We are finally getting some solid information about upcoming AMD releases this year, so let’s get straight to it:
RX 480 Graphics Card
AMD held a press conference on June 1 and revealed the RX 480, the first of its upcoming generation of graphics cards.
We have no details on any other card, but the RX 480 sound very promising on its own. The performance, according to the interpolations by various sources, puts the RX 480 somewhere between the R9 390 and R9 390X. In other words, you can get between $300-$400 worth of last generation’s performance for just $200.
That is not as awe-inspiring as the $700 GTX 1080 performance, but it is a much more important release. Why? The biggest segment of gamers will be buying ~$200 cards, not $700 cards. So, if the performance interpolations turn out to be true, the RX 480 is poised to be a bestseller!
The RX 480 is expected to launch (and be properly benchmarked) on June 29th. We will be adding it to the Logical Increments parts list, assuming it is a logical purchase after the reviews are in.
It is no secret that Intel rules the >$200 CPU market, mostly due to AMD’s failed Bulldozer launch. AMD says that its Zen CPUs, planned to launch in Q4 2016, will provide a 40% increase in performance over their current CPUs. We will not sugar-coat it: a 40% improvement over Bulldozer will not make Zen competitive with Skylake. But a 40% increase could make Zen an attractive for gamers if it is priced right. We do not know enough about Zen yet, so we will be waiting for more news and actual benchmarks.