While the world’s attention was captured by the full reveal of the radical Radeon R9 Nano early Thursday morning, AMD quietly released another new graphics card at the same time: The Radeon R9 370X. Just not in the United States.
The new Radeon R9 370X appears based around the same graphics processor as the older Radeon R9 270X, packing the same 1,280 stream processors, 80 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and either 2GB or 4GB of memory with a 256-bit bus. TechPowerUp was the first to report on the launch, spotting a Sapphire Vapor-X variant overclocked to 1,200MHz. (Pictured above courtesy of TechPowerUp.)
When I reached out to AMD to confirm the launch, it confirmed that the specs that TechPowerUp reported for the card are accurate. A representative’s comment also revealed why the launch was so low-key: “The R9 370X is regionalized product which is today limited to the China market,” she said.
That may be true today, but I’d be shocked if the R9 370X failed to appear in U.S. at some point. This card’s release occurred mere days after the release of Nvidia’s $160 GeForce GTX 950, which outpunches the similarly priced Radeon R7 370. Our testing showed the older R9 270X going toe-to-toe with the GTX 950, however, so releasing a slightly faster R9 370X would likely give AMD the edge once again—at least in performance.
The story behind the story: Like the rest of the “new” AMD Radeon R300-series lineup, the R9 370X appears to reuse a tweaked version of an older GPU. The 270X’s “Pitcairn”-derived GPU isn’t compatible with newer technologies such as AMD’s stutter-killing FreeSync displays or HDMI 2.0—not that you’re likely to need send a 60Hz signal to a 4K display with the 270X’s mainstream-level firepower anyway. The newer GM206 “Maxwell” chip inside GTX 950, meanwhile, offers support for both HDMI 2.0 and Nvidia’s competing G-Sync.