AMD Makes Surprising Move with R7 370

/ 1 year ago

AMD R7 370

With the reveal of AMD’s Rx 300 lineup at E3 today, more details about the specifications have been revealed. One of the most surprising moves was the chip AMD chose to power the R7 370. Among all the cards AMD has launched so far, the R7 370 will be the sole member still running GCN 1.0., and has now been twice rebranded. Rebranding is fine but 3 years later, it’s pushing it.

While most of the attention has been focused on Fury, the rest of the Rx 300 series have been rebrands. The most important clue to the 370’s origin is the features or lack thereof the card supports. As expected the up and coming APIs of DirectX® 12, OpenGL® 4.58, Vulkan™, Mantle and OpenCL™ 2.0 are all supported. However, VCE (Video Codec Engine), TrueAudio and the much vaunted FreeSync are all missing. These features are tied to GCN 1.1/1.2, meaning the 370 is GCN 1.0. This point is hammered home by the presence of a Crossfire finger, a requirement that GCN 1.1/1.2 forgoes.

Another point is the branding for the card. With 1024 SPUs (Stream Processing Units) across 16 CUs (Compute Units), the R7 370 is the successor to the 2012 HD 7850 and the R7 265 with a speed bump to 975Mhz core and memory bandwidth improved to 172.2 GB/s. Even with the speed increase, the 370 will likely still be slower than the R9 270 it sounds similar to. Buyers may very well be more fixated on the 370 part of the name rather than the more critical R7/R9. Those thinking the 370 is the successor to the 270 are going to be disappointed.

AMD now has a sizable gap between the R7 370 and the R9 380 in their product line. While an R9 370 to fill in the gap might make sense under AMD’s logic, that will only serve to confuse buyers. With a lack of features the rest of the lineup boasts as well, AMD has made a surprising choice with the R7 370. One good move though is cutting down Bonaire for the 360 which helps diffreniate the cards as the cap between the R7 260X and 265 was sometimes too narrow. Despite all this, these handicaps won’t be too important as long as the price is right.

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  • 12John34

    7850/7870 where excellent performers and still are. At the right price they can still be good choices, even without TrueAudio or Freesync. It would have been nice of course if we where getting a new chip there, but probably the low margins, the low market share, and the lower sales in general in the discrete GPU market, where not enough to justify the R&D for a new $150 dollar GPU.

    By the way. The oldest, DX10 GPU in the market is Nvidia’s G210 and also many GPUs like the GT620 are Fermi GPUs. Nvidia also haven’t produced a new GPU under $200 and 750Ti is still losing compared to R7 370.

    • John Peterson

      What about the gtx960 it is 199$ and has great performance.

      • 12John34

        Well, it is $50 more expensive, a different category.

        GTX960 is a nice card but it is also a 128bit card. Color compression is nice, but I still believe that this card will take a nose dive in future games and even Nvidia’s optimizations wouldn’t be able to save it. Not to mention what will happen when Nvidia stops optimizing for the 900 series.

        If you look how GTX 760 and R9 270X matured over the years, you will notice that while in the past GTX 760 was killing 270X, lately it is the other way around in many new games. Today 960 looks as good if not better compared to a 285/380. In a year from now things could be very different.

        • Andres Reyes

          Yep complitely right, I have a 760 and now the games are running really bad, Dying light is almost non playable, The witcher 3 well not bad but had to sacrify a lot to have decent performance

  • John Lindsay

    just as nv have done with the GTX 960 and erm , nothing under it ?

  • Brian Blair

    So basically this year AMD is giving you the same thing with the 90’s, And less with the 380 and 370! The dam R7 360 is just a re-named R7 260 nonX! so it’s slower than the 7790 and R7 260X! AMD has just screwed up big time!

    • chitown

      The R7 370 is generally a $150 card. You get what you pay for and for $150 that’s a damn decent GPU, regardless of the marketing gobbledygook.