We are now reaching the low-end segment of the R7 series, composed of the R7-250 (codename Oland XT) and the R7-240 (Oland Pro). Both GPUs are manufactured on the 28nm process and the cards support resolutions up to 2048x1536 on the DVI port and 4K on the HDMI.
The HIS R7 250 iCooler card has the same clocks as the stock AMD version, which means the GPU runs at 1000MHz while reaching with Boost 1050MHz while the memory clock runs at 1150MHz (4600MHz effective). Our sample was the 1GB version while HIS also offers a 2GB variant (but judging by the performance levels of this GPU, the extra buffer should not bring noticeable performance benefits). The GPU is built with 384 shader units, 24 TMUs, 8 ROPs and 6 Compute units.
The PowerTune function is now available on the full range so the GPU clock gets modified depending on power draw, heat and performance factors.
Mantle is a new API introduced with the latest seriers, which gives the game developers direct access to the GPUs by using the Graphics Core Next architecture. AMD has recently clarified that Mantle creates for PC a development platform which is similar to the one for the consoles, which already offer low-level APIs, close-to-metal programming, easier development and more. By creating a more console-like developer environment, Mantle improves time to market, reduces development costs and allows more efficient rendering and ultimately improves performance for gamers.
DirectX 11.2, which is coming with Windows 8.1 is compatible with the new series.
The main attraction of the latest DirectX seems to be Tiled Resources, which exposes AMD’s partially-resident textures via DirectX and we are also dealing with hardware-managed virtual memory for GPU.