TechSpot: AMD Radeon R9 285 Review - Tonga GPU Makes its Debut

As a mid-range GPU, the R9 285 is meant to deliver mainstream performance at a competitive price. The "Tonga" GPU is essentially a newer, cheaper to produce version of the tried and true "Tahiti" GPU that has been used by many cards. For the R9 285, Tonga has been configured similar to the way Tahiti was for the HD 7950, which is the same as the R9 280's configuration.

This new GPU is based on the latest incarnation of the GCN (Graphics Core Next) architecture and supports DirectX 12 capabilities, Eyefinity, TrueAudio, Project FreeSync, next-gen Crossfire technology, next-gen PowerTune technology and 4K H.264 decode support. However, it does have an inferior memory controller to Tahiti, which is what makes it cheaper to produce.

Read: AMD Radeon R9 285 Review
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4 Comments

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I have 2x Tahiti LE GPUs (7870 XTs) which were late released in late 2012 but I have a feeling that, whilst they're still fast, other aspects will be holding me back soon. For example, they only have 2 GB VRAM and DX11.x support.

Microsoft said,
Direct3D 12 Confirmed Supported GPUs

AMD
GCN 1.0 (Radeon 7000/8000/200)
GCN 1.1 (Radeon 200)

Intel
Gen 7.5 (Haswell/4th Gen Core)

NVIDIA
Fermi (GeForce 400/500)
Kepler (GeForce 600/700/800)
Maxwell (GeForce 700/800)

So your cards are supported, and 2GB of VRAM is enough to satisfy any current game at high resolutions.

Well, the fact is that almost all cards nowadays will hit their GPU processing limit before 2GB of VRAM becomes a bottleneck, which has been proven by benchmarks.

Only in very fast cards can take advantage of this extra ram, but maybe that is what you have in mind since you want to play demanding games at ultra settings.