This isn’t going to be one of those click-baity, speculation fueled posts full of words that don’t mean much other than to garner web search rankings. Rather, I’m literally asking… where is the RX 490? Folks from all over the web, from the hardforum to reddit, are the same question. We want to know also, and you probably do as well, else you wouldn’t be reading this. So, what do we know so far?
AMD Radeon RX 490
Expected sometime in the 4th quarter of 2016 (pushing the limit, eh?), this is the card that’s supposed to not only put the breaks on NVIDIA’s egregiously high pricing on the GTX 1060, 1070, 1080 etc., but also give them a real competitor. Freesync fans were enthusiastic, perhaps overly so, of the RX 480, but testing revealed that the 1060 is about 10% faster on most DX11 titles and not much, if any, faster on native DX12 games. Even while the 480 scaled better at high resolutions, and the pricing is competitive, it uses about 40 watts more power and can’t provide enough performance for the highest quality settings of most AAA games. Enter the RX 490 – our savior to the failed savior that was the 480.
With a rumored 8196 MB of HBM2 memory capable of 716.8 GB/s of bandwidth and 9,830 GFLOPS at 225 watts of power draw, the 14nm Vega 10 architecture is hoped to compete with the GTX 1080 Ti. Considering this isn’t even supposed to be AMD’s top card (the R9 Fury X is), why all the buzz? Will it even be able to compete with the 1080, let alone the Ti version? How much would it even cost? While most estimates put the price at between $429 and $549, due to trends based on prior series numeric branding, how could such a card outperform a $649 1080?
No rumors here, just cold hard skepticism. Anyone claiming to know what the specs, pricing, or release date of the 490 is just speculating. Afterall, we don’t even know if 490 is Polaris chip or Vega one. Take everything you read with a grain of salt, including this post, and especially the comments section below.
Update Dec 8th
Many sites are reporting possible sightings of early benchmarks from the Ashes of the Singularity, putting the results on par with the GTX 1080. Awesome news if true, especially for freesync lovers who are itching for a better graphics card for high end gaming. Still, this is just another rumor, so keep that in mind.