Why you should wait for AMD’s new graphics cards before buying a GTX 1080

AMD Polaris - 14nm FinFET Radeon Graphics Architecture

Nvidia recently unveiled their massive GPU lineup for 2016, along with a showcase of the new technology that will accompany the Pascal architecture.

AMD fans shouldn’t give in to the green team just yet, as Radeon also has a new GPU lineup coming soon, featuring their new Polaris architecture and innovative new technology.

If you are thinking of upgrading your video card and are uncertain about buying the new GTX 1080, you should probably wait until the Polaris reveal at the end of May 2016 – as AMD’s new graphics cards might just surprise you.

Here is everything you should know about AMD’s upcoming Polaris graphics cards.

Polaris 10 and 11

There are two upcoming graphics card lineups that will use the Polaris architecture – Polaris 10 and Polaris 11.

Polaris 11 GPUs are built for laptops and basic gaming desktops, while the Polaris 10 graphics cards are more suitable for powerful gaming PCs.

The Polaris 10 and 11 GPUs will not directly compete with Nvidia’s high-end products like the GTX 1080 – instead, the graphics cards will be aimed at the mainstream gaming market, offering exceptional efficiency and cost-effective performance

The new architecture will be used in the next generation iterations of Radeon cards, namely the R9 and R7 Series.

Specifications

WCCFTech managed to get a hold of some leaked specifications of a Polaris graphics card, which are detailed below.

AMD Polaris R9 490 Leaked Specifications
GPU Polaris 10
Fabrication Process 14nm FinFET
Compute Units 36
GCN Generation GCN 4.0
Stream Processors 2304
Memory Bus 256-bit
Memory 8GB GDDR5/X
TDP 130W

Technology

AMD FreeSync

AMD FreeSync Monitors work similarly to Nvidia’s G-Sync monitors, providing gamers with a steady, smooth image at any framerate and eliminating V-Sync judder.

Premium Game Streaming

AMD’s Polaris architecture will support Premium Game Streaming, meaning that gamers can stream or record their gaming in up to 4K resolution with little to no performance impact.

GPUOpen

GPUOpen is an open source development code, which boasts features such as TressFX Hair, GeometrFX, ShadowFX, AOFX and SSAA, rivalling Nvidia’s relatively secretive GameWorks.

AMD XConnect

AMD XConnect is technology aimed at mobile gamers and allows them to connect external graphics cards to their laptops. Gamers can connect Radeon cards to their laptop via a Thunderbolt connection, deonstrated by the Razer Blade Stealth gaming setup.

Mainstream market

The Polaris architecture will aim for premium power and cost-efficiency in favour of raw power.

This means that the new Radeon cards will not directly rival the GTX 1080, although they will provide gamers seeking 1080p gaming products with low-cost solutions.

AMD’s new architecture will feature double the performance-per-watt of previous GPUs.

The company has stated that the Polaris graphics cards are aimed at allowing mainstream users to experience VR without paying the heavy cost of a current-generation VR Ready GPU.

More on hardware

Nvidia GTX 1080 ultimate guide – performance and specifications

Nvidia unveils GeForce GTX 1080 pricing and insane new technology

AMD to reveal high-value Polaris graphics cards later this month

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Why you should wait for AMD’s new graphics cards before buying a GTX 1080

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