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.