During their 30 years of graphics celebration, AMD announced a forthcoming addition to the Radeon R9 200 graphics card lineup, the Radeon R9 285. The Radeon R9 285 is due to replace the Radeon R9 280, which has only been with us for six months. The Radeon however, was a re-brand of the Radeon HD 7950, a cards that has been around since late January 2012.
On paper, the new R9 285 does not appear that different from the R9 280 it replaces. Those who are familiar with the R9 280 will notice that the new card features 2Gb of GDDR5 VRAM on a 256 bit bus versus the 3Gb of GDDR5 VRAM on a 384 bit bus. The new VRAM configuration makes the card cheaper to manufacture, while only having a modest impact on performance.
Most might even make the assumption that the R9 285 is simply another reconfiguration. Let us assure, it is not. The new R9 285 is built on the GCN 1.1 architecture. This adds a few of notable features that differentiate the R9 285 from the R9 280. The first of these is the R9 285 has a 32% lower TDP then it’s predecessor. The second is True Audio, a feature only available up till now on the R260(X) and R9 290(X) cards. Finally, like the R9 290(X) cards, the R9 285 does not need a Crossfire bridge.
AMD has saw fit to stay with the same MSRP for the new card. No doubt do to the less expensive VRAM configuration. This will keep the price close to Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 760, as well.
Today, we will be bringing you a review of Gigabyte’s take on the Radeon R9 285. It features Gigabyte’s notable Windforce cooler and is factory overclocked by 6% on the core. Gigabyte has a long history of manufacturing AMD graphics cards, so we at Pro-Clockers are rather excited to see what they have done with AMD’s newest design.
Let’s take a closer look on the next page.