Message boards are buzzing over this picture of a supposed AMD Radeon 8970, posted on 4chan’s image board. Some are calling it the Radeon 8970 XT:
Some specs have been attached to these rumored images, including a new Curacao XT core which is clocked higher and contains more cores than Tahiti XT. In fact, these are the specs that are being bandied about:
|Radeon HD 7970||Radeon HD 8970|
|Radeon HD 8970|
|Core Architecture||28 nm Tahiti XT||28 nm Curacao XT||28 nm Tahiti XT|
|Base Clock||925 MHz||1000 MHz||925 MHz|
|Memory||3 GB GDDR5||3 GB GDDR5||3 GB GDDR5|
|TDP||210 W||250 W||210 W|
|Launch Price||$549||$549||Contact for price|
I can see why this type of thing has people excited. AMD have already said that they will not be releasing new silicon this year, and we recently saw Nvidia shake things up with the 700 series, which was for the most part a shuffle and rebrand of the 600 series using the same cores. Most people expecting AMD to do the same would assume that the model numbers will be similarly modified. The Radeon 7970 being replaced by a Radeon 8970, and so on.
The problem with this rumor is that the Radeon 8970 already exists, and has for quite some time now. It is an OEM-only product, and can be seen listed on AMD’s website, along with a specifications sheet. It really is nothing more than a Radeon 7970 with a new label. These are intended for systems builders only – presumably the same who have access to the AMD FX-9590 CPU.
So is this a picture of a Radeon 8970? It very well could be. Does it mean we’ll be able to buy one soon? Not unless AMD starts selling products designed to be used for OEM system integrators to the general public. Does the Radeon 8970 have better specs than a Radeon 7970? No it does not – there is no mention of it using a Curacao XT core, and according to AMD’s own website, the Radeon 8970 has identical specs to the 7970.
This isn’t to say AMD may not do something before the year ends. It is possible that we may see a new line of GPUs similar to what Nvidia did this month. We could very well see new Radeon cards using improved 28nm cores, but I doubt this is one of them. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.