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Advanced Micro Devices on Wednesday introduced its all-new Radeon graphics cards as well as new family of graphics processing units. The new R9- and R7-series of GPUs -- which will be available at price-points from $89 to $599+ -- will not only improve performance, but will also introduce a set of new graphics, audio and compute-related capabilities.

The new AMD Radeon R7 and R9 families of graphics chip feature three key pillars: AMD GCN architecture with tweaks that adds support for DirectX 11.2 application programming interface; AMD TrueAudio technology, a fully programmable audio engine that is supposed to provide incredible level of programmability to developers whish is supposed to result in cinema-like positional audio in video games; as well as a set of optimizations for ultra high-definition 4K (3840*2160) output.

AMD Radeon R9 290X top-of-the-range graphics chip, which consists of over 6 billion of transistors, is capable of achieving 5GFLOPS of single-precision performance, the fastest single GPU in the industry. The graphics cards boasts with whopping 300GB/s memory bandwidth. The new flagship graphics processor from AMD is made using 28nm process technology.

AMD pins a lot of hopes on its TrueAudio technology for real-time positional audio processing using computational capabilities of the latest GPUs. Since the TrueAudio is fully programmable, it will now be possible for game designers to add realism to their games, provided that they are interested and the implementation does not serious affect their schedules. One of the first titles to take advantage of AMD TrueAudio will be this year's Thief by Eidos, Lichdom by Xaviant, Murdered Soul Suspect by Square Enix/AirTight and Star Citizen by Cloud Imperium Games. AMD TrueAudio will be initially available on AMD Radeon R7 260X, R9 290 and R9 290X graphics boards.

Quite unexpectedly, AMD introduced what it calls Mantle, a cross-platform application programming interface (that will only support Windows operating system initially) designed specifically for graphics processing units based on graphics core next (GCN) architecture, presenting a deeper level of hardware optimization. Being low-level API, Mantle can bypass all the bottlenecks modern PC/API architectures; according to AMD, Mantle enables nine times more draw calls per second than DirectX and OpenGL thanks to lower CPU overhead. AMD and EA/DICE announced a Mantle renderer for the forthcoming Battlefield 4 game in December, 2013. Mantle will be detailed further at the AMD Developer Summit, APU13, taking place in November.

In the coming quarters AMD plans to introduce five new graphics cards designed for different market segments, including AMD Radeon R7 250 1GB GDDR5 ($89), AMD Radeon R7 260X 2GB GDDR5 ($139), AMD Radeon R9 270X 2GB GDDR5 ($199), AMD Radeon R9 280X 3GB GDDR5 ($299) as well as AMD Radeon R9 290X. AMD Radeon R9 290X will be available for pre-order starting October 3. A special Battlefield 4 edition of the R9 290X will also be up for grabs from select partners.

AMD did not disclose exact specs of the forthcoming products.

Tags: AMD, Radeon, 28nm, Sea Islands, Volcanic Islands, GCN


Comments currently: 37
Discussion started: 09/26/13 04:05:37 AM
Latest comment: 10/02/13 06:27:53 PM
Expand all threads | Collapse all threads


5 GFLOPS? Um....
4 2 [Posted by: bluvg  | Date: 09/26/13 04:05:37 AM]

show the post
2 7 [Posted by: KeyBoardG  | Date: 09/26/13 05:09:23 AM]
- collapse thread

It's not's open. Also, grab a dictionary and look up the definition of mantle.
5 3 [Posted by: mmstick  | Date: 09/26/13 08:59:07 AM]
Open as in NVidia or Intel would ever go an implement an AMD designed and controlled API.
0 1 [Posted by: KeyBoardG  | Date: 09/26/13 06:49:10 PM]
No need to do that. I think that would be just AMD specific and maybe not even implementable on these other architectures and maybe not even on other AMD architectures. Well, maybe I'm wrong but we'll see soon.
0 0 [Posted by: Zingam  | Date: 09/27/13 07:26:46 PM]

wow...trully titan killer
7 4 [Posted by: mudi1  | Date: 09/26/13 06:07:03 AM]
- collapse thread

I just heard the sound of Mr Huang punching a wall.
9 4 [Posted by: linuxlowdown  | Date: 09/26/13 04:23:42 PM]

show the post
2 10 [Posted by: basroil  | Date: 09/26/13 06:33:54 AM]
- collapse thread

First of all, you quite clearly don't understand what you are talking about. Xbitlabs does a poor job of explaining things, so that is somewhat understandable, but to go off on a whim and make assumptions for something you don't have a good grasp of understanding isn't a very intelligent thing to do.

Furthemore, you really don't know anything if you think the industry can just 'make DirectX better' when it's been lagging behind OpenGL for so long it's not even funny, and is quite simply closed source, proprietary Microsoft-only technology.

Mantle is a better solution here.
8 4 [Posted by: mmstick  | Date: 09/26/13 09:02:42 AM]
bit tech has an interesting article on why directx has so much overhead that is easy to understand.
3 2 [Posted by: JJaynes  | Date: 09/26/13 09:07:28 AM]
"Furthemore, you really don't know anything if you think the industry can just 'make DirectX better' when it's been lagging behind OpenGL"

That's the biggest load of bull I've seen. DX is generally ahead of OGL nowadays in terms of feature pool, simply because Microsoft can add or remove specifications at will, while OGL requires a time consuming vote by Khronos. The speed issue is highly debated, and the only "benchmarks" used are generally from Valve, which is about as unbiased as the KKK (and their test flawed beyond a reasonable doubt). If you want another test that shows the exact opposite result, go look up g-truc's Unigine graphics tests.

On the cooperation for a better API, the xbox one is an example of a better form of "directx", having all the benefits without the limitations (as long as you put effort into it). In fact, Anandtech actually considers mantle to be the low level tech of the xbox one, so it's quite possible to have DirectX pipelines with exposed low level commands. If AMD and Nvidia stop bickering and start implementing inter-compatible commands at a lower level (loading and using texture data for one), then you'll see both DX and OGL benefit, and likely see faster revisions to OGL to boot.
2 2 [Posted by: basroil  | Date: 09/27/13 08:38:51 AM]
Yes let us all work together, while petting pink rabbits and drinking cocoa!
7 2 [Posted by: MHudon  | Date: 09/26/13 08:24:46 PM]

The onboard GPU audio processing is probably going to be proprietary in a sense that only AMD has it. In that case I don't see a lot of developer will bother coding for it if Nvidia can't take advantage of it.

Also is it really needed these days? Audio processing is usually being done on a separate thread by CPU these days.
1 3 [Posted by: trumpet-205  | Date: 09/26/13 09:04:22 AM]
- collapse thread

from the sounds of the presentation, it sounds like a game will have the ability to detect if the graphics card has the TrueAudio chip and will kick the thread to the DSP instead of the CPU. I don't think it sounds like there is any other coding necessary.

Many games have settings that will let you change the sound quality, it could be something as simple as that.

Regarding the convolution reverb, that is a pretty complicated process. When you take a signal from the time domain to the frequency domain there is a lot of math involved, especially if the signal is complicated.


A pure sine wave can be represented by 2 points in the frequency domain, whereas if you start getting into way more complicated frequency wave forms. So what this DSP will do (it sounds like) is essentially use an algorithm to model how sound will behave in a specific environment, convolve it with the sound that say your character makes in a game, and then it will come out in your headphones as if your character were actually walking through say a concert hall.

The reason it gets calculationally intensive is due to the fact that it has to track all the echoes and such, and how those will effect the end sound. By offloading these calculations to the DSP it frees up CPU resources.

If you have a strong enough CPU then this added sound won't be that big of a deal, but if you have a weaker CPU but offload that calculation to specialized hardware, you're freeing up CPU resources.
3 2 [Posted by: JJaynes  | Date: 09/26/13 09:14:46 AM]
At this point I think this TrueAudio will just end up like OpenAL, which is also proprietary and requires the use of legacy Creative sound card.

Developers abandoned OpenAL because it wasn't available on every sound card and no significant performance increase from it.
0 1 [Posted by: trumpet-205  | Date: 09/27/13 08:04:01 AM]
Dude, OpenAL can be used by ALL soundcards, that's why is open standard. Can use hardware or software DSP, depends on the soundcard.
0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 09/27/13 10:33:08 AM]
OpenAL is not an open standard (it was for first version, subsequent revision is not), despite its name. ASUS Xonar for example only supports OpenAL through emulation. It does not run OpenAL natively (compatibility is not 100% though).

You probably mistaken it for ASIO.
0 1 [Posted by: trumpet-205  | Date: 09/28/13 02:45:46 AM]
lol all the new games are using AMD Radeon hardware, developers only bother to programme for them, then port to pc, An AMD 8 core PC with this new Radeon card will be the most compatible.

4 4 [Posted by: Mombasa69  | Date: 09/26/13 05:38:33 PM]

If Mantle is nine times faster. Then they have a winner architecture. The next step is to drop DirextX and OpenGL hardware implementation and focus on improving Mantle. DirextX and OpenGL can be done using software/hardware (80%/20%) interpretation. This also will reduce transistor count and power usage and makes Radeon hardware team more productive.
2 4 [Posted by: Akram Al  | Date: 09/26/13 10:42:10 AM]
- collapse thread

DirectX and OpenGL isn't going anywhere. Microsoft won't drop DirectX, that's just wishful thinking. OpenGL is available for all hardware to use too.
3 1 [Posted by: trumpet-205  | Date: 09/26/13 07:40:32 PM]
If that happens you can say goodby to indie developers not using an established engine. Having to program for three or more architectures without being able to reuse 90% of your code is just not possible for most developers. It's that or you will see "AMD only" and "nvidia only" game titles pop up rather than "enhanced for" types.
0 2 [Posted by: basroil  | Date: 09/27/13 08:44:02 AM]
show the post
0 3 [Posted by: Hung Mai  | Date: 09/28/13 10:46:16 AM]
Apparently you know nothing of code optimization for different hardware. SIMD instructions alone are annoying enough to maximize, so who do you think has the time and money to use several different graphics APIs for several low level implementations?
0 1 [Posted by: basroil  | Date: 10/02/13 07:19:11 AM]
Why can't they continue to use DirectX? This is something new, not taking something away.
0 0 [Posted by: mikato  | Date: 10/02/13 06:27:53 PM]
I bet they are doing it because of the new console generation (all AMD) and that's what developers have used on consoles in previous generation: low level APIs. That's why generally consoles would give much better performance on the same hardware than the PC. DX and OGL are APIs that offer crossplatform compatibility = ease of use, not everybody has the resources or could use the low level APIs that's why peope use third party engines. Big 3rd party commercial engines could make use of that api though.
0 0 [Posted by: Zingam  | Date: 09/27/13 07:32:10 PM]
Xbox 1 is still going to use DirectX for example. Mantle is geared toward GCN, so Wii U ain't going to benefit from it either (Wii U GPU is based on HD4000 series).
1 0 [Posted by: trumpet-205  | Date: 09/28/13 02:51:39 AM]
Xbox one uses DX11/low level hybrid. It's kind of like how you have WinAPI for a lot of things, but you still have direct access to CPU in regular programs, just for the GPU. How much low level instructions are exposed is a slightly different matter though, and we'll probably see more games that use no low level optimization than ones fully optimized.
0 0 [Posted by: basroil  | Date: 10/02/13 07:22:14 AM]

from what i heard it seem like mantel will be the core of the next console. they just enable it for the Pc due to it architecture similarity. there are no way dice would spend it resource for one platform. remember the new console also use GCN which mantel is emphasized running on it.
1 1 [Posted by: Amir Anuar  | Date: 09/26/13 12:28:33 PM]

Let's wait and see some Direct3D 11 vs this Mantle 1.0 reviews before jumping to any conclusions, shall we?
0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 09/29/13 05:13:31 PM]


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