The first details of AMD's Bonnaire XT-based Radeon HD 7790 reference design have leaked ahead of a claimed unveiling next month, although there are still disagreements as to how many corners have been cut to keep the price down.
According to unnamed sources quoted by Tom's Hardware
, the Radeon HD 7790 is to be based on the 28nm Bonnaire XT Graphics Core Next (GNC) 2.0 chip, making it a revision newer than most of the boards that make up AMD's 7000-series graphics card family. Designed to sit between the Radeon HD 7770 and the Radeon HD 7850, the Radeon HD 7790 is claimed to include 768 stream processors running at 1,075MHz and pack 2GB of GDDR5 memory on a 128-bit bus.
A similar tale is told by Heise.de
, which claimed earlier this month that the board would include 896 stream processors, something Tom's Hardware's source denies. Either way, both sources claim the same rough performance from the Radeon HD 7790 of around 10 per cent slower than the Radeon HD 7850 in most common benchmark apps and games.
Another thing on which both sources appear to agree is the pricing: the Radeon HD 7790 is expected to hit the European market for around £110-£120, which is a surprise given that the faster Radeon HD 7850 2GB can be had for as little as £140 delivered if you shop around. While the Radeon HD 7790 will include the latest revision of the Graphics Core Next architecture, previously limited to the laptop-only Radeon HD 8000M series, the lower performance alone may make it a tough sell unless retailers choose to ignore AMD's pricing guidance and run some tempting launch-day offers.
Regardless, AMD is reportedly ploughing ahead with plans to launch the Radeon HD 7790 world-wide in early April. However, confirmation of the actual specifications of the board - in particular, whether it comes with 768 or 896 stream processors enabled - will have to wait, with AMD refusing to comment on what it calls 'industry rumour or speculation