AMD’s new Radeon R-300 family launches today and you’ll be seeing a couple of reviews floating about on the internet right about now. However, while the reviews are out there and people have been testing these for a while, I know you’re all more interested in how much these new toys will set you back. Well, pricing for some of these cards locally has begun to appear online and general availability for the R-300 series is set to begin in about two to three weeks, brand depending. Hit the jump for the pricing!
UPDATE: I clearly needed more coffee today, I thought the PowerColor cards came with a three-year warranty. My apologies go out to PowerColor and Wootware and have made a ninja edit accordingly.
Its not a bad spread already, although availability is very scarce, if not nonexistent at the moment. As usual, PowerColor starts off strongly locally, setting the benchmark for affordability and with a two-year warranty, which isn’t a bad deal. Sapphire’s R9 390X Tri-X seems a bit off scale, but perhaps that price will settle down once stock becomes available. There are surely going to be a lot of people trying to snap up that extremely good-looking cooler.
MSI’s variants also seem to be pretty decent, with the R7 360 starting off at R1,999. That is equivalent-to-slightly better performance to the Geforce GTX 750 and Radeon R7 260, though, so there’s definitely going to be some price shuffling as MSI tries to squeeze out all they can from the budget market. Luckily the 2GB variants of the GTX 750 are priced at around the same level or higher, so there’s some good bang-for-your-buck offered by the R7 360.
Your eyes are all drawn, though, to the R9 390 and R9 390X because of those 8GB frame buffers and they are exceptional value for money currently, especially if you’re playing at UltraHD 4K or using ridiculous amounts of mods for your games (or just Ultra textures on Shadow of Mordor). 8GB of GDDR5 is very likely to never become the bottleneck, and if you’re trying to build a system that will last you through the next two years without needing to turn down the quality levels a notch, these would be well worth your consideration. It is also very difficult to find stock of 8GB Radeon R9 290X cards as well, so at the current pricing you’re getting a tweaked R9 290X with an extra 4GB of VRAM for almost the same price. Not bad.
Out of all these cards, I think the R9 380 4GB is going to be the best seller, with it being faster than the competing Geforce GTX 960 and sporting a larger frame buffer at the same time. It isn’t a fully enabled Tonga GPU and I still suspect we’re going to see a 6GB variant with a 384-bit memory bus, but this is not a bad buy at all.
If you’re thinking of buying a new AMD GPU, though, now would probably be a good time to start watching the prices of the old R-200 series. They will inevitably get cut down to clear out old stock and they still have plenty of life and driver support in them, and will probably see through the next two year’s worth of games without too much trouble. The same can also be said about existing Maxwell-based GPUs from NVIDIA, so all you really need to do right now, if you’re indecisive, is pick a budget and flip a coin to figure out which way you want to go.