At the PC-oriented event it co-sponsored with media outlet PC Gamer, processor and GPU maker AMD announced a successor to its R9 200 line of GPUs in the form of the R9 300 and a brand new high priced flagship GPU, the R9 Fury X.
The R9 300 series cards feature a new, more energy efficient architecture codenamed "Fiji" that the manufacturer likely hopes will put it on more comparable footing to its much bigger competitor Nvidia's 900 series cards. However, AMD's real trump card is the R9 Fury X, a dual-GPU card that AMD is touting as the world's first featuring HBM — high-bandwidth stacked memory.
High-bandwidth memory is "stacked;" instead of spreading discrete memory chips on a circuit board like existing graphics cards, HBM places memory chips on top of one another. This provides large theoretical gains in memory speeds over traditionally oriented memory configurations, though the industry-standard GDDR5 found in current top-of-the-line GPUs is cheaper to manufacture.
The Fury X is being aimed squarely at the higher end enthusiast PC market, and the potential VR market in particular. Nvidia recently released the Titan X specifically to target that audience at this year's GDC, and AMD specifically mentioned VR applications and 4K gaming in its marketing materials for the new card.
HBM is limited to the R9 Fury X. The remaining members of the R300 line, the R390X, R390, R380, its value-minded R7 300 series and the small form factor R9 Nano card — which AMD is touting as half the size and half the power of its current R9 290 card — use GDDR5 memory.
The R9 Fury X is expected to launch on June 24 for $649, and the remaining 300 family cards are expected to go on sale for a variety of price points starting June 18.