New AMD Polaris 10 & 11 Details Hit The Web – 8 GB of GDDR5X Memory clocked at 7 Gbps
More juicy bits about AMD’s upcoming Polaris 10 and Polaris 11 GPUs have leaked out ahead of the June 1st launch, revealing specs and other features.
According to the leak, the Polaris 10 GPU features 32 compute units (CUs), with each CU comprising of 64 shaders on Polaris for a total of 2,048 shaders. The memory system would see GDDR5/X connected through a 256-bit bus. Graphics cards would feature as much as 8GB of memory that will be initially clocked at 7 Gbps.
Further, the 8 GB GDDR5X delivers a total of 224 GB/s memory bandwidth on Polaris. For comparison, the existing Hawaii-based R9 390X features twice the GDDR5X’s memory bus, that is 512-bit GDDR5 bus which results in memory bandwidth of 384 GB/s on Hawaii.
Along with fewer shaders and less memory bandwidth, Polaris 10 features lower TFLOPS value as well – 5.5 TFLOPS vesus R9 390X’s 5.9. However, the Polaris 10 GPU uses much less power with TDP rated at no more than 150 watts. Which allows the GPU to easily win the performance per watt race!
This appears to meet AMD’s claims that the Polaris architecture will be a “true generation leap,” and would offer gamers a sweet deal in terms of performance per dollar.
Moving to Polaris 11, this is rumored to be a smaller GCN 4.0 chip featuring 14 CUs, and estimated 896 shaders per stream processors. This is paired with up to 4GB of GDDR5 memory across the 128-bit bus. Further, the GPU’s 14 CUs are said to deliver 2.5 TFLOPS of single precision compute power.
In terms of the power usage, Polaris 11 will be the power efficient version in AMD’s lineup with a TDP of just 50 watts. This is incredibly impressive and explains reports of Polaris 11 running 4K VR content passively.
Additionally, Polaris 11 will be able to run on just PCI express power and no external power source will be required.
AMD has already clarified the market positioning of their next gen Polaris GPUs. Polaris 10 will be aimed at the mainstream desktop and high-end gaming notebook segment while Polaris 11 will target thin-and-light laptops.
If previous reports are to be believed, the Polaris 10 GPU will deliver R9 390X/390 performance levels at half the power draw for less than $300.
What’s more interesting about Polaris GPUs is that they are supposed to make the ‘minimum VR spec’ more affordable for everyone. Roy Taylor, AMD’s Corporate VP, Content & VR, recently said in an interview with Ars Technica:
The reason Polaris is a big deal, is because I believe we will be able to grow that TAM [total addressable market] significantly. I don’t think Nvidia is going to do anything to increase the TAM, because according to everything we’ve seen around Pascal, it’s a high-end part. I don’t know what the price is gonna be, but let’s say it’s as low as £500/$600 and as high as £800/$1000. That price range is not going to expand the TAM for VR. We’re going on the record right now to say Polaris will expand the TAM. Full stop.
Built on the 14nm FinFET process, AMD Polaris architecture features a new memory controller, new multimedia cores, and a new geometry processor. Moreover, the upcoming chips will support both HDMI 2.0a and DisplayPort 1.3, and are equally capable of encoding and decoding H.265 video up to 4K resolution.
With these innovative technologies on board and other advancements, the next gen AMD GPUs are expected to deliver huge power efficiencies, improved speeds, as well as better leakage characteristics. The company is set to reveal Polaris based R9 480/X cards at Computex on June 1st.
Gohar is the lead editor at TechFrag. He has a wide range of interests when it comes to tech but he's currently spending a big chunk of his time writing about privacy, cyber security, and anything policy related.