AMD’s Next Generation Fiji XT GPU Spotted In Shipping Manifesto – Radeon R9 300 Series Production Might Be Ramping Up
Zauba has become a source of many early graphics processing units spotting such as the GK110, GK210, GM204 and the flagship GM200 core. The site has also listed several AMD chips along the line and Videocardz has just recently spotted the Fiji XT GPU in a shipping manifesto which could be an early sample of what is likely to be a part of AMD's next generation Radeon R9 300 series.
AMD's Fiji XT GPU For Next Generation Radeon R9 300 Series Spotted
According to the data uploaded on the website, the specific card is labeled 102-C88001-00. From deeper insight it is revealed that the Radeon R9 290 and Radeon R9 290X which are AMD's current flagship offerings based on the Hawaii chip feature the C671 board hence it is possible that the C880 board would be a part of the Radeon R9 390X and Radeon R9 390 (Fiji XT / Fiji Pro) chips. While we don't know anything specific about Fiji in terms of specifications, we do have a hint of the design which will be featured on the upcoming cards which will be a much needed change over the current cards.
For starters, a modified version of the Hydra cooler that is featured on AMD's Radeon R9 295X2 graphics card was leaked around 2 months ago. The leaked design was obviously built for a single chip card since it was short and had a large intake fan cut through which air was to be diverted out of the exhaust. The R9 295X2 has a fan placed in the center since it has to push air towards both sides because of the two Hawaii chips fused on it. But AMD had a surprise this time around by shipping their fastest card with an interesting design. The card included a AIO closed loop liquid cooler which turned out to be well for the hot Hawaii cores. AMD is going the same route with their next generation series and looks like at least the flagship offerings will have the option to get the liquid cooler bundle as seen from the vertical cut outs on the cooler shroud. As suggested by Videocardz, there could be four variants of this cooler which will be shipping to consumers early next year.
But that's not all when it comes to AMD GPUs, there are three more chips which will become a part of the Radeon R9 300 series. The Tonga GPU which was recently announced was expected to launch in two variants, a Tonga Pro with 1792 stream processors plus 256-bit bus and a Tonga XT variant with 2048 stream processors with either 256-bit or 384-bit bus. The Radeon R9 285 and Radeon R9 M285X are the only two variants which were launched but the Radeon R9 285X which was expected to come out during last month never came out. While AMD never officially announced the card itself, AIB partners already had NDA for the card in plans and were expected to out it however the launch of NVIDIA's GM204 disrupted the pattern. The expected cost of the Radeon R9 285X was supposed to be around $299 US but that would have made it less demanding over the GeForce GTX 970 which costs $20 US more but is a league of its own in terms of performance and efficiency.
The only route left for AMD was to keep the chip stocked and launch it during the next generation Radeon series. It is likely to be a Radeon R9 370 series or R9 380 series part. It is not known what AMD will do with Hawaii during the next generation since it is a new chip and they can rebrand it as the R9 380 series as they have done with Tahiti (Radeon R9 280 series). Regardless, AMD seems to be ramping up production with their next series probably hitting the market early next year. We can't say for sure what kind of performance will the flagship cards feature but we do know how Tonga and Hawaii perform so we can make our own guesses.
On a side note, we all know that AMD's AIB partners recently introduced new 8 GB variants of their cards which look attractive in this era of 4K and 8K display resolutions. In the long term, AMD has tough competition ahead of them with Maxwell selling well and have been around for two months now and NVIDIA is while AMD works its way to offer their Fiji core next year, NVIDIA already seems to be developing their next key performance and flagship chip codenamed GM200. The information on GM200 is grim at the moment but the first obvious target market for NVIDIA would be professional so we can expect a card based on that chip only until late 1H 2014.