undermining review sites. Of course, they were testing the waters last year with the "review in parts" review of Piledriver. That was just the opening act.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    We prioritized getting performance data and pages of tech analysis out first before the tables and finishing touches. We have done this in the past with previous AMD/NV reviews, and we always show up in the comments mentioning what we're still working on. The complexity of the launch skyrocketed as we used it as an opportunity to switch to a new (IVB-E) testbed, which meant re-running everything.

    For whatever reason, in the second half of the year we've been given a ton of stuff to review in a very short period of time (two iPhones in a week, three Samsung devices in 5 days). There's no ad impact here, just our desire to have something up when the NDA lifts. It's an internal policy, nothing more or less.
  • just4U - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    and it's a good policy..

    They just listed these products at the computer shop I deal with (under new releases) a few hrs ago.. and my first thought was to come here and see if something was posted as nothing was up 8 hrs ago when I was looking at another article. Sure as hell.. You folks got something up for us to look at. It's timing really.. NDA lifts shops put up pre-orders sites try to get their articles out. Logical progression..

    That being said, I don't see to many of these types of articles going up in real time like this.
    haha.. I just want to get a look at the XFX card to see if they've made changes.
  • Da W - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    People just use the comment section or social medias to bitch and moan and cry and criticize at people, yet they don't do shit themselves. Web 2.0 is like a cancer and I'm growing sick of these crybabies.
    Don't listen to them Anand and keep up the good work.
  • dragonsqrrl - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Baseless accusation that doesn't even make any sense. Reply
  • Dug - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    You lead with 'no disrespect' and finish with unfounded accusations.
    Please worry about yourself and not Anandtech.
  • Jumangi - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    These aren't new cards. They are basically the same GPU's AMD has been shipping for almost 2 years now and it looks like they are going to try and pass them off again for another year. Why was this treated as some big new thing with a long article and a bunch of benchmarks? This whole thing could have been done in a little 2 paragraph news blurb.

    Man has PC hardware become so stagnant and boring lately...
  • HisDivineOrder - Wednesday, October 09, 2013 - link

    Well, they did it for the Geforce 7xx series, so they probably had to do it for the new Radeons. That said, it's nice for users to see how little things changed. You know, for the people who didn't pay attention.

    I agree though it's kinda boring that we're gonna be stuck on the same Radeon series for another 6 months or year. At least nVidia seems vaguely on track with Maxwell, though unless something changes dramatically I think AMD is going to be putting 0 pressure on nVidia to release Maxwell.

    Mantle could put pressure if they manage to get it into the gaming engines like they want. If so, they could force nVidia to 1) release their own API (and pay to be put in the same engines) or 2) put out better and better hardware to stay in the high level API with better performance.

    Or they could do option 3) and do both.
  • IUU - Thursday, October 17, 2013 - link

    "These aren't new cards. They are basically the same GPU's AMD has been shipping for almost 2 years now and it looks like they are going to try and pass them off again for another year. Why was this treated as some big new thing with a long article and a bunch of benchmarks? This whole thing could have been done in a little 2 paragraph news blurb."

    Of course they are not new cards. I feel your frustration, but why would they be new?
    They render crysis at 43 frames per second at a freaking 2560x1440 resolution, not to mention battlefield and other games. There is simply " no need" for new hardware because there are not p new games to justify stronger hardware. A stagnation in gaming industry would more appropriately describe the situation.
    Not that there is nothing to add to improve visual quality of the games, they just won't do anything about it, at keast for now.
  • jasonelmore - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    disappointing to say the least. People were thinking this would perform at 780 levels are going to be dissapointed. i feel sorry for those that pre-ordered last week for $650+ Reply
  • EzioAs - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    This is the 280X not the 290X.... Reply
  • jasonelmore - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    ahh ok, i wouldnt have even bothered with this detailed of a review on rebadges with new firmware. Reply
  • EzioAs - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    We don't need you to bother anything when you don't even read the title much less the review itself. Reply
  • RyuDeshi - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Well seeing as you didn't even bother reading the first page I can see that.

    It's still worth reviewing so that when people are trying to compare current GPUs, they have updated benchmarks with newer firmware to support those purchase decisions. This goes for both the AMD and Nvidia cards. The worst part about looking up old reviews of say the 7970 (which this is a rebadge of) is that most of them are with older firmware, and AMD had a pretty nice boost a few months after their release which this review more accurately reflects.
  • jasonelmore - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    well i tried to edit my post literally 10 seconds after i posted but nope, looks like were still browsing 1999 websites that dont let you edit or delete your comments. anyways, yes i should have read the whole article to make any sort of comment at all. sorry. Reply
  • jasonelmore - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    btw the 1st page wasnt up yet, only the charts were posted when i read. this is the problem with posting reviews before they are done, and stuff. Reply
  • Morawka - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    yeah that was annoying Reply
  • Drumsticks - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    I'm glad you managed to screw up and then point out every single one of your perceived faults with Anandtech and blame it all on them. That was impressive.

    By the way, you could have read even the title.
  • rtsurfer - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Perfectly summarized.
  • jasonelmore - Wednesday, October 09, 2013 - link

    the title doesnt scream rebadge, and typically flagships are launched first, then the sister cards a few weeks later. Reply
  • Etern205 - Monday, October 14, 2013 - link

    R8-280x is a rebadged HD7970GE, if they're based on the new architecture like the R9-290x then we won't be reading reviews on it until AMD lifts the NDA. Reply
  • rezztd - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Why can't they just use simple naming schemes? I've found AMD's names confusing and generally harder to remember than those from NVIDIA. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Huh, for a long time I thought AMD's names were logical and ultra-simple, and it was NVIDIA who had the silly names with all their extra letters on the end.

    However, now the tables are clearly turning, and AMD's naming is terrible.
  • HisDivineOrder - Wednesday, October 09, 2013 - link

    I find the RX 2xx/2xxX naming scheme to be really horrible imo. I have a feeling they did the shift as much to confuse and misdirect away from the fact they did a refresh as to begin a new naming policy because it doesn't really help the consumer. Reply
  • alwayssts - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    I'm just waiting for the XFX info/overclocking page to load...

    I think if they made their 280x similar to their 37th (only slight hyperbole) revision of the original 7970, that could be a rad product. The current version is 9.3 inches (for tiny cases/htpcs) but purposely very limited in overclocking capabilities...it also sells for around $300 +- $20. If they took that design and were allowed an upped/unlocked voltage/clock spec (with perhaps voltage tuning), that could be a sweet (and tiny) 1080p gaming part compared to anything else that size/price.
  • Slomo4shO - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    And I was looking forward to determining the overclock potential of this card... Reply
  • zeock9 - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    So there hardly isn't a performance gain over the 7970GE, perhaps less than 5% if that,
    and they didn't even bother to include the new TrueAudio or Never Settle bundle.

    What's the effing point of this 'new' card when 7970GE can already be had for the same price?

    Shame on you AMD.
  • Dribble - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Didn't you read the article - it is a 7970GE give or take a little on clocks (depending on what 280 you buy). The only new card is the 290 all the others are the same cards you could already buy. The news is lower prices, although as 7970's were already at lower prices then AMD recommended not sure how much real change there will be.

    The biggest downer for AMD fans will be the end of the 7950, which was always the price/performance king.
  • Da W - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    It's gonna be the R9 280 (no X).
    I might just go and buy two 7950 right now. I'm not sure a single Hawaii priced near a 780 is worth it, crossfire issues notwithstanding.
    Very disappointing. Specs I saw floating here and there pointed to 270X being more like a Tahiti XL.
  • zeock9 - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Didn't you read my comment - 7970GE can already be had for the same price, so it's the same card for more money because 280X doesn't come with the Never Settle bundle.

    Trying to charge more buck for less bang just because it has a new name is a effing shame of a business practice.
  • ninjaquick - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    What do you expect? AMD is not releasing a new architecture this time around. They have a very efficient design in GCN, they will not go changing it. Mark my words, the 370X is going to be a die shrunk 7970 GHz, and the 460X is going to be the same, or just a 'rebadged' 370X. AMD's GCN is a bottom-up modular design, not a top-down big chip first design. Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Mantle is going to require they not stray too far from GCN and the way the cards are currently laid out. Otherwise, you'd have games suddenly having cards they're "Mantle compatible" with and cards they aren't.

    You won't see huge shifts in how the GCN is laid out post GCN 1.1 if they want to keep low level access working smoothly for the foreseeable future. Then again, perhaps they'll do the shift and just shift back to supporting their high level (drivers) instead once Mantle craters on impact because nVidia and Intel start throwing their money around...

    Either way, I'm pretty sure Mantle is a cost-cutting tool to help de-emphasize driver development on the consumer side and help keep up with performance gains by aggressive nVidia and intel release cycles that AMD doesn't have the money to fight.
  • chizow - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    "AMD has been very explicit in not calling these rebadges, and technically they are correct, but all of these products should be very familiar to our regular readers."

    So how are these not rebadges/rebrands again and how is it technically correct to not call them rebadges? I just find it funny that AMD was so explicit about not calling them as such, I mean it's clear both parties have a history of rebranding, but let's call a spade a spade here.

    Nvidia was pounded by AMD fanboys and the press alike for it's rebranding of G92, but any single iteration from G92 certainly had more changes than the non-existent changes we see with this R7/R9 rebrand stack.
  • Ryan Smith - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    A rebadge would be something like the 5770 to 6770. Same card, same clocks, same TDP. These are new SKUs, based on existing GPUs, under a new name. Reply
  • chizow - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    lol I guess we have some revisionist history that needs to be written then. Not blaming you of course for public perception, just saying, these were not the standards in G92's day as it easily cleared this very low standard of different clockspeeds/TDP/card design, as every single G92 incarnation surpassed these requirements.

    In any case, I did appreciate the in-depth coverage of Mantle, possible benefits, repercussions, downsides. Excellent coverage and commentary on all angles, as usual. Look forward to more detail about it in the future.
  • Gigaplex - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    If the silicon isn't any different, the only distinction is in the board itself and the firmware setting the speeds etc, then it's a rebadge in my books. Nothing stopping OEMs from changing these around, and this does in fact happen with the OC cards. What is the difference between a rebadged chip with an OC vs one of these? Reply
  • AmdInside - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    I still say its rebadge. The NVIDIA G92 went from 65nm to 55nm and lost analog TV out so by your definition G92 is not rebadged. Reply
  • Jumangi - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Yea that makes these totally different... Reply
  • ninjaquick - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    What core difference exists between the 290X and the 280X? None really. The next gen's 370 is going to be a die-shrunk 280, and the 460 of the gen after that will be the same 7970 again. AMD is not going to bother releasing a new core design until the GCN is no longer apt for the task, which will only occur if HLSL/GLSL are retired completely. Reply
  • Gigaplex - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    TrueAudio, some GPGPU instructions from GCN 1.1 plus whatever the 290X introduces on top of that is basically the core difference between 290X and 280X. Reply
  • Cellar Door - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    I was looking forward to the R9 280X - simply because I hoped it would offer new features, revised silicon, maybe even new iteration of GCN. A REAL step forward - this is a let down. Because this hits my price point as I won't be able to afford their R9 290X, AMD was supposed to be a true champion of price - like always. It seems like I have no choice but to go with the green camp. Reply
  • silverblue - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Wait a minute... it trails the 770 on average by only a small amount and retails for $100 less. Sure, there's no game bundle, but how is this fleecing anybody? Reply
  • just4U - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    One would think (since it's still pre-order status) that it's done in co-operation with their partners to help get rid of excess stock on the 7x line.. so Never settle bundles won't be offered until after all that is nearly gone. I suspect that such bundles will start being offered on the new line just as the holiday season starts. Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link


    "9x draw calls is credible over stock D3D, but Nvidia OpenGL extensions can give similar I mprocements."

    In regards to Mantle, do you have any comment about John Carmack's report that AMD's claim of Mantle providing 9x more draw calls is already achievable by nVidia using their OpenGL extensions? Console porting is still an unique feature of Mantle, but on the draw call issue, if DirectX is slow to improve on this, then maybe AMD, Intel, and nVidia coming up with cross-vendor OpenGL extensions to address the issue may be a better solution than Mantle, especially given it converges with increased interest in OpenGL with SteamOS.
  • Pantsu - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    AMD has made a similar statement. The new OpenGL extensions will bring similar improvements to what they advertise with Mantle, and that in the end the API will not be the bottleneck. As long as it's not Direct3D it seems. :D Perhaps even MS will eventually improve their game sooner or later. Reply
  • ananduser - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Have you not read Ryan's hunches on Mantle? Mantle is, or derived from, MS' low level Xbox API. Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    That's the first I've seen of that, so I can't really comment.

    But when I was discussing Mantle with AMD, they did discount using OpenGL. There was a specific desire to have a pure API that was completely free from legacy cruft (and there's nothing cruftier than OGL) while also being free to quickly evolve the project without having to involve the ARB.
  • konondrum - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Well this is one of the most disappointing products launches I've ever seen. At least the nVidia 700 series was more then a sticker change. This isn't even really a price drop as $300 7970s and $200 7870s (with game bundles) have been available for a while. Tell me AMD, why am I supposed to care? If these included TrueAudio at least that would be a differentiating feature, but there is seriously nothing new here at all.
    The only good thing I can say about this is that it makes me much more comfortable about my current 660ti 3gb. Looks like it will be strong though 2014 at least.
  • just4U - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    I've yet to see a 7970 GHZ Ed. for under $360.. Hell until a month and a half ago you were lucky to get it under $400 on sale. Reply
  • just4U - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    At any rate this may put some pressure on Nvidia for their 7x series.. I think it's going to be incentive for those still rocking it out on Amd's 6000 series or Nvidia 500 series and earlier to maybe upgrade.

    Personally I figure if you got a 570/80 or a 6950 (or better) the new stuff by both companies is a bit of a hard sell unless your playing at crazy resolutions... most still sit comfortably in 1080P or 1920/1200 resolution and the old standby 1600/1050.
  • matagyula - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    I have been looking to replace my now 2 year old HD6870 with something a little beefier, and I was eagerly awaiting AMDs new product launch.
    But now I am left with even more questions than before - most importantly, should I upgade at all in the upcoming 8-12 months? The card is still putting in solid work, and while I have to settle for mid-high detail settings when it comes to titles like BF3 or Crysis 3, other games perform just fine /DotA 2 and CS:GO @ 1920*1200/.
    At the 170-200eur price range I am looking at HD7870, or waiting a couple months for the HD7950 to drop bellow 200eur, while the HD7970 is still at 330eur in Slovakia.
    The more I think about it the more I am inclined towards holding off for another year or so :|
  • ShieTar - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Stop buying locally. You can order a 7970 for ~240€ from Germany, and delivery to Slovakia should not cost more than ~15€ :
    Of course an Austrian or Polish shop may be even cheaper for some cards, if the postage is less than for a delivery from Germany. Or depending on where you live, maybe you just go and have a daytrip into either country and bring the card back home ;-)
  • just4U - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Well Matt, I sold my 6950 2G and really wanted a 670 or a 7950-70 as I figured that was a decent upgrade. I settled for the 7870 and noticed some ok gains. It's a tough call for you though..

    The 280X is going to give you 7970GHZ Ed like performance according to reviews.. but basically in the price range of a 7870. Tempting.. but you might get lucky with close out deals on the 7970 or even see price drops on the 770 from Nvidia. that are more attractive. All worthwhile upgrades over the 6870 but not night/day differences.. We really haven't seen a chip come out yet that raises the bar to a whole new level.
  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Wow. This is a boring card launch.
    The ASUS card itself is a good SKU, but absolutely nothing that could not have been done branded as 7970.
    I understand they have a lot of old GPUs they want to re-use, so they don't want to re-tool them for the TrueAudio DSP, but it is downright stupid that they didn't at least add another small package to the card with the DSP in, so the new range can have feature parity.

    AMD, your new card names are terrible, and this launch is pretty bland and watered down.
  • ninjaquick - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Well, that is inevitable. AMD's GCN design is not top-down, it is fully modular. IMC / ROP / ShaderClusters are all their own modules, each 'TMU' is attached to 16 'compute cores'. The entire point of the GCN design is that it scales up infinitely. This is why AMD is releasing Mantle. There is no reason to abandon the GCN design in the near future.

    It is not like AMD is releasing a brand new never seen before design that is the culmination of years of design work. The 290X is literally a 7970 with 12 more ROPs and an extra 128bit memory path which are only needed to accomodate the extra 48 rendering clusters. If you were to take the 7970 and add 48 clusters at the same clock speed you would get *exactly* the same perf as what the 290X delivers. Simple as that.
  • thylboy - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    I saw on AMD´s homepage that these cards support their "Zero Core" technology. Can anyone confirm whether cards like this actually turn off the fans completely when in the long idle mode or not? Reply
  • Pantsu - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Can't say for these cards, but at the very least if you're using multi monitor setup, you can forget about zero core. Actually I've never managed to get my 7970 to go zero core in any circumstance. Reply
  • Pantsu - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Rebadge may be a bit of a harsh word, but ultimately these cards bring very little change over what was offered before. The only significant changes are the price and the I/O setup, unless you care about the cooler shroud in the cheapo skus. I'd say now is the time to go bargain hunting for 7000 series cards while supplies last. You get a nice game bundle and practically the same cards for less. I've already had my eye on a 249€ 7970 for CF purposes, but I'm still hesitant since AMD hasn't released the new frame pacing driver for eyefinity.

    Now what I'd really like to know is if these 200 series "definetely not a rebadge" cards will work in crossfire with the 7000 series "cousins".
  • Pantsu - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Oh they in fact do move in herds...err work in Crossfire. Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    I had been thinking about going with two GTX 760 in SLI for a budget 5760x1200 setup... It might not handle every game maxed but it's still faster than my cutter 6970x2 setup (and for a similar amount of money as what I paid for it a few years ago)... The 280X is tempting at only $100 more for two cards tho. I can afford two GTX 780 if I really wanted, I'm just nor sure I can justify spending that kinda money on GPU... And two 770 just didn't seem like a large enough jump for an extra $300 over a $500 setup (760x2). Decisions, decisions... Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Heh, started writing that reply and forgot about the main reason I did, AMD's slow progress with frame pacing for EF is the one thing holding me back. Guess I'll hold out for some moreDdriver releases an possibly the BF Mantle patch. Reply
  • AWilco - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Is there an explanation of the poor performance of the ASUS card at 1080p + 4x MSAA in BF3? Looks to be an aberration comparing it to most other graphs (haven't done an exhaustive look). Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    That would be your fat fingered editor making a typo. Fixed. Reply
  • blanarahul - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    I just read that you guys had only 24 hours to test these GPUs. Is that true? Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Oh goodness no. We had much longer than that. But a week goes by very quickly when you need to generate your results from scratch and write a 20K word article. Reply
  • Samunosuke - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    The 290 and 290X are going to be really intriguing especially on a price/performance scale. The price will be the determining factor for the 290X, undercut GTX 780 and you have a winner. Reply
  • Wreckage - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    I did not see these on Newegg yet. Did AMD actually rebrand a card twice and paper launch it twice??? Reply
  • Will Robinson - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    That "rebrand" just kicked the crap out of NVDA's GTX770 for $100 less.
    Read it and weep.
  • Wreckage - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    At least you can buy a 770 right now. I suppose you could print out a 280 and tape it to the side of your computer. Wake me when they can beat the GK110. Reply
  • rtsurfer - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    If you had bothered to read the article you would have known that these cards are launching this week.
    Also,your beloved GK110 will be dealt with by R9 290X. I think you'll have to wait till October 15th for that news,as that is when the NDA expires.
  • colonelclaw - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Blimey, some people here are never happy. This card is basically a 770 but $100 cheaper. You know what that means? Nvidia will soon be dropping the price of the 770 and hopefully the 780 too - great news all round.
    Stop whining about 'rebadging' etc, the only thing that matters to 95% of gamers is the relationship between price and framerates.
  • Da W - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Precisely. I don't get fanboïsm. I'm gonna run 3600X1920 with full detail at an afordable price before christmas, be it with a 780 or a 290X. Of course 3 screens works better on AMD, i might be willing to pay a premium. Reply
  • gobaers - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Add a Z axis for power consumption / noise (two sides of the same coin). I'd take a small hit in framerate for a cooler or quieter card. Reply
  • stefstef - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    looks like the 260 is going to replace the 7790 cards. now you get for the price the 7790 cards were introduced the 260. the 7790 prices dropped. now i wonder if i replace my 6670 for my 720p monitor with the rather cheap 7790 or get the new 260. Reply
  • Will Robinson - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    R9 280X looks very good at $300....the improvements in noise and heat output are commendable.
    I'll be interested to see how it performs in BF4 after the Mantle API update.
    It looks very strong in BF4 beta already.
  • nathanddrews - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Hmm, I think I'll wait for the next rebadge (re-rebadge) at 20nm. Maybe by summer they'll shrink and add the audio enhancements to the whole lineup. I'm happy for the MSRP price being $299, it should force the 7970GE to under that.

    If anything, I'm hoping that AMD's new lineup forces NVIDIA to stop overcharging for their products. I know that the market drives pricing, but if price scaled with performance, that means that the GTX700 should be $300 and the GTX780 should be about $350? Not that it will happen like that... but the 780 should not be over $400.
  • nathanddrews - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    GTX700 = GTX770, derp. Reply
  • Da W - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Sure. Just go to your job every day and work hard just to give free stuff at people. Reply
  • nathanddrews - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Who said anything about giving "free stuff at people"? I'm talking about competitive pricing - the NVIDIA lineup is overpriced. Reply
  • Mondozai - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Speaking of which, we could use an edit function ;) Reply
  • Mondozai - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Nah, they are more logical now. People are just bitching because their head hurts when re-adjusting. Reply
  • JPForums - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    So, the 280X is a 7970(not quite)GHz edition that is not quite price competitive with overclocked 7970s that give you essentially the same thing.

    The 270X is a 7870 with a token boost clock and better memory bandwidth. Unfortunately it is priced $20 ($50 w/MIR) more expensive than the generally more powerful 7870XT.

    The 260XT is a 7790 with a somewhat meaningful boost clock. Too bad it is priced closer to a 7850 than a 7790. Mail-in-Rebates only make the situation worse.

    Well, ... , I'm underwhelmed.

    7970 (OC) - $300 ($280 w/MIR)

    7870XT - $180 ($150 w/MIR)

    7850 - $145 ($125 w/MIR)

    7790 - $120 ($100 w/MIR)
  • JPForums - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Note: The AMD news section seems to be penta-posting articles. Please remove this comment once corrected. Reply
  • noeldillabough - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    I loved the 290x specs chart :0 Reply
  • alfredska - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Ryan, you need a better editor -- or an editor, period. Here's the first four paragraphs of your "Final Words", cleaned up and less abrasive:

    Bringing this review to a close, the initial launch of the Radeon 200 series is something of a warm-up act. AMD’s Big Kahuna, the R9 290X, is not yet here and will be a story of its own. In the meantime, AMD has kicked off 2014 with the bulk of their graphics lineup.
    As far as performance is concerned, the 200 series is more of a refresh of the existing Tahiti, Pitcairn, and Bonaire GPUs than a revolution. The performance is is only a few percent better on average. While I wouldn't call this a new coat of paint on the 7000 series, these products are still largely unchanged from those we’ve seen over the last two years.
    Today’s launch represents a consolidation of products and a formalization of prices. The number of products based on the each GPUs has been cut down significantly; there’s now only 1 card per GPU as opposed to 2 or 3. AMD can lower the prices on existing products, redefining the high-end, enthusiast, and mainstream markets, as opposed to flogging cards based on the 7970 as sub-$300 enthusiast parts. Nearly two years in, these parts are hitting what should have been their introductory prices.
    Today, there’s no getting around the fact that similar 7000 series products are going to be equal in price or cheaper than 200 series products. Once this supply dries up, however, the 200 series will settle into a more typical product stratification. Then, we'll see AMD’s partners react to competitive pressure and adjust prices and bundles accordingly. We expect to see the return of the Never Settle Forever program for these cards.
  • Razorbak86 - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    "Is is" that so? "The each GPUs" reveals your true editorial prowess.

    Pro-tip: Don't quit your day job. ;)
  • alfredska - Wednesday, October 09, 2013 - link

    Yes, I made a couple mistakes in trimming the fat from Ryan's writing. I should have done another proof-read myself. This wasn't the point of my post, though.

    Ryan's review is littered with sentence pauses that drastically slow down your ability to read the article. Some examples are: starting too many sentences with words like "ultimately" or "meanwhile"; making needless references to earlier statements; using past or present perfect tense when just past or present tense is appropriate. I wrote the above example hoping that Ryan would put it next to his own writing and see whether he can 1) read it faster, and 2) retain more information from this version.

    I can accept a misspelling here and there and even some accidental word injections of which I was guilty. The fluidity needs work though. If the reader cannot glide easily between paragraphs, they will stop reading and just look at pictures.
  • chuck.norris.and.son - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    tl:dr :( blablabla

    Can't you nail it down: AMD or Nvidia? Which GFX card should i buy to play Blockbuster like BF 4?
  • ShieTar - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    How about not buying any new GFX card and investing the savings into books in order to improve your reading skills? Reply
  • Will Robinson - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Radeon 280X will be the sweet spot card to get for BF4.
    R9 290X will be the open class champ over GTX780 I suspect.
  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    The best AMD card you can buy with your money, simply because Battlefield 4 will eventually feature the Mantle renderer which is for GCN cards only, and will probably be a killer feature. Reply
  • hrga - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Most moronic branding ever (at least the one to be overrun). They cutout vanilla 7850 or top end 7950 from the HD7000 lineup and call it with confusing R9/R7, unrealistically stupid marketing where nothing material stand behind those names.

    Another rebranding?
    - Yes. [thinking. What the heck did you expect guys]

    Not most successful?
    - [thinking. depends on POV] Well, it's here to milk the most cash as our CPU business didnt produced anything valuable for three years. And we also must have something interesting to present in our slideshow presentation for investors. If we couldn't afford to produce whole new lineup we could always produce yet another rebranded line just like nvidia. We always learn from our (cartel) competition, and customers don't seem to have any objections on that matter.

    So that's why you retain those moronically high prices?
    - We just adjust that according to our competition (cartel)

    But you never lower prices for HD7870 which today celebrates its second birthday and is produced on highly matured 28nm for at least six month. Instead you just rebranded it for second time after HD8860, so now we have R9 270X too. Don't you think you're customers would like to see some new designs while putting old products on discount prices?

    Or at least you could introduce that R9 270, which is same old HD7870, with lower prices than todays HD7870 retail prices are?!
    Instead of higher up prices for same performance (source Newgg http://imageshack.dk/imagesfree/xLh43741.jpg).
    And why the heck R9 desination for this mediocre mainstream product?! You could weaselishly sell this c-rap at the end of 2011, but "Hello AMD!" It the end of 2013.

    Pitcairn used in HD7800/HD8800 seriesis is smaller chip than Evergreen in HD5800, which only three years ago was produced on troublesome early 40nm process while this is two year old design now produced on highly mature TSMC 28nm-HK node for at least six month with far better yields? HD5850 had same or even lower prices at EOL (only year after introduction) than todays two year old Pitcairn desing. How do you explain that?
    - Well ...Milking you know ... When you have good cartel environment like we have competing with nvidia we could sky rocket prices. And you know even crappy Intels Knights Corner chips today produced at 22nm would be any cheaper because Intel knows how to milk moneys on their tick-tock performance introductions and they certainly would gave up that experience in case of "Chip Previously Known as Larabee" (CPKL)
  • labodhibo - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Must read this.. totally different perspective:
  • AssBall - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Well done review. I kinda like what Asus did with its 280x version.

    Typo: "Asus calls it “CoolTech” and it’s essentially an effort to build a fan that’s blow a an axial fan and a blower (radial) fan at the same time,"
    [blow -> both?]
  • zlandar - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    This is why I wanted the Asus 770 card also in the recent 770 GTX roundup. The cooler design seems superior for single GPU purposes as long as you have the room for it in your case. Reply
  • AxialLP7 - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Not trying to be AFC, just want to make sense of this: "Asus calls it “CoolTech” and it’s essentially an effort to build a fan that’s blow a an axial fan and a blower (radial) fan at the same time, explaining the radial-like center and axial-like outer edge of the fan." Can someone help? This is in the "ASUS RADEON R9 280X DIRECTCU II TOP" section... Reply
  • maybeimwrong - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Perhaps I'm in the minority here, but I am concerned that I have to "Return to Anandtech" from a major new product review. This site is not AMDtech. If you want to have a special AMD section that aggregates relevant content, I'm fine with that. I am not fine with reviews being visible only in a place that presents no means of accessing general content on the site. Presenting review articles in this way is a terrible decision, and readers will stop trusting your content if you keep it up. I say this as a big fan of the site: please change the way "AMD" articles are handled immediately. Reply
  • SolMiester - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Hmmm, just noticed that....buy out complete? Reply
  • toyotabedzrock - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    TrueAudio might die because they didn't add it to all their cards, very lazy and half baked. Reply
  • rtho782 - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Can you Crossfire an R280 with a 7970? Would make for a cheap upgrade path as they are basically the same card... Reply
  • hodakaracer96 - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    I currently own a 2-way sli 770 setup so I may be biased. It seems NVIDIA can still charge a premuim (maybe $50) over the R9 280x due to much better SLI/crossfire capiblity (I know the newest AMD beta drivers fix latency issues, but the fact NVIDIA does frame pacing in hardware makes me feel better about it) and better performance/watt. My room gets pretty toasty and my 750 watt power supply is already on the edge. even an extra 50 watts from 2 - R9280x's would be unwanted. Reply
  • Frenetic Pony - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    When it was AMD was firing key positions I knew it was bad, but now we know specifically HOW bad. Not a singe new GPU. I don't want Nvidia to have a monopoly damn it, maybe AMD should be looking at plans to sell to someone like Qualcomm if this holiday season doesn't hit it big for them. Reply
  • FuriousPop - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Aren't these the reference cards? So won't there be more tweaks, different coolers, OC's etc when the rest of them get a hold of it and start making their changes?

    If these truelly are reference cards, i thought these looked pretty good considering...

    I understand an Asus one is tested - to be fair i have 2xasus 7970's tops, they tend to be slighty slower then the rest of the pack by little numbers however with better temps/noise lvls...

    Bring on the 7970 bring bro aka. Titan Killer!
  • bwat47 - Monday, December 09, 2013 - link

    Nvidia has done re-badges like this too, they both do it. Reply
  • b3nzint - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    I see the cooler on r9-290x got 3 air tunnel at the back. Is ref. r9-280x will use the same cooler? Reply
  • Futureman666 - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    now let's see NVidia lower the price of the GTX 770 4 GB so I can buy two of them and upgrade my rig . The price of those card are not right at the moment they should have been way lower . hope that AMD R9 will put enough pressure on NVidia . The only sour on this review seems once again AMD drivers (which seems to suck time and time again ) maybe Ryan did not have enough time to try 2 R9 280x card in crossfire .. I would have been impressed to see a comparison between the NVidia offerings 2 x gtx 760 and 2 x Gtx 770 in sli versus ... Maybe the damn drivers where not ready again to support these 2 cards in crossfire .. i'm eager to see the results Reply
  • rs2 - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Would still appreciate an explanation regarding what those FP64 ratings actually mean. Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    FP64 execution speed relative to FP32 execution speed. Reply
  • aTaoZ - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Love how you guys posted the specs for R9 290X. Reply
  • Rogatti - Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - link

    Mantle factor think is relevant (GCN any version)

    After R290..X review all the cards on the table...probably Christmas 2014 will be AMD

    AMD is playing right...
  • swindmill - Wednesday, October 09, 2013 - link

    "What AMD is doing is more than putting on a new coat of paint on the 7000 series but at the same time let’s be clear here: these products are still largely unchanged from the products we’ve seen almost 2 years ago."

    WTF does this even mean? It's a fracking rebadge, stop trying to make it seem otherwise! Anandtech is clearly on AMD's payroll...
  • HisDivineOrder - Wednesday, October 09, 2013 - link

    Jet lag can make your writing skills unclear. Especially when from tropical island locales, even if it was weeks ago. It happens.

    Cut the man some slack. ;)
  • DMCalloway - Wednesday, October 09, 2013 - link

    Asus' German site is already showing a R9 280X Matrix. If pricing follows the usual 1 to 1 conversion rate with the Euro then it should retail for a little over $300 here in the States. 12 phase power with an 1100 clock. Strong card for the money IMO. 7970 Matrix is still at $400. Reply
  • Soarta - Wednesday, October 09, 2013 - link

    I'd like to know what are the core and memory freq. when the card is idle and connected to more than 1 display, not all of them being connected thru DP. Reply
  • narfsalot - Wednesday, October 09, 2013 - link

    Any idea whether a Corsair VX550 will handle the 280x? no OC planned Reply
  • DMCalloway - Wednesday, October 09, 2013 - link

    41A on a single 12V line, you should be fine unless you're running a high OC on a 130W cpu. These cards like most 7970's have a 300W limit. Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Wednesday, October 09, 2013 - link

    I don't think any current game dev can complain about the top API suites today when they don't even take advantage of the hardware available.

    Kudos to those beginning to take advantage of multiple cores in CPUs, but what you are doing clearly isn't enough. It is ridiculous that a 6-core hyperthreaded CPU doesn't provide a significant performance boost in any of today's games over a 4-core CPU without hyperthreading, and we've had them for 5 years now, so the hardware has been around longer than the development cycle of most games and should be taken advantage of by now. This is not the fault of Direct3D or OpenGL.

    I'm excited about the possibilities of Mantle, but skeptical of the results. We'll see.
  • AnnihilatorX - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    On the page about TrueAudio

    Tensilica’s audio DSPs are task-specific programmable hardware, somewhere been fixed function and fully programmable in function,

    should it read:

    Tensilica’s audio DSPs are task-specific programmable hardware, somewhere between fixed [s]function[s] and fully programmable in function,

  • Hixbot - Friday, October 11, 2013 - link

    Well another gen of graphics cards and no serious change in performance per dollar. The past 2 years of PC hardware development have been BORING. Why do the big players refuse to compete seriously? Reply
  • fantasysportsguy - Saturday, October 12, 2013 - link

    So if you have an HD 7850, what is the upgrade path? Reply
  • SirKronan - Sunday, October 13, 2013 - link

    "Of course the fact that AMD also needs to get rid of the 7000 series at the same time isn’t going to do them any favors. There’s no getting around the fact that similar 7000 series products are going to be equal to or cheaper than 200 series products, at least for the immediate launch. "

    This prediction turned out to be WRONG. It is what I was expecting as well, but the opposite happened. Every 7970 on just about every store I shop at seems to have JUMPED by about $80.

    What the heck??
  • Compuservant - Monday, October 14, 2013 - link

    You do realize there is another Asus R9 280 GPU. The Asus R9 280X Matrix Platinum is their top model in this specific range and ships with a core overclock at 1,100mhz. The GDDR5 memory has also been overclocked to 1,600mhz (6.4Gbps effective).
    Aside from the massive overclock, Matrix R9 280X graphics cards have exclusive ROG VGA Hotwire technology built in for even more overclocking headroom. By wiring the Matrix R9 280X’s VGA Hotwire terminals to header connections on the motherboard, users are able to overvolt right away.
    In conjunction with the TweakIt utility and the plus and minus buttons fitted to some ASUS ROG motherboards, VGA Hotwire puts overvolting adjustments at users’ fingertips – so they can gradually and safely increase power for higher speeds and smoother gaming. With Matrix R9 280X cards, TweakIt offers a wider voltage-modulation range than ever before and it’s also possible to immediately activate the dual 100mm fans — enabling maximum airflow and instant cooling at the touch of a button.
    Most of above was cut and paste (sorry), but do you know of a supported motherboard for the i7 4770k CPU?
    I think I read that the new cards can do crossfire without a bridge/connector. Imagine the performance for $650 or so, for 2 280x Matrix Platinums!
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - link

    I know the article is older, but I just got to it.
    In the overclocking section, you write:
    "The Asus card meanwhile was good for 40MHz more, for a 4% base/4% boost overclock, while its memory could do an additional 800MHz (13%)."
    But it base clock is factory overclocked at 6.4GHz and it achieves a 6.8GHz clock in your test, so it is "just" a 400 MHz boost.
  • Dragonheart.BY - Thursday, November 14, 2013 - link

    Is there any info about 280 non-x? Will it be released at all? Reply
  • inFormal - Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - link

    I m trying to find (& order) an Asus R9 280x DCII 3GB (Tahiti XTL) but everywhere i looked they're "OUT OF STOCK" ... what the fudge ? Don t they know that i am prone to do useless it shopping during December ? Reply
  • dsmogor - Friday, January 24, 2014 - link

    Can SteamOS access that as well (by having Mantle somewhat integrated with OGL) we would have a winninng arch/software combination. Reply
  • neymar32 - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    You can check out a cool video review for this card if you'd like to:

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