AMD announced the Volcanic Islands next generation GPUs at their GPU14 Tech Day in Hawaii last month. There have been a couple of exciting announcements: a highly anticipated new flagship GPU, the R9-290X, which is set to compete with Nvidia's GTX Titan, and "Mantle," a new open source API that sounds like this, at least on paper a great way to optimize games for the PC platform. The fact that AMD also supports Xbox One and PS4 graphics naturally adds to the credibility of AMD's announcement.

Unfortunately, we are not going to talk about any of these things today because the day has not come. However, we will keep you updated on any new Radeon graphics cards outside of the R9 290X. AMD has abolished the Radeon naming scheme "HD" used for the past 6 years and replaced it with something more complex.

A new generation of GPUs has been released every year over the past few years, which makes the durability of the Radeon HD 7000 surprising. This is all the more true as the majority of the new RX 200 series cards differ 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. Still confused? Let's try to clear up a couple of things.

GPU Code name price Equivalent GPU * Equivalent price at start
Radeon R9 290X Hawaii XT ??? – – – –
Radeon R9 290 Hawaii Pro ??? – – – –
Radeon R9 280X Tahiti XT $ 299 Radeon HD 7970 GHz $ 499
Radeon R9 270X Tahiti LE $ 199 + Radeon HD 7870 $ 349
Radeon R7 260X Bonaire XTX $ 139 Radeon HD 7790 $ 149
Radeon R7 250 Oland XT $ 89 Radeon HD 8670/7730 * OEM
Radeon R7 240 Oland Pro Radeon HD 8570/7510 * OEM

The Radeon R7 240 is an overclocked version of the Radeon HD 7510 that was only an OEM part. The R7 250 is a new product that sits between the HD 7510 and HD 7570 (another OEM part). Both are much slower than the Radeon HD 7750, so these shouldn't be viewed as gaming options.

The R7 260X is an overclocked Radeon HD 7790 whose cards run at 1.1 GHz as opposed to 1 GHz. As speed increases, we have the R9 270X, a revamped Radeon HD 7870 (more on these two in a second). Finally, the R9 280X, which we'll test again later, appears to be a direct copy of the Radeon HD 7970 GHz edition.

What's the point if there's almost nothing new to see here?

The technical data refer to remanufactured parts of the 7000 series, as does the pricing. AMD set the R9 280X at $ 300, the same price you can get 1 GHz 7970 cards for, while the R9 270X is priced at $ 200, the exact same price as heavily overclocked 7870s. Meanwhile, the R7 260X (HD 7790) is priced at $ 140, while overclocked HD 7790 cards are currently only priced at $ 120.

So it looks like we'll have to wait for the R9 290 series before we see anything really new from AMD. While we usually keep you updated on the performance of GPUs with the latest game releases, if you're buying a mid-range GPU today and don't bother reading old reviews with old naming schemes, use this review as a guide and perhaps most importantly, older drivers and outdated price points.

AMD Radeon R9 270X

The Radeon R9 270X, code-named Curacao XT, uses the 28nm design process, which consists of 2,800 million transistors in a 212mm2 chip. Sound familiar? Well, the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition with the code name "Pitcairn XT" also used the 28 nm process and had 2800 million transistors in a 212 mm2 chip.

The core configuration of the Radeon HD 7870 allowed 1280 SPUs, 80 TAUs and 32 ROPs. This is exactly the same configuration that the R9 270X uses.

Where AMD made some changes are the core and memory clock speeds. The 7870 ran at a core speed of 1 GHz without boost function and a memory frequency of 4800 MHz, the R9 270X is slightly faster. The standard operating specs see a core clock speed of 1.05 GHz (5% higher) with a memory frequency of 5.6 GHz, 17% higher.

While the memory is faster, the R9 270X still uses a 256-bit wide memory bus and comes standard with a 2GB memory buffer, although 4GB is an option on some cards, although it makes no sense for this GPU.

The TDP output is 180 watts, which is slightly higher than the 175 watt output of the 7870. Perhaps the most important changes have been made to the API support, where the R9 270X supports DirectX 11.2 along with AMD's mantle. The price is $ 200, which is the current retail value of a Radeon HD 7870 graphics card. So there isn't much to discover here.

AMD Radeon R7 260X

The R7 260X is a budget card, though for some reason the new extravagant name suggests otherwise. Code-named & # 39; Bonaire XTX & # 39; it is an updated version of the & # 39; Bonaire XT & # 39; also known as the Radeon HD 7790. Like the Radeon HD 7790, the R7 260X has the same 896 SPUs, 56 TAUs and 16 ROPs, all in the same 160mm2 will fit the die area.

What we have here again is an overclocked card that works at 1.1 GHz, as opposed to the 1 GHz clock rate of the 7790. The memory has also been increased from 6.0 GHz to 6.5 GHz. The end result is a core overclock of 10% and a memory overclock of 8%.

This has increased the TDP performance from 85 watts to 115 watts, which, according to AMD, corresponds to a 35% increase in load consumption. Despite the increased power consumption, the card only requires a single 6-pin PCIe power connector.

Like the R9 270X, the R7 260X received updated API support for DirectX 11.2 together with Mantle.