AMD Might Be Working On Faster GCN Hawaii GPU – Could Be Launching As The Radeon R9 380X Next Year
Aside from its heating issues, the GCN based Hawaii GPU from AMD is regarded as one of the best graphics chip made for gaming enthusiasts. It launched and still remains as one of the most competitive solution of AMD's R9 series lineup with a price of just $299 US but reports from Fudzilla (via Videocardz) suggest that AMD might just be working on a faster iteration of the Hawaii GPU for launch next year.
AMD Possibly Preparing Faster and Improved Hawaii GPU For Next Year
The reports of a faster Hawaii GPU have existed since the day it was launched. Many have speculated on the existence of a faster Hawaii GPU which may be in the form of higher clocks or more stream processors. While AMD has confirmed that the Hawaii XT GPU available on the Radeon R9 290X is the fully enabled variant, they haven't confirmed if a faster Hawaii variant exists which leads us to believe that Hawaii has still some breath left in it for a second launch as part of the Radeon R9 380X next year.
While we cannot confirm any specifications, we can say that the most obvious path to update the Hawaii GPU will be in the form of higher clock speeds which will be gained through the use of better cooling solutions and improved PCB components from a reference designs. While AMD's reference Radeon R9 290X had its fair share of heating problems, the custom designs were applauded for their great cooling and higher factory overclocks as with all the non-reference parts. Videocardz speculates that the specific SKU for the next Hawaii GPU will differ in naming from the Hawaii Pro and Hawaii XT parts and can be called either Hawaii XTX/XTL/XT2 which are naming schemes AMD has adopted for several updated revisions of the Tahiti GPU and seems possible.
So why do we believe the new Hawaii GPU will be part of the Radeon R9 300 series rather the current R9 200 series? Well its simple since AMD is done with the Radeon R9 and R7 200 series parts and the recent price cuts reflects that. AMD is on the path to push as many GCN GPUs they can in the 200 series while the prepare for the first round of R9 300 series card to ship early next year. According to Fudzilla, AMD's next generation high-performance chip, codenamed Fiji will ship with the Radeon R9 390X in first half of 2015. Again the technical specifications of this card remain unknown too aside from the speculated details based off the SISSoft leaked information which was reported a few weeks back. The leaked information do make the card look really well and interesting but its hard to take the details as legit.
This also confirms that Hawaii will stick with the 2-3 year lifespan its predecessor (Tahiti) did as part of both the HD 7000 series and R9 200 series. While Tahiti meets the end of its life, replaced by Tonga, Hawaii will spend a year more in AMD's line as the performance segment offering. Fiji will keep things heated in the high-end stop while Tonga may become part of the R9 370 (X) series cards. On NVIDIA's part, they have a GeForce GTX 960 graphics card lined up for first half of 2015 along with some budget and entry tier cards. The GM200 is a hidden beast which will arrive to consumers once NVIDIA sees the need for it as was the case with GK110.