The Radeon 300 Series Isn’t Exactly a Rebrand, AMD Clarifies
AMD unveiled the Radeon R9 300 series officially a few days back and since then, several media outlets have been criticizing the company for its decision to rebrand some of its silicon in its 2015 line-up. Apparently, some parts of Radeon 300 Series (X and non-X) are basically based on silicon we first saw couple of years ago.
The chip in question is codenamed Grenada, which is actually a more refined version of the Hawaii silicon. It is essentially the same chip, though it’s been optimized to increase clock speeds, for better performance. Nevertheless, AMD takes it upon itself to move and justify how Radeon 300 series outperforms the 290X, which is as follows:
AMD is pleased to bring you the new R9 390 series which has been in development for a little over a year now. To clarify, the new R9 390 comes standard with 8GB of GDDR5 memory and outpaces the 290X. Some of the areas AMD focused on are as follows:
1) Manufacturing process optimizations allowing AMD to increase the engine clock by 50MHz on both 390 and 390X while maintaining the same power envelope
2) New high density memory devices allow the memory interface to be re-tuned for faster performance and more bandwidth
· Memory clock increased from 1250MHz to 1500MHz on both 390 and 390X
· Memory bandwidth increased from 320GB/s to 384GB/s
· 8GB frame buffer is standard on ALL cards, not just the OC versions
3) Complete re-write of the GPUs power management micro-architecture
· Under “worse case” power virus applications, the 390 and 390X have a similar power envelope to 290X
· Under “typical” gaming loads, power is expected to be lower than 290X while performance is increased”
So considering the fact that the R9 290 never featured an 8GB of GDDR5 memory, the Radeon R9 390 doesn’t qualify as a rebrand or re-badge to be exact. Further, the chip maker claims the GPU power management micro-architecture was “completely re-written.” Believing which, we can’t, technically speaking, call Grenada a strict rebrand. But it can’t either be called a brand new silicon, if strictly speaking.
Whether it’s a brand or rebrand, let’s put that discussion aside for the moment and consider if the graphics cards in question deliver the performance good enough for the intended tasks – since it’s what that actually does matter at the end of the day. Which AMD says that its Radeon R9 390 and 390X are equipped enough to take the fight to Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 900 series graphics cards.
As for the the Radeon R9 300 series “Rebranding” is concerned, I leave it up to you to decide whether AMD made a good move with the 300 Series or not.