Many people had hoped or expected AMD to make a graphics card announcement at GDC, it did not happen (NVIDIA stole the show), but something else interesting did. There was a demo of Showdown running on the Oculus Rift Crescent Bay, which was being powered by an unannounced Radeon R9 flagship ultra-enthusiast product.
That exact statement, “unannounced Radeon R9 flagship ultra-enthusiast product” was told to Fritz Nelson of Tom’s Hardware on the record by AMD. It does not seem like AMD is denying at either as Roy Taylor, AMD’s Corporate Vice President Roy Taylor sent out this tweet after Tom’s Hardware posted their article.
AMD's Next Radeon Flagship Spotted Powering Oculus Rift http://t.co/5Mtk5ekjyf
— Roy@AMD (@amd_roy) March 5, 2015
The last time we saw the Showdown demo was at CES back in January and then it was not running on this AMD hardware. This demo and “new hardware” comes as AMD has just announced its virtual reality initiative, called LiquidVR.
From what we know the R9 390X will be based on AMD’s upcoming Fiji XT GPU. This will also be the first graphics card to use stacked high bandwidth memory (HBM). Rumors suggest that the card will have 4096 steam processors with 4GB of that HBM memory. The R9 390X will be a liquid cooled card using a Asetek liquid cooler.
Details are scarce right now, but it is quite interesting to see a working version powering a game demo at GDC. No word yet on a possible release date, but I wouldn’t expect anything until Computex, which is in June.