AMD announced the next generation Volcanic Islands GPUs last month at their GPU14 Tech Day event in Hawaii. There were a couple of exciting announcements: a widely expected new flagship GPU, the R9-290X, that is meant to compete with Nvidia's GTX Titan, and there was also "Mantle," a new open-source API that at least on paper sounds like a great way to optimize games for the PC platform -- the fact that AMD is also powering Xbox One and PS4 graphics adds credibility to AMD's announcement, of course.
Unfortunately, we are not going to talk about either of those things today since the day hasn't come yet. We will get you up to speed about new Radeon graphics cards outside the R9 290X, however. AMD has done away with the Radeon 'HD' naming scheme that they have used for the past 6 years and replaced it with something a bit more complex.
Previous years have seen the release of a new GPU generation every year which makes the Radeon HD 7000's shelf life surprising, even more so considering the majority of the new RX 200 series cards rebadges from existing HD 7000 products. The RX 200 series will consist of the Radeon R7 240, R7 250, R7 260X, R9 270X, R9 280X and later this month the R9 290 and R9 290X. Confused yet? Well let us try and clear a few things up.
The Radeon R7 240 is an overclocked version of the Radeon HD 7510 which was an OEM only part. The R7 250 is a new product that sits between the HD 7510 and HD 7570 (another OEM only part). Both are much slower than the Radeon HD 7750, so these shouldn’t be considered as gaming options.
The R7 260X is a rebadged Radeon HD 7790 that has been overclocked, with cards running at 1.1GHz opposed to 1GHz. Jumping up in speed we have the R9 270X which is a rebadged Radeon HD 7870 (more about these two in a second). Finally, the R9 280X which we'll eventually retest looks to be a direct copy of the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition.
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