AMD has announced a new graphics card, but before you get too excited be warned: the Radeon R7 250X is little more than a re-brand of the company's existing Radeon HD 7770 low-end design.
AMD's new R7 250X may be 'new,' but is largely a re-brand of the company's existing Radeon HD 7770 boards for the sub-$100 market.
Designed to entice users looking to upgrade from integrated graphics without breaking the bank, the R7 250X has been confirmed as occupying the same sub-$100 price point as its predecessors. That should come as little surprise, given that the specifications are all-but identical: the 'new' design includes up to 640 stream processors running at up to 1GHz, up to 2GB of GDDR5 on a 128-bit bus with a throughput of 4.5Gb/s, and an overall compute performance of up to 1.28 teraflops.
Support for DirectX 11.2 and OpenGL 4.3 are both included, along with AMD's own low-level Mantle API - a move which, despite the limited performance potential of the R7 250X, could help boost framerates in supported games on the sort of low-end processor with which the board is likely to be partnered. The reference design offers a 95W thermal design profile (TDP) and gets is power from a single six-pin connector, while interfacing with the motherboard through a PCI Express 3.0 16-lane slot.
While the GPU itself is a Graphics Core Next part, it's missing some key features from the company's higher-end models: the 28nm Cape Verde part fails to feature TrueAudio and requires a CrossFire Bridge Interconnect board if used in a multi-GPU setup - a requirement AMD's flagship R9 290 and R9 290X boards have ditched.
Initial indications from AMD's hardware partners suggest that the first boards on the market won't quite reach AMD's reference specifications. PowerColor, one of the first companies to formally announce an R7 250X, will be offering just 1GB of GDDR5 memory and 540 stream processors, with a commensurate impact on performance.
UK pricing for the R7 250X has yet to be confirmed.