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Today, AMD announced their aptly named "Volcanic Island" series of graphics cards during their event "AMD Hawaii GPU '14 Tech Day." While some technical difficulties led to a delayed start (and a lot of stream hopping by web-viewers such as my self) the event ran smoothly. AMD was very thin when it came to specific details about their new hardware. The event was four hours long, but the hardware segment was barely over 20 minutes. Regardless, there was still information to be gleaned from the presentation.

AMD spent most of the allotted time discussing their new embedded sound engine. But before getting into the nitty gritty, let me address the important things. AMD has announced 5 new graphics cards and a new naming system.

As we can see from the chart, the details are thin. AMD doesn't want to reveal anything specific about their cards. They did, however, reveal some information about their new flagship, the R9 290x. This card, which was shown sporting a reference design with the familiar red color scheme, is Radeon's new participant in the high end spectrum. This card is smaller than the GTX Titan from Nvidia. (which contains 7.1 billion transistors versus the 290x's > 6 billion) However, it has a higher stock bandwidth. The presentation links this high bandwidth with 4k displays. "You can have over 100 layers of effects, at 4K resolution with this memory bandwidth." They go on to state that AMD has proposed a new VESA standart to implement inside 4K displays, and this standard was accepted. This will allow 4K screens to display correctly "right of out the box" with default catalyst drivers; no new software will be needed.

GPU RAM Price 3DMARK FIRESTRIKE Technical Details
R7 250 1GB GDDR5 <$89 >2000 NA
R7 260X 2GB GDDR5 $139 >3700 NA
R9 270X 2GB GDDR5 $199 >5500 NA
R9 280X 3GB GDDR5 $299 >6800 NA
R9 290X 4GB GDDR5 NA >8000
> 5 TFLOPS compute
> 300 GB/sec memory bandwidth
> 6 billion transistors