AMD Rolls-Out Radeon R9 290-Series Graphics Cards with Hawaii GPUs

AMD Introduces New Graphics Cards with Second Incarnation of GCN Architecture

by Anton Shilov
11/07/2013 | 11:40 PM

Advanced Micro Devices this week finished introduction of its all-new family of enthusiast-class graphics cards that are based on the second incarnation of GCN [graphics core next] architecture. The new AMD Radeon R9 290 and Radeon R9 290X bring next-generation performance and capabilities and are available now in $399 - $549 price-range.


Both AMD Radeon R9 290 and R9 290X are based on the graphics processing unit code-named Hawaii, which is AMD’s highest-performing graphics chip to date. In addition to new levels of performance, the new GPU features integrated DSPs [digital sound processors] to enable AMD TrueAudio technology, brand-new CrossFire XDMA engine to enable redesigned multi-GPU technology (which provides better efficiency, higher performance and does not require additional connectors), dual DMA engines to provide HSA [heterogeneous system architecture] capabilities on future PC platforms, eight asynchronous compute engines (ACE, which is how AMD calls schedulers/dispatchers) to ensure maximum efficiency in general-purpose processing and a number of other innovations.

AMD Hawaii GPU block diagram

AMD Hawaii GPU – in its fully-fledged configuration – features 2816 stream processor (44 compute units with 64sp per CU), 176 texture units (TUs), 64 raster output units (ROPs), 4 geometry processors, 8 asynchronous compute engines, 1MB L2 cache, six EyeFinity display controllers, various multimedia special-purpose hardware as well as 512-bit memory bus. The chip is made using 28nm process technology and contains 6.2 billion of transistors.

“The formidable combination of graphics core next (GCN) architecture, Mantle and AMD TrueAudio technology raises the bar for breathtaking audio and graphics, and powerful performance, giving enthusiasts an unprecedented gaming experience,” said Matt Skynner, general manager and corporate vice president of AMD graphics business unit.

Thanks to new raster operating units as well as massive memory bandwidth, the new Radeon R9 290-series graphics cards should offer exceptional performance in high resolutions, including 2560*1600 as well as 3840*2160. Moreover, due to numerous architectural innovations and TrueAudio technology, the new graphics solutions based on Hawaii chip should be very future-proof.

AMD Radeon R9 290 with 4GB of GDDR5 memory is available for $399/€289, whereas AMD Radeon R9 290X with 4GB of GDDR5 memory can be purchased for $549/€399.