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Tuesday, 01 October 2013 08:57

AMD has more Radeons in the pipeline

Written by Peter Scott

Low- to mid-range, rebrands and some new stuff

AMD’s new R9 and R7 Radeons are still a few weeks from hitting retail, but we are already hearing talk of new cards in the pipeline. This was more or less obvious, as AMD introduced six new models at GPU 14, leaving plenty of room for some XT and Pro versions to fill in the gaps. Basically the line-up is still incomplete.

The high end part of the lineup is already covered by 280-series cards and the 290X, so most of the new stuff comes in the sub-$299 segment. The only exception is of course the R9 290, or Hawaii Pro card that should end up priced over $400.

Moving down the ladder, the R9 280 is still missing in action and everyone expects it to be a Tahiti Pro rebrand with a $249 price tag. Then there’s the R9 270X, which is a bit of a puzzle. The R9 270X is apparently a Tahiti LE derived chip and the plain 270 should be more of the same, provided it makes financial sense to stick a Tahiti chip in a sub-$200 product.

The R7 260X is a bit more interesting, since it appears to be based on all-new Bonaire silicon (TrueAudio support is a dead giveaway). There’s still no word on a possible R7 260 which could be a very cheap high-volume product with. The 260X is priced at $139, but there’s no word on 260 pricing.

Digitimes reports AMD is also planning to introduce the R7 240, an entry level product apparently based on the Oland core. Like we said last week, AMD’s launch could cause a lot more trouble for Nvidia in the mid-range and low-end than most punters expected. Unsurprisingly, Digitimes claims Nvidia is already moving to counter the R7 and R9 with two “new” products in the $199 to $249 and $99 to $149 range and the new cards are supposedly coming in November. There is still no word on AMD's schedule.

But here’s the problem. Even if this is true, the new Nvidia cards won't be really new. Nvidia could roll out another rebrand in the $199 to $249 segment, since AMD covered this particular segment with rebrands of its own. However, Nvidia’s alleged “$99 to $149 card” would also have to be a rebrand – and it would have to take on the new R7 260X, which won’t be easy.

In addition, Nvidia may be forced to slash the prices of GTX 780 and Titan cards, but it all depends on 290/290X benchmarks and prices which have yet to materialize. The first leaks look good for AMD, but it’s too early to jump to any conclusions.

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