AMD unveils R7 and R9 Series Radeon graphics cards
IN an event in Sydney this week representatives from AMD unveiled their next generation graphics line-up the Radeon R7 and R9 Series due for release in October this year.
AMD's Matt Skynner, Corporate VP and GM Graphics Business Unit, described the range as "GPUs for a new era... shaped by ultra-resolution gaming and an exciting new generation of highly anticipated games."
Ranging from the entry level R7 250, targeting a sub $100 price point, to the new flagship R9 290X (price tba) the series are designed to suit the demands of gamers and tech professionals alike from the casual to the most demanding enthusiast.
Also discussed were exciting new technologies made possible with this latest generation of Radeon graphics including AMD TrueAudio, AMD MultiDisplay and Eyefinity, AMD Wireless Display and support for the latest 4K UltraHD Displays.
The AMD Radeon R7 and R9 Series GPUs are built on what AMD are calling their Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture with the aim of delivering a more unified gaming experience across PC and Console with AMD Graphics also powering next generation console platforms.
On the PC side AMD lead with unmatched support for DirectX 11.2 Graphics and with the introduction of Mantle, AMD are looking to give developers previously unavailable API access direct to the hardware architecture itself allowing greater levels of optimisation and performance than ever before.
DICE's "Battlefield 4" has already been announced to support Mantle with performance gains exclusive to AMD Radeon Graphics coming in a patch soon after launch.
AMD also reaffirmed their commitment to Multi-Display Technology Eyefinity confirming that the R7 and R9 Series would not only continue to support multiple display configurations but also now include support for UltraHD resolutions up to 2160p60.
As another pillar of their "Surround Computing" concept AMD demonstrated their new Wireless Display Technology which streams hardware encoded video up to 1080p30 to a remote MirrorCast enabled display via WiFi with less than 60ms latency making it suitable for HD video or even casual gaming.
AMD also revealed TrueAudio Technology, a new programmable audio pipeline on the GPU to allow developers to bring their games to life with even more realistic, dynamic sound effects.
The technology will be heard in the upcoming releases including the latest in the cult favourite "THIEF" series by Square Enix and exciting new original title "Lichdom" by Xaviant Games.
A special guest presentation from Adobe demonstrated the benefit of this next-gen graphics power in professional applications such as Adobe's Creative Cloud Suite with the use of OpenCL powered GPU Acceleration.
Adobe's popular professional video editing software Premiere Pro was shown using OpenCL GPU Acceleration to deliver real-time video previews allowing changes to filters and effects to be previewed live in near production quality without pre-rendering, impossible with software rendering techniques previously employed.
Similar performance gains can be enjoyed across the suite in other popular programs such as Photoshop, After Effects and in many other graphics, video and CAD programs.
AMD also showcased the offerings of a number of their Hardware Partners including AMD APU powered personal and business notebooks from Toshiba and Acer and gaming notebooks from MSI.
For the hardcore PC gamers factory over-clocked variants of the R9 290X were confirmed by ASUS with new Matrix Dual and Tri-Slot models and MSI also confirming that their Hawk and Lightning variants would return as well.
Other partners on display included Gigabyte, Sapphire, HIS and PowerColor. Also notable at the event was the beautiful new Sharp PN-K321 31" UltraHD 2160p LED Display demonstrated running the "Battlefield 4 Open Beta" at UltraHD resolution on an AMD Radeon powered gaming PC.
Declaration: Flights and accommodation provided by AMD for this event.