AMD’s Polaris 10 to deliver R9 390X/390 horsepower at half the wattage for less than $299. Polaris 11 to be AMD’s console killer GPU, delivering GeForce GTX 950 performance at only 50W. This is only the tip of the iceberg according to the latest leaks that have hit the web from multiple sources, so buckle up as we break AMD’s Radeon 400 series down for you.
Polaris 10 is AMD’s mid-range 14nm FinFET graphics chip, Polaris 11 is the smallest of the family and Vega 10 is the HBM2 powered high-end flagship 14nm GPU launching in 2017 to succeed the Fury lineup. It will feature AMD’s next generation Vega architecture and will be the company’s first GPU to feature second generation High Bandwidth Memory.
Polaris 11 was the very first FinFET graphics chip in the world from either company, Nvidia or AMD, to be demoed publicly. AMD first demoed the chip to the press, including WCCF, back in December ahead of CES. AMD did it once again in January at CES and that was the very first public demo of the Polaris or in fact any high performance FinFET GPU.
The demo consisted of two identical systems one configured with Polaris 11 – 470/460 class GPU – and Nvidia’s GTX 950 running Star Wars Battlefront at 60 frames per second. The Polaris 11 system in its entirety consumed 54W less than the GTX 950. Considering that the GTX 950 on its own pulls ~95W on average under gaming workloads, Polaris 11 is essentially more than twice as power efficient. Delivering the same performance at roughly 40 watts. Which is less than half the power consumed by the GTX 950.
As usual be sure to take it in with skepticism, but it does sound very reasonable. The one thing which will be interesting is how the market responds. The nVidia 1080 will no doubt be the faster card, yet it will carry a $600 price tag, twice the Polaris 10. The 1070 though may sell for as little as $380, so it will be important Polaris 10 stacks up well against it. Vega's not due out until next year and will be a monolith of a card, but until then the Fury series will remain top of the AMD heap, and judging by reports, the 1070 even outclasses the Fury X, which isn't surprising due to the manufacturing process allowing such a drastic change in performance, none of this tens of percentages faster stuff we've been used to for the last decade.
I must admit that I'm incredibly disappointed with AMD's decision to not release Vega sooner. Although it is impressive to see Polaris 10/11 reach such a fantastic efficiency level at such performance, it's absolutely not targeted at someone like myself. I was disappointed with the performance Fury(X) and Nano offered in comparison to my R9 290's, thus never upgraded. The performance upgrade just isn't substantial enough to bother. So, I always had the intention to upgrade to the successor to the Fury line, which is now Vega. Yet, God knows when it will be available?
I think this is a bad decision on AMD's part, as it leaves no other option for high end users other than to completely switch over to Nvidia's 1080 if they're interested in high end products. Zen is taking far too long to come to fruition and now this situation with Vega has arose. I really think this is going to affect AMD very badly. They need to offer competitive options at all price points, not just the mid range to low end. The high end cards determine peoples opinion of the brand in a whole. So even if someone only has the budget for a mid range card, it's usually the high end option that sets the tone for their decision when making a purchase.
If the average less knowledgeable consumer knows Nvidia cards are outperforming on the high end, they're simply going to purchase a card they can afford from their more affordable product lineup, not consider AMD as an option, even if it offers more price to performance in comparison.
AMD seriously needs to fast track Vega and have it available by early/mid-summer, no later. Otherwise, they're just leaving the door open for more loyal AMD consumers to walk out, not because they want to, but because there's nothing available to keep their patronage. So, whether or not Polaris is the most efficient card on the market, I seriously think most consumers won't care without a powerful figurehead card leading the charge.
tl;dr: SavageBeastZero wants to upgrade to Vega on his birthday in June! Otherwise he'll look like this, except much better looking!
My only thought if this doesn't happen in time: Why for you do dis to me AMD?
Not really they don't. Vega is going to appeal to the same crowd as the 1080, the 980ti, the Fury X, the people who like to turn it up to 11 and push out 120fps because they fell for the marketing hype and bought buggy, optimized games and need more horsepower than an NHRA dragster to get it. This is the vast minority of the market. Polaris 10, however, will appeal to the vast majority of the market, the people with 1920x1080 displays and a $200 budget, the MMO and Counterstrike crowd, the people who will drop to 2x AA and cut down slight details which will barely reduce visual appeal but generate massive frame gains. Also, with the new PC market continuing on a downward slope, HP and the other OEMs are going to need more than just lower prices to shift units, they're going to need to offer high performance along with low prices to offset the negatives of Windows 10, and a $400 off the shelf rig which doesn't hiccup at WoW at 1920x1080 or have problems pushing out 60fps with new games with very little reduction in detail levels is key.
And, don't forget, every game console has an AMD chip at the heart, and if the hype of the Playstation 4.5 is to be believed, a Polaris 10 or 11 variant will bring smooth 4K gaming all wrapped up in a cheap, cool running little chip. With Nintendo poised to make a comeback with their next gen system, moving to a standard x86 AMD powered console, an inexpensive, cool, high powered chip which will shift in the millions is paramount to a blockbuster, expensive, top of the range chip like Vega 10 which will shift in the range of just hundreds or perhaps low thousands.
While nVidia will no doubt laud the 1070 and 1080 over AMD until Vega 10, if Polaris 10 stacks up favorably to the 1070 at a lower price point, it means much more than ruling the benchmark charts, it means increased sales in a declining market.
And, don't forget, AMD can still laud existing DirectX 12 performance over nVidia.
Something else too, I -really- hope AMD finally releases a true replacement for the HD 5450. The 5450 is still the undisputed king of cheap cards, plenty enough for light workloads, such as an office, or for people whose most demanding task is watching videos on Facebook or Youtube, and it can routinely be found for $10 after rebate. It's also plenty powerful for old(er) games of the early 2000s (which, thanks to GoG, we can all enjoy again), and for newer casual games like you'd find on Facebook. It is also a tiny card, both passively cooled and low profile so it will fit in even the smallest of mini tower cases from HP and the other OEMs with next to zero airflow and tucked into places where only dust bunnies dare to live. The R7 240 is the next cheapest card and by far a superior card to it with 5x the power, but at 6x the price ($59.99 vs $9.99 after rebate) and 2.5x the TDP (50w vs 19w), for someone with a cheap off the shelf PC from a big box store with a PSU under 250w or even 200w, or people looking to upgrade their old X1000 series card in an antique machine so it will work with Windows 10, or people looking to have a spare GPU to stick in their closet with their other backup parts so there won't be any downtime, the R7 240 isn't in the same league.
Especially when you consider the HD 5450 has no competitor from nVidia, as the GT 710 is 3x the price at $30.
If history is any indication, we can expect anywhere between three and six months before NVIDIA releases new cards which compete with AMD’s Polaris, giving the Red Team ample time to chip away at a significant portion of NVIDIA’s rather large market share. This could also put AMD in a relatively comfortable position when it comes time to release its flagship graphics card based on the HBM2 powered Vega 10 GPU, which has been rumored to have been pushed forward to as early as October 2016, rather than the original expected launch in 2017.
Talk about a rumor you want to be true, but at the same time you don't want a rushed product released, especially not when using cutting edge technology in HBM2.
AMD in my eye's are doing the right thing with Polaris, aiming for the mid range market is without doubt the most financially responsible thing to do. People forget what the CPU and GPU markets are. There's far more money in CPU's than graphics cards. Just ask intel.
Also just check out the world wide graphics user databases, 70% of all Graphics in PC's are Intel. The nasty convenient non dedicated graphics still by far rule the market.
Polaris seems to address this with parts with low power and still bloody fast performance, Phones, Tablets, Set top boxes, Built in motherboard graphics etc etc is bread and butter. The reason AMD lost so much market was never about the graphics business, but about a CPU architecture (bulldozer) that massively under performed compared to projections. Meaning amd had to make larger cores (hence less chips on a single FAB, And less profit) , with higher clocks and higher power consumption just to match intel.
CPU architectures cant be changed over months, or even years. They have a life cycle or 3-5 years, And the bulldozer chips almost killed AMD. Now that generation of architecture is about to end (thank god) and your Zen etc architectures can now come through with far better instructions per clock and single threading at lower wattage. This is when AMD can now push back into the markets that really can make them money, CPU's for desktop, and the Server market that they used to have a 50% stake in that fell to half of 1%.
They may make less margin compared to intel on these offerings, but with 14nm production with finfet and samsung on side cost will be massively cut compared to older generation products that were slow and expensive to manufacture. Lets just hope the Zen architecture is no bulldozer or AMD will disappear for good this time.
But I have faith AMD with get it right this time with their CPU and GPU components and the IT industry can get a well needed kick in the balls, Competition is everything when driving progression and a weak AMD is bad for everyone as shown by the last 4-5 years. Good luck to AMD, Hope you smash it and i get a CPU or gpu in future at the price and performance that competition always provides.